Latest Rail News

15.03.17

Stevenage station platform work ahead of Azuma trains to begin next week

Work will soon begin on extending the platform at Stevenage station to allow all the carriages of Virgin’s new Azuma trains to fit into the station.

The £800,000 project is planned to begin on 20 March and is scheduled to be completed on 15 June, but should not cause any disruption to passenger journeys throughout that time.

Stevenage’s platform extension follows two other projects that Network Rail is working on in Durham and Northallerton to accommodate for Virgin’s new fleet of Azuma trains – which will be the fastest the company has ever used on Britain’s railway network.

Aidan Talbott, principal programme sponsor for Network Rail, said: “The work we are carrying out at Stevenage station is an important part of our Railway Upgrade Plan and will allow all carriages of the new Azuma trains to fit into the station.

“It is a vital piece of enhancement work to the railway and will bring even greater benefits for passengers travelling on the East Coast Main Line. I’d like to thank passengers for their patience whilst this work is carried out.”

A spokesperson for Virgin Trains commented: “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.”

The trains are capable of reaching speeds of 125mph in around four-and-a-half minutes, faster than Virgin’s electric trains – which can reach that speed in five minutes and 10 seconds – and the diesel fleet, which can do it in seven minutes.

Virgin is also investigating the possibility of the East Coast route enabling the operation to go to 140mph.

The Azumas are hoped to shave around 22 minutes off journeys, reduce the London-Edinburgh journey down to four hours and make the journey between the capital and Leeds only two hours.

Additionally, the new carriages promise customers a more comfortable ride and additional 12,200 seats, increasing capacity into King’s Cross by 28%.

Hitachi is in the process of building the 65-strong fleet at its facility in Newton Aycliffe.

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

Andrew Gwilt   16/03/2017 at 08:55

So not just Durham that is having the platform extensions for the Azuma VTEC trains but also Stevenage will also have platform extensions for the Azuma trains.

Andrew JG   17/03/2017 at 00:43

What about stations north of London Kings Cross including Grantham, Retford, Newark Northgate and few other stations north of York (as well Durham and Northallerton stations as been mentioned are planned to have platform extensions), that could or will have platform extensions to accommodate the VTEC Azuma Class 800 and Class 801 AT300 fleets. Peterborough, Doncaster, York, Newcastle Central and Edinburgh Waverley as well Edinburgh Haymarket have already been refurbished and revamped with longer platforms to accommodate longer trains (10-car, 11-car and 12-car trains).

Jerry Alderson   17/03/2017 at 16:14

The disappointing news is that while Network Rail can find resource to extend the platforms at Stevenage station, it cannot build the new platform 5 that is necessary to allow Hertford Loop trains to stop there. In order to run more trains GTR will terminate trains at Watton-at-Stone and put people on buses to Stevenage indefinitely! Bustitution is a severe embarrassment for the railway. It's not as if a platform 5 (on the western side) is mega-difficult, especially if they went for the cheap option of making those trains share the down slow (rather than a new line splitting as trains exit the dive under) to access it.

Nickk   17/03/2017 at 17:13

The Hertford North problem is not only the timetabled dwell of 6 minutes on the slow Down platform, it's also the reverse running back to the dive-under junction which kills the northbound use for a significant extra time. Would it not be cheaper to move the junction north to just outside the station, and hold terminating trains until the last possible moment, leaving just long enough for the crew to swap ends for departure. I can't imagine they would need a rest break on such a short journey, and I know a passenger would prefer this compromise to a slow bus!

Mark Hare   21/03/2017 at 13:30

@Andrew Gwilt - as you're doing your usual thing of taking facts from the article and pointlessly repeating them, you forgot to add 'Northallerton' in your statement.

Andrew Gwilt   22/03/2017 at 12:43

Thanks Mark Hare. Ffs.

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

13/06/2019Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

The storm-battered Dawlish rail line could be “moved out to sea” and away from the “hazard” of the cliffs under new plans... more >
TfL awards contract for new DLR fleet to replace 30-year-old trains

12/06/2019TfL awards contract for new DLR fleet to replace 30-year-old trains

TfL has awarded a contract for 43 new trains to replace the oldest rolling stock on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), with the first scheduled t... more >
Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >
Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

12/03/2019Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

RTM sits down with Samantha Smith, sole female member of the TransPennine Route Upgrade Alliance Leadership Team, to find out more about encourag... more >
TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

05/06/2019Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

In a series of Q&A’s with key speakers on the run up to TransCityRail Midlands, we caught up with TransCityRail panellist and Amey&rsqu... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >
Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

10/06/2019Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

Malcolm Holmes, executive director of the West Midlands Rail Executive, described the new stations set to be built for the Black Country region o... more >
The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

10/06/2019The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

Richard Turner, head of apprenticeships at Network Rail, details the reasons for growing apprenticeship demand in the rail sector over the coming... more >
A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

10/06/2019A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

Chris Hobson, director of policy and external affairs at the East Midlands Chamber, talks in detail about what travelling through the region will... more >