Dartford railway station is located in the town of Dartford, Kent, UK. It is a busy junction which serves three rail routes. Southeastern (SER) manages the station and also operates all the train services from the station.
A major upgrade was initiated at the Dartford station by Network Rail in September 2011. The upgrade was completed in April 2014.
It was financed by the Homes and Communities Agency through Dartford Borough Council (who gave £6.073m or $9.51m) and the national stations improvement programme (which pledged £1m or $1.57m).
The upgraded station serves three million people a year.
History of Dartford railway station
The station was first opened in July 1849 and initially had two platforms. The third and fourth platforms were added in 1897 and 1973 respectively. The station building was constructed using timber and bricks in Italianate style.
An extensive modernisation of the station was initiated in 1972. The security facilities at the station were refurbished in 1997 at a cost of £580,000.
The station acts as a node for three lines. The north Kent line, which connects Gravesend to Dartford and Medway Towns, was opened in 1849. The Dartford Loop Line opened in 1866 and connects London to Dartford via Sidcup. The Bexleyheath Line was opened in 1895 by Bexley Heath Railway, but later was taken over by SER. All the three lines were electrified in June 1926.
Infrastructure and construction
The £10m design build contract for the station upgrade was awarded to Osborne. The scope of the contract included the demolition of the present station building and construction of a three-storey building in its place, while creating a new ticket office and concourse to facilitate easier movement of passengers during busy times.
The upgrades included installing better passenger facilities such as construction of new toilets and retail stores at the ground level of the station. New parking bays were built, the canopies on platforms one and two were extended and new waiting facilities were built on platforms one and two. New weather shields were constructed on platforms three and four. The open space in front of the station was increased by demolishing the railway staff offices and relocating them to the first and second floors of the newly constructed station building.
Osborne broke ground for the construction works of the upgrade on 11 September 2011. The new station building was opened in August 2013. The train services at the station operated normally during the construction phase.
The station is used by rail services on the north Kent line, Bexleyheath line and Dartford Loop line. The train services from the station are connected to London Cannon Street, Woolwich Arsenal, Bexleyheath, Greenhithe and Gravesend stations.
The station has four platforms and a car park with 196 spaces. The passenger facilities include automatic ticket gates, display boards on platforms, footbridge, three ticket counters, female toilet and baby change facilities, waiting rooms, retail stores and lift. The British Transport Police looks after security at the station.