Urgent redesigns to be made to Warwick station upgrades after an unexpected discovery forced teams to down tools

Because construction inside the subway is well underway, it will have to stay closed with the diversionary walking route staying in place for passengers.
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Railway engineers are urgently redesigning Warwick station’s multi-million-pound accessibility upgrades after an unexpected discovery has forced teams to down tools.

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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.

Railway engineers are urgently redesigning Warwick station’s multi-million-pound accessibility upgrades after an unexpected discovery has forced teams to down tool. Photos by  Network RailRailway engineers are urgently redesigning Warwick station’s multi-million-pound accessibility upgrades after an unexpected discovery has forced teams to down tool. Photos by  Network Rail
Railway engineers are urgently redesigning Warwick station’s multi-million-pound accessibility upgrades after an unexpected discovery has forced teams to down tool. Photos by Network Rail

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 unexpected walls lie where the lifts were due to go, and the substructure can’t be disturbed as it is integral to the existing building and platform.

It means new designs now have to be drawn up for the lift shafts, pausing the building work for the time being.

The brick foundations going far deeper than on any known Warwick station plans. Photos by  Network RailThe brick foundations going far deeper than on any known Warwick station plans. Photos by  Network Rail
The brick foundations going far deeper than on any known Warwick station plans. Photos by Network Rail

Because construction inside the subway is well 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.

Network Rail has today (Friday August 4) apologised to passengers and local people for the unexpected delay.

Elinor Weymouth, scheme project manager for Network Rail, said: “We know how much the accessibility upgrades mean to people in Warwick and we’re sorry this unexpected setback means the building work has to be paused.

The unexpected foundations found after demolition of concrete subway steps at Warwick station. Photos by Network RailThe unexpected foundations found after demolition of concrete subway steps at Warwick station. Photos by Network Rail
The unexpected foundations found after demolition of concrete subway steps at Warwick station. Photos by Network Rail

“We are committed to delivering this vital work so the station is accessible for everyone, and are working hard to get new plans drawn up and workers back on site as soon as we possibly can.

“I want to thank passengers for their patience while this work goes on behind the scenes and urge everyone to continue to follow the walking diversion that’s in place while the subway is closed.”

Andy Camp, Chiltern Railways commercial and customer strategy director, said: “We regret that works at Warwick station have been paused while the project team assess the foundations that have been discovered.

“On occasion, excavation projects can throw up surprises such as this, but we will be working at pace with industry partners to determine how long the delay will be and when we can restart the work to enhance Warwick station and install the lifts.

“We would like to thank customers for their patience, and remind them that even though works are paused, the diversionary route between platforms remains very much in place.”

Security and platform patrollers will still 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.

Journeys in and out of Warwick station can be checked using www.nationalrail.co.uk

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