Rail Industry Focus


On the water’s edge

Source: Rail Technology Magazine Apr/May 2014

Matthew Murr, senior project manager at Carillion for the Leeds Station Southern Entrance (LSSE), updates RTM on
the works so far in 2014 and what’s next for the project.

Construction is now underway to create the new ‘eye-catching’ Leeds Station Southern Entrance (LSSE), which comprises a concourse deck over the River Aire and an enclosed building.

The £17.4m project, jointly promoted by Metro and Network Rail, secured £12.4m from the DfT as well as funding from West Yorkshire’s Local Transport Plan, Network Rail and Leeds City Council.

Once complete, approximately 20% of passengers travelling into Leeds from across West Yorkshire and beyond will use the new southern entrance, relieving pressure on the existing entrance and cutting journey times to the south of the city centre.

Carillion won the contract to design and construct LSSE, which will also include open link span bridges to provide direct stepped access from the concourse to the east and west banks of the river. Carillion has worked with Mott MacDonald to develop the detailed design following Aecom’s preparation of the Form A.

Lifts, escalators and stairs will take passengers arriving at the new entrance from areas south of the city such as Holbeck Urban Village to a widened footbridge, which will have customer information screens, ticket machines, CCTV, and cycle storage facilities, leading to a new ticket gateline above platforms 16 and 17.


With a completion date of May 2015, the construction team has a lot of work to do in a short space of time. But Matthew Murr, senior project manager at Carillion, is very confident this is achievable.

So far the construction company has got its pontoons in the water and a jack-up barge in place for the piling activity; a tower crane has also been erected; and as RTM goes to press piling work has just commenced.

Murr told RTM: “The piling work will take about six or seven weeks to complete. And, so far, it has gone well. We’ve had a lot of negotiations with the Environment Agency and the Canal & River Trust – working with them to make sure they are happy with our methodology before we started to get all the approvals.

“Given the time and effort that both Carillion and Network Rail, along with Mott MacDonald and Aedas, have put into the design thus far, once we are out of the water then things should continue to run smoothly.

“We’ve had plenty of time to establish the limits of the tower crane. We’ve designed the components such that they’re within the working capacity of the tower crane and we’ve also incorporated a lot of the design into the permanent work to assist in the temporary state. So, the working platform which we’ll get on top of the pile caps is designed to accommodate scaffolding – both for the temporary works and for future maintenance.”

During the preliminary development for the LSSE scheme, consideration was given to flood risk, and appropriate flood risk management measures were discussed with the Environment Agency. A revised flood risk assessment for the project, published in 2012 and updated last year in the light of minor design amendments, said the flood risk is “within acceptable limits”.

As well as starting the early construction work, Carillion is nearing the end of the LSSE design process as it is working up the final details now and has commenced work with its supply chain. For example, the shell and outline connection designs are now finished, and Carillion is appointing contractors to complete the cladding and framework.

“They will come up with some of the intricacies of the connections and we are working with them to do that. So design will run for the next few months, just to finalise those last bits and pieces,” said Murr.

Critical stages

Murr, who has been involved with the LSSE project for nearly two years, told RTM about the upcoming key milestones.

“In particular, the possession work to install the footbridge over platforms 15, 16 and 17 will be the critical element, because we are already fixed with those dates,” he said. “So, getting ourselves in a position where the steelworks is up to a level that will accept the new footbridge is key to the programme.”

William Hare, based in Bury, will carry out the steelwork, and most of the other suppliers for the project have been lined up.

Getting to the early construction stage of the £17.4m scheme has taken some time. Outline design (GRIP 4) was completed in May 2009 and planning permission was granted in May 2010. A public inquiry into the Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) application began on 27 November 2012 and closed on 6 December 2012. It let promoters and objectors make their case, to help inform the secretary of state’s decision.


Murr said the public inquiry stage allowed the partners to outline the benefits of the project with regards to improving journey times, access, convenience and regeneration of the south side of the city.

The government confirmed funding in October 2013. Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin, who gave the thumbs up, recently visited Leeds station. He said: “I am delighted to have had the chance to see how this iconic new station entrance will rejuvenate Leeds station, and support the continued regeneration of the southern quarter of the city.

“Leeds has great importance within our rail network as a gateway to the north.”

Phil Verster, route managing director for Network Rail, added: “As a gateway to one of the biggest and most economically
important cities outside London, Leeds station must reflect and enhance the city it serves.”


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