The roll-out of Greater Anglia’s new commuter trains has taken another step forward after platform lengthening work was carried out at Wickford railway station.
Platform 1 has been extended to be able to accommodate the train operator’s new longer Alstom trains.
The work – a joint project led by Greater Anglia and supported by Network Rail – has been completed and now testing will take place before customers can use it from 26 June.
While the final testing takes place, all trains for the Southminster line will depart from platform 4, instead of platform 1.
Customers can access platform 4 via the footbridge and anyone with accessibility needs can arrive at the station via the south exit, directly onto platforms 3/4, where they can also buy a ticket.
Additional staff will also be on hand to help customers during this time.
Ian McConnell, Greater Anglia franchise and programmes director, said: “We would like to thank customers for their patience while this work takes place. The platform has been extended and customers will be able to use it soon.
“We are investing in Wickford to make it better for our customers. The proposed work will transform the station, bringing in new facilities for the 2.2 million people who use the station each year.
“This work is essential to allow us to run our new, longer trains to and from Wickford and it is a good opportunity to also upgrade customer facilities at the station.
“We are transforming the railway in East Anglia, with a complete fleet of new trains and £60 million worth of improvements to stations.”
The improvement work at Wickford is part of a £4m project which will see:
• A new ticket office, with two ticket office windows
• A new upgraded accessible waiting hall, with charging points and seating
• New toilets including new and improved accessible toilets
• New and improved customer information screens and CCTV
• A new shop where customers can buy food and hot drinks
The old station building has been demolished and a temporary ticket office has been installed to ensure minimal disruption to customers.
Greater Anglia is replacing every single one of its existing trains with brand new trains, which will all be longer with more seats. The first of the new Alstom commuter trains came into service last November.
All new trains will have USB and plug points, Wi-Fi, air conditioning, improved passenger information systems and accessible seating areas and toilets. They are greener, cleaner and better for the environment.
Alstom is building 133 trains for Greater Anglia which will run between London Liverpool Street and Essex, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire.
The Alstom trains have underfloor heating – a first for UK trains – which works with an overhead heating and ventilation system to improve passenger comfort and increase foot room for passengers sitting in window seats
Featured photo: The first Alstom at Wickford bay platform 1. Credit: Greater Anglia