Network Rail have invested £2.6m to restore the historic Balham station, making it fit for the 21st Century.
The money was used to reduce the gap between trains and platforms, improving safety and reducing delays. Platforms have also been refurbished with new surfaces, and drainage and platform canopies have been repaired and repainted.
Some of the improvements to come are:
- Track realignment works to reduce the stepping distance between trains and platforms.
- New Fencing at the London end of the platforms to help deter trespass, improving safety and helping to reduce delays associated with trespass.
- Platform canopies – new sheeting installed to keep passengers dry.
- Canopy gutter – new galvanised steel system which will reduce the risk of flooding.
- New tactile paving on platforms to improve accessibility for visually impaired passengers.
- Upgraded drainage system to prevent flooding.
The station serves as an interchange for train and tube services across South London, and first opened in 1856 as Balham Hill but at a different location.
It was later re-sited in 1863 to its current location, and further remodelling of the line was undertaken in 1890 and 1897 to increase capacity. Changes have been made throughout the years and these new upgrades will ensure the iconic station continues to shift with the times.
Route Director for Sussex, Shaun King, said: “This is another fine example of what can be achieved by working in partnership with out industry colleagues. We have worked closely with Southern and other stakeholders throughout this project while maintaining station access during the works.”
“The upgrades at Balham station are a real boost to commuters and rail passengers who are now able to enjoy vastly improved facilities which will make rail use safer for the public.”
Trains from Balham include regular services to London Victoria, Sutton, Epsom, Milton Keynes Central and South Croydon, and the station is also connected to the London Underground’s Northern Line.