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Travel News

Kings Cross Station refurbishment enhances travel experience in London

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Written by editor

There is no denying the refurbished and extended Kings Cross Station looks spectacular, but the successful flow of people and goods around the station is making life easier for everyone, too.

There is no denying the refurbished and extended Kings Cross Station looks spectacular, but the successful flow of people and goods around the station is making life easier for everyone, too.

Stannah won the contract for a total of 24 new and refurbished lifts in all three areas of Kings Cross Station: The Train Shed, The Western Concourse, and The Western Range building. Eighteen months of challenging work later, and the lifts are really improving accessibility for everyone at this world-class London station.

The refurbished train shed has three layers. The train platforms at ground level, a spectacular new bridge above the platforms for additional access, and the essential service tunnels below ground level where on-board services (OBS) and refuse collections are constantly on the move.

The first noticeable passenger lifts within the historic train shed are 5 x scenic, 2-stop, 8-person mobility impaired persons (MIP) lifts installed to provide easy travel from the bridge to each of the platforms below. The one-way downward travel of these lifts is part of the overall design of people-flow around the station which aims to keep an open, relaxed feel to a very busy environment.

At platform level, 4 x OBS 24-person goods/passenger lift provide direct access to and from service tunnels to individual trains. These lifts enable the quick, efficient delivery of OBS directly to individual trains and the clearing of refuse from trains at the end of their journey. The lifts are finished to Network Rail specification, with “bumpers” low on solid walls to add additional protection in a busy, demanding environment.

All work to install the lifts in the train shed had to be completed during service blockades, as these platforms were operational throughout most of the working period. Machine rooms are housed in pits beneath the platforms, 1,400 deep, covered by a pair of heavy steel shutters set into the platform walkways.

The service tunnels are home to many additional lifts, the workhorses that assist in the movement of goods to and from all areas of the station. These include:

• 2 x 2,500 kg 33 person 2-stop goods/passenger service lifts for staff use only – from delivery area to service corridor.

• 2 x 2,000 kg, 26 person 4-stop goods/passenger service lifts for staff use only – from level – 2, main delivery area to – 1, service tunnel, Ground floor – main concourse and level 1, the retail mezzanine.

Within the Western Range Building are seven further passenger lifts:

• 1 x 630 kg 8-person lift that played a big part in moving contractors during all the building work and now with a final lift interior for public use.

• 4 x 1200 kg 16-person goods/passenger lifts, one of which that was particularly challenging to install tight to a low pitched roof at the top of the shaft.

• 1 x 2000 kg, 26-person travellng 7 stops from the basement to the rooftop and features a very wide lift car for the easy movement of goods.

• 1 x platform lift within the First Class Lounge approach on the first floor. This lift helps people with restricted mobility, and wheelchair users avoid a flight of steps that lead on to the bridge area in the Train Shed where further passenger lifts provide access to the platforms below.

Within the spectacular new space of the Western Concourse four more lifts complete the project:

• 2 x 1200 kg, 16 person, finished in brushed stainless steel with York stone floor and special lighting. Both lifts are for public access to and from the mezzanine food court, one traveling 3 stops to London Underground. These public use passenger lifts were specified by Arup.

• 2 x 3100 kg, 40 person goods/passenger lifts for service personnel only provide robust movement of goods over 4 floors. These lifts were installed in existing shafts that were extended to travel further. Both lifts provide back-up for OBS and one provides access directly into the Fullers Pub on the concourse.

The lifts were designed and installed by Stannah’s Major Projects Team reporting to main contractor, Vinci and Network Rail.

All 24 lifts will be maintained by the Dartford branch of Stannah Lift Services as part of their contract to look after Network Rail stations in London and the South East.

Kings Cross Station will see its final phase of refurbishment to the station and Kings Cross Square completed in 2013.