Govia Thameslink Railway has started improving the sub-surface platforms of Moorgate, Old Street, Essex Road and Highbury & Islington. This will further improve the experience of passengers who already have brand-new trains replacing the 40-year-old fleet that operates along this route.
The stations form part of the Northern City Line operated by Great Northern to and from Hertford and Welwyn Garden City and have experienced years of underinvestment.
Govia Thameslink Railway is making £400,000 of initial improvements from the National Stations Improvement Fund to the fabric of the station platforms.
By the end of May, GTR will have put in new, white tiles on Moorgate’s two platforms, 9 and 10, to create a brighter, more pleasant environment. This is being done out of hours so there is no disruption to passengers or trains. The work complements that of Network Rail, which has already cleaned the lamp holders to improve the lighting.
Redundant plastic handrails that were once used many years ago throughout the four stations to provide lighting for an emergency evacuation have been removed and, on the stairs, there are new dual-height handrails, designed to help people with accessibility needs.
GTR is also upgrading and replacing all the way-finding and station name signs, a lot of which were installed in either British Rail Network South East days or earlier franchises and were grubby.
Finally, GTR is installing for the first time in the booking halls at Moorgate and Highbury & Islington, information screens to display Great Northern services.
Paul Best, GTR’s Senior Project Manager, said: “These stations have experienced decades of underinvestment. The work we are doing here is only the start of what needs to be done but we hope that passengers will notice and appreciate the improvements.
“Passengers will already be benefiting from the brand new fleet of air-conditioned trains we’re bringing in. Now they will be able to step off those trains on to a brighter, more pleasant environment.”
GTR will be working with industry partners to identify funding for further improvements in the coming years.