UK-based train operator Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has allocated £15m for carrying out a station improvement programme.
GTR will trial life-saving automatic defibrillators at Knebworth, Potters Bar, Hadley Wood and Welwyn Garden City stations this month. The defibrillators will be installed in other stations if the trial is successful.
The train operator carried out a survey to identify the most pressing improvements. Over 4,200 responses were received during the consultation.
The first phase of the programme includes installing life-saving heart restarters, LED lighting and landscaping in stations. Work will also include repainting and toilet renovation. Upgrades at 60 of 274 stations will be completed by early next year.
Subsequent phases will provide additional platform shelters and seating, upgraded toilets, landscaping and living walls, and water fountains.
Govia Thameslink Railway infrastructure director Keith Jipps said: “I’m delighted we are beginning to deliver real improvements for passengers at our stations.
“The consultation we carried out was a huge success and I’d like to thank the thousands of passengers, stakeholders and community members who took part.”
The first phase has been allocated £1.2m from a £15m passenger benefit fund. This will supplement the existing investment of £15m in GTR stations, bringing the total investment to £30m.
In March, GTR signed contracts with Siemens to acquire 150 carriages for £240m as part of a plan to replace its ageing electric train fleet. The company bought 25 Siemens Class 717 trains with six carriages and 362 seats each.
In March last year, GTR launched six new ‘preview’ services that will run across central London on the Thameslink railway system.