£5.7m St Albans station redevelopment finished just ahead of lockdown

Network Rail Route Director, East Midlands, Gary Walsh; Leader of St Albans City and District Council Chris White and MP Daisy Cooper at the opening of St Albans City station 18.12.20

Network Rail Route Director, East Midlands, Gary Walsh; Leader of St Albans City and District Council Chris White and MP Daisy Cooper at the opening of St Albans City station. - Credit: Peter Alvey

Just a day before the government clamped down on non-essential travel and threw us into Tier 4, the long-awaited £5.7m upgrade of St Albans City station was officially opened by community leaders.

The newly transformed facilities have freed up space for passengers to move around more easily when they return in greater numbers after the pandemic.

The main station building at St Albans City has been extended over two storeys ready to house a premier-brand High Street convenience store, and by moving staff rooms to a new building on platform 4, there is now space for a new waiting area with a coffee shop, new toilets and an additional ticket gate which will bring another ticket gateline into use.

APTU Chairman Neil Middleton, Thameslink Project Manager Julie Boyle, MP Daisy Cooper, Cllr Chris White, Thameslink's Jenny Saunders and Network Rail's Gary Walsh at the opening of the revamped St Albans City station.

APTU Chairman Neil Middleton, Thameslink Project Manager Julie Boyle, MP Daisy Cooper, Cllr Chris White, Thameslink's Jenny Saunders and Network Rail's Gary Walsh at the opening of the revamped St Albans City station. - Credit: Peter Alvey

On the central platform, 2 and 3, there’s a new all-glass waiting room and extra space for peak-time commuters getting on and off trains when they return in greater numbers after the pandemic. This has also created room for a second footbridge, which Network Rail will start building in the new year as part of a separate £6.4m project to further reduce congestion.

On platform 4, a new station entrance building has been built at the Ridgmont Road entrance with a wider entrance, two more ticket gates, new, accessible toilets and twice the number of ticket machines, again, all designed to make it easier for commuters when they begin travelling in greater numbers.

The new Ridgmont Road entrance building also has somewhere to lock up bikes, which Thameslink continues to promote as part of its commitment to boost sustainable travel. There are more than 220 extra spaces in bike racks across the station with double-stack racks replacing single-tier on the main entrance side, fencing and, now, complete CCTV coverage, for better security.

Thameslink Customer Services Director and Network Rail Route Director Gary Walsh celebrate the completion of this new entrance building at Ridgmont Road which will allow passengers to move more freely in, out and around the redeveloped station

Thameslink Customer Services Director and Network Rail Route Director Gary Walsh celebrate the completion of this new entrance building at Ridgmont Road which will allow passengers to move more freely in, out and around the redeveloped station - Credit: Peter Alvey


You may also want to watch:


And capacity of the station’s power supply has been doubled to accommodate the needs of the new retail store – a project which would normally take up to 12 months completed in just four.

Friday's ceremony saw St Albans MP Daisy Cooper unveil a plaque alongside district council leader Chris White and Thameslink customer services director Jenny Saunders.

Daisy Cooper MP (right) and Leader of St Albans City and District Council Chris White unveiled a plaque to mark the redevelopment of St Albans City station.

Daisy Cooper MP (right) and Leader of St Albans City and District Council Chris White unveiled a plaque to mark the redevelopment of St Albans City station. - Credit: Peter Alvey

Thameslink customer services director Jenny Saunders said: “Pre-Covid, passenger numbers were increasing at St Albans City thanks to the improved frequency and longer trains we’ve brought in. This project has not only improved facilities for our passengers but will make it easier to get around the station when numbers return. Together with the new footbridge to be built next year, this will future-proof the station for decades to come.

Flashback to 1971, just before St Albans station was rebuilt.

Flashback to 1971, just before St Albans station was rebuilt. - Credit: Adrian Slimmon

Flashback to 1971, just before St Albans station was rebuilt.

Flashback to 1971, just before St Albans station was rebuilt. - Credit: Adrian Slimmon

“The upgrade of St Albans City complements the multi-million-pound station improvement programme we’re delivering across our network and I’m really impressed that the project team and our principal contractors Walkers Construction have overcome the challenges of Covid-19 to finish this job while at the same time ensuring everyone’s safety.”

Flashback to 1971, just before St Albans station was rebuilt.

Flashback to 1971, just before St Albans station was rebuilt. - Credit: Adrian Slimmon

Rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: "I'm really pleased to see this important upgrade delivered in time for Christmas, and I want to thank everyone working on this project for their hard work and dedication despite the challenges faced in the pandemic.

Flashback to 1971, just before St Albans station was rebuilt.

Flashback to 1971, just before St Albans station was rebuilt. - Credit: Adrian Slimmon

Most Read

“With a new entrance on platform 4, a new waiting room and an enhanced station concourse, these improvements will make a real difference to passengers for years to come.”

Flashback to 1971, just before St Albans station was rebuilt.

Flashback to 1971, just before St Albans station was rebuilt. - Credit: Adrian Slimmon

Daisy Cooper said: “It's great to see this new investment in St Albans City Station. Many of us are incredibly proud of our city, and we can now enjoy coming home on the train or welcoming visitors to a train station that is spacious, modern, and welcoming.

Flashback to 1971, just before St Albans station was rebuilt.

Flashback to 1971, just before St Albans station was rebuilt. - Credit: Adrian Slimmon

"With the additional secure space for locking up bikes, it'll be great to see more residents make the shift out of their cars and onto two wheels to complete their train journey.”

Cllr Chris White added: “I’d like to thank Govia Thameslink Railway, the Department for Transport and Network Rail for this long-awaited redevelopment of St Albans City station.

"St Albans City is one of the busiest stations outside London and this welcome investment is a positive move for our residents, businesses and visitors alike.

"It frees up space to make the island platforms safer, adds new facilities and improves access at the Ridgmont Road entrance which faces St Albans City centre.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus