Construction of a new, longer platform 4 at Swansea station is underway, following a month of demolition work to remove and recycle the old one. The new platform will be 260m long, 13m longer than the original, to allow GWR’s new Intercity Express Trains to arrive and depart from it. It forms a key part of plans to modernise the station and improve the experience for passengers.
To make way for the new structure, contractors Alun Griffiths Ltd have removed 2,400 tonnes of demolition waste from the site. This has included:
22 concrete slabs that formed the surface of the platform
23 beams that supported the concrete platform slabs
23 columns that supported the beams
The 150m long parapet wall that ran down the back of the platform
The demolition waste was separated on site, with steel being taken to recycling centres in Swansea and Bridgend, while concrete was taken to the Alun Griffiths Ltd recycling centre in Llanelli.
The first phase of construction is nearly complete, with 71 concrete piles being put into the ground to form the foundations of the new platform. Work has also started on the rebuilding of the two walls that run underneath the platform. Then using 42 tonnes of steel, a new frame will be put in place, which will support 179 concrete slabs to form the new platform surface. Finally, two waiting shelters, lighting and PA system will be installed.
Kevin Collins, project director for Wales at Network Rail said: “This new platform is a key part of the plans to modernise Swansea station, as it will be able to accommodate longer trains, with increased capacity and better facilities for passengers. I would like to thank the local community for their understanding during this period of disruption and look forward to it opening in May”
For safety reasons, some of the key bits of work need to be done at night and during weekends when the trains aren’t operating through the station. Every effort is being made to minimise disruption to the local community. The work is scheduled to be completed in May. Passengers are reminded to allow extra time to check for any platform alterations that may be in place.
Swansea is one of the first stations to undergo work as part of the Transport for Wales (TfW) improvement programme. Through their ‘Station Improvement Vision’, TfW are working to upgrade customer facilities, including improved ticket-buying facilities, refurbished space for use by local businesses and community groups, plus giving the station a new look.
Hinatea Fonteneau, Head of Station Projects at Transport for Wales, said: “Improving stations and its services is a joint effort between all stakeholders involved and I’m delighted to see how these united forces come to visible fruition through close collaboration between Network Rail and Transport for Wales. The continuous communication between us all enable a safe management of our works, for an enhanced offer to our customers and communities.”
David Bailey, Great Western Railway’s Customer Service Manager for South Wales, said: “The work to extend Platform 4 will provide additional access, especially for our Intercity Express Trains between Swansea and London Paddington. It will increase the number of platforms available and boost the operational capacity of this important station for all train services. This platform extension coupled with the station improvements that are also planned will ensure an even better customer experience.”