07 August 2023
Teams forced to down tools on multi-million-pound accessibility upgrades following new discovery.
Railway engineers are urgently redesigning Warwick station’s multi-million-pound accessibility upgrades after an unexpected discovery has forced teams to down tools. Network Rail was midway through the work to install new lift shafts down into the station’s subway to provide step-free access to both platforms for the first time.
However, workers have found unexpected foundations believed to be from the first railway station built on the site in 1852, which lasted just 42 years before being destroyed by fire in 1894. Unbeknown to today’s engineers, as it wasn't recorded in the plans of what was then rebuilt 129 years ago, it seems the current building is constructed on top of the original station’s 1852 foundations.
The brick foundations going far deeper than on any known Warwick station plans.
The unexpected walls lie where the new lifts were due to go, and the substructure can’t be disturbed because it is integral to the existing building and platform. It means new detailed designs now have to be drawn up for the lift shafts, pausing building work for now. Because construction inside the subway is underway, it will have to stay closed with the diversionary walking route staying in place for passengers.
People are being urged to use this route correctly, with incidents of people trespassing across the tracks to get between platforms still causing safety concerns.
Warwick station subway will remain closed as demolition work had already started.
Despite the pause to work, security and platform patrollers will be at the station to prevent people trespassing on the tracks and guide passengers to the correct diversionary route between platforms. Platform 1 has been temporarily shortened during the work so it can take place safely while allowing trains to keep running. This means one less train a day calling at Warwick – though those services continue to call at Warwick Parkway and Leamington Spa. Passengers are advised to check their journey during the work at Warwick station by using the National Rail website.