Transport Minister marks official opening of Aberdeen railway station redevelopment

Lucy Johnston2022, News

Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth today officially opened the recently complete £8million redevelopment of Aberdeen railway station.

Ms Gilruth joined Alex Hynes, Scotland’s Railway Managing Director, for the event.

The redevelopment project has been delivered by Morrison Construction over two years, with the final stage of work seeing the relocation and refurbishment of the ticket office and first-class lounge.

ScotRail said that the relocation of the ticket office and first-class lounge – which can be used by ScotRail, LNER, and Caledonian Sleeper customers – to the main concourse has created an improved ticket retail environment and enhanced customer experience which has made way for the addition of new high value retail space. The existing concourse retail units were also refurbished, with new modern glazed areas added to the front of the units, as part of the project.

The redevelopment work – which was funded by Scottish Government, ScotRail, Network Rail, the Railway Heritage Trust, and Serco – has seen other significant changes to the look and feel of the station, which has sat in the heart of Aberdeen city centre for more than 150 years.

Four new customer information screens have been installed on the main concourse, where ScotRail staff will also be available to advise customers on train services, journey times, and connections at a designated information booth.

Staff accommodation and additional operational areas have been created around the station to support future growth in passenger numbers.

The train operator worked in partnership with the Railway Heritage Trust to restore the North Corner Pavilion Building – a significant A-listed building and a link to the classic age of rail and the days of steam locomotives – which had fallen into disrepair.

Repair work was sympathetic in order to keep the look of the pavilion as close as possible to that of the original building. Some pre-existing materials were recycled and the solid granite treads in the Guild Street entrance were removed and modified in order to use the granite for the new stairs.

The station entrance and connectivity with Union Square and the wider Aberdeen city centre has also been improved, with new, illuminated signage installed to re-establish the station’s identity within Union Square.

Improvements have also been made to the taxi rank area, and enhanced cycle parking has been installed with space for 88 cycles in a covered area within the car park along with a Cycle Point maintenance area.

Work to replace the glass roof at Aberdeen station was completed by Network Rail Scotland in 2020.

Jenny Gilruth, Minister for Transport said:

“It’s great to be here today to see at first-hand how the Scottish Government’s £6m contribution is helping people travelling to and from Aberdeen make full use of the upgraded Aberdeen Station. I’d like to thank all the partners involved in this project which shows how transformational change can be delivered collectively.

“At a time when we seek to encourage more people out of their cars onto rail, this project is an excellent example of the way in which the public sector and the industry can build a modern railway that is more attractive to existing and potential passengers.”

Alex Hynes, Managing Director of Scotland’s Railway, said:

“I’m absolutely delighted to see the redevelopment of Aberdeen station now complete and officially open.

“Our engineers, contractors, project and station teams have done an excellent job in delivering better facilities for customers and railway staff, which have helped modernise this historic and iconic station.

“We know the more we make rail an attractive, safe, and secure transport choice, the more people will consider using the train as an alternative to the car. This investment is a key part of our plan to deliver a more modern railway for Scotland as we continue to encourage more customers back after the pandemic.”

Councillor John Crawley, chair of Nestrans, said:

“I am very pleased to see the redevelopment completed and opened today. As one of the busiest stations in the northeast, and Scotland, it plays an important role in welcoming people to Aberdeen, and onward as part of their journey.

“The developments enhance the station’s role of making passengers feel comfortable, informed and confident in their travel.”