Wednesday 17 Oct 2018
Let there be light! Plans announced for new transparent roof at Leeds Railway Station
A new development that will improve the look and feel of Leeds Railway Station has been announced by Network Rail and the East Coast Main Line Railway Board.
A new transparent roof made from Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) will be installed in the southern concourse to improve passenger experience at one of the country’s busiest stations – and it’ll be ready in time for the UCI Road World Championships next autumn.
The structure will replace the dark and tired wooden roof that currently sits above the main southern concourse which connects with New Station Street.
The light-weight design is the first of several upgrades to be announced at Leeds Station in the coming weeks and is the first step towards the delivery of the transformational Leeds Integrated Station Masterplan (LISM) - a collaboration between the rail industry, Leeds City Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.
Earlier today (Wednesday, 17 October) Leeds City Council agreed the submission to government of the Strategic Outline Business Case (SOBC), which explains how the masterplan will deliver longer-term transformational changes at Leeds Station.
The idea for the roof has come from the East Coast Main Line Railway Board which is chaired by Sir Gary Verity DL, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire and set up to bring together all elements of the rail industry to focus on improving the rail experience for passengers.
On Wednesday afternoon, Network Rail’s Chairman Sir Peter Hendy and Route Managing Director Rob McIntosh joined Sir Gary Verity to officially announce the plans with artist’s impressions of the design to reveal the spectacular new structure.
With a dedicated design and construction team in place, the project will be completed in under a year and, crucially, in time to welcome the tens of thousands of spectators who will descend on the city for the UCI Road World Championships which take place in Yorkshire in 2019 - the Elite Men’s race starting at Millennium Square in Leeds on Sunday 29 September.
Sir Peter Hendy, Chair of Network Rail said: "Last year we established Railway Boards across the country with the simple focus of getting closer to our customers, and making sure that together our industry delivers for passengers. I’m delighted to see that Leeds is going to be one of the first places to benefit from the work done by the East Coast Main Line Railway Board chaired by Sir Gary Verity."
Chair of the East Coast Main Line Railway Board and Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, Sir Gary Verity DL said: "Leeds Station is a main gateway into Yorkshire so it’s crucial people coming to visit the county are given a great first impression of the city of Leeds - now one of Europe’s most dynamic and vibrant cities. It was also important to the Board that passengers who use Leeds Station everyday have a station they can be proud of."
Network Rail’s Route Managing Director, Rob McIntosh said: "Having Sir Gary Verity’s experience of delivering for Yorkshire has helped us change the way we think about projects. The new roof will be a step change in the visual appearance at Leeds and is the first move towards giving Leeds a world class railway station befitting a city of its status."
Construction of the new roof will begin in the coming weeks with scaffolding in the concourse to support a crash deck below the existing roof. Any changes to walking routes through the station will be clearly signposted and staff will be on hand to assist with any enquiries.
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, there are more than 4.8 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.