16 October 2012  

Those, who are unfamiliar with the concept of "Harrington Humps" , may find a 2009 press-release by Network Rail to be of interest,

and which has been adapted to complement this new RVR feature.

Click here for a quick link to this earlier article



Network Rail is installing more access humps at stations on the Cumbria coast line.


Both platforms at Seascale station, the Carlisle platform at St Bees

and the Barrow platform at Dalton


will all have new humps by the end of October.



Seascale Station looking towards Ravenglass & Barrow

Photo courtesy Network Rail



The humps were developed by Network Rail and Cumbria County Council

as a low-cost solution to the problem passengers have getting on and off trains

where platforms are too low.


Depending on the particular location, installing a hump can be

up to ten times more cost effective

than completely rebuilding the platform.


It works by raising a small section of the platform to correspond

with the disabled access doors on the trains.


Special measures are put in place to make sure the train stops

at the right position on the platform.


RVR Historical Rail Map



Stuart Middleton, Network Rail’s General Manager for Lancashire & Cumbria said:


“The easier access areas were developed directly

from Cumbria’s pioneering scheme at Harrington station.


“They have been introduced at numerous stations in England and Wales

and we hope they will be equally well received at the latest stations.”




RVR Historical Rail Map



County councillor Tim Knowles, cabinet member for transport, said:


“It’s fantastic to see that the success of the original humps in our own county

has given the opportunity for other stations in Cumbria to be more accessible.

It’s important our stations are as inclusive as possible

and I fully welcome these new developments.”



Lee Wasnidge, area director for Northern Rail, said:


“Making our stations more accessible is an important way of opening up

the possibilities of rail travel to more people.

“This project will see accessibility improved across three of our stations in the region.

We’re looking forward to hearing what our customers think.”



From Network Rail Archives - 09 Jun 2009


With a population of just 6,000 you would not expect a seaside ‘resort' little bigger than a large village

to take its place among the giants of railway history – but that is what is about to happen.


The name of Harrington will be forever remembered thanks to a pioneering innovation

that was successfully trialled in the coastal town and that is set to revolutionise rail travel.


Nicknamed the ‘Harrington Hump', it is a system for raising the height of platforms,

which in the past have been too low for all but the most able-bodied of rail travellers to use.


Now, thousands of passengers throughout the country who have previously been denied access to the railway network,

could have untold journey opportunities opened up to them.



The steps that passengers had to use to get on/off trains at Harrington, Cumbria,

before the trial of a possible low-cost solution (December 2008)

The new ramp at Harrington

Developed in a joint initiative between Network Rail and Cumbria County Council,

the new system is to be known permanently by its nickname.


It can be custom built to suit the needs of the particular station

and installed in a matter of days at a fraction of the accepted cost of rebuilding the platform.


The ramp in use at Harrington

Jerry Swift, head of corporate responsibility for Network Rail said:

“It's really exciting that working with colleagues in Cumbria County Council, DfT and Northern,

we have been able to make a real difference for passengers at Harrington,

and for a fraction of the cost of conventional methods.

I look forward to more “Harrington Humps” across the country.”


John Kitchen, rail officer at Cumbria County Council added:

"We have quite a few low platforms in Cumbria and the Harrington Hump

is an effective low cost solution to the problem.

"We look forward to working with our partners in the railway industry

to install many more of these simple and innovative structures for the benefit of Cumbrian passengers."



Technical Drawing


Railways first came to Britain almost 200 years ago.

Different stations were built by different railway companies and there was no uniformity in their design.

Consequently, the height of the platforms varied considerably.


This has left a legacy of stations for the modern-day railway

that simply cannot be used by the elderly, by parents with children in buggies,

by those with lots of luggage, and of course, the disabled.


The answer is a glass reinforced polymer – more commonly known as plastic – hump

that comes in sections so it can built to any length.


It is also variable in height so it will suit any platform,

no matter how large the difference in height between the platform surface and stepping board of the trains.


And, all important, it comes with ramps, making it ideal for anyone to use.

Development costs funded by Network Rail and the council were in the region of £60,000

but future production could be as little as £25,000 per installation.


This compares with about £250,000 to rebuild a basic platform to bring it up to standard.


Low platforms are a typical problem for rural stations, such as Harrington,

where they are only served by a handful of trains a day but are regarded as the lifeblood of the community.


Unfortunately, finding half a million pounds to rebuild two station platforms

simply cannot be justified in most cases.


Now it can be done for as little as a tenth of the cost, making it much more affordable.

This is in turn means more people can use the trains,


and the increase in passenger numbers

can be the catalyst for further investment in the local railway,

enhancing it even more to meet the increased demand.


The Harrington Hump is set to make life easier for passengers

in St Albans Abbey, Hertfordshire and Aberdovey, Wales,

where Network Rail is working with the local authorities and communities to install the system.



Keith Lumley
Media Relations Manager (North West & West Mids)

Tel: 0161 880 3142
Email: keith.lumley@networkrail.co.uk


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