Transport Minister, Simon Burns MP, interviewed in this edition of RailStaff, visited Wakefield Westgate station, to check out progress on the £8.8 million new station project.
Construction work at Westgate began earlier this year and the new station is scheduled to open in November. The site has been cleared and prepared, concrete piling columns for the foundations have been installed and the steel frame of the building is being erected this summer. The new station will include better shops, a spacious travel centre, ticket gates and improved security.
Says Simon Burns, ‘This station, made possible with government support, will be the first newly-built station on the East Coast Main Line for decades and will show the world that Wakefield is open for business.
‘This is part of the wider programme of infrastructure investment which will see billions spent on the network over the coming years, helping to drive economic growth and reinvigorate the railways.’
Network Rail’s Route Managing Director Phil Verster believes the railways will help boost Wakefield. ‘We know that our stations provide important gateways to the cities they serve and can help to attract investment and regeneration and look forward to that being the case in Wakefield,’
Phil said. Wakefield Westgate currently has 32 direct East Coast services to London each weekday, with a fastest journey time of 1 hour 47 minutes. The weekday flagship ‘West Riding Limited’ service leaves Leeds at 07.00, calling only at Wakefield Westgate at 07.12 and arriving at London King’s Cross at 08.59.