A £600,000 project to restore the glazed frontage at Preston Railway Station in Lancashire has been completed.
Part of the Great North Rail Project, the investment has seen the wood replaced with an aluminium frame which looks identical to the frame it replaced. In addition, the glass has been replaced with polycarbonate.
The North side of the 140-year-old station was last upgraded in the 1960s, and the wooden frames were rotten, and there was a danger of panes of glass falling out in poor weather.
The £600,000 restoration cost was met with £500,000 from Network Rail and £100,00 from the Railway Heritage Trust.
To complete the work 150 tonnes of scaffolding was erected over the railway during a 36 hour period in Christmas 2019.
At 14 metres above the West Coast mainline, the scaffolding meant that work could then be carried out above the overhead power lines.
The restoration work has taken 24 weeks to complete and means that this part of the station roof will require much less maintenance work in the future.
Carl Simpson, scheme project manager for Network Rail, said: “Preston Station is one of the jewels in the North West railway’s crown, so we had to get new gable end looking identical to how it was originally. The wooden-frames and glass were in a sorry state and needed a 21st century solution to fix a 19th century problem.
“We worked closely with Preston City Council’s conservation officer to make sure our upgrade was spot on. We’re glad they could see the benefit in changing from wood to aluminium, and from glass to poly-carbonate, so this Great North Rail Project investment could secure the station frontage for passengers and people in Preston for years to come.”
Shirley Ross, Avanti West Coast station manager at Preston, said: “We’re proud to have supported the refurbishment of one of the original features of Preston station and would like to thank customers for their patience during the works. Bringing this part of the roof back to its former glory has transformed the station and will enhance the experience for customers travelling to and from Preston.”
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