How long does it take to build a station? Nine months? Three years?
The answer is six days.
Here’s a Northern Rail train pulling into Workington North. Network Rail started building the station during the night of November 24/25 2009. It opened to passengers on November 30th.
Of course they worked round the clock in a heroic effort to reconnect the community on either side of the River Derwent after it flooded, destroying two road bridges. In six days and nights, the railway engineers started from nothing and created a station with two platforms, a footbridge, a waiting room and a car park.
Hopefully we will never have to remind Network Rail of their remarkable achievement, because a decision will soon be made to place in hand whatever small works are required to restore Fishguard and Goodwick station for our use by September. We don’t need a footbridge. There’s only one platform. We’ll stand in the rain if we have to. And the car park is already there.
We might perhaps need the rails jinked a few inches back towards the platform (see Mind the gap). But after what Network Rail achieved at Workington North, surely they could do that in an afternoon?