Network Rail transforms West Drayton station
West Drayton station has been remodelled ahead of the Elizabeth line opening next year. Some improvements include a modernised ticket hall, which features a new glass and steel extension, on top of two new lifts which allow step-free access to the main platforms serving TfL Rail and Great Western Railway. One of the new lifts will connect the low-level subway to the new concourse, alongside another on platform 1, meaning four of the station’s 5 platforms will now be step-free for current timetabled operations, and completely step-free for the end of next year. Elizabeth line Director at Network Rail, Tim Ball, said “we were determined, along with our industry colleagues, to give passengers the benefit of step-free access as early as possible. The new extension merges modern architecture with the original station building’s long and rich railway history. It is a true transformation that will improve passenger journeys for generations to come.”
West Drayton station originally opened in 1838. TfL completed its brand-new ticket hall in 2019, and Network Rail has since upgraded the station improvements with an extension of the ticket hall, creating more space for customers, alongside providing an additional entrance. TfL’s Chief Operating Officer for the Elizabeth line, Howard Smith, said “customers using West Drayton station will notice quite a transformation in preparation for the Elizabeth line. Not only is there a new, lighter and brighter entrance making the station feel more welcoming, but the installation of lifts in this Victorian-era station vastly improve the accessibility and make journeys significantly easier for many.” To accommodate the new Elizabeth line, the platforms have been extended, some being more than 200 metres long. There is also new improved lighting, signage and customer information screens, alongside canopies on platforms. Additionally, the work around the station, which will enhance the local environment and public realm, is being led by the London Borough of Hillingdon and is due to be finished early next year, bringing improvements to roads, pavements and pedestrian areas to accompany the station works. Deputy Mayor for Transport, Heidi Alexander, said “the improvements at West Drayton station will make a huge difference to passengers. As we get ready for Elizabeth line services to start next year, it’s exciting to see changes being made at so many stations that will benefit customers for years to come.” When the Elizabeth line initially opens in the first half of 2022, customers travelling between Reading, Heathrow and central London will still need to change at Paddington National Rail station in order to use Elizabeth line services from the new station. However, when the line fully opens, services will go through to Abbey Wood and Shenfield, without the need to change between Paddington stations. Staff will also be available at all times whilst the trains are running, with ramps on hand for any customers that need them, and all London Undergound and TfL Rail stations are operating a turn-up-and-go service for passengers needing assistance. Hayes & Harlington stations will also benefit from improvements – including expanded ticket halls and new lifts - and work is set to be completed later this year.