Page last updated at 06:54 GMT, Wednesday, 26 August 2009 07:54 UK

Last phase of rail station revamp

Sunderland Train Station -
The first phase of modernisation was completed earlier this year

The final stage of a £7m modernisation of Sunderland railway station is due to get under way.

Two platforms will be closed from 2 September until early December, to allow tougher, modern floors, walls and ceilings to be installed.

The project, funded by Metro operator Nexus - the station's major operator - will last about nine months.

Metro services, Northern and Grand Central trains all use the Network Rail station, which opened in 1879.

Bernard Garner, director general of Nexus, said: "Sunderland is our biggest station modernisation, but we have worked with Northern, who manage the station, and Network Rail to ensure it remains open during the work.

"We hope passengers will understand minor inconvenience for nine months is a small price to pay for the improvements we are making."

The first phase of modernisation, completed earlier this year, saw one of the station's lifts replaced and an escalator installed between platforms and the concourse.

Each year, almost two million rail passengers use Sunderland.

Since 2002 it has been the only station in the UK where light rail and network trains call at the same platforms.

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