July 24 2014 Latest news:
Lizzie Dearden, Senior reporter
Monday, March 10, 2014
A British company has been awarded an £150million contract to upgrade train stations ahead of the arrival of Crossrail.
Berkshire-based firm Costain will carry out the works on the line from Stratford to Shenfield starting later this year.
Some of the biggest changes are due at Ilford station, which was originally due for a complete re-build but will now only be altered.
There will be three new lifts to provide step-free access from platforms to street level and a “reconstructed” station front.
Other stations will have platform extensions to allow for longer, higher capacity trains to run and lifts for step-free access.
Existing tracks and overhead wires are being upgraded and there will be extra train stabling capacity and turnback facilities to improve the reliability of services.
Crossrail programme director Rob McIntosh said: “The northeastern section is set to transform the experience of commuters and longer-distance travellers between London, Essex and beyond.
“The additional passenger capacity and renewed stations will mean major, long-term improvements.”
There was anger over the watering-down of plans when funding for Crossrail was cut by the government in 2010.
Seven Kings station is one of the only places on the route to be left without step-free access but Boris Johnson said it was “first in line” for extra funding.
New trains will replace the existing ageing stopping services from Shenfield to London from 2017.