OREANDA-NEWS. Network Rail is to spend £14.7m replacing the roof of Carlisle station and rebuilding all eight platforms.

Delivered as part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan, the money will significantly extend the life of the station’s roof, which dates back to 1847, as well as reducing the amount of future maintenance. The platforms will be safer for passengers with tactile paving marking their edges and new surfaces throughout.

The new roof will make platform areas brighter and more pleasant. It will be made of ETFE (ethene-co-tetrafluoroethene), the same material used on the roofs of the new Manchester Victoria and Birmingham New Street stations.

Network Rail has worked closely with Historic England the local authority (which is Carlisle City Council) to plan the refurbishment while protecting the station’s listed building status. Virgin Trains, which operates the station, has been consulted throughout to accommodate the work with the minimum amount of impact on passengers. No train services will be affected and all areas of work will take place in safely hoarded areas.

Terry Strickland, area director for Network Rail, said: “Carlisle station is impressive and historic but its large roof is showing its age and is in need of significant repair. This investment, part of our Railway Upgrade Plan, will protect it for decades to come. Together with the improved platforms, the station’s environment will be much more pleasant for passengers and provide them with a better start or end to their journeys.”

Michael Byrne of Virgin Trains, who is the Carlisle station manager, said: “Virgin Trains are really pleased work will soon take place to transform the roof and platforms at Carlisle station. Working in partnership with Network Rail, we will do our best to ensure customers’ journeys through the station are not affected, whilst the improvements are made. We can’t wait to see the finished results and are sure that it will enhance our customers’ experience.”

John Stevenson, MP for Carlisle, said: “I am delighted that this investment is being made by Network Rail in our station. Carlisle railway station is an iconic building in the city and I am pleased that it will undergo a refurbishment which will not only upgrade the appearance of the inside of the station but make rail travel safer for passengers.”

Work will start on site on 30 November and the roof refurbishment will take up to 15 months to complete. Work on the platforms will start once the roof is finished and is due to be completed in February 2018.

While the roof is being replaced a full scaffold ‘crash-deck’ will be installed which will reduce the amount of natural light in the station but allow the works to be carried out safely. Temporary lighting will be used throughout the work.

A total of £9.5m will be spent on the roof upgrade and £5.2m on the platform work.

About Network Rail

Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain’s railway – the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts, and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.6bn journeys by rail every year - double the number of 1996 - and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We’re investing £38bn in the railway by 2019 to deliver more frequent, more reliable, safer services and brighter and better stations.