Network Rail have invested £5 million in regenerative works at Eastbourne station in East Sussex. They have completed work on the station that includes canopy refurbishment, slate roof replacement, masonry work to the front of the station and new roofing above the atrium.
The improvement works on the Grade II listed station will benefit passengers by extending the buildings lifespan while returning it to its original heritage, allowing for a better experience for those using the station.
Eastbourne grew into a popular coastal resort in the Victorian era, and in 1849 the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway built a much-needed railway link to cater for growing numbers of holidaymakers and day-trippers.
The historic signal box at Eastbourne was then built in 1882 which had a huge 108 Lever frame controlling the station, goods yard and carriage sidings, this was later replaced on 14 November 1934 with a 72-level frame.
In 1991, the signal box was changed into a power signal box when the semaphore signals were replaced by colour light signals and an entrance-exit control system installed. The signal box closed in 2015 with the re-signalling of the line between Lewes and Bexhill controlled from a new signalling centre at Three Bridges.
Shaun King, Sussex Route Director for Network Rail, said: “The quality of work on site is being completed to a very high standard and we’re taking great care to restore the Grade II listed building to its former glory.
“We’re modernising the rail network with a record level of investment to improve passenger journeys across Sussex. Passengers expect a better all-round experience and this investment brings us a step closer to delivering the service they rightly deserve.”
Chris Fowler, Customer Services Director for Southern and Gatwick Express, said: “On behalf of our customers we welcome Network Rail’s careful, comprehensive restoration that will prolong the life of our historic and well-loved station while preserving its character. It creates a smart backdrop for the new seating, security features and landscaping that we are undertaking over the coming months as part of our own network-wide, multimillion-pound station improvement programme.
“Throughout this work our passengers can travel with confidence as we continue our stringent cleaning regime in stations and on trains.
“Eastbourne’s historic building is home to one of our most modern stations in terms of customer facilities. It’s among the first to have barcode ticket reading technology, which speeds up the journey through the station, minimises contact and supports social distancing.”