Chiltern Railways built two extra platforms at London Marylebone to give a capacity increase, as part of their "Project Evergreen" upgrade plans.
Impression of the new Marylebone platforms (from Transport Briefing)
Originally Marylebone was built for far more platforms; it was to be a terminus to rival Paddington or King's Cross in scale. However, the plans never came fully to fruition; the concourse is twice the width of the four platforms, and the space where more platforms would have gone has been developed.
As part of their long-term franchise commitment, Chiltern have developed Project Evergreen, a set of infrastructure improvements to raise capacity and reliability. Part of Project Evergreen involves enhancing the London approach, mainly by providing two new platforms at Marylebone on the site of current stabling sidings.
The new platforms are able to take 8-car trains, but platform 4 (the current westernmost platform) was shortened to 5-car to provide access to the new platforms 5 and 6. Transport Briefing has a diagram of the track layout (at the end of the document).
To expand Marylebone, Chiltern has now replaced the stabling sidings by moving them to a new £20m depot at Wembley, which was completed in September 2005, allowing the work to start on the new platforms.
The package of infrastructure improvements, including the new platforms, will allow 20 trains to run into Marylebone each peak hour and will increase capacity by 50%.
Other Project Evergreen improvements include realignment of the tracks at Beaconsfield station, improving line speed from 40mph to 75mph for non-stopping trains. Uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) will also be added to the signalling network to allow them to operate through power failures, and new signals will be installed at Neasden as well as between Bicester and High Wycombe, and Aylesbury and Princes Risborough.
The whole of Project Evergreen including the new platforms will be carried out by Chiltern's parent company Laing; the completed infrastructure will be sold to Network Rail at a pre-agreed price. This is the first example of a DBFT (Design, build, finance & transfer) private-sector project on UK railways.
The scheduled completion date was 27 October 2006, in order to allow an improved services to be delivered for the December 2006 timetable change.
£80m has been secured through a loan by Network Rail to commence the second phase of Project Evergreen, a package of improvements to the Chiltern line including two new platforms at Marylebone and signalling upgrades to enhance capacity along the route.
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