Sunderland Station revamp has ghostly feel

My ghostly form is preparing to stalk Sunderland station for years to come – and thankfully I will be alive to see it.

An army of light spectres will soon be strolling, sitting and pacing about the platform when a new artwork is installed at the revamped station later this year.

A 140m glass wall will cover the Harry Potter-style platform, which was used in years gone by when Sunderland was served by more trains than today.

Moving human figures etched in light will appear behind the wall resembling passengers waiting for a train, and will disappear with each passing train.

Artists Jason Bruges Studio took over a room in thePlace building in Sunniside to film about 50 volunteers – including myself – striking poses and performing actions which will be used to create the light figures.

My role was to play a passenger carrying a box on the platform and perform a few short routines to make it look like I was waiting for a train.

"If you carry that box, it's quite distinctive, then you'll be able to recognise yourself," said Andrew Knight, arts consultant for Nexus, which is footing the bill for the station platforms' 7million overhaul.

"It just creates a blurred image, so you won't be able to make out who people are."

The light figures will be generated randomly from the range of stock footage and put together into sequences.

Andrew admitted the station was "horrendous" at present, and the artwork was designed to brighten its daylight-starved subterranean platforms.

"It's very much how we recreate the sense of light coming into the station," he said.

"In the 1930s the station had a massive cast-iron arch and light streaming through, which gives a feeling of a really great station, and, of course, over the years that was lost.

"It's also where there was a platform which is now blocked up, so it's an echo of what was there before – as well as mirroring the platform opposite."

"It does look back, but I think it's really about where Sunderland is going," added artist Jonathon Hodges from Jason Bruges Studio.

"People are travelling in and out, Sunderland is now on the direct route to London and people are starting to be excited about it."

Jonathon said the finished article would be installed in two or three months' time and he hoped people would come to Sunderland especially to see the work.

"People can get bored when they see something every day and this is about getting them to look at something in a different way."

The lightwall is just part of a range of artwork to be included in the refurbished station, which is owned by Network Rail and managed by

Northern Rail.

Nexus is funding the improvement work as the station is used by millions of Metro passengers.

As well as the art installations, the platform areas are being given new lighting, ceilings, wall coverings and floors, waiting areas, an escalator to street level and customer information systems.