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Published on : Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Teams from Network Rail and Southeastern have been working round the clock to prepare Rochester’s £26m new station for its opening on Sunday evening (December 13), ready for the journey to work the following Monday morning .
As well as a new station closer to the historic heart of Rochester, from this Monday commuters will also be able to enjoy five extra trains to London in the morning and one extra return train in the evening.
Passenger numbers at Rochester have doubled over the last decade to 1.3m journeys a year. The new station, built as part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan to increase capacity and reliability, will be operated by Southeastern and will also offer much-improved local transport links.
Network Rail’s route managing director Alasdair Coates said: “Everyone who is working on this project knows how important it is to the future of Rochester and the regeneration of the riverside here.
“We also know that commuters want more trains and more reliability, to match the new station. Our work will allow 12-car trains to call at Rochester for the first time and our ongoing rebuilding of the railway in the Medway Towns will also improve reliability for passengers.
“It is really great to be part of the railway renaissance here in Kent.”
Southeastern’s Managing Director David Statham added: “Medway is a very important part of our commuter network and it is continuing to grow as regeneration gathers pace.“I am very pleased that this new station is opening in Rochester and that commuters will benefit from it.
“The station is also much closer to the heart of Rochester than the old one used to be, which is great for residents, great for local traders and great for the hundreds of thousands of sightseers that visit the area each year for its festivals and amazing heritage such as the cathedral and castle and, of course, Rochester High Street.”
The new station is linked to the riverside at Rochester via a subway, opening up the area and making it more suitable for development. In addition, a new multi-storey car park rising next door will open in 2016, making Rochester one of the most attractive commuter stations in the county.