Victoria Train Station, London UK

Project facts

Description Victoria Train Station, London
Challenge Design and errect a unique access solution on fully operational metro station to provide access for repair and maintenance of the station’s roof

Innovative thinking and outstanding industry expertise were key factors in providing a unique scaffolding and access solution for a 3-year renovation project that was recently completed at London's Victoria Station roof worth £35m. One of the largest scaffolding exercises of its kind ever to be attempted in Europe was undertaken while the station was fully operational.

The station itself is controlled by English Heritage and classes as a Grade Two listed building. Over the years it has undergone a variety of ad-hoc repair works leading to a number of problems including penetration by dust, noise and water which were affecting the platforms and retail outlets below. The roof's steel framework had also suffered damage during the Second World War, while decay had set in to some of the old timber roof trusses which held glazed light in place. Also the whole roof was in need of cleaning.

Key issue was the limited time periods in which equipment and materials could be brought onto the site, and the limited space that was available to store them. Loading access onto the site was strictly limited to a four-hour window when the station was closed, between 1am and 5am, and time was often lost from this as preparations were made for the station’s opening each morning.

After careful planning and collaboration with the other parties involved, SGB (Formerly Harsco Infrastructure) erected three temporary roof structures, one in each roof barrel and concourse area. These were multi-functional and created weatherproof, dustproof, and acoustically insulated structures. They not only provided protection for the rail and platform areas below, but also supported the access scaffolding above from where some of the blasting, painting and glazing works could be carried out during normal working hours.

SGB created a 31.4m wide mansard roof structure which spanned four platforms under the station’s Eastern roof barrel. This was split into 24m-long sections which were then rolled out over the platforms at night, moving along a 100m-long horizontal steel track that was supported on steel grillages and towers built over the platforms. This allowed work to be carried out above the platforms during the shutdown hours, before the section were rolled back out of the way ready for the first passengers of the day.

A part-mobile and part-static mono-pitch temporary roof was also built under the station’s Western roof barrel, and this was held in place by bolted-in gallows brackets that were fixed to the station walls. The large span achieved by this structure helped keep as much platform space free as possible, allowing shops, bars and restaurants to continue business uninterrupted and helping to retain full operational use of the station.

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