Each month the SCRP will focus on one of our lines and feature news about a station partner, volunteer, or project to highlight the work that we do. This month it’s the Uckfield & East Grinstead Line.
There are many upgrades happening on both of these lines, thanks mainly to the Passenger Benefit Fund. These have included upgraded toilets, waiting rooms, new seating etc. However, by far and away the biggest project has been the upgrade to tiny Eridge Station made possible by the Access for All Fund. Not since it was first built has the station seen so much interest and activity and even as I write there is more to come.
Network Rail and BAM undertook the huge project of replacing the original footbridge and staircases that connect the station building to the platforms. This has been an extremely complex project which has been fascinating to watch take shape over the past couple of months. From initially setting up of the works site, building alternative access to the platforms, removal of the old bridge, ground works to support the new bridge and staircases, to installation of the new, every step has been meticulously planned and executed.
The new footbridge is far wider than the old one, the staircases are less steep, dry and secure. The platform has a new roof, the supporting columns have been painted in heritage colours, even the newly installed bird netting has been given consideration in that at every place where access might be needed to maintain lights, a zip has been installed so that the netting won’t have to be damaged and patched together.
The project continues:
The Passenger Benefit Fund is about to swing into action by restoring the abandoned, derelict waiting room on Platform One, this will be the first time it has been open for use since the tea rooms were closed many, many years ago. No small project as the rooms need complete renovation. The space will be used as a waiting room whilst the station is manned and out of hours can be used by the local community as a meeting room and possible display space when the Spa Valley Railway hold a weekend event. This part of the project has been made possible by a very generous grant from the Railway Heritage Trust.
The platform buildings are to be given a makeover in smart new heritage colours to match the Spa Valley Railway platform (2).
Last but certainly not least Eridge station is about to become fully accessible with a lift to platform one being installed early in the New Year.
We are very pleased that GTR, Network Rail, BAM and all the contractors recognised the uniqueness of this station and have shown it such care and consideration. She can emerge from all this attention as the shining star that all those who know and love her always knew that she was.
To see more about the work of the Uckfield & East Grinstead Lines keep checking the News on our website. For more information about volunteering on this Line please contact Sharon Gray (Line Officer) – firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’d like to join any of our station partnership groups across the SCRP, or have an idea to enhance a station, please contact us.