UK-based rail operator Northern has announced that more than 120 platforms at 73 stations have been extended across its network.

As part of the Great North Rail Project and operator’s transformation programmes, Northern, Network Rail and TransPennine Express teamed up to execute the £60m Platform Extension Scheme.

The train operating company stated that the completed work exceeds 2,400m, which is longer than the length of the Humber Bridge.

The need for the platform improvements emerged after the introduction of Northern and TransPennine Express’ new trains.

Northern COO Tricia Williams said: “Extending the platforms allows us to run longer trains and that, in turn, gives our customers more space on-board. The additional platform space also means there are more places for customers to get on and off our trains which speeds up the boarding process and can reduce delays and improve performance.

“I would like to thank colleagues at Network Rail for their tireless work over the past couple of years at 69 of our stations. This huge project will enable us to deliver better and longer rail services that will make a positive impact for the North.”

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Network Rail North and East route director Matt Rice said: “This project to extend platforms across the north of England means longer trains with more seats can call at stations, transforming journeys for passengers connecting to towns and cities across the region. The railway industry team effort also means there is more space for passengers making essential journeys, as well as room to help meet future demand on busy routes.”

TransPennine Express major projects director Chris Nutton added: “We are proud to have worked as ‘One Railway’ with Northern and Network Rail to deliver the infrastructure efficiently and enable more communities to benefit as we recycle savings into more projects. As we welcome customers back to the network in 2021, they will see the full benefit of the new, longer trains and longer platforms at stations across the North.”