This is a terminus station, so you need to go towards the front of the train and find a ramp up into the concourse. The difficulties I've had in getting others to tell me on which platform I've arrived suggest that the signage isn't very helpful, certainly whilst you're on the train. On odd-numbered platforms between 1 and 15, plus 16 and 18, the doors will open on your left as you face the front of the train.
Your task is further complicated by the presence of vehicle access to the areas of platforms 1 to 3 and 16 to 18. The remaining platforms are grouped in fours, such that two island platforms are served by one ramp to the concourse. The outer platforms of each group extend beyond the ramp, so it's possible to walk into a service area of the station which is not intended for public use. However, if you follow the tactile paving along one of the inner platforms of each group, then continue forward past the beginning of the platform, you should find a ramp.
From Platforms 1 to 3|
From Platforms 4 to 15
From Platforms 16 to 18
From platform 1, go beyond the front of the train, following the tactile paving then railing on your right, to the end. Turn right here and continue to the corner, this is the front of platform 2.
From platform 2, go beyond the front of the train and follow the tactile paving then railings on your left, to the end, then turn right.
Continue forward across an open space till you find the wall, turn right and follow this wall to the ramp up to the concourse. If you find tactile paving, you've overshot onto platform 3, turn left and continue for a few metres before turning left again to locate the side of the ramp.
From Platform 3, go beyond the front of the train. Note that this platform extends beyond the ramp. It may be better to move to the left-hand edge of the platform, beyond which is a road with speed bumps and follow this to the wall or ramp in front of you.
Go up the ramp into the concourse, you're near the east end of the corridor.
To Which Platform?
These platforms are grouped in fours: 4 - 7, 8 - 11 and 12 - 15, each group being served by a ramp to the concourse. The outer platforms: 4, 7, 8, 11, 12 and 15 extend beyond the ramp, whilst the others would lead you straight onto it. In the case of platforms 8 to 11, you go through a gate line including automatic gates, before reaching the ramp to the concourse. There are gates, operated by staff, before the ramps from platforms 4 - 7 and 12 - 15.
Go up the ramp, to the corridor. From platforms 4 to 7, you're opposite the left-hand side of the concourse; platforms 8 to 11, in the middle and platforms 12 to 15, opposite the right-hand side.
To Which Platform?
From platform 16, continue beyond the front of the train then bear right to locate the edge of the roadway. Follow this to the ramp up to the concourse. Go up the ramp into the corridor, at the right-hand (west) end.
To Which Platform?
From platforms 17 and 18, go beyond the front of the train, following the tactile paving then railings to the end. Turn left and continue across an open space to locate the railings before the ramp, in front of you. Turn left and follow these to the end, turn right (180 degrees) and go up the ramp to the corridor. If you find tactile paving, you've overshot the ramp onto platform 16. Turn right, continue for a few metres and turn right again to locate the ramp.
You're now in the corridor from which the platform entrances leave. These entrances serve groups of platforms, from left to right as you face the platforms, as follows:
Platforms 16 to 18, from the end of the corridor|
Platforms 12 to 15, opposite the left-hand side of the concourse
Platforms 8 to 11, in the middle
Platforms 4 to 7, opposite the right-hand side of the concourse
Platforms 1 to 3, near the right-hand end of the corridor
There is a common entrance to platforms 16, 17 and 18 from the west end of the north side of the corridor. The right-hand (east) side has a glass wall, the left is tiled. A pillar in the centre marks the top of a ramp down, with railings both sides and in the centre. Opposite the bottom of the ramp is an open space with platform 16 to your right.
The central area of this space is reserved for vehicles, with speed humps. Left of the vehicle area is the concrete wall of a ramp up, not for public access.
From the bottom of the ramp, turn 90 degrees left (west) and cross empty space about 20 metres and meet a railing guarding the east side of track 17 barred by a gate some way to the right (north) which is not used by the public. Turn left (south) and follow the railing right (west) and right again (north) onto a wide island for platforms 17 (right) and 18 (left).
GO TO END
The common entrance to platforms 12, 13, 14 and 15 is off the north side of the corridor opposite the western edge of the main concourse. Both walls retreat to make a broader way, with a blank door in the north facing wall to your right. 5 metres from the corridor is a row of posts marking the top of a broad ramp divided into 5 lanes by north-south railings. At the bottom of the ramp are 5 doors. At the time of our survey only 2 of these were open, but this obviously changes depending on the time of the arrival or departure of trains. Without sight, it is not obvious from the top of the ramp which doors are open and which closed. Behind the doors is an open space with railings both sides. The northern side has a railing in the centre across the ends of tracks 13 and 14 with gaps either side leading down railed ramps to island platforms, 12 and 13 on the right, platforms 14 and 15 on the left.
GO TO END
Go down the ramp into an area before the gates.
There are two ticket sales windows to your left with the gate line in front of you. There's a manual/luggage gate at the left-hand end of the gate line.
Go through the gates into an open space. The northern side has a railing in the centre across the ends of tracks 9 and 10, with walkways to either side leading to island platforms, platforms 8 and 9 on the right, platforms 10 and 11 on the left.
GO TO END
The common entrance to platforms 4, 5, 6 and 7 is off the north side of the corridor opposite the eastern edge of the main concourse. Both walls retreat to make a broader way, with a blank door in the north facing wall to your left. 5 metres from the corridor is a row of posts marking the top of a broad ramp divided into 5 lanes by north-south railings. At the bottom of the ramp in the centre is a Costa Coffee kiosk, and just before it the centre railings end, thus allowing access between the centre 3 lanes. The outer lanes, and either side of the kiosk, can be blocked by 4 doors. At the time of our survey only the second from the right was open, but this obviously changes depending on the time of the arrival or departure of trains. Without sight, it is not obvious from the top of the ramp which doors are open and which closed. Behind the kiosk is an open space with railings both sides. The northern side has a railing in the centre across the ends of tracks 5 and 6 with gaps either side leading down railed ramps to island platforms, platforms 4 and 5 on the right, platforms 6 and 7 on the left.
GO TO END
There is a common entrance to platforms 1, 2 and 3 from the east end of the north side of the corridor. This leads down a ramp with railings both sides. When the slope levels out the right-hand railing recedes at an angle. If you follow this railing you reach the top of some steps down. If you carry straight on however the ramp goes further down, with a railing between ramp and steps. There are 7 steps down and opposite the bottom is a wall. Turning right from the bottom of the steps takes you into a wide area occupied at the time of our survey by a number of lorries, some machinery and a variety of large boxes and other obstacles. It is not advised therefore to come this way.
Carry on down the ramp, the bottom of which opens out into a wide area. Platform 3 is to your left, platform 2 is to your right; whilst platform 1 is further to your right.
For platform 2, bear right (1:30) and continue to the railing or the tactile paving before the edge of the platform.
For platform 1, turn right (east) there is a concrete wall on the right with a blank door, the wall retreats south towards the lorry area previously mentioned. There are several large arches in this south wall.
Bear right (1 o'clock) from the end of the wall and walk approximately 30 metres until you reach the railing guarding the end of track 2. Alternatively carry on straight until you reach the tactile paving near the edge of platform 2 and then turn right (south). At the end of the railing turn left (east) following the railing across the end of tracks 1 and 2. Almost opposite you and slightly right on the far wall is a gated entrance for vehicles, with traffic noise from Eversholt Street. Turn left (north) still following the railing. You are now on platform 1.
HOW DO I…?
© 2010, Terry Robinson