Stevenage platform 5

Status
Not open for further replies.

Fred26

Member
Joined
5 Mar 2010
Messages
1,027
Just returned with some footage for the final update to my Vlog, which I will start editing after lunch.

Had an interesting chat with one of the "officials" who was rather blunt with regards to me being there. Having explained why I was there, and at what lengths I went to to obtain permission to attend any "official" opening ceremony he was still adamant that as I didn't have a commercial permit to film I wasn't welcome on the platform. Having explained that I had traveled on the service still in the platform, with a ticket I stated I had every right to be on the platform, even if I wasn't filming. Fortunately the station manager came over, knew about my vlog (including the track walk which he found interesting) and after apologising for the heavy handed approach of his colleague we came to a compromise which was agreeable. I did explain that it wasn't my intention to obstruct proceeding, which he understood, so ,most of the recording was done from platform 4. He even offered to buy me a coffee after, which was nice, but due to my time constraints I couldn't take up that offer. I have no idea who the other "official" was, but I must say I have always been welcomed by the staff of Stevenage, and found them to be very hospitable to me on the odd occasion I've been there to document things.

I'm not 100% sure things were going smoothly though, and certainly not as Chris Heaton-Harris stated above.... with cancellations due to damaged OHLE in two areas on the ECML, and drivers not being available as a result it meant that a lot of the officials were kept waiting about for others to attend. The public travelling were also asked (Herded??) to remain in one place by the ticket barriers due to the "official" opening, and were not happy when a cancelled service was then taken up by an empty coaching stock 717 unit departing from platform 1 and were ushered off the platform. Whilst I was there the service into platform 5 was 1 train per hour, which didn't seem to go down well with the TV crews who wanted B-Roll footage for their segment, and no doubt were on a tight schedule in order to get the tape back to the newsroom.

Anyway... like I said, video will be up later....
The ECS set that arrived on P1 at 1030 was the 1032 departure. It left 8 minutes late, as it waited for passengers to cross over.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

malc-c

Member
Joined
1 Dec 2017
Messages
606
The ECS set that arrived on P1 at 1030 was the 1032 departure. It left 8 minutes late, as it waited for passengers to cross over.
At the time, the announcement over the tannoy was that "the train approaching platform 1 would not stop here", yet it did. It was then announced that the 10:32 service to Moorgate was now to depart from platform 1, and as you say, was delayed as passengers had to make their way from P5 to P1 and board the train.

Confusing announcements as RTT shows the ECS movement https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/43160/2020-08-03/detailed to Stevenage
 

bramling

Established Member
Joined
5 Mar 2012
Messages
9,297
Location
Hertfordshire / Teesdale
Do we know what % of passengers change onto other services at Stevenage, vs exiting there?
Simply by going on the numbers who used to use the old Letchworth to Moorgate services north of Stevenage, I'd suggest such numbers are fairly low.

Despite being the country town of Hertfordshire, Hertford is simply not somewhere many from elsewhere need to go, unless they happen to work in the town. Most of the other stations on the loop serve either villages or suburban London. I have very occasionally used the train to travel to Crews Hill to visit the garden centres (though this is rather niche as generally train isn't suitable for bringing stuff back!), or once or twice over the years I've travelled early morning to either Gordon Hill or Enfield Chase to cycle up to Oakwood or even Barnet - again I suspect this is rather niche. In the reverse direction I can't imagine there's much business from loop stations to places like Hitchin or Letchworth, let alone some of the quieter stations north thereof.

I think it's fair to say most business is to and from Stevenage, the historic services to Letchworth were really simply to avoid blocking up Stevenage platform 4, and perhaps to allow trains to reach Letchworth sidings where in 313 days some trains used to be reduced from 6 to 3 cars during off-peak times.

Of course, such journeys may well have been discouraged by having to change at Stevenage, especially as it's always tended to be a poor connection in terms of time, and what used to be an hourly through service when it did run through. Perhaps a half-hourly through service to Letchworth might have attracted a bit more traffic, but fitting this round the enhanced Thameslink services would no doubt prove difficult, especially at peak times. Longer term we could perhaps do with a proper turnback facility somewhere like Letchworth, either a centre siding or central terminating platform - this would be rather more desirable for terminating the 365 services than the facing crossover currently used at Baldock.
 

swt_passenger

Veteran Member
Joined
7 Apr 2010
Messages
23,144
At the time, the announcement over the tannoy was that "the train approaching platform 1 would not stop here", yet it did...
That’s quite a widespread issue. Often the PIS has been set up to automatically default to that phrase when it sees the class 5 train ID. I believe the other option is to announce that “the train approaching (where ever) is not in service”. Neither option really helps much if the train is about to come into service...
 

Mcq

Member
Joined
24 May 2019
Messages
155
A thank you to all who have contributed so usefully and generously to making this one of the best informed forums.
A special very big thank you to malc-c for his engagement with Specers and his resulting access that provided so interesting visually.
If only the even bigger more fascinating Kings Cross Uncrossed forum were so well served!
Once again thanks to all.
 

malc-c

Member
Joined
1 Dec 2017
Messages
606
Article on Rail UK's website

https://www.railuk.com/rail-news/stevenage-stations-new-fifth-platform-opened-a-year-early/

A new £40 million platform and track at Stevenage station has been completed more than a year ahead of schedule

On a visit to the station today, where Platform 5 was officially opened to the first weekday services, Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris hailed the completion of the project as an important milestone in the wider £1.2 billion upgrade of the East Coast main line between London and Edinburgh.

Work to build a dedicated fifth platform began in early 2019, so that GTR’s Great Northern trains from the Hertford North line, known as the Hertford Loop, could terminate and then go back towards London, creating space on the existing tracks for Thameslink trains and restoring the train service between Stevenage and the Hertford Loop served by buses since May 2019.


The restored train service running between Stevenage’s new platform and the Hertford Loop will be an improved all-day, twice-hourly service between Stevenage and Hertford North, giving passengers from the loop better connections with the fast main line services which stop at Stevenage.

Network Rail worked with GTR to accelerate the revised project which has been delivered over 12 months earlier than planned. The new platform includes a passenger lift and stairs to an extended station footbridge along with two waiting rooms, three sets of seating, a help point and ticket machine.

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “Our ambition is not just to deliver more punctual journeys, but to deliver major projects punctually as well.

“This new platform and track at Stevenage will mean more frequent and reliable services for passengers who use the line day in day out.

“Thanks to the hard work of Network Rail and GTR who have worked tirelessly to accelerate the project, we have reached an important milestone in our ambitious £1.2billion East Coast upgrade, which will bring improved connections, faster journeys, thousands of extra seats per day and more choice for passengers.”

Paul Rutter, Network Rail Route Director, said: “This vital project to build a bay platform at Stevenage is part of a programme of investment that will allow additional services to run on the East Coast Main Line, bringing more choice, more seats and a more reliable railway for passengers.

“It will also bring more resilient local services on the Hertford Loop, as trains will soon be able to terminate at Stevenage and then go back towards London.

“We would like to thank passengers who have needed to use bus replacement services between Stevenage and Watton-at-Stone, station users and people who live near the railway for their continued patience whilst this essential part of the East Coast Upgrade was completed. “


The Government’s £1.2billion investment in the East Coast Upgrade between 2014 and 2024 will improve passenger journeys, create capacity for up to 10,000 extra seats a day on long-distance services, speed up journeys and improve reliability for passengers.

Major work is also taking place at King’s Cross and near Peterborough, where a new section of railway is being built at Werrington so trains, particularly freight, can get to and from the line to Spalding, freeing up space on the East Coast Main Line for extra passenger services.

The East Coast Main Line is also set to become Britain’s first mainline digital rail link with £350 million of new investment to install state-of-the art electronic signalling designed to cut journey times and slash delays.

Conventional signalling will be replaced with a digital system that allows trains to talk to the track allowing the smooth the flow of trains, making journeys safer and reduce signal failures that every year result in thousands of hours of delays.
Update edited and finally uploaded



Just wanted to add, to all you guys who posted contributions in this thread, or PM'd me with info, technical details, or just to give me the heads up if your were on site at any time... Thank you.

It has also made tonights edition of BBC1 "Look East" which was aired at 6.30pm.
LOL - I watched the ITV regional news, then turned over to BBC Regional news... but as Sky puts Stevenage in the London region after a lot of people complained that the "Anglia" region covered Norwich and the like, we didn't get to see it. I've looked for "Look East" on the web and in Sky's listings and its so confusing...with BBC South East, East East !! and a host more... Any chance you could put up a link to it on iPlayer ?

Belay that... I found it... It was BBC Look East - West !

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000lkgg/look-east-west-evening-news-03082020
 
Last edited by a moderator:

trek

Member
Joined
30 Mar 2013
Messages
81
As I said, there are advantages to *not* using Platform 5 when possible, such as saving having to man/monitor the gateline, and giving passengers heading north a same-island interchange rather than cross via the bridge.
There was a point in the project that the platform would not have been used on Sunday for now, but indeed since it will be required from the next improvement in the Sunday timetable on the main line and rewriting rosters twice to include additional staffing on a Sunday is impractical. Arguably the main gateline could be "over" staffed on Sundays where Platform 5 is shut, but there are performance benefits to using Platform 5 7 days a week. Indeed this was demonstrated yesterday where a train around 1400 was brought in due to a driver being late (the driver ended up arriving on time but it demonstrated the advantage).

Had an interesting chat with one of the "officials" who was rather blunt with regards to me being there. Having explained why I was there, and at what lengths I went to to obtain permission to attend any "official" opening ceremony he was still adamant that as I didn't have a commercial permit to film I wasn't welcome on the platform. Having explained that I had traveled on the service still in the platform, with a ticket I stated I had every right to be on the platform, even if I wasn't filming. Fortunately the station manager came over, knew about my vlog (including the track walk which he found interesting) and after apologising for the heavy handed approach of his colleague we came to a compromise which was agreeable. I did explain that it wasn't my intention to obstruct proceeding, which he understood, so ,most of the recording was done from platform 4. He even offered to buy me a coffee after, which was nice, but due to my time constraints I couldn't take up that offer. I have no idea who the other "official" was, but I must say I have always been welcomed by the staff of Stevenage, and found them to be very hospitable to me on the odd occasion I've been there to document things.
Unfortunately, it is easy for people to be over-the-top, I am sure the official you spoke to was stressed anyway and besides anything, there were a lot more people at the event than initially intended as some of the media crews turned up with more people than expected. Generally, GN welcomes enthusiasts especially those providing positive coverage of the railway but the event itself was kept private for a reason and turning up with a tripod and equipment can appear different to what you might have been intending especially before talking to station staff. There are plenty of times events like this would be done with an empty coaching stock service, completely closed off and prior to the infrastructure even being opened to the public! I also believe a staff member offered to email you a video of the first train which you missed out on yesterday.

I'm not 100% sure things were going smoothly though, and certainly not as Chris Heaton-Harris stated above.... with cancellations due to damaged OHLE in two areas on the ECML, and drivers not being available as a result it meant that a lot of the officials were kept waiting about for others to attend. The public travelling were also asked (Herded??) to remain in one place by the ticket barriers due to the "official" opening, and were not happy when a cancelled service was then taken up by an empty coaching stock 717 unit departing from platform 1 and were ushered off the platform. Whilst I was there the service into platform 5 was 1 train per hour, which didn't seem to go down well with the TV crews who wanted B-Roll footage for their segment, and no doubt were on a tight schedule in order to get the tape back to the newsroom.
Unfortunately, the service wasn't great due to the issues at City Thameslink and there were a lot of displaced drivers, the situation with the service on Platform 1 and was because a spare train was brought in from Letchworth and occurred right as the ministers were arriving at the front of the station. There weren't any delays to officials arriving, with the ribbon-cutting itself was scheduled for between 10:30 (when the ministers were to arrive, and did) and 11, the teams from Network Rail, GTR and Spencer were all there early as many are based much further afield and would not want to be late themselves.

In positive news the gateline issues are believed to be resolved.
 

philjo

Established Member
Joined
9 Jun 2009
Messages
2,600
LOL - I watched the ITV regional news, then turned over to BBC Regional news... but as Sky puts Stevenage in the London region after a lot of people complained that the "Anglia" region covered Norwich and the like, we didn't get to see it. I've looked for "Look East" on the web and in Sky's listings and its so confusing...with BBC South East, East East !! and a host more... Any chance you could put up a link to it on iPlayer ?
It would be the BBC Look East West edition, which Has the local news Segments from Cambridge studio. Hopefully it will be on the local bulletin after the BBC1 10pm news.

IPlayer link -expires 7pm Tomorrow. Starts at 13:46


 

malc-c

Member
Joined
1 Dec 2017
Messages
606
There was a point in the project that the platform would not have been used on Sunday for now, but indeed since it will be required from the next improvement in the Sunday timetable on the main line and rewriting rosters twice to include additional staffing on a Sunday is impractical. Arguably the main gateline could be "over" staffed on Sundays where Platform 5 is shut, but there are performance benefits to using Platform 5 7 days a week. Indeed this was demonstrated yesterday where a train around 1400 was brought in due to a driver being late (the driver ended up arriving on time but it demonstrated the advantage).

Unfortunately, it is easy for people to be over-the-top, I am sure the official you spoke to was stressed anyway and besides anything, there were a lot more people at the event than initially intended as some of the media crews turned up with more people than expected. Generally, GN welcomes enthusiasts especially those providing positive coverage of the railway but the event itself was kept private for a reason and turning up with a tripod and equipment can appear different to what you might have been intending especially before talking to station staff. There are plenty of times events like this would be done with an empty coaching stock service, completely closed off and prior to the infrastructure even being opened to the public! I also believe a staff member offered to email you a video of the first train which you missed out on yesterday.

Unfortunately, the service wasn't great due to the issues at City Thameslink and there were a lot of displaced drivers, the situation with the service on Platform 1 and was because a spare train was brought in from Letchworth and occurred right as the ministers were arriving at the front of the station. There weren't any delays to officials arriving, with the ribbon-cutting itself was scheduled for between 10:30 (when the ministers were to arrive, and did) and 11, the teams from Network Rail, GTR and Spencer were all there early as many are based much further afield and would not want to be late themselves.

In positive news the gateline issues are believed to be resolved.
Thanks for the insight.

Yes indeed the nice lady in the office did indeed offer me some video. Regretfully due to my time constraints and my current health I forgot to give her my details before I left.

There is always two sides to a coin, and I simply described things as I saw them from my point of view. To me if it was to be a private ceremony it would have made more sense to have kept the platform closed to the public, and scheduled the first train in after they had cut the ribbon and done their pieces to camera, and then retired to whatever post opening celebrations were arranged the platform could have then been opened to the public.

By the sounds of things , I gather you were in attendance this morning... if so you should have said hello
 

higthomas

Member
Joined
27 Nov 2012
Messages
978
It doesn't really add much, but here's another article on platform 5 re-opening https://busandtrainuser.com/2020/08/03/turnback-stevenage/

It was pats on the backs all round at Network Rail and GoVia Thameslink Railway (GTR) this morning as although operational problems a plenty caused by damaged overhead lines near Farringdon meant disruption for Thameslink services across the network, the opening of Stevenage’s new ‘turnback’ platform 5 was rightly being celebrated with completion said to be a year ahead of schedule....

....The great thing about the new facility is trains from the Hertford Loop line can now terminate at Stevenage without coming into contact with the four running lines on the East Coast Main Line as the track into Platform 5 is bi-directional and is directly linked to the line which comes from Watton-at-Stone and dives under the main lines. Nice....
Moderator note: As the platform is now finished and open, this thread has been closed. Many thanks to all who contributed to it.

Please feel free to contribute to any of the following threads:

Anyone visiting the station who wishes to post their experiences is welcome to either create a new thread or to use the existing thread listed above.

If you wish to discuss anything else, feel free to create a new thread (if there isn't one already)

If you wish to contribute something that you feel should be in this thread, please contact us directly with your proposed contribution and we will get back to you.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top