The Northampton Rail Users Group met earlier this morning to receive a confidential preview of what to expect from the town’s new train station.
This month’s NRUG meeting, which was chaired by Northampton South MP Brian Binley, took place at the Guildhall, and the group were joined by representatives from the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation, who are heading the train station project.
Duncan Harper, of WNDC, who is the project manager for the development, shared artist’s impressions of what the station is set to look like and discussed plans for passenger access, carpark space and how the heritage of the town will be incorporated.
He said detailed plans for the new-look station would be released to the public in the next couple of weeks via a new website specifically for the development and also at an exhibition at the Grosvenor Centre at the beginning of February.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Binley MP, said: “I am delighted with the concepts presented to us with regard to the new station by WNDC.
“I think we are on our way to a very exciting new train station.”
The meeting also discussed NRUG’s proposed new name for the station as Northampton Castle station, which Mr Harper said was set to be confirmed by Newtwork Rail very soon.
Mr Binley MP said the name was very important to recognise that the site is the location of the town’s former castle, which was ruined by Charles II before being demolished by the Victorians to make way for the railway line.
An archaeological dig took place at the site late last year and unearthed remains from the town’s former castle.
Mr Harper confirmed that archaelogists would continue with their excavation of the site in mid February, starting with an area in the short stay carpark.
He said the excavation work would take around two months to complete and then work on the development of the new station would begin.
He added that the work was expected to take around 12 months and that the new station should be open in May 2014.
WNDC confirmed that Northampton’s current rail station would remain open through the works and would be demolished when the new one is built.