The Southeastern team at Swanley, led by station manager Matt Hawken greeted passengers and guests today at an official unveiling.
The new station building is more spacious, open-planned and offers a warmer, more inviting destination to travel to and from. The original station was built in 1939 and rebuilt in 1959. The recent improvements, the first for over 60 years, will serve the people of Swanley for many years to come as the town grows and passenger numbers return.
Today’s opening marked a successful partnership between the two train companies that serve the station - Southeastern and Thameslink - along with Network Rail and the local authorities, Kent County Council and Sevenoaks District Council.
The station investment is another example of Southeastern’s continued focus on winning back its customers. Other measures include the introduction of flexible season tickets, more advance fares and the rolling out of the new City Beam trains onto the Dartford, Hayes and Sevenoaks routes.
Extra train services are also being added to the timetable from 12 December and in February 2022, six additional City services per day, running between Maidstone East and Blackfriars, will be stopping at Swanley.
Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris, said:
“This upgrade transforms Swanley station into a modern experience for passengers – enhanced CCTV for passenger safety, reduced crowding and introducing new space for cyclists and passengers to wait.
“Not only will the investment improve access to the station, it will improve ticketing facilities while making them safer and more comfortable to pass through.”
Southeastern’s Managing Director, Steve White, said:
“Our priority in the months ahead is to continue winning back our customers and reverse the shift away from rail travel that took hold during the pandemic. Rail is the greener way to travel and we want to make our service an easy and compelling choice for people to make.
“The station is often the beating heart of the community, and we aim to make ours as welcoming as possible. These improvements do just that.
“I’d like to say a huge thank you to our station manager Matt Hawken and his team for looking after our passengers while the work was taking place. They are now really looking forward to welcoming customers back.”
Network Rail’s Capital Delivery Director for the Southern region, Darren Colderwood, said:
“Network Rail is really proud to have been part of a real cross-partnership effort to make Swanley station more accessible and user-friendly for passengers.”
“During the last year we’ve invested over £660m in the railway across our Kent route to support the country to build back better so passengers can feel confident and safe as they continue to return to travelling by train.”
KCC Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, Cllr David Brazier, said:
“I am delighted we have been able to play a role in ensuring this railway station is more attractive and can deliver the very best experience for passengers.
“KCC is committed to investing in, and promoting, sustainable travel and encouraging the use of public transport as we rebuild the economy while we exit the pandemic.”
Leader of Sevenoaks District Council, Cllr Peter Fleming, said:
“The new station is exciting news for Swanley. Not only does it look amazing, it will improve the experience for the many rail travellers who use the station.
“We are very pleased to have secured three-quarters of a million pounds towards the project that is a fantastic gateway to the town.”