The UK's Network Rail is set to start a project to extend four platforms at Stevenage station, Hertfordshire, as part of its railway upgrade plan.

The project will see Stevenage station’s platforms one, two, three and four extended in order to allow all carriages of Virgin Trains’ new Azuma trains to adequately fit into the station.

Virgin's Azuma fleet is currently scheduled to be launched on the East Coast Main Line by next year and will have faster acceleration capabilities, as well as provide more seats and reduced journey times for passengers.

The proposed platform extension is expected to be completed by June and will see an investment of more than £800,000.

Network Rail is also currently performing extension work at two other platforms at Durham and Northallerton stations in north-east England to accommodate the Azuma trains.

"The work is part of a wider project of improvements, and we have recently begun similar projects at both Durham and Northallerton stations."

Network Rail principal programme sponsor Aidan Talbott said: “The work we are carrying out at Stevenage station is an important part of our Railway Upgrade Plan and will allow all carriages of the new Azuma trains to fit into the station.

“It is a vital piece of enhancement work to the railway, and will bring even greater benefits for passengers travelling on the East Coast Main Line. The work is part of a wider project of improvements, and we have recently begun similar projects at both Durham and Northallerton stations.

“I’d like to thank passengers for their patience whilst this work is carried out.”

The company also noted that proposed platform extension would not disrupt the current passenger services.


Image: rendering of Azuma trains running on track. Photo: courtesy of Network Rail.