Plans of what a revitalised Darlington Station will look like once a major multi-million redevelopment is complete have been revealed – meaning more frequent and better services across the region and beyond.
The £100m scheme, which has been backed by the Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen and the Tees Valley Combined Authority with £25m, will see a raft of works carried out to both sides of the station delivering new platforms, a new entrance, station building and transport interchange.
The new-look station will improve connections not just nationally via the East Coast Main Line, but to other stations across the region as well.
The major redevelopment work will see three new platforms on the east side of the existing station to accommodate current and additional services, a new station building and a new footbridge linking the new platforms and building with the existing station.
An upgrade to the Victoria Road entranceway and car park, pick up and drop off points on the western side of the station is planned, alongside new road layouts, wider pavements and improvements to walking and cycling access, all to make the station easier to reach no matter how passengers are getting there.
Mayor Houchen said “The development of Darlington Station will be transformational for our region and is an essential part of my plan to give thousands of passengers from across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool the faster, more frequent and better-quality services that they rightfully deserve.
“With the town set to host hundreds of staff from the Treasury and Department for International Trade, and as lockdown restrictions are lifted to allow travel for leisure as well as business, it is only right that we have a station that is fit-for-purpose with enhanced local services and links to London.
“Access to good-quality, reliable and affordable public transport is key to my plan for jobs and our recovery post-coronavirus.
“It’s pointless creating good-quality, well-paid jobs if hard working local people cannot easily get around the region. Increasing the frequency of services and train routes, and making the station better to use than ever, will make sure local people can take full advantage of jobs, training and education opportunities while the modern station helps attract even more investment to our area.”
Darlington Council leader Heather Scott said: “These are ambitious plans for an ambitious town, and I am delighted to share these now, alongside our partners. These are once in a generation changes that will help to support and drive our plans to make Darlington and the rest of the Tees Valley a place where people want to live, work and enjoy.
“The scale of works is huge and will see the areas around each side of the existing station totally transformed. It is important that our residents are able to consider what is planned and share their views.”
Significant progress on the scheme has been made since the business case was submitted to Government in January 2020, including some land acquisition adjacent to the station. A formal planning application is set to be submitted in June.
Work is planned to be completed in December 2024, in time for 2025’s 200th anniversary celebrations of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, recognising Darlington as the birthplace of the modern railway.
Rail investment across the Tees Valley continues at a pace, with the new platform at Middlesbrough railway station set to be completed this month, allowing the introduction of LNER’s Azuma trains to London in December.
Millions of pounds are also being invested to improve railway stations at Hartlepool, Billingham, Eaglescliffe, and Teesside Airport station amongst others.