Rochester station to be relocated in £26m plans by Network Rail
By MariaSoleil | Tuesday, January 08, 2013, 14:59
ROCHESTER railway station is set to be relocated in plans costing £26m, Network Rail have announced today.
Rochester station could be moved to a different location, under plans announced today by Network Rail (Photo: JoshTechFission | Wikimedia)
The station will be rebuilt in a location 'closer to the town centre' - reported to be Corporation Street.
The move is part of a nationwide mult-billion pound investment scheme by the rail firm, which is thought to be the biggest since the Victorian era.
By 2019, Kent's railways will see improvements made including a train lengthening programme and a resignalling project which will provide greater capacity through the Medway towns.
Dave Ward, Network Rail's route managing director for the south east, has warned there will have to be trade-offs to achieve their targets.
He said: "The number of passengers using the railway continues to grow year on year. As the railway gets busier, the number of challenges increase and it becomes more complex than ever to run a reliable and cost-effective railway. As a result, we have entered an era of trade-offs.
"Increasingly we have to balance the need to build more infrastructure, run trains on time and reduce costs, and in many areas across Kent and Sussex difficult choices will need to be made.
"The huge growth in the demand for rail services since privatisation is set to continue.
"As the network becomes increasingly full, particularly in peak periods, the rail industry must be able to make balanced and evidence-based choices between providing increased capacity, improving punctuality and driving down costs.
"The end result will be a better railway for everyone which will encourage continued economic growth across Kent, Sussex and Surrey."
Southeastern, who predict a 30% increase in passenger numbers using Kent's railways by 2022, welcome the proposals. A spokesman said: "We welcome the investment and improvement works set out today by Network Rail.
"We're working in an alliance to improve rail services in Kent and south east London and this strategic plan builds on the large amount of work that has been completed and currently underway.
"Since Southeastern commenced running the rail franchise we have increased the number of services and improved punctuality on this part of the network to the best ever performance.
"We're now seeing over 91.8 percent of trains arriving on time, calling at all stations.
"We're not complacent, and know that there is more work to do and this investment will enable us to further improve reliability and meet the growing demand for our rail services."
A full summary of Network Rail's plans for the south east can be read here.
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