Ebbsfleet Station is set to be a strategic development that will change the geography of estuarial North Kent: 'A huge opportunity, ' summarises RLE station architect Leszek Dobrovolsky.
To be renamed 'Kent Thameside', it will be a massive parkway station with 9,000 car parking spaces available just off the M2 and M25 motorways. Commuters will be able to take advantage of the 15 minute journey into central London and two Eurostar trains per hour in each direction will pick up and set down Continental passengers.
The station will also be attractive as an inward destination. High speed trains from central London will open up the nearby Bluewater shopping centre to long distance customers not travelling by car. Ebbsfleet Station will also be at the heart of an office development which promises considerable employment.
Clusters of buildings will be built in stages around the station, displacing the initial open car parks which will eventually be concentrated into a massive multi-storey structure.
The development itself is not seen as high rise. 'Not a Canary Wharf, ' is Dobrovolsky's description. The master plan is being produced by Terry Farrell & Partners with Ove Arup & Partners for developers Land Securities and Lafarge.
Dobrovolsky and his team's plans for the station structure itself have evolved into as compact a layout as possible, given the difficult geometry set by the North Kent Lines' flying junction curving away from the CTRL.
The ticket hall with its international and domestic departures and arrivals will be sited above the CTRL tracks with links running across to the island platform on the domestic, North Kent, fork. At 5,500m 2the structure will be on a similar scale to Ashford International but will be more restrained.
Layouts have to be confirmed soon so that the scope of work in the civils Contract 342 can be precisely defined. Contract 340 for the station structure, car parks and landscaping does not go out for tender until early 2003.