Network Rail and Merseyrail partnered to find savings


Pictured: A visualisation of the planned platform at Hamilton Square station


Network Rail is including new approaches to improve customer experience in the £4m refurbishment of Hamilton Square station, funded by project efficiencies agreed with train operator Merseyrail.

The funding has been freed up by Merseyrail allowing the project to be carried out during a six-month station closure rather than 48 weekend possessions. In addition, Merseyrail and Network Rail have agreed that Schedule 4 compensation payments to the train operator for costs incurred and revenue lost during the works should be assessed in a different way. The compensation will be based on Merseyrail’s actual costs and a bespoke assessment of lost revenue rather than calculated through a standard industry formula which has often led to operators receiving inflated payments.

Network Rail has allocated a six-figure sum from the savings for additional improvements in line with Merseyrail’s aim to introduce a novel approach to creating welcoming and easy to use station environments. Additional works will include innovative use of colour on the platform and stairwells, clearer wayfinding, extensive decluttering and, potentially, illumination of the building at night.

Merseyrail managing director Maarten Spaargaren said the extra improvements to the station had been made possible by Network Rail and Merseyrail taking an open approach, with both parties seeking to find solutions which would benefit the other.

Although carrying out the works in a six-month blockade will disrupt some commuter journeys, Spaargaren said it was feasible in this instance because of the close proximity of other underground stations. The alternative of weekend closures would have severely restricted the amount of work Network Rail could carry out in each possession, increasing costs. Network Rail would have needed to move construction equipment to and from Birkenhead Park depot using a narrow tunnel under the Mersey each time.


This article appears inside the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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