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Rail passengers benefit from £40m Stevenage station platform

A new £40m platform and track improvement made at Stevenage station has seen significant improvements to the frequency and reliability of services, as well as allowing better long-distance connections for passengers.

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris made the announcement as he visited the new Platform 5, where the platform was officially opened to the first weekday services.

Construction work on the project had been accelerated and was delivered more than a year ahead of the revised schedule. The improvements at Stevenage station represents part of a wider £1.2bn upgrade of the East Coast Main Line between London and Edinburgh, and was considered a huge milestone in the works by the Rail Minister.

With work to build a dedicated fifth platform beginning in early 2019, the new platform will allow Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) Great Northern trains from the Hertford North line – known as the Hertford Loop – to terminate and then go back towards London. This will create space on the existing tracks for Thameslink trains and restore the train service between Stevenage and the Hertford Loop served by buses since May 2019.

By separating the local Hertford Loop services from the longer distance mainline Great Northern, Thameslink and London North Eastern Railway (LNER) trains with the new platform and track, there will be greater reliability throughout the local rail network.

Mr Heaton-Harris said: “Our ambition is not just to deliver more punctual journeys, but to deliver major projects punctually as well.

“This new platform and track at Stevenage will mean more frequent and reliable services for passengers who use the line day in day out.

“Thanks to the hard work of Network Rail and GTR who have worked tirelessly to accelerate the project, we have reached an important milestone in our ambitious £1.2 billion East Coast upgrade, which will bring improved connections, faster journeys, thousands of extra seats per day and more choice for passengers.”

Paul Rutter, Network Rail Route Director, added: “This vital project to build a bay platform at Stevenage is part of a programme of investment that will allow additional services to run on the East Coast Main Line, bringing more choice, more seats and a more reliable railway for passengers.  

“It will also bring more resilient local services on the Hertford Loop, as trains will soon be able to terminate at Stevenage and then go back towards London. 

“We would like to thank passengers who have needed to use bus replacement services between Stevenage and Watton-at-Stone, station users and people who live near the railway for their continued patience whilst this essential part of the East Coast upgrade was completed.”


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