Passengers using Marsden station will no longer have to face a large drop between the train and the platform as work to improve accessibility at the station begins.
Thanks to new funding, part of a £15million benefit package for passengers in the North of England announced in late 2018, work will take place to raise the height of platform two.
The upgrade will mean platform two will be made a consistent height from one end to the other, making it easier for passengers to get on and off trains stopping at the station and remove the need for single door operation, the process where only one set of doors on the train are available for passengers to board and alight.
The discrepancy between the height of the platform and the trains using platform two was initially going to be solved by the installation of a temporary graded slope known as a Harrington Hump but the additional funding now means the whole of the platform can be raised instead.
Network Rail will begin work today (Monday, 18 February) and the work will complete by the end of March. Whilst the project is ongoing, train services will use platform three.
Rob McIntosh, Route Managing Director for Network Rail, said: “Passengers using Marsden station will soon be able to enjoy a more comfortable experience as platform two is raised, making it more accessible for many users.
“We are delighted to be able to carry out this upgrade thanks to the extra funding and this project will mean we can continue to provide a railway which meets the needs of the communities and economies we serve both now and in years to come.”
Rail Minister Andrew Jones said: “Transport accessibility is vitally important, so I am pleased that passengers using Marsden station will soon find it easier to get on and off trains as part of Network Rail’s £15million enhancements package.
“The Government is investing a record £48bn to modernise our railways, and we are working with Transport for the North and Richard George to drive forward improved performance across the northern network – focused on delivering more reliable, frequent and punctual services.”
Chris Nutton, Major Projects Director for TransPennine Express, said: “The safety and comfort of our customers is of paramount importance and so we are pleased that work to raise the height of platform two is now underway.”
A Northern spokesperson said: “This project is excellent news for customers of Marsden station. This is in addition to the ongoing work Northern is undertaking to modernise our network that includes new and updated trains, more services and better stations.”
Gary Godolphin, Secretary for Slaithwaite and Marsden Action on Rail Transport, said: “We welcome the improvements to platform two as a first step towards improving accessibility to all platforms at Marsden station. Slaithwaite and Marsden Action on Rail Transport hope that the forthcoming Transpennine Route Upgrade will provide full disabled access to all platforms enabling everyone to use the station safely”.
The customer benefit package, which was announced by the Rail Minister, Andrew Jones MP last year, is being delivered by Network Rail, Northern and TransPennine Express at stations across the north of England.