£5 million St Albans redevelopment

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Saint66

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The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has announced £5 million of the Budget will be given to fund the redevelopment of St Albans Station.

Mr Osborne’s Budget announcement was made on Wednesday this week and part of his key announcements will benefit people and businesses in the East of England.

Funding for the redevelopment of St Albans Station which was mentioned will include a new booking hall and retail units.

Stuart Cheshire, passenger service director for Thameslink, said: “We’re delighted that the chancellor, in his budget speech, was able to confirm £5m of funding for Thameslink to improve St Albans City Station.

“Govia Thameslink Railway’s bid was submitted to the Department for Transport nine months ago and we will now review the business case against our original proposal with a view to them working up a scheme in consultation with stakeholders that will be delivered no later than March 2019 and hopefully much sooner.

“Our vision is to create a new station building at the second, entrance on Ridgmont Road with a wider gate line and new retail facilities on both sides of the station.

This, together with a larger concourse in the main station building and more ticket purchasing facilities, will ease congestion and give our passengers a quicker, more pleasant journey through this, our busiest station on the north Thameslink route.”

In Mr Osborne’s announcement he said the east of England is a vital part of our economy and that this Budget will give it a big boost.

He added: “It is an area already benefitting from the action we have taken, with more people in work any other region in the UK, and my Budget today delivers the next step of our long term plan to make sure Britain is fit for the future.

“With the devolution deal they have signed, the civic leaders from Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and 18 local districts, have joined together to take on new powers over transport, skills and planning almost a billion pounds invested locally.

“This will all be headed up by an elected mayor – handing the East of England a powerful, accountable, new national voice and showing that our devolution revolution is taking place across the country.

“If Britain is to be fit for the future we must build more infrastructure, despite the uncertainty in the global economy, and with over £150 million to develop two of the East’s most important projects, we are backing your region with vital investment.

“This is budget that delivers for the East of England and puts the next generation first.”

http://www.stalbansreview.co.uk/new...5_million_redevelopment_of_St_Albans_Station/

So, after GoVia had announced when they took over TL that St Albans would see a redevelopment, this looks to be the first solid public monetary commitment to the project.

Have no idea when the station itself was last touched by major works? So, this will be quite a change for an already very busy station!

Interesting that they're looking to build an actual station building at the second entrance, where there is currently a few gates and a ticket machine inside a conservatory :lol:.
 
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John Webb

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The last major station rebuild was in 1972/3, when the present buildings by the Up Slow platform were constructed on the former goods yard site, and the original 1868 buildings by the Down Fast platform were demolished, alas! The 1972/3 buildings have received several overhauls since then, plus the installation of lifts to the 1970s footbridge.

The new buildings will be on roughly the footprint of the original 1868 buildings, currently a small entrance/exit to platform 4 (Down fast), as mentioned by saint66, and cycle and car parking.

At St Albans South signal box we are watching the developments with interest, as they may have some effect on us!
 
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Bald Rick

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The last rebuild was about 7-8 years ago, paid for out of the profits of the property development on the old car park. This included the lifts, larger booking hall etc.
 

AM9

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The last rebuild was about 7-8 years ago, paid for out of the profits of the property development on the old car park. This included the lifts, larger booking hall etc.

I wonder if the amount of car parking at the current main entrance will be reduced to accessible only to allow for more 'property development' in a prime spot. The new car park is not very easy to negotiate, particularly in a larger vehicle.
 

Saint66

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Am interested to see what sort of plans are drawn up, it sounds like a fairly ambitious plan compared to previous redevelopments.
 

asylumxl

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I'm quite dissapointed really. I feel there are other stations on the BedPan route that are in far more need of a rebuild, Luton comes to mind first.

But then again, St Albans votes Tory.
 
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AM9

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I'm quite dissapointed really. I feel there are other stations on the BedPan route that are in far more need of a rebuild, Luton comes to mind first.

But then again, St Albans votes Tory.

It's nothing to do with the aesthetics of ageing staions, more to do with handling the very high numbers of passengers passing through the stations at peak times. St Albans City has over three times as many season ticket holders as Luton Town and over twice as many as the total season ticket holders of both the Luton Town and Airport stations.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
If it was electioneering then you'd expect the development to be in areas that aren't 'safe' Tory votes. No point trying to bribe the choir.

Unless they are higher rate taxpayers. :)
 

Bald Rick

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If it was electioneering then you'd expect the development to be in areas that aren't 'safe' Tory votes. No point trying to bribe the choir.

I wouldn't say it's a safe seat. Mrs Main is not particularly popular. Personal view is that it is the lack of an effective opposition candidate that caused her to win the last two elections.
 

jon0844

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I wonder if the amount of car parking at the current main entrance will be reduced to accessible only to allow for more 'property development' in a prime spot. The new car park is not very easy to negotiate, particularly in a larger vehicle.

Off topic - do you know why that car park has a 'conversion chart' for each level in the lift when it could have just had normal floor numbers and maybe a letter for the split levels? Seems unnecessarily complicated.

And the entrance/exit wasn't very clear for some time as if those who organised the signs did so from a computer only and never actually visited the site.

Good news about the main station work though. Hatfield has really been transformed since its upgrade work.
 

bramling

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If it was electioneering then you'd expect the development to be in areas that aren't 'safe' Tory votes. No point trying to bribe the choir.

St. Albans was Labour from 1997 to 2005 if I remember rightly, although today is has a reasonably healthy Conservative majority.

I wouldn't have said £5m is a massive amount in railway engineering terms either.
 
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ChiefPlanner

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Not that I am at all biased (and thank God I do not commute any more from SAC) - but a second footbridge is / would be my first item on a shopping list....really a very poor station for the quantity of traffic it handles , but then it was rebuilt pre electrification and when money was very tight.

With regards to politics - will be interesting at the next election - Ms Maine has showed more interest in "Thameslink" and the slumbering threat of the Radlett than others have. Cynically - the money wasted on the Sundon "freight" loop could have been put to better use on SAC / Luton etc stations....
 

DelayRepay

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Not that I am at all biased (and thank God I do not commute any more from SAC) - but a second footbridge is / would be my first item on a shopping list....really a very poor station for the quantity of traffic it handles , but then it was rebuilt pre electrification and when money was very tight.

I'd agree with a second bridge. I'd also like to see longer gatelines - when a 12 car train empties out in the evening peak you can be queueing to get down the steps of the bridge and through one of the 2 or 3 ticket barriers. I think they could fix this in the short term without a rebuild though.

We also need more ticket machines. And replacing WH Smith with a useful shop. And another coffee bar on Platform 3.

It is probably asking too much to request a covered walking route to the car parks though!
 

Blamethrower

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I'd agree that a 2nd footbridge is badly needed.

Platforms are narrow, concourse is tiny, ticket offices too few, but no, what people need is more places to spend money.

That's what makes a real station people, not archaic footbridges and improvements in passenger flow, but commerce. We need more capitalist projects to ensure that the railway continues to make money for the private companies who operate on it.

Sod all this "working for the passenger" mullarky :rolleyes:
 

pitdiver

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I'd agree that a 2nd footbridge is badly needed.

Platforms are narrow, concourse is tiny, ticket offices too few, but no, what people need is more places to spend money.

That's what makes a real station people, not archaic footbridges and improvements in passenger flow, but commerce. We need more capitalist projects to ensure that the railway continues to make money for the private companies who operate on it.

Sod all this "working for the passenger" mullarky :rolleyes:

I don't know where in Bedford you live Blamethrower but I live near Flitwick. I wholeheartedly agree with you. We don't need enhancements in passenger flow oops I mean Customer or improved footbridges. What we need is more Coffee Stalls etc!!!
 

talltim

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I don't know where in Bedford you live Blamethrower but I live near Flitwick. I wholeheartedly agree with you. We don't need enhancements in passenger flow oops I mean Customer or improved footbridges. What we need is more Coffee Stalls etc!!!
Bring back Dunkin Donuts to Snorbans station! I used to spend most of my dinner money there when I commuted to school.
 

Blamethrower

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I don't know where in Bedford you live Blamethrower but I live near Flitwick. I wholeheartedly agree with you. We don't need enhancements in passenger flow oops I mean Customer or improved footbridges. What we need is more Coffee Stalls etc!!!

+1

It's Bedford, but used to live in St Albans.

I think all stations from STP to Bedford need improvements, not just platform extensions but St Albans is probably the most required. I've never traveled from a busier station in my life, monday morning is chaos, especially if it's raining.
 

A0wen

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+1

It's Bedford, but used to live in St Albans.

I think all stations from STP to Bedford need improvements, not just platform extensions but St Albans is probably the most required. I've never traveled from a busier station in my life, monday morning is chaos, especially if it's raining.

I think most of them have had platform extensions to allow them to accommodate the Cl 700s when they come on stream.

There is only a finite amount of train lengthening which is viable though - because stations like St Pancras, Farringdon and City Thameslink have physical limitations as to what else you could do.

I have to agree that St Albans looks very crowded whenever I pass through in rush hour - on an EMT from further north. Not sure I'd like to be driving a non-stopper through there at 90mph with so many people on the platform - it's a bit of a pity that the track layout isn't more like parts of the ECML where the platforms are only on the slow lines.
 

AM9

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I think most of them have had platform extensions to allow them to accommodate the Cl 700s when they come on stream.

There is only a finite amount of train lengthening which is viable though - because stations like St Pancras, Farringdon and City Thameslink have physical limitations as to what else you could do.

I have to agree that St Albans looks very crowded whenever I pass through in rush hour - on an EMT from further north. Not sure I'd like to be driving a non-stopper through there at 90mph with so many people on the platform - it's a bit of a pity that the track layout isn't more like parts of the ECML where the platforms are only on the slow lines.

It doesn't matter what the track layout was, trains on both the slow and fast lines need to stop at St Albans.
 

mr_jrt

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Personally I'd like to see the station moved south a few hundred metres so it could be widened to 6 platforms. A new station on London road would be ideal, IMHO, and could feature a low-level replacement set of platforms for the Abbey station as well. How you get that line there is another matter, though.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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Personally I'd like to see the station moved south a few hundred metres so it could be widened to 6 platforms. A new station on London road would be ideal, IMHO, and could feature a low-level replacement set of platforms for the Abbey station as well. How you get that line there is another matter, though.

Do you have costings for this aspiration?
 

ChiefPlanner

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Personally I'd like to see the station moved south a few hundred metres so it could be widened to 6 platforms. A new station on London road would be ideal, IMHO, and could feature a low-level replacement set of platforms for the Abbey station as well. How you get that line there is another matter, though.


I spent a freezing cold January morning investigating this for a certain well placed organization (without trespassing I hasten to add) - short of significant demolition and losing of much public amenity space at both ends - a non starter. Have to manage with what we have. (till HS5 comes along)
 

Bald Rick

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Personally I'd like to see the station moved south a few hundred metres so it could be widened to 6 platforms. A new station on London road would be ideal, IMHO, and could feature a low-level replacement set of platforms for the Abbey station as well. How you get that line there is another matter, though.

Why 6 platforms?

A station at London Road would also be much less convenient for the city centre, being about 3/4 mile away, and also much less convenient for almost everyone who lives in St Albans.

And that's before you work out how to extend the Abbey Line through 2 housing estates to get there. Unless it was on an all new alignment, in which case it would just be a flood plain and a golf course.
 

asylumxl

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Rebuild ? How far do you think a figure of £5 million goes these days in terms of railway infrastructure?

It's probably just about enough to build the good folk of St Albans a new "independent" cafe (owned and run by SSP) to purchase their Fairtrade, vegan, organic, low fat, soy milk double mochaccino ;).

In all seriousness though, while Luton and Luton Airport numbers combined may not match St Albans let's not forget Leagrave is of course within Luton. The total for the three Luton stations is 8.196 mill people versus 7.474 million for St Albans. I imagine if St Albans also had several stations on the MML the numbers for the station would also be somewhat lower too. Season ticket sales also do not account for people from say Leagrave or Harlington changing at Luton or Luton Airport Parkway.

But more to the point, the reason I feel money would be better spent on Luton is that it is completely inaccessible from all but platform 5. When we consider St Albans has recently had work done to it's existing footbridge and all platforms are accessible by lifts, I think my reasoning seems perfectly reasonable.
 

mr_jrt

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Why 6 platforms?

To provide a pair of terminal platforms for the metro services, basically. Rather than emptying out and running into the sidings and back out again, you can have a pair of island platforms on the slow lines and terminate services in the central roads, which if built as through lines can also be used to overtake if required. Plus obviously a pair for the fast lines. Ideally you'd have a couple more on the fasts as well so post-HS2 everything could stop and still be able to offer longer interchange times, but I can't see the site as being able to remotely handle more than 6.

There are also other options where 6 platform would be beneficial. A future diversion of the Abbey line from How Wood (or indeed, Park St.) to run alongside the MML is going to run out of space round about London Rd., so terminal platforms south of the narrow central alignment would be required. Likewise, any future extension of the freight lines from Mill Hill would enable a local stopping service to be provided between St Albans and West Hampstead, leaving the current slow lines for Thameslink to sail through non-stop. Given the congestion on Thameslink services, this may well be required unless Radlett, Elstree et al. lose their peak services or Thameslink gets cut back from Bedford to, say, Luton, with more intensive use made of the fast lines. Once everything's 12-car and there are no more paths, what do you do? (...and that's without factoring in freight to the proposed Radlett terminal)

A station at London Road would also be much less convenient for the city centre, being about 3/4 mile away, and also much less convenient for almost everyone who lives in St Albans.

It's about 300m further to Chequer St, yes, but on a larger road, so you should ultimately be able to get better bus connectivity than Victoria St. (once the routes are adjusted to account for it). It's also more convenient for those coming from the south, which until a case is made for (re)opening Napsbury station, have to pick either St. Albans City or Radlett.

Given that this all focusses on the south side of St. Albans, when thinking about this I also envisioned a new complementary slow-lines-only station to serve the north side of St Albans a bit better (St. Albans North?), either at the junction of Sandridge Rd, Marshalswick Ln, Beech Rd. & St. Albans Rd; or a bit to the south on Sandpit Ln. I think the former wins out for catchment area and spacing concerns. You can't really justify this with the current station where it currently is, as anything to the north would probably be too close.

All very expensive, yes, but if you want to handle increased demand you have to invest in capacity.
 

Blamethrower

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I think most of them have had platform extensions to allow them to accommodate the Cl 700s when they come on stream.

There is only a finite amount of train lengthening which is viable though - because stations like St Pancras, Farringdon and City Thameslink have physical limitations as to what else you could do.

I have to agree that St Albans looks very crowded whenever I pass through in rush hour - on an EMT from further north. Not sure I'd like to be driving a non-stopper through there at 90mph with so many people on the platform - it's a bit of a pity that the track layout isn't more like parts of the ECML where the platforms are only on the slow lines.

yeah sorry didn't make it clear. I meant compared to the platform lengthening we've had for the thameslink programme.

I never liked waiting on the fast platforms at St Albans, I completely agree, massive accident waiting to happen there. Maybe building a new terminating platform (s) could mean that the fast platforms are fenced off like many other station in the country?

Still baffles me that there are people waiting for a train, on a platform that has other services flying through at 90 - 125 mph.
 
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