UK rail infrastructure operator Network Rail has started the year-long upgrade programme at Gidea Park to prepare the station for the arrival of Crossrail.
The Gidea Park station recently became part of the Transport for London (TfL) network and is on the Great Eastern Main Line, which runs between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield.
Upgrade works will include installation of two new lifts providing step-free access to the platforms, refurbishment of the existing footbridge and platform extensions to accommodate the new 200m-long Crossrail trains.
Work on the station is expected to be completed by mid-2016, while Network Rail and its contractors have stated that it will take a range of measures to ensure disruption to residents and passengers is minimised.
Crossrail surface director Matthew White said: "Crossrail will bring huge changes to rail services – local people will benefit from new trains, a better station and quicker journeys to central London locations.
"Crossrail and Network Rail are working closely with Havering Council to make sure that any disruption for residents and passengers is kept to an absolute minimum."
Havering Council cabinet member for regulatory services councillor Osman Dervish said: "This is the first step in bringing Crossrail to the borough, which will be of great benefit to our residents."
Since May, TfL has been operating the stopping services between Shenfield and Liverpool Street including those to and from Gidea Park, which is now staffed from first to last train.
The new Crossrail trains will be introduced on the line in 2017 and when the route fully opens in 2019, passengers will be able to travel through central London without having to change trains.
When fully operational, the journey from Gidea Park to Bond Street will be 8min quicker and passengers travelling to Heathrow will be able to cut their journey time by 22min.
Image: Gidea Park railway station in 2007. Photo: courtesy of Lamberhurst via Wikipedia.