A multi-million pound upgrade to a struggling railway station is just weeks away from opening to the public as the finishing touches are being added.

Passengers travelling to and through Gatwick Airport are set to have a much smoother experience by the end of this month as track, platform and concourse improvements are nearly finished slashing up to five minutes off journey times.

The Argus was invited to a special event ahead of the launch on November 21 to take a look behind the scenes at the improved station.

​For years, Gatwick Airport station has proved a major bottleneck for railway traffic and passengers navigating the platforms, lifts and escalators alike.

The Argus: Mark Summers, Network Rail project directorTrains spend long periods of time on the platforms while passengers lugging heavy suitcases make their way towards the limited number of escalators and lifts up out of the station.

This means that the train cannot be safely dispatched until the platform is clear, causing tailbacks of trains on approach to the station.

The Argus: Passengers queuing to use an escalator at Gatwick Airport stationPassengers queuing to use an escalator at Gatwick Airport station (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

But all of this is set to change as eight new escalators and five new lifts have been installed along with a new concourse for passengers entering the airport terminal, which is over 40 per cent of flyers from Gatwick.

Combined with track upgrades - these changes have shaved up to five minutes off journey times between Brighton and London.

The Argus: One of the many new lifts at the stationOne of the many new lifts at the station (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

Network Rail project director Mark Summers said: "Gatwick has been - for many years - a pretty difficult station to navigate between train and plane and plane and train.

"We wanted to improve the passenger experience for using Gatwick as a main interchange for the second busiest airport in the country, improving vertical circulation and the overall safety of the operations."

The Argus: The finishing touches are being added to the new concourseThe finishing touches are being added to the new concourse (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

The works began in 2020 with the aim of doubling the amount of space for passengers using the station with a new superstructure over the platforms.

Natural light floods the space through ethylene tetrafluoroethylene skylights - the same as that in the Eden Project, making the concourse feel very open and airy.

Striking new lift towers also connect the concourse to the platforms - with a huge capacity for 45 people.

The Argus: Workers installing benches around the new liftsWorkers installing benches around the new lifts (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

Jenny Saunders, customer services director for Govia Thameslink Railway - which runs Gatwick Express, Thameslink and Southern - said: “Our trains sustainably speed people to the airport in just half an hour from London - and that's much better for the environment than driving.

“However, right now, the station struggles with the numbers using it and that holds up our trains, delaying everyone.

“This stunning redevelopment will fix all that. Our customers are going to love the extra space and improved accessibility that will make the journey between train and plane quicker, easier and more attractive."

The hoardings surrounding the platforms and concourse will all be taken down overnight on November 20 ready for passengers ahead of the first train arriving on November 21 after three years of work.