Just three days to go and I wouldn’t like to be in the Network Rail boss’s shoes. How will Abbey Wood’s new centrepiece open on Sunday? The rumours are circulating so maybe some information from the top man is called for.
The station will open on Sunday 22nd October and the booking hall will be pretty much ready for use. Certainly fully operational with no trip hazards or holes to fall down.
Whether WH Smith will be open remains to be seen but their stock and stores were being delivered this morning and disrupting the laying of granite paving.
The internal lift to the platform is working and there is still hope that at least one of the Gayton Road lifts will come into use at some time on the 23rd. It will have to go without the normal two week testing period so technicians will be on site permanently to manage the inevitable teething problems.
The risk of bringing Harrow Manorway to a standstill due to overuse of the pedestrian crossing is acknowledged. For that reason the plan is to have both flights of station steps in use. On the northern side marshals will be employed in the vicinity of Sainsbury’s to direct pedestrians down the slope to Felixstowe Road.
Bexley Council is a long way from finishing the western flyover walkway so unless you are disabled, with a buggy etc., please don’t complicate matters by crossing the road outside Sainsbury’s and back again opposite the station. That way leads to traffic chaos.
I would be the first to agree that part of the station site looks like a bomb has struck right now but work has been going on day and night. The people who have steered this project to near completion over the past four years have given me several “how the hell are they going to do that?” moments but always triumphed.
I’m pretty confident that come Sunday we will be pleasantly surprised, the station won’t be perfect but I think the worst of the rumours can be safely disregarded.
Note: Fact checked by Network Rail.