Work has started on the £5 million remodelling of Brighton Station.
The train operator Southern said: “The project will deliver more modern facilities while maintaining and restoring the architectural importance of the Grade II* listed station.”
Southern is contributing £500,000 to the project and the Railway Heritage Trust is also helping with the cost.
The station was opened in May 1840, having cost £12,000 to build.
Southern said that the modernised station would include
- A new travel centre and ticket office
- Twice as many automatic ticket gates
- More shops
- A wider entrance and exit which is being created by opening up the third arch of the central walkway
- A new passenger lounge with space for a café
- New customer information systems
- Better views out to the historic train shed
- An improved and more spacious layout which is being achieved through the removal of the old WH Smith building
Southern said that taking down the old WH Smith building and the big departure boards would open up the concourse to give an almost uninterrupted view of the whole station.
It added that improved passenger flow would better equip the station to cater for the needs of the passengers who make seven million return journeys to and from Brighton each year.
Southern’s project sponsor Emma Toms said: “We’re delighted that work has finally started on this extremely important project.
“It has taken a lot of hard work by all parties concerned to get this off the ground and I am sure that, when finished, Brighton Station will once again be the station it was designed to be at the beginning – with plenty of complementary modern facilities.”
The company said that work was due to be completed by the end of the year.