Friday 31 Jul 2020
Public response reveals strong support for Network Rail’s Reigate station upgrade proposals
Network Rail’s proposal to connect Reigate with Thameslink has received strong support from passengers and local residents following a series of drop-in information sessions earlier this year.
The proposal includes plans to widen and extend platform 2, creating a third platform to accommodate longer 12-carriage trains terminating at Reigate and turning back towards London. Works could begin as early as 2023, creating additional capacity and improve reliability of services on the Brighton Main Line.
Network Rail and Govia Thameslink Railway held six events in February and of the 429 survey responses received by Network Rail, 87 per cent of respondents supported the infrastructure upgrade and 72 per cent supported the proposed service alterations, which would allow direct trains to London Bridge and beyond.
GTR has committed to undertaking a thorough consultation prior to any new timetable introduction to ensure it meets the needs of passengers.
In addition to the platform extension, the proposals for Reigate station include a larger, improved car park with additional designated parking bays, an upgrade to electrical power supply, and the introduction of step-free access into the main station building.
John Halsall, managing director, Network Rail Southern region, said: “The platforms at Reigate are currently too short for Thameslink trains to call, which means services to and from London Victoria need to split and join up at Redhill, often holding passengers up, especially during peak times.
“By lengthening the platform for longer trains, we can increase capacity and reduce delays, keeping passengers moving.”
Angie Doll, managing director, Southern and Gatwick Express, said: “These comprehensive proposals would not only transform journey opportunities and experience for our passengers using Reigate station, but would allow reliability and capacity improvements across the busiest part of our network. It’s very pleasing to see such strong local support.”
Crispin Blunt, MP for Reigate said: “I am fully supportive of Network Rail’s plans to create a new long platform at Reigate Station to enable 12-car Thameslink trains to terminate there and facilitate direct services from Reigate to London Bridge.
“This has long been an integral part of the Thameslink south coast upgrade scheme and, along with improvements at East Croydon, Gatwick Airport and Norwood Hill, forms part of integrated plans by Network Rail to give Brighton Main Line passengers more reliable, more frequent and faster services.
“I welcome the plans for increased parking facilities at Reigate Station and also the commitment to exploring signalling options to reduce the level-crossing barrier down-time.”
Cllr Richard Biggs, Executive Member for Planning Policy, Reigate & Banstead Borough Council said: “We support, in principle, the proposal to increase capacity, improve connections and provide a more reliable service for people traveling to and from Reigate Station. I’m pleased to see so many people shared their views in the survey.
“The Council will continue to work with Network Rail to make the case for investment in our railways.”
The feedback received will help inform future designs of the upgrade, with key themes including:
- Concerns over the proposed service pattern presented
- Encouragement and support to complete the project as soon as possible
- Concerns over the level crossing/upgrade requests
- Requests to improve ticket barriers/machines/ticket office
- The need for more information about the project
As part of the next design stage, Network Rail will investigate concerns regarding traffic congestion and barrier timings as part of a thorough assessment.
A summary of the feedback received earlier this year and frequently asked questions is now available at networkrail.co.uk/Reigate.
The Reigate proposals form a key part of plans to give Brighton Main Line passengers more reliable, more frequent and faster services. Network Rail is currently seeking feedback on its proposals to unblock a railway bottleneck in Croydon which regularly contributes to delays along the line of route.
The Croydon Area Remodelling Scheme (CARS) would remove the bottleneck by remodelling the complex series of flat railway junctions in the Selhurst triangle junction and expanding East Croydon station to increasing its capacity and improve accessibility.
The CARS consultation is currently running from 1 June to 20 September 2020, and members of the public can have their say by visiting networkrail.co.uk/Croydon.
Notes to Editors
Upgrading the Brighton Main Line
The Brighton Main Line and associated routes are among the busiest and most congested in the country, carrying 1,700 trains and 300,000 passengers every weekday.
Passengers using the Brighton Main Line benefit from fast and frequent services to a wide range of destinations, however the reliability of services has been below what passengers expect and deserve in recent years.
Over 2018/19, Network Rail invested £67m to upgrade old infrastructure and tackle delay hotspots as part of the Brighton Main Line Improvement Project. This is expected to reduce delays by up to 15%.
Further enhancements are being developed for the Brighton Main Line. These include:
- Resignalling plans, including digital “traffic management,” to help regulate trains and recover from incidents more quickly
- Record investment over the next five years to renew and maintain the existing railway infrastructure
- Major Gatwick Airport station upgrade currently underway
- Unblocking the Croydon bottleneck - The Croydon Area Remodelling Scheme (CARS)
The Croydon Area Remodelling Scheme (CARS) is the largest and most complex part of the longer-term Brighton Main Line upgrade proposals. CARS would remove the most challenging bottleneck on Britain’s railway network; proposals consist of the following:
- An expanded and enhanced East Croydon station
- ‘Selhurst Triangle’ track remodelling
- Lower Addiscombe Road/Windmill Bridge reconstruction
- Norwood Junction station improvements
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About Network Rail
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.
Usually, there are almost five 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.