The upgrade will also help boost Swansea’s public transport network as the scheme sits alongside ongoing works to refurbish the city’s Quadrant bus station.
Swansea station is an important rail interchange for services between West Wales and London. It was built in 1850 by the South Wales Railway and renovated several times throughout its lifetime.
The scheme, which is part of the Department for Transport’s national station improvement programme, is jointly led by Arriva Trains Wales, Network Rail and the Welsh Government. It also has firm support from Swansea Council, which sees the planned improvements to the station as a further boost to the city’s regeneration plans.
The improvement work will bring a bright, clean and modern passenger friendly station with: a new station frontage canopy with contemporary designs; a re-decorated and polished station facade; a revamped main entrance and a taller ceiling height with original decorative ceilings unveiled and conserved.
Other improvements include the installation of new glazed concourse roofing to improve natural lighting into the area, the installation of new platform canopies; Upgrading of the station’s electrical system and the laying of new flooring
The project also involves the creation of a new entrance to the station from the taxi rank
In addition thee will be: new customer toilets, bicycle racks and waiting rooms, a bigger ticket office, additional bi-lingual signage, anew café area and an additional customer train service information system
The project began in September 2010 and will be complete early 2012.
Speaking at the inception of the project, the then Deputy First Minister and Minister for Economy and Transport said: “I am extremely pleased to be part of this partnership project which meets yet another of our commitments in our National Transport Plan.
Chris Rayner, route director for Network Rail, said: “Stations are the railways’ shop-front and they have been ignored for too long. Over the coming years, stations are among Network Rail’s top priorities and, together with our partners, we will be investing around £85m into improving stations in Wales by 2014.
“Swansea is among the many stations to benefit from this wider investment. The transformed station will serve as a catalyst for further growth in rail usage in Swansea, while helping to provide a much better environment for the city. We have also listened to passengers and this plan will respond to their needs by improving their travel experience so that their rail journey will always be comfortable, convenient and safe.”
Ian Bullock, customer services director at Arriva Trains Wales said: “We are pleased to be delivering the project alongside our partners to provide a much improved and brighter passenger experience at Swansea Station. The improvement work has been designed specifically to update and in some cases install new facilities including a greater provision of service information, vending facilities, CCTV and an improvement of access all of which contribute to a station fit for the 21st century and we hope will encourage more people to try the train”
Councillor Chris Holley, Swansea Council Leader, said: “The station serves as one of the key gateways into the city and it gives many people a first impression of Swansea. This work is vital in ensuring those impressions are positive.
“These are very encouraging times for the High Street area of Swansea and will boost its regeneration. This scheme will sit alongside projects such as the Urban Village for part of High Street led by The Coastal Housing Group to create an area the people of Swansea can be proud of.”