Three years of transformation enters final phase at Queen Street: Glasgow Queen Street pillar refurb Oct 2020

Wednesday 28 Oct 2020

Three years of transformation enters final phase at Queen Street

Region & Route:
Scotland’s Railway: Scotland

October marks three years since Network Rail began the main £120m redevelopment of Glasgow Queen Street station, creating a contemporary and fully accessible transport hub.

Since October 2017, engineers have transformed Scotland’s third-busiest station without closing it to passengers with the new station concourse, entrances and facilities now nearing completion.

Work also started this week to paint 10 cast-iron pillars that support the A-listed 142-year-old barrel shaped, glass roof.

Each pillar is over 5 metres tall and they will be sandblasted before being repainted with a blue base, white column and gold top.

Kevin McClelland, Network Rail route delivery director for infrastructure projects, said: “The redevelopment of Glasgow Queen Street has been a remarkable project to be involved with in every sense. 

“While externally the striking new look of the station has been in place for some time, recent months have seen much of the interior elements being completed during a period when the team also adapted to a new way of working.

“We are now in the final phase of the redevelopment work, with our focus over the remaining weeks on completion of the high level foyer area to platforms eight and nine, and also painting several of the Victorian pillars within the station, which have been unveiled for the first time in decades.

“The team is hard at work on these elements as we push towards the station’s relaunch at the end of this year, having delivered a modern transport hub for the 21st century and beyond.”

Margaret Hoey, ScotRail station manager for Queen Street, said: “The redeveloped station, coupled with our investment in new longer, greener electric trains is transforming what we can offer our customers at Glasgow Queen Street. The new station also provides an impressive gateway for visitors arriving into Glasgow and for tourists heading north.”

Between the autumn of 2017 and 2018, more than 14,000 tons of material, 94 percent of which was recycled, was removed from the station as engineers demolished redundant 1970s buildings in front to clear the way for the start of the construction of the new steel framework.

By September 2019, the striking glass façade of the station’s iconic new frontage was finished, with 310 glass panes installed across the 21-metre-high structure, covering an area of 734 square metres.

October 2019 saw the overall completion of extension work to four platforms inside the station to allow longer, greener eight-carriage electric trains to run.

The unprecedented challenges of 2020 and the Coronavirus pandemic delayed work on the project during the lockdown, but once work restarted over the summer, each week marked another milestone including the opening of the new George Square entrance and adjacent lift.

The new lift provides step-free access from street level up to the main concourse and down to the new basement area - home to the station’s toilets including a ‘Changing Places’ facility, designed to support those passengers with complex care needs.

The redevelopment, which is being delivered by Network Rail and main contractor Balfour Beatty, is part of the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP), a Scottish Government investment in the railway infrastructure across central Scotland.

For the latest information on Glasgow Queen Street station’s redevelopment please follow us on twitter @NetworkRailGQS or visit

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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.

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