Former minister and current TV presenter Michael Portillo officially opened King’s Lynn railway station which has been refurbished in a heritage style by First Capital Connect and Network Rail.
Official Photographer for event: Peter Alvey
Mr Portillo, who presents BBC’s Great British Railway Journeys, was joined by the Mayor of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, local councillors and project contributors to celebrate the station’s makeover as well as the town’s railway history.
The work, which cost just over £1million and was shared between First Capital Connect and Network Rail, is in keeping with the station’s heritage status and includes new British Railways signs, Great Eastern Railway inspired benches and vintage-style lanterns as well as a new royal blue and cream colour scheme throughout.
The local community was at the heart of the project, providing advice and opinions on the design of the new-look station. The Fen Line Users’ Association was heavily involved in design aspects including the Victorian era colour scheme of navy, cream and red which reflects the livery of Great Eastern’s steam trains, while the gold indicates King’s Lynn’s role as a royal station.
Norfolk-based foundry East Coast Casting Co Ltd supplied 10 new heritage-style royal blue benches and the station signs have been replaced with signs in the style of 1950s British Railway ‘totems’.
The work also included a full rewiring of the whole station, the booking hall roof being completely replaced and the platforms being resurfaced.
First Capital Connect Managing Director David Statham said:
“It was an absolute honour to have Mr Portillo open King’s Lynn station on our behalf today.
“Community groups have been heavily involved in this project and this event was about paying tribute to all they have achieved in delivering this fantastic project.
“It is a station with a rich history and we feel that that this refurbishment is a great way to celebrate and give the King’s Lynn community a station to take pride in.”
Richard Schofield, Network Rail Route Managing Director, said:
“The work carried out at King’s Lynn station is part of our ongoing investment programme to upgrade the rail network.
“The improvements made, including refurbishing the booking hall and providing better lighting, will give passengers a much better environment to travel to and from.”