Thursday 5 Jan 2017
Platform extensions at Durham to allow for longer trains from 2018
Passengers and residents in Durham are being reminded that work to extend a platform begins next week in preparation for the new Virgin Azuma trains.
Platform one at Durham is being extended by 40metres to allow all carriages of the longer Azuma trains, due to be introduced by Virgin Trains on their east coast route from 2018, to fit into the station.
The work will take place between 12:00 on Saturday and 12:00 Sunday for the first three weekends of January with the station closed to trains during this period. Passengers are advised that journeys through Durham may require a bus replacement service or take longer than usual depending on which train company you are travelling with.
The work will also require the partial closure of the A691 Framwellgate Peth to the north of the station, with temporary traffic lights in place.
Aidan Talbott, principal programme sponsor for Network Rail, said: “The introduction of the Azuma trains is an exciting time for the railway and the work at Durham is a vital step towards preparing the rail network for the longer trains that will bring even greater benefits for passengers travelling on the East Coast Main Line. We apologise for any inconvenience this enhancement work causes and thank both rail users and those using Framwellgate Path for their patience.”
A spokesperson for Virgin Trains said: "We're providing coach services between Newcastle, Durham and Darlington during the next three weekends while this important work is undertaken, and thank our customers for bearing with us on this. Our Virgin Azuma trains, which will be introduced from next year, will help us to transform the customer experience, creating more capacity, and faster and more comfortable journeys on our east coast route."
Passengers travelling through Durham are advised to check before they travel by contacting their train operator or visiting nationalrail.co.uk
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.