Sunderland railway station to undergo £26m transformation

Plans for a £26 million revamp of Sunderland’s central train station have been revealed today, and work is expected to begin within days.

It is expected to take six years to fulfill the full project - starting with the demolition of the current south entrance.

The new entrance will overlook Market Square with a large glass wrap-around design. A new ticket office and reception, public toilets, comfortable waiting areas and retail space and cafes will all be created, as well as improvements to accessibility. Office space on the new mezzanine level will be reserved for railway industry staff.

Artists impression of the new station entrance. Credit: Sunderland City Council

A meeting of Sunderland City Council’s cabinet is expected to sign off plans for the station regeneration, which also includes a new 400-space multi-storey car park on Holmeside.

The northern entrance will become the city’s main arrival point.

Major works to the platform-level of the station are included in the plans, with hopes to increase capacity by creating a four track, four platform station that separates Nexus and Metro, on one platform, from mainline services.

More than £16 million has been secured from the Transforming Cities Fund to progress southern entrance works, with the remaining balance coming from the council and partners including Nexus and Network Rail.

Network Rail, says they’ll work overnight where needed on this project so there’ll be no disruption to train services.

Construction on the southern entrance of the station is expected to get started in August, a completion is scheduled for the end of 2022, and an opening goal is set for the beginning of 2023.

Credit: Sunderland City Council

The project has been well-supported by transport provider Nexus, which has part-funded the programme.

The council wants the completion of the southern entrance to act as a catalyst for further investment. It fits with the wider regional aspiration to reconnect former rail lines to Sunderland’s central station, including the Leamside Line, tied into the Government’s Levelling Up agenda as well as goals shared by Government and the city council to deliver more sustainable transport solutions as part of a bid towards carbon neutrality.

Cllr Graeme Miller adds, “Enabling easy, sustainable travel into and out of Sunderland, connecting people to jobs and opportunities in a cleaner, greener way is critical if we want to level up the economy in the North East.

“We’re delighted to be moving forward with this much-needed project in partnership with colleagues who share our commitment to delivering an exemplar travel hub for the city and we look forward to sharing more exciting details of our plans for the north entrance, and the platform level of the station soon.”