Michael Portillo making tracks for King’s Lynn
14:09 11 July 2014
©Archant Photographic 2010
Michael Portillo is to open the newly refurbished King’s Lynn railway station.
The refurbishments that began last spring will transport passengers back to the 1950’s with Great Eastern Railway inspired cast iron benches, vintage lanterns and a cream and royal blue paint job.
Mr Portillo - previously a Conservative MP - now has a successful broadcasting career, presenting programmes about the world’s great railways.
He also presented Great British Railway Journeys which explored the historical influence of the railway on Britain. He will re-open the station on Tuesday, July 22 (10.30am).
The station carries a grade II heritage status and the new look is very much in keeping with that. The project team have worked closely with community groups such as the Fen Line users association, to decide upon the colour scheme of navy cream, and red, which harks back to the Victorian era and reflects the livery of the Great Eastern’s steam trains.
Gold highlights will be used to indicate Lynn’s status as a royal station. The Queen uses the station when she travels to Sandringham for Christmas.
Ten benches have been made by Norfolk foundry East Coast Casting Company, the design of these was assisted by local rail enthusiast Richard Brown who refurbished the royal station at Wolferton.
Some modernisation is also taking place automatic doors have been installed at the entrance to the booking hall and LED lighting has been fitted throughout the building.
First Capital Connect Customer Service Director Keith Jipps said: “The station refurbishment has been one of our biggest projects and we are delighted that the local community has played such a big part in it.
“This project originally supposed to be a simple rewiring of the station, however through extra funding we have been able to increase the scope and give King’s Lynn passengers and Norfolk a unique station they can be proud of.”
Andy Tyler, Secretary of the Fen Line Users’ Association, said:
“We are very pleased to see First Capital Connect put so much investment into King’s Lynn station. The heritage-inspired renovation gives passengers, and the town itself, a rail gateway to be really proud of.”
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