Work has started on a £550,000 project to deliver improved facilities for passengers and people meeting trains at Carlisle.
A completely new passenger waiting area will be created at Carlisle Citadel station. The development will also provide a better welcome for passengers arriving on trains at platforms five and six and the southern end of platform four.
There are three main areas of work, covering two seating areas and a waiting room.
A new seating area will be created at the head of platforms five and six where trains for the Carlisle to Settle line and Hadrian’s Wall Country line (Carlisle to Newcastle) depart. It will be surrounded on three sides by a low stone-clad wall topped with glazed screens to cut out draughts. There will be special diagrams depicting both railway lines and the crowning glory will be a sign across the end of both railway tracks defining them as the ‘Gateway’ to both lines.
This part of the project has been further enhanced by a £10,000 contribution from the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line.
Further along platform four an existing waiting area will be refurbished to complement its new counterpart. The red hoops that define the seating area and restrict access to the platform will be removed and a new ‘totem’ will be provided for train service information and the station clock.
Within the enclosed platform four waiting room near platforms five and six, the galvanised metal framework supporting the emergency lighting system will be removed and the lighting relocated so that the wooden beams in the ceiling can be fully appreciated.
The project is part of the Department for Transport’s National Stations Improvement Programme, administered by Network Rail. Virgin Trains is delivering the work and Stuart Davison, the company’s Station Manager for Cumbria, said: “Around 1.8 million passengers a year join and leave trains at Carlisle – 400,000 more than five years ago. The improvements will be a welcome benefit for them and will make this historic station even more attractive.”
Jo Kaye, Network Rail’s route director, said: “The new waiting area at the end of platforms five and six will be a welcome relief for passengers because the curved platforms and barrel roof act as a funnel, channelling the wind through the station. In future, there will be seats surrounded by a stone and glass screen to keep the wind at bay.”
Mark Rand, chairman of the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line, said: "Carlisle's already splendid station will be further improved by this scheme. Passengers on the world famous Settle-Carlisle line in particular will get much enhanced arrival and departure facilities."
The main contractor is Serco Project Services. Work is due to be completed early next year.
Carlisle station is one of 17 managed by Virgin Trains on the West Coast Mainline. The station improvement project follows recent investment in the adjacent car park.
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