Rochester’s new station is taking shape with new platforms, stairs and underpass in place on the town centre site.
Secretary of State for Transport the Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP visited the worksite today (Monday) and followed the journey that will eventually be taken by passengers through the underpass and up to the platforms.
The station will not only provide a more central location for passengers and visitors to Rochester, but it will also provide a catalyst for the regeneration of Rochester riverside.
Visiting the station today, Patrick McLoughlin said:
“We are investing record amounts to build a world-class railway. Better transport is all part of delivering the government’s long term economic plan. Rochester’s new station will be a big improvement for this historic town. It will benefit commuters and visitors thanks to longer trains and more seats for passengers. As well as giving passengers a better service, this investment will help the local economy by improving access to jobs.”
Network Rail’s managing director for the south east, Dave Ward, said:
“This station is part of a fantastic investment in Kent’s railway and will have a real benefit for passengers and the Medway Towns. We are improving the reliability of the railway, making space for more trains to run in peak times and contributing to the regeneration of the area.”
Councillor Rodney Chambers, Leader of Medway Council, said:
“The new station is of huge importance, not just to Rochester, but to Medway as a whole, and forms a vital part of our plans for regeneration in that area, particularly our adjacent flagship development site at Rochester Riverside.”
The new Rochester station is being built as part of a major scheme to replace and improve signalling on the railway lines from Longfield to Sittingbourne and Strood to Beltring. It will also recontrol the Sheerness to Sittingbourne branch.
The new station’s longer platforms will mean that 12-car trains can fit on them for the first time and work is due to complete in December this year.
A new platform is also being built at Rainham to increase the flexibility of railway operations and reduce congestion in Gillingham.
The overall resignalling project will be complete in 2016, when control will move to Gillingham.