A RAILWAY platform is due to be extended because it is not long enough for new trains being introduced in 2018.

Network Rail has applied to extend the platform at Durham Station by 20 metres to accommodate the trains, which are due to be introduced on the East Coast main line from 2018.

It wants to put in a new 20m by 2.5m extension to platform one by 20m at the north end, which would extend it across the A691 dual carriageway on Framwellgate Peth.

It would mean the platform would be 230m long.

Network Rail says the platform is needed to accommodate the new ten-car Intercity Express Program [IEP] trains, which are currently being built at Hitachi’s factory at Newton Aycliffe.

The first trains, which are electric and bi-mode, are expected to be introduced on the Great Western main line in December 2017 and are due to be used on the East Coast main line from 2018, with all engines delivered by 2020.

They will be replacing the ageing high speed trains and are aimed at improving capacity and reliability.

The application submitted to Durham County Council says: “The proposed works have a limited impact on the structure and are only proposed where it has been assessed as necessary and appropriate ensuring the survival of as much historic fabric as possible.

“There is no harm caused to the significance of the listed building as a result of the proposal and impact is considered to be minimal.”

Network Rail already has planning permission for a similar scheme but has submitted the new plans, which it says is more aesthetically pleasing and less disruptive to road users during construction.

The construction would be of concrete and steel.

The platform is part of the Grade two listed Tudor gothic style train station, which was built in 1857 and extensively remodelled and expanded in the 1870s.

It was built by Thomas Prosser and has been described as one of the most attractive examples of his work.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We have previously received a listed building consent from Durham County Council to extend the platform at Durham station.

“We have changed the design slightly, and, as a result, have submitted revised plans to Durham County Council.

“The platform needs to be extended to accommodate Intercity Express Programme trains which are new trains which will be used by Virgin.”