Thanet Parkway railway station building works progress

Thanet Parkway build Photo by John Horton

Building work is progressing at the Thanet Parkway railway station site with the  lift and stairway tower framework in and the overbridge between platforms extending out to meet over the track.

Platform piles are well established and framework for the platform surface is also in place.

The main photo taken by John Horton shows the view that will be the main entrance side – “the down side” to Ramsgate.

The embankments have also been underpinned to secure them and improve stability. Work is being undertaken by Bam Engineering.

Photo Frank Leppard

The construction of the junction from the A299 Hengist Way has been carried out by contractor Eurovia. This will be a new left in – left out traffic signal controlled junction.

Archaeological excavation at the site was undertaken by the Canterbury Archaeological Trust and is being managed by the WSP Cultural Heritage and Archaeology team.

Photo CAT

Previous work has been done in the area, notably the East Kent Access work, a joint venture Oxford Wessex Archaeology; the Margate Pipeline by Wessex Archaeology; and Thanet Earth by CAT.

Photo Frank Leppard

Previous excavations had built up a picture of a complex landscape packed with prehistoric settlements, monuments, and burials dating from the Neolithic to the Anglo-Saxon period into the Second World War.

Photo Frank Leppard

Finds and features indicate a small settlement or farmstead dating to the late Iron Age, Roman, and Anglo-Saxon periods. CAT excavated a complex network of ditches, likely to be field boundaries, and refuse pits containing broken material culture relating to agriculture and domestic life.

In among the ditches and pits the team discovered the remains of a number of structures, with hearths and mettled floors, dating to the Roman period or possibly even the Anglo-Saxon period. One of the floors shows signs of slumping into an earlier feature.

Photo Frank Leppard

The parkway station is on the Ashford to Ramsgate line. The station is off the A299 Hengist Way and will provide local connections for pedestrians and cyclists.

There are two level crossings either side of the new station (at Cliffsend and Sevenscore) and some upgrade works have to be completed before the new station can open.

Photo Frank Leppard

At Sevenscore you are unlikely to notice any difference as the changes will be to the way the crossing is controlled. At Cliffsend, the level crossing will be completely upgraded.

The £34million Thanet Parkway Station has spiralled in cost from an initial £11.2 million.

The 9.27 hectare greenfield site will accommodate an unmanned station for up to six trains an hour, along with a 297-space car park, a forecourt with bus stops, drop-off and pick-up zones, electric vehicle charging points and secure cycle storage.
Kent County Council says the infrastructure project will provide more jobs for Cliffsend residents, reduce journey times from east Kent to London and improve the “attractiveness” of Thanet and Dover as places for investment.

Proposed Thanet Parkway Station

The long-standing dispute over building a new station in Thanet has rumbled on since 2010.

Kent County Council first put forward a planning application in May 2018 but withdrew it 18 months later due to concerns over footbridge access. The plans were altered and an existing Victorian underpass beneath the railway is being used to link the station’s two platforms.

There were widespread objections from Thanet county councillors and dozens of residents in the area, who together claim that the two-platform station is not needed and it is a “waste of public money”.

Funding for the scheme comes from:

Thanet Parkway railway station

South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) (Local Growth Fund) (£14 million)

Getting Building Fund (HM Government) (£11.999 million)

New Stations Fund (£3.4 million)

Thanet District Council (£2 million)

East Kent Spatial Development Company (£700k)

Kent County Council (the remaining funds).

Find the CAT blog on the dig here

Additional information with thanks to John Horton

62 Comments

  1. KCC claims this unmanned station will reduce journey times from east Kent to London. Surely an intervening station will have the OPPOSITE effect on journey times from Ramsgate to London?

  2. I’ve asked over and over again how does one more stop speed it up. And how do the blind or partially sighted access this station?

    Shouldn’t the phrase be unstaffed?

    • I was watching the classic comedy farce Oh Mr Porter recently-can imagine this will be just as much a cock-up as Will Hay & his comrades at Buggleskelly Station.

    • It’s completely unneeded! Why couldn’t this money be used to upgrade the exosting Thanet railway stations? A car park with almost 300 spaces is really going to help improve the environment, isn’t it?!

      • Yes, but right now there are very few parking places at Ramsgate or Sandwich stations – so there’s little incentive to take the train and people commute by car instead. 300 spaces will encourage people to take the train instead.

  3. The £34million Thanet Parkway Station has spiraled in cost from an initial £11.2 million. Yet TDC & KCC wonder why they cannot balance their books? More than three times over budget might be a clue.

  4. I think they will force Ramsgate/Sandwich commuters to use this station by reducing the stops at both these stations–they can then claim its an outstanding success, just look at how many people use it. When are they going to speed up the line from Ashford– thats the important thing, and the only one that will reduce the time to London

  5. Great news ,it will better when the bridge to the airport is built look at the plans it will go straight into the airport , good forward planning,

  6. Is there just the one entrance to this white elephant ?

    People coming from the minster area have to go passed the station up to lord of the manor roundabout, go round it and back down the other side.
    People from ramsgate will have to go to sevenscore roundabout and come back on the other side !

    • If and it’s a very unlikely if manston open what use would this station be ?

      The freight is going by electric barges to London.

      Only a few people from south of Ashford might use it if manston did passenger flights. Most people will find it easier to use Gatwick or Heathrow.

      But keep dreaming bill lol

    • Ramsgate station will be closed? You know this for a fact, do you, Bill? Is it likely that a station serving ,at least, a town of 40,000 will be closed?

      • Marva, I can’t see Ramsgate station being closed, but I’m sure that the fat cats would relish the idea of downgrading it, by reducing staffing levels, closing ticket offices and toilets, making it less attractive, less safe and less convenient. And they could do a lot of damage by manipulating the scheduled stops so that Ramsgate gets a poorer service than Cliffsend. If they can line their own pockets, they will think the unthinkable.

  7. Money, Money, Money it’s a businessman world.
    Fantastic an unmanned station. Undesirables will be able to cause havoc on the train and get off at an unmanned station or break into cars to go joy riding. Anyone need a CAT Converter for their car there are loads of parked cars at Thanet unmanned Parkway station. They the mobile mechanics have 10 minutes to strip a car from a choice of 297 cars.

    Of course the pitiful compensation offered in 2010 to the then residents who would be disturbed by trains and cars made no mention of the proposed number of trains or potential number of cars motor bikes etc that could use the site.

  8. How come TDC has so much money that it can spend 2 million on a KCC vanity project. Another case of local government back scratching.

  9. No staff in the station!!?? I don’t fancy arriving there on a dark winters night. Wondering if my car is still in the car park.
    Of course it cost well in excess of the original quote. The original quote is always ridiculously down-valued but the number of jobs created is always ridiculously exaggerated. All these grand schemes are the same.
    They are money earners for large companies. Left to themselves, they would struggle to get by. So governments prop them up by giving them vast amounts of public money to build infrastructure that we never knew we needed.
    But when the public actually needs something-such as keeping the £20 Universal Credit upgrade- it’s suddenly “But we can’t afford it….magic money tree…careful with public money…. responsible fiscal policy…” etc etc

  10. “Kent County Council says the infrastructure project will […] reduce journey times from east Kent to London”
    I’ve got an email from the KCC cabinet member for transport which confirms that Thanet Parkway station will not improve journey times. Any time savings will be made by improvements to track and signalling between Thanet and Ashgate.

    Thanet Parkway will be useless for Manston, in the unlikely event that it reopens: it’s a cargo airport.

    I doubt that Ramsgate station will close. It has 4 platforms, sidings, and carriage sheds. It is the terminus for several routes to Victoria and Charring Cross. Parkway couldn’t cope with all that.

    If you’ve had a walk around there recently, you’ll see that lots more greefield is being used up building 100s of houses. That’s why the station is being built.

  11. Have any of you been on a train station lately? They are all mostly unmanned, you never see any staff. Margate and Ramsgate you see some, but then not until you get to Faversham.

  12. They cant speed up the line to Ashford to many crossing and bends, all the fields around will have houses within 5years making it a feasible station.

  13. It’s about time east kent including thanet had a unitary council like medway and stopped being governed by the west kent mafia who are in charge of Kent county council who don’t listen to thanet people, latest scheme to make Canterbury road (A28) single lane only with out any public meetings on the subject

  14. I’m amused reading these comments. I suspect that ‘Nobody’ is a great influencer and I’d love to meet him. ‘Nobody’ wanted Westwood Cross, yet people shop there despite the traffic. ‘Nobody’ wanted new houses yet people buy them. ‘Nobody’ wanted a fast train link to London yet people use it often and are willing to pay a premium.

  15. Did nobody want a fast train link to London? And if not, why not? I’d have thought people would have been very keen on getting somewhere faster.

    • Marva, speed isn’t everything; quality of life is what matters; and if a railway journey is a relaxing experience compared with a road journey, then the journey time is less important than the journey comfort. My bigger worry is cutbacks in railway staff that result in fewer ticket offices, fewer guards, fewer refreshments, fewer toilet facilities, degraded information, etc. This is happening already and Ramsgate station needs all the support it can get

  16. There must be plans for 1000’s of commuter homes being built around the station. Theres no demand for this station at present.

    And dont give me that old pony about manston airport as that isnt happening.

  17. Further local infrastructure developments will follow, massive housing estate, industrial estates, aviation !, new mega prison has been mentioned, further disco park development using a shuttle bus.
    May be all of above are on their way.
    Train station development is not just about trains, crossrail, hs2 would not have been considered without their spin off developments.

    Its what they dont tell us matters.

  18. Ramsgate is a junction station for 3 lines to Dover, Canterbury and Faversham. It is also the traction depot for the 375 and Hi-Speed 395 units, so any attempt to close it or reduce services will be illogical.
    The case for building Thanet Parkway was weak or almost non-existent, and even the railway press find it pointless.
    Why is it being built? Who knows? I suspect the main reason is being seen to do something for Thanet, even if it is the wrong thing.
    It will undoubtedly attract developer interest and will be even less attractive. The design is poor, the layout worse, and it goes against climate change resilience by attracting additional car journeys.
    As for Manston, I know Thanet is fantasy island, but it would take longer to travel from Parkway, than it would from Ramsgate. I suppose an amphibian electric barge might be quicker, if they existed.
    It says a lot about KCC, their understanding of transport systems and climate change. I think Barry Lewis is correct this time. An East Kent Council, probably based in Canterbury, with upgraded devolved powers and meaningful local devolution would be the best option.
    At no time, has anyone at KCC, SELEP, TDC, Central Govt or the 2 MP’s been able to deliver a rational explanation for this project. I have laid out in great detail, why it does not fulfil any of its alleged benefits and they have been unable to make a convincing case. They just ignore the questions and plough on regardless. This is a classic case of group think, where anyone making adverse comments is deemed the enemy and the entire project is surrounded by a wall of silence, impenetrability and hubris.
    If one studies the activities of Neville Chamberlain and Sir Horace Wilson during the Munich appeasement process you will see Group Think at work.
    The appeasers in this case are the governing party at KCC, both main parties at TDC,SELEP and all parts of Central Govt.

    • But, surely, all these wealthy Londoners will all drive flash motors? They won’t want to travel on trains with ordinary people. There is no first class on HS1.

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