Dream rail connection nears reality

A major milestone in the improvements programme for Mitcham in South West London is closer than ever as progress continues on a brand new £6 million station for the town. Officially named Mitcham Eastfields following input from local residents, it will be the first brand new suburban station in south London since World War II and one of the first modular stations in the UK.
With the launch of the new timetables this summer, the centre of Mitcham will be connected to central London via Victoria, Blackfriars, London Bridge and St Pancras (for Eurostar services). Taking the train in the opposite direction, residents will also be able to enjoy days out in the Surrey countryside and on the south coast.
In line with Merton Council’s commitment to improving sustainable buildings and transport systems to reduce carbon emissions, the Mitcham Eastfields station building is one of a new generation of modular, flexible and environmentally-sound stations developed by Network Rail. Made from recyclable material where possible, the building has been designed to keep energy use to a minimum. Solar energy harnessed by 48m2 of solar panels on the roof will power the lighting and other electrical items, reducing carbon emissions by 10%, with rainwater-harvesting also available.
The 170m (eight coaches) long platforms were constructed in the traditional way, but the station building has been constructed off-site and is being lifted into place in ready-constructed sections. This type of construction means minimal disruption for railway passengers and residents in the surrounding area. Accessibility is also central to the design of the station. The footbridge over the tracks will include a lift, providing step-free access to all.
Until the development of Mitcham Eastfields, the nearest railway station for Mitcham has been Mitcham Junction, over a mile from the town centre and in zone four. The new station is just a 10-minute walk from Mitcham town centre and is in zone three.
Merton Council’s director of environment and regeneration Lyn Carpenter said: “These are exciting times for Mitcham. This station will offer so many opportunities for the town and will also open Mitcham for business. Although only a stone’s throw from the City, office rents in Mitcham are below the London average making the town a convenient and financially viable place to do business.
“Merton Council is proud to see this pioneering building technique being implemented in the borough and to be working in close partnership with Network Rail, Southern, First Capital Connect and Transport for