East Grinstead Town Mayor, Councillor Liz Bennett and Mid-Sussex MP, the Rt Hon. Nicholas Soames have formally opened the Town’s brand new railway station.
Construction of the new station building at East Grinstead is complete and it is now open for passengers to use. This brand new, much awaited station building has been built as part of the Department for Transport’s National Station Improvement Programme (NSIP), and will bring noticeable and lasting improvements for the thousands of passengers who use the station each year.
Through NSIP, the old station building at East Grinstead has been replaced with a state of the art modern building, with a more spacious booking hall area, which includes an accessible ticket office window, a larger café and new passenger toilets. More bicycle parking facilities and new waiting shelters on the platform have also been provided. The new building is also easier for railway staff to maintain, and provides more resistance to vandalism.
In addition to the new station building, a new transport interchange area has been built on the site of the old station building, and at the rear of the station, work on a new single deck car park is almost complete. As part of the overall station development, the platforms have been lengthened, allowing 12-car trains to call, providing around 5,000 extra seats at peak times. Handrails to the stairs, hearing loops and help points on platforms have also been provided through the Access for All Small Schemes fund.
The new station complex was formally opened on Friday 8th March 2013 by The Rt Hon. Nicholas Soames MP and East Grinstead Town Mayor, Cllr Liz Bennett at a ceremony attended by Southern’s MD, Chris Burchell, Network Rail’s Sussex Route MD, Mark Ruddy, representatives from Local Authorities, the East Grinstead Access Group, East Grinstead Society and Museum, Sussex Community Rail Partnership, East Grinstead Business Association, East Grinstead Tourism, Network Rail, Contractors and Southern project managers.
Cllr Liz Bennett Said” It is truly a great pleasure to see the new fit for purpose station in the Town. East Grinstead has much to offer residents and visitors, the station is the first thing many people see when entering the town and as such is important to be stylish and welcoming, reflecting the town itself.”
East Grinstead MP, Nicholas Soames said: “I am absolutely delighted on behalf of my East Grinstead constituents to have formally opened this magnificent new railway station. It is a very important step forward and it is already much appreciated by those who use it and I congratulate all those responsible for a terrific achievement and a great addition to the Town.”
Southern’s Managing Director, Chris Burchell said” It’s been a long time coming, but our East Grinstead passengers have finally got the station they expect and deserve. This superb new station will provide them with excellent facilities and the station itself will contribute greatly towards the town, which is expanding fast. This new station, along with its extended platforms should more than meet the requirements of both the town and our passengers for many years to come.”
Network Rail’s Sussex Route Managing Director, Mark Ruddy said: “This new station represents the continued progress being made across the railway in West Sussex. It is a huge improvement on the previous station, with better facilities in a modern and contemporary designed environment which meets the needs of today’s passengers. The longer platforms will allow for longer trains to use the station and passengers will be able to wait for their train in new shelters. The station is a great example of what can be achieved when different organisations work together for the benefit of the railway. We will continue to work with the Department for Transport, Southern, local authorities and all other interested parties to continue developing the railway and will continue to invest and improve wherever possible.”
The previous station and facilities were no longer fit for purpose and were in need of replacing. The key to the design and construction of the new station building was in the use of off-site manufactured components that were delivered to site, enabling rapid assembly on pre-prepared foundations. This approach reduced costs and time on-site, minimising inconvenience to passengers.