Published on: Tuesday, 12 February 2019
Last updated: Tuesday, 12 February 2019
Greater Anglia is to improve services for passengers travelling to and from Sheringham, by installing a brand-new platform at the station, ready for new trains. The new facility will be double the length of the existing platform – at 80m, as against 40m now.
It will also be wider, with improved lighting and a new customer shelter. The investment of over £1 million, will make the station fit for the new trains which are due to come into service later this year.
The new bi-mode trains will all be 3 or 4 carriages long (replacing the current 1 and 2 carriage trains), meaning that Greater Anglia will be able to provide more capacity, including for special events and the busiest days during the holiday season.
The new platform will also make the station a much better, more welcoming gateway to the town, which will be easier for customers to use, replacing the existing rather short and narrow facility which can lead to delays at busier times.
In particular, passengers with luggage, buggies and those using wheelchairs will all benefit from the enhanced facilities, which are planned to be installed by early May.
The major upgrade also positions the line well to see increased patronage in the years ahead. Since the mid-1990s annual passenger journeys on the Norwich to Sheringham line have grown from 200,000 a year to over 680,000 in 2017/18 – an increase of 290% - after a series of service improvements, including more frequent train services and station enhancements, combined with proactive promotion from successive train operators and the Bittern Line Community Rail Partnership.
Now, with brand-new, longer trains, the new platform at Sheringham, and other improvements such as ticket vending machines installed at all stations except Salhouse, the Bittern Line is well placed to continue to thrive in the years ahead, with an excellent train service connecting the North Norfolk Coast with Norwich and the rest of the rail network.
To complete the installation of the new platform, the station will be shut from Sunday 31 March to Sunday 5 May.
During that time, trains on the Norwich to Sheringham line will terminate at Cromer. Passengers travelling to and from West Runton and Sheringham will be able to continue their journey by rail replacement bus.
The new bi-mode trains, made by Swiss manufacturer Stadler, are all longer, with more seats, USB and electric plug points, air conditioning, fast free wi-fi and accessible toilets and will all be to use the new platform at Sheringham.
Greater Anglia has used hi-tech immersive media to work out which stations need alterations in order to accommodate the new trains.
Andrew Goodrum, Greater Anglia business readiness director, said: “We’re delighted to be able to deliver this major station improvement for Sheringham, which will benefit rail passengers and the town. It will provide a much better facility for customers, ready for the new trains we will be introducing later this year.
We apologise to customers affected by the upgrade works, but by completing them by early May, the new station will be ready ahead of the new trains’ entry into service and the busy summer season.
“People may already have spotted our new trains around the network, as we have been carrying out safety and performance tests day and night, as part of our preparations for bring them into service.”