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.
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.