St Pancras Station was opened in 1868 and is one of the wonders of Victorian engineering. The station was built by the Midland Railway Company (MRC) to connect London with some of England’s major cities. The iron and glass roof of the Barlow Shed was a bold innovation, and at the time of its construction it was the largest single span roof in the world, measuring 240m long, 75m wide and 30m high. It contains 14,080 glass panels and spans the length of two football pitches.
It was recognised that the station required a refurbishment in the early 2000’s to bring it in to a new age and enable it to become the terminal for Channel Tunnel trains.
Shepley Engineers worked on the station and were responsible for several major work packages with a value of over £17m. Works carried out involved the faithful repair and replication of corroded and damaged elements of the Barlow shed, as well as in the chambers and undercroft areas below the train tracks.
Work began in 2003, and a 110-strong Shepley team was employed at the peak of the work. More than 12,000 wrought iron rivets needed to be replaced by Shepley, and as we were not allowed to use hot techniques, we needed to design and deploy machinery to remove the rivets to not damage the surface of the iron fabric.
A variety of other works were completed, including conducting surveys, in situ cast lintels, fabric removal, installation of supporting steelwork such as overhead line supports and polished stainless steel shop fronts.