Gravesend station reopens on time after £19m upgrade with controversial Platform 0

News Shopper: The new and improved station. Photo credit: Rich Cottee The new and improved station. Photo credit: Rich Cottee

THE new and improved Gravesend station is now up and running after being closed for 15 days over the Christmas period.

Work on the final stage of a £19m upgrade to facilities are now complete with a new third platform as well as a brand new footbridge with lifts allowing step-free access.

All platforms, now named Platform 0, 1 and 2, have been extended to accommodate longer trains. Network Rail said the improvements will provide up to 3,500 extra seats and more space for passengers.

Network Rail’s route managing director for Kent Fiona Taylor said: “Passengers will see and benefit from a much-improved Gravesend station now this work is complete.

"The new platforms are an important part of boosting capacity in Kent and will be able to accommodate longer trains which will provide more space and seats for passengers.

“Completing work of this nature is never easy but it was carefully planned at a traditionally quieter time of the year to keep disruption to a minimum.

"I would like to thank passengers for their patience while we completed this upgrade and can assure them that we will continue to work with our partners and invest in the railway in Kent to provide the best possible service.”

Managing director of Southeastern Charles Horton added: “This project is part of our ongoing commitment to invest in and improve services for passengers, and part of our plan to meet the increasing demand for our services.

"Gravesend station now not only have a crucial third platform which will give us more flexibility with operating the service, but the station is now also fully accessible. We’d like to thank our customers for their understanding and patience while this work was carried out.”

However, reactions to the new station on Twitter were decidedly mixed.

News Shopper:

The first train arrives at Gravesend station this morning. Photo credit: Network Rail

Gravesend station upgrade looks great. Although whose daft idea was it to have platform 0. What's wrong with 1, 2 and 3? @networkrail

— Darren Atkinson (@LordSlate) January 6, 2014

@Se_Railway No disabled acess yet and very exposed and wet platform 1 at #Gravesend station. Unimpressed.

— Simon Grierson (@sibod) January 6, 2014

gravesend station does not feel like gravesend station I feel so lost help

— ☞evangeline (@eve_k) January 6, 2014

New platform 1 shelter at Gravesend station is rubbish. I'm standing under it with an umbrella.

— Kathleen Bradley (@Kat_Bradley) January 6, 2014

@Se_Railway First day of Gravesend station being open workmen standing in the way, trains late and leaking water and platform zero?? WTF?!

— Nick Warwick (@nickrwarwick) January 6, 2014

What do you think of the new Gravesend station? Have your say in the comments below.

 

Comments (7)

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11:42am Mon 6 Jan 14

webstersmogpule says...

Just to correct you:
1. Platform 0 is the old Platform 1. Platform 1 is the 'new' platform in the middle, and platform 2 is still platform 2. Very confusing. They have a Platform 0 at Kings Cross too - so it's not the line to nowhere :-)
2. The havent got fully acessible platforms - yet. The lifts are still boarded up and unavailable, and there is no ramp access to platform 1 - so anyone going to london is totally stuffed if they have a wheelchair. I hope the abundance of SE staff are willing to help people with babies in bugges too...
3. The platform 1 is very exposed, they failed to add adequate sheilding from the elements across the back - instead we have a cheap looking railing with 'spikes' accross and some perch-seats, and no waiting room or booth. I can think of several people who wont enjoy waiting for a train on platform 1 in this weather!

Also it looks very ugly. Nice classic canopies either side then this ultra-modern blue framed glass canopy in the middle looking like a nondescript station in the middle of nowhere.
Even Ebbsfleet platforms have more character than this!

£19 million well spent? We shall see...
.
Just to correct you: 1. Platform 0 is the old Platform 1. Platform 1 is the 'new' platform in the middle, and platform 2 is still platform 2. Very confusing. They have a Platform 0 at Kings Cross too - so it's not the line to nowhere :-) 2. The havent got fully acessible platforms - yet. The lifts are still boarded up and unavailable, and there is no ramp access to platform 1 - so anyone going to london is totally stuffed if they have a wheelchair. I hope the abundance of SE staff are willing to help people with babies in bugges too... 3. The platform 1 is very exposed, they failed to add adequate sheilding from the elements across the back - instead we have a cheap looking railing with 'spikes' accross and some perch-seats, and no waiting room or booth. I can think of several people who wont enjoy waiting for a train on platform 1 in this weather! Also it looks very ugly. Nice classic canopies either side then this ultra-modern blue framed glass canopy in the middle looking like a nondescript station in the middle of nowhere. Even Ebbsfleet platforms have more character than this! £19 million well spent? We shall see... . webstersmogpule
  • Score: 1

2:18pm Mon 6 Jan 14

Eileenbee says...

why no disabled access and why no shelter from the rain? and seems no waiting room poor use of money . today at least you could have had staff available to help with luggage when no lifts in use yet my granddaughter had to go over the bridge lugging heavy suitcase.

sounds a rotten place to want to go on a train from
why no disabled access and why no shelter from the rain? and seems no waiting room poor use of money . today at least you could have had staff available to help with luggage when no lifts in use yet my granddaughter had to go over the bridge lugging heavy suitcase. sounds a rotten place to want to go on a train from Eileenbee
  • Score: 1

9:47pm Mon 6 Jan 14

desperatedan_)1 says...

Going to have to start using this tomorrow, I bet the toilets still smell at the station and no one cleans the toilets on the trains. The signaling system (and train recognition systems) is so poor that at most stations they dont know which trains are running when theres a problem. I would rather these issues were addressed and platforms lengthened to accomadate longer trains than an expensive exercise in remodelling track layout. Fancy stations do not make quality of service they simply make profit for all the suppliers/rail operators/sub contractors concerned regardless of the needs of the public who are held to ransome.
Going to have to start using this tomorrow, I bet the toilets still smell at the station and no one cleans the toilets on the trains. The signaling system (and train recognition systems) is so poor that at most stations they dont know which trains are running when theres a problem. I would rather these issues were addressed and platforms lengthened to accomadate longer trains than an expensive exercise in remodelling track layout. Fancy stations do not make quality of service they simply make profit for all the suppliers/rail operators/sub contractors concerned regardless of the needs of the public who are held to ransome. desperatedan_)1
  • Score: 0

4:19pm Tue 7 Jan 14

grrrrrrravesend says...

Caught my first train from platfrom "1" this morning... the signage at the station hasn't all been changed so you have to pick out which signs are new and which ones aren't, once you get onto the new platfrom it's horrible, too narrow, poorly sheltered and there is no indication as to where the train will go up to like on all other high speed platforms... Really bad design, not a good way to spend £19 and NOTHING like the original designs that we were promised years ago when they started messing around with the station...
Caught my first train from platfrom "1" this morning... the signage at the station hasn't all been changed so you have to pick out which signs are new and which ones aren't, once you get onto the new platfrom it's horrible, too narrow, poorly sheltered and there is no indication as to where the train will go up to like on all other high speed platforms... Really bad design, not a good way to spend £19 and NOTHING like the original designs that we were promised years ago when they started messing around with the station... grrrrrrravesend
  • Score: 0

7:06pm Tue 7 Jan 14

mouthalmighty says...

£19m? You can't be serious. Everyone working g over christmas got double treble time did they.
£19m? You can't be serious. Everyone working g over christmas got double treble time did they. mouthalmighty
  • Score: 1

7:08pm Wed 8 Jan 14

rcp27g says...

desperatedan_)1 wrote:
Going to have to start using this tomorrow, I bet the toilets still smell at the station and no one cleans the toilets on the trains. The signaling system (and train recognition systems) is so poor that at most stations they dont know which trains are running when theres a problem. I would rather these issues were addressed and platforms lengthened to accomadate longer trains than an expensive exercise in remodelling track layout. Fancy stations do not make quality of service they simply make profit for all the suppliers/rail operators/sub contractors concerned regardless of the needs of the public who are held to ransome.
Actually, the new station will significantly improve the quality of service, the fact that it is pretty and shiny is a side show.

The reason the signalling system seemed poor was that the stopping trains turn around at Gravesend, and on the old station did this in platform 2. This meant trains coming from London sometimes had to use platform 1, but not always, and that if something got delayed, fitting all the trains into only 2 platforms meant a lot of juggling by the signalmen.

Gravesend was the last station on both the old lines into Charing Cross and on the new line to St Pancras that had platforms 10 cars long. All the other stations have platforms at least 12 cars long, but because the trains stopped at Gravesend, the trains could not be longer than 10 cars.

The new platform 0 let the stopping trains reverse there without blocking platform 2, so the other trains can reliably use platforms 1 and 2 without the juggling, and if something gets delayed, there is no longer the need for last minute changes.

The new platforms are all 12 cars long, so now the trains on all of these routes can be extended to 12 cars long (this is where the 3500 extra seats the article mentions come from).

The toilets will still probably smell, though.
[quote][p][bold]desperatedan_)1[/bold] wrote: Going to have to start using this tomorrow, I bet the toilets still smell at the station and no one cleans the toilets on the trains. The signaling system (and train recognition systems) is so poor that at most stations they dont know which trains are running when theres a problem. I would rather these issues were addressed and platforms lengthened to accomadate longer trains than an expensive exercise in remodelling track layout. Fancy stations do not make quality of service they simply make profit for all the suppliers/rail operators/sub contractors concerned regardless of the needs of the public who are held to ransome.[/p][/quote]Actually, the new station will significantly improve the quality of service, the fact that it is pretty and shiny is a side show. The reason the signalling system seemed poor was that the stopping trains turn around at Gravesend, and on the old station did this in platform 2. This meant trains coming from London sometimes had to use platform 1, but not always, and that if something got delayed, fitting all the trains into only 2 platforms meant a lot of juggling by the signalmen. Gravesend was the last station on both the old lines into Charing Cross and on the new line to St Pancras that had platforms 10 cars long. All the other stations have platforms at least 12 cars long, but because the trains stopped at Gravesend, the trains could not be longer than 10 cars. The new platform 0 let the stopping trains reverse there without blocking platform 2, so the other trains can reliably use platforms 1 and 2 without the juggling, and if something gets delayed, there is no longer the need for last minute changes. The new platforms are all 12 cars long, so now the trains on all of these routes can be extended to 12 cars long (this is where the 3500 extra seats the article mentions come from). The toilets will still probably smell, though. rcp27g
  • Score: 2

7:08am Thu 9 Jan 14

ffinybryn says...

As one of those that 'gave up' my Xmas away from home and family to work on the new platform, I agree that it looks pretty spartan, but one must realise that the majority of the structural work had to be completed within a very short period of time - to minimise the disruption to the travelling community.
The makeover is still ongoing, but the main aim was to get the station open on time. In any other situation, to install a lift system (considering that the platform/electrics/l
ift structure had to be put in place first) in such a short time was always going to be ambitious.
As one of those that 'gave up' my Xmas away from home and family to work on the new platform, I agree that it looks pretty spartan, but one must realise that the majority of the structural work had to be completed within a very short period of time - to minimise the disruption to the travelling community. The makeover is still ongoing, but the main aim was to get the station open on time. In any other situation, to install a lift system (considering that the platform/electrics/l ift structure had to be put in place first) in such a short time was always going to be ambitious. ffinybryn
  • Score: 1

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