Page last updated at 07:06 GMT, Thursday, 3 December 2009

Station hump helps train access

Harrington hump at Aberdyfi
The hump takes away a 0.5m (18in) gap from the platform to the train

A custom-built hump which helps people with mobility problems in and out of trains is to be unveiled at a rural railway station.

Until now, people had to be taken to the nearest station to Aberdyfi, Gwynedd, for access.

It cost £70,000 and involves installing a graded hump made of glass-reinforced plastic, which can be adjusted in the factory to suit a particular station.

There are also plans for humps at other rural stations in Wales.

They will be across Anglesey, on the Conwy Valley line, the Heart of Wales line and the Cambrian Coast line.

Rail users give their views on the new rail hump

"Many of Wales' stations date back to when the railways were first built 150 years ago," said Economy and Transport Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones, who is also Plaid Cymru leader.

"In those days there was no single standard design for trains or stations, which has left a legacy of low platforms at mainly rural stations."

He said because of the small number of passengers using rural stations there had been no cost effective solution to the problem.

"Subject to the success of a major bid for EU convergence funding we intend to roll out a national easier access programme for Wales at selected stations over the next two years," he added.

Modern standards

Passengers with small children and pushchairs, the elderly or those with heavy luggage found getting on and off trains difficult at Aberdyfi," said Jerry Swift, Network Rail's head of corporate responsibility.

Ian Bullock, customer services director at Arriva Trains Wales, which runs the train service, said the company was delighted the Welsh Assembly Government had supported the scheme.

"This will will enable access for more passengers at Aberdyfi Station and pending funding confirmation, at many more rural stations across the Arrive Trains Wales network," he added.

It is known as a 'Harrington hump' after the station in Cumbria, where it made its debut last year.

Normally it would cost at least £250,000 to rebuild one basic platform to bring it up to modern standards.



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SEE ALSO
Hump plans to raise rail platform
08 Nov 09 |  Wales
Station 'hump' set to ease access
27 Mar 09 |  Wales

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