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New state-of-the-art East Grinstead railway building open at last

By East Grinstead Courier  |  Posted: December 22, 2012

By Lewis Dean

  • NEW ARRIVAL: The revamped station minutes before it opened

  • EXPRESSO: Commuters arriving for the first train from the new station building grab their caffeine boost

  • REPLACED: How the old East Grinstead train station building looked before it was demolished

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COMMUTERS at East Grinstead rail station have been making the most of its sparkling new building, which opened on Monday.

First to enjoy the comfortable new surroundings were those early birds using the 5.45am service to London Bridge.

The building, which includes a café, is part of Southern Rail's £2.1 million revamp of the station so it can cope with extra passengers when the Bluebell Railway extension reaches it in spring.

An extra 100 spaces are going to be added to the car park and the forecourt is to be developed.

Southern Rail senior project manager Peter Wilke said: "I am so happy we have finally finished. People were worried that the design was not in keeping with the character of the town but East Grinstead now looks like a main station; it looks fantastic and is not over the top.

"Passengers get a real sense of being greeted into the station with the lighting and the open spaces; it has become a comfortable place to be."

Mr Wilke added that all the improvements are on course to be finished by mid-February.

He said: "On the building's opening day there were people arriving to have a seat and wait in the station rather than turn up just as their train was leaving.

"It is a wonderful place to arrive and a lot more comfortable. People are really going to feel the benefits of the investment."

Despite the refurbishment, commuters on the first day were still left facing the same sort of delays as they would have in the old station building.

Among the first commuters to use the new station building was Eddie Vermeer, 47, of Herontye Drive, East Grinstead.

He said: "The station looks good but people are only really concerned about getting to the station and onto a reliable service.

A Southern spokesman said some services were disrupted on Monday morning due to overrunning engineering works in the Wandsworth Common area.

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  • mauricew1  |  December 23 2012, 11:30AM

    The bridge to cross to platform 1 is right in front of the exit onto platform2. anyone rushing to catch a train will walk straight into it & as it slopes I'm sure many people will bang their heads! It should be moved further down the platform.

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  • RobForrester  |  December 22 2012, 5:46PM

    It's an improvement on the old station, but a better investment would be to increase the number of trains at rush hour, accessibility to the other platform, general travel across the town. Most people will only use this station for 30 seconds as they pass through it.

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