Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and Hartlepool Council Leader Shane Moore today announced plans to boost capacity at Hartlepool railway station by bringing the old second platform back into use, improving rail transport for local people and businesses.
Hartlepool railway station is the busiest single platform station in the UK and the third-biggest station in the region, welcoming 650,000 passengers per year. In January, Mayor Houchen and the Combined Authority Cabinet signed off £1.5million to begin developing the project.
The station is a major part of the region’s rail network, with direct services between London and Sunderland provided by Grand Central, and is a vital interchange on the Durham Coast rail line, which connects Middlesbrough and Newcastle with other key economic centres across the Tees Valley and North East.
Hartlepool station currently has two through lines, but only one operational through platform, the Down Sunderland northwards line. The platform on the Up Sunderland southwards line is disused and redundant, limiting capacity and the potential for growth.
Now work on developing proposals for reopening the second platform has begun, kick-starting the work to upgrade and futureproof the station, for people, businesses and freight.
The study, commissioned by the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority, is being supported by Network Rail, Northern Trains Limited and Hartlepool Borough Council and is due to be completed in early 2021.
Mayor Houchen said: “Everyone knows about our ambitious plans to redevelop and improve Darlington and Middlesbrough stations, but Hartlepool is another key station that we are investing in and that is set to be transformed so that local people can get around the region quicker and easier, while adding much needed capacity.
“For a long time, local people in Hartlepool have been crying out for the second platform to be brought back into to use, and I’m pleased that we can now make this a reality.
“This station provides a direct line to connect Sunderland to the north, and York and London to the south, as well as across our other boroughs. Securing more funding and improving Hartlepool station will help us secure more services, which means more and better journeys for our businesses and local people.
“This work is just the latest step in how we’re giving the thousands of passengers across our region the faster, more frequent and better-quality services they deserve.”
Councillor Shane Moore, Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “I am delighted that we are making real progress on this hugely important scheme for the town.
“A second platform will benefit local residents and businesses in terms of improved rail travel, and it will also support our efforts to attract more visitors to the town by creating a gateway to the town’s marina – potentially providing a big boost to the local economy.”
The announcement came just weeks after hundreds of businesses across the region attended a special event to learn about work available on other station redevelopments across the region.
Around 200 businesses discovered how they could get involved with schemes at Hartlepool station, alongside Darlington, Middlesbrough, Billingham and Teesside Airport stations, as work continues to transform the region’s entire rail network.