Govia Thameslink Railway has started improving the sub-surface platforms of Moorgate, Old Street, Essex Road and Highbury & Islington.

The stations form part of the Northern City Line operated by Great Northern to and from Hertford and Welwyn Garden City and have experienced years of underinvestment.

Govia Thameslink Railway says that it is making £400,000 of initial improvements from the National Stations Improvement Fund to the fabric of the station platforms.

By the end of May, GTR will have put in new, white tiles on Moorgate’s two platforms, 9 and 10, to create a brighter, more pleasant environment. The work complements that of Network Rail, which has already cleaned the lamp holders to improve the lighting.

Redundant plastic handrails that were once used many years ago throughout the four stations to provide lighting for an emergency evacuation have been removed and, on the stairs, there are new dual-height handrails, designed to help people with accessibility needs.

GTR is also upgrading and replacing all the way-finding and station name signs, a lot of which were installed in either British Rail Network SouthEast days or earlier franchises and were grubby.

Finally, GTR is installing for the first time in the booking halls at Moorgate and Highbury & Islington, information screens to display Great Northern services.


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  1. John Usher says:

    Direct access to platforms by lift at Essex Road would be nice too… Escalators and lifts all the way to platform level at Highbury also! What about Drayton Park?

    • Jeremy says:

      Those would be rather more major works than this.

      The focus of the works is underground platforms. The platforms at Drayton Park are above the surface and therefore don’t have the same issues.

  2. Chris Rogers says:

    “on the stairs, there are new dual-height handrails, designed to help people with accessibility needs.” Are these the new TfL standard ones seen at all new or refurbed tube stations? I’ve never understood them as the lower rail is about the height of small child. They’re also massively over engineered, and not in a good way.

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