Train operator Grand Central has installed new waiting room facilities for passengers at Hartlepool station as part of a £2.6m station investment programme across its network.
The investment is one of a raft of schemes underway at stations along Grand Central’s North East and West Riding routes, which are due to be completed in early 2020.
The programme is part of the train operator’s ongoing commitment to enhance customers’ experience on board, online and at stations.
Passengers can now enjoy the waiting room when arriving at Hartlepool station or setting off on their journey.
Grand Central has breathed new life into the formerly unused station building to create a new customer lounge, providing wireless charging points alongside significantly improved seating space with breakfast bar style workstations.
In conjunction with the lounge facilities, featuring artwork celebrating Hartlepool’s iconic HMS Trincomalee and the town’s extensive transport heritage, Grand Central has also refreshed the station’s common areas giving it a fresh and welcoming look.
Grand Central COO Sean English said: “We are excited to unveil the new lounge at Hartlepool, which is part of our ongoing investment to improve station facilities and customer experience across our routes.
“The investment isn’t just about the station itself; it is a real community celebration, bringing together local suppliers and artists who have helped to make our vision a reality for the people of Hartlepool.
“As well as offering a unique space for customers to unwind or work on the go, it is contributing to the station’s regeneration – to make it a more vibrant and comfortable station for passengers.”
The announcement comes at an exciting time for Grand Central following the completion of its £9m refurbishment programme to upgrade its Adelante fleet.
The company has also recently been granted access rights by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) to operate an additional daily return service between Sunderland and London Kings Cross until at least 2021, and new services between Blackpool and London Euston until 2026.
As part of its station investment programme, Grand Central will also be carrying out refurbishment projects at Sunderland, Eaglescliffe, Thirsk, Bradford Interchange, Brighouse, Mirfield, Wakefield Kirkgate and London Kings Cross.
The Hartlepool customer lounge is open Monday to Saturday from 6.45am to 5.45pm and on Sunday from 10am to 4pm.
The station renovations are being delivered in partnership with JMD Developments. The work is being carried out with as little disruption to passengers as possible.