Thursday 8 Jan 2009
PASSENGERS TO BENEFIT FROM EUROPE’S LARGEST TICKET GATE LINE
Passengers who use the railway into London Waterloo will benefit from enhanced security and movement around Waterloo station following the successful installation of 171 automatic ticket gates. The installation of the gates will also help reduce the number of people who travel without tickets and will improve the aesthetics of the station environment by providing a view of the platform area from the concourse which has been concealed for years.
The gates - the largest suite of public transport ticket gates in Europe - came into operation this week and were completed in partnership with South West Trains. They are situated at the entrances to 19 mainline platforms and in the subway which connects the platforms with the London Underground.
Richard O’Brien, Network Rail Wessex Route Director, said: "Waterloo station is currently used by over 70 million people each year and is operating at close to capacity. The installation of the ticket gates will help improve the overall passenger experience, in particular safety and movement around the station.
“The project team at Waterloo has done an outstanding job in delivering this complex piece of infrastructure. This is the first stage of a significant investment we will be making at Waterloo to provide the extra capacity passengers need and want."
Ian Johnston, South West Trains' Customer Service Director, added: "With the gates now in operation this will not only create a safer station but it will also help to tackle fare evasion allowing us to put more money into further improvements at our stations.”
One of the main challenges for this project was to ensure the gates are as flexible as possible. With this in mind, they are designed to take magnetic paper tickets and travel card-configured Oyster Cards, as well as being capable of reading the new ITSO smartcards which are scheduled for introduction in the future. The project, which has been on site since April 2008, is the result of over 200,000 man hours of work and over £20m of investment.
The project within the main concourse involved a number of elements. In the first instance, a number of retail units and redundant mechanical and electrical services were removed before the gates could be installed. There have also been a number of considerable changes made to the Peak Hours Subway. This involved the removal of partition walls within the old Eurostar left luggage area and the formation of three new staircase openings through the arch walls between the Peak Hours Subway and the old Eurostar left luggage facility. It was necessary to make these significant changes to the subway to accommodate the 27 ticket gates which have been installed.
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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, there are more than 4.8 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.