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Stations Day: 10 times we delivered better stations for passengers

It’s Stations Day, celebrating the rail industry’s billions of pounds of investment in Britain’s railway stations.

Investment in stations is a central part of the industry’s long-term plan to change and improve for the millions of passengers who use the railway every day.

Read about our efforts to put passengers first here.

Here are 10 times Network Rail has delivered better stations for passengers this year:

1. Access for All

We’re improving access for all passengers across the railway by providing obstacle-free, accessible routes to and between platforms.

One of our most high-profile examples of the initiative is a dedicated assisted travel lounge, which opened at Birmingham New Street station in June:

The government’s Department for Transport, which funds much of Network Rail, has secured further funding of up to £300m to extend the Access for All initiative between April 2019 and March 2024.

The lounge at Birmingham New Street follows a £175,000 investment by Network Rail and helps passengers who need help to get on and off trains.

We offer assisted travel to all passengers who need help getting between trains and the station concourse. Last year, almost 59,000 people used the service at Birmingham New Street.

2. Free and improved toilets

The toilets at all 20 of our managed stations are now free to use, making journeys more comfortable at some of Britain’s biggest and busiest transport hubs.

The facilities are already free at stations including Bristol Temple MeadsManchester PiccadillyLeedsLiverpool Lime StreetLondon Paddington and London Waterloo.

Meanwhile, we’re revamping the toilets at some of our stations, such as Birmingham New StreetLiverpool Lime Street and London Victoria to make them more comfortable and more accessible to all passengers.

Meanwhile, we’re revamping the toilets at some of our stations, such as Birmingham New Street, Liverpool Lime Street (pictutred) and London Victoria to make them more comfortable and more accessible to all passengers.

3. Free water fountains

We’ve installed free, cold water fountains at our managed stations so you can refill your own bottle – keeping passengers hydrated and significantly reducing plastic waste.

We estimate the fountains save the equivalent of up to 1,000 plastic bottles at each location a week.

4. More seats

We installed 150 more seats on and around the concourse at Manchester Piccadilly (pictured below) in July after passenger surveys indicated there were not enough at the station.

It followed the installation of more seats at some of our biggest stations, including 300 seats at London Victoria and a new customer seating area at London Euston.

5. First glass finish for Glasgow Queen Street

Last month, engineers completed work to install the 310 glass panels on Glasgow Queen Street railway station’s new frontage.

Covering an area of 734m2, the 21m-high floor-to-ceiling glazing will bring to life the striking design of the new exterior of Queen Street.

Completion of the glazing marks another milestone in the £120m transformation of Scotland’s third-busiest station.

Inside Queen Street, engineers continue work to lengthen platforms four and five by 26m to allow new eight-carriage electric trains to use them.

We’re still working hard behind the hoarding to extend platforms four and five. They will reopen on Monday 14 October.

6. A better, brighter Leeds

We completed the new station roof at Leeds station in September, significantly brightening the concourse – we replace the old, wooden roof with a transparent one.

Meanwhile, the refurbished public toilets reopened in August, and new automatic ticket gates will come into use in late-September.

7. Life-saving equipment rolled out

We worked with Transport for Wales last month to install life-saving defibrillators at 21 railway stations across the Wales and Borders route.

Some of Transport for Wales’ busiest railway stations have defibrillators, which give a high-energy electric shock to the heat of someone in cardiac arrest, but this new investment in locations in Wales and England covers more cities, towns and villages.

The new defibrillators are known as public access defibrillators (PADs) because anyone can use them and they require no training; clear instructions explain how to attach the defibrillator pads.

8. Better information for passengers

From July, passengers across Kent, East Sussex and South East London have benefitted from improved journey information after a two-year collaborative effort between Network Rail and train operator Southeastern.

New screens provide Southeastern passengers with more information in an easier-to-read format. We have installed new public address (PA) systems, with higher-quality speakers, amplifiers and microphones.

We have also upgraded the technology that supplies the on-screen information and controls the automated announcements.

With Network Rail renewing the hardware of the systems, Southeastern specified software upgrades to coincide with the work:

  • Anticipated calling times for every station en-route, which are now displayed on next train indicators
  • The train’s current location
  • Information about where a train is if it hasn’t yet departed, or it has come from the depot, making this visible at all stations along the route.

9. London’s newest railway station

Meridian Water in Enfield, London officially opened in June as part of a £6bn development of the area led by Enfield Council. The new station serves passengers ahead of the construction of 10,000 homes and the creation of thousands of jobs.

It has replaced the existing Angel Road station to provide better accessibility for passengers; stairs and lifts enable step-free access across the railway and to the concourse.

10. Longbridge overhaul

A £1.7 million-pound refurbishment of Longbridge railway station has provided a better experience for passengers in Birmingham since July.

We totally changed the outside of the station with a new entrance, glazed roof and cladding. Inside, we built a larger concourse, ticket office and accessible toilet.

Combined, they provide a bright, modern transport hub for an area benefitting from new business, leisure and housing developments.

Read more:

Putting passengers first

Passengers first – from free toilets to Access for All

Still to come – free WiFi at our stations

New Stations Improvement Programme

New Stations Fund

Together we can end domestic abuse