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Largest roof beam installed at Manchester Victoria

The £44m transformation at Manchester Victoria station has passed a major milestone with the largest steel section of the new state-of-the-art roof now in place.

Over the weekend, the ninth and largest steel rib – measuring nearly 100m long and weighing 70 tonnes – was lifted in to place using a 750-tonne crane, one of the largest in the country.

Steelwork subcontractor Severfield began lifting into place the first of the 15 giant curved ribs that will support the roof in May. The work also forms part of Network Rail’s wider £1bn-plus Northern Hub and North West Electrification Programme.

Ian Joslin, area director for Network Rail, said “This is a significant milestone in the redevelopment of Manchester Victoria station which will become a vital transport hub as well as an iconic new building.

“The new concourse will be lighter, brighter and more modern than the old one and will complement the original station building’s beautifully restored architecture. When it opens next year, Manchester Victoria will be a station of which the city can be proud.”

The beam was lowered into place to form the corner section of the station’s new roof, and later this month work will begin to install the roof’s ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) panels – a lighter and cheaper alternative to glass.

The material, which is used at Manchester Piccadilly station, Birmingham New Street station and the Eden Project in Cornwall, has self-cleaning properties and will allow large amounts of natural light in to the station for the first time.

All curved steelworks are expected to be in place by mid-September. In total, Severfield is supplying and erecting some 1,900 tonnes of structural steel, with the project's scope also involving the construction of a mezzanine floor to link the station to the Phones4U Arena as well as lifts and a feature staircase.

Severfield's chief executive Ian Lawson said: “The eye catching canopy roof will be the latest of our steel structures to become an iconic urban landmark, following hard on the heels of the Philharmonie de Paris and the Clyde Gateway ‘Smartbridge’.

“Our world class personnel and technologies are working in concert to achieve an unforgettable design and fabrication - with the size, scale and individuality of the new roof that will soar above platforms and train tracks set to reflect Manchester's worldwide renown.”

The project will also deliver improvements to the concourse and a programme of refurbishments to many of Manchester Victoria’s Grade II listed features and buildings, with the whole station redevelopment due for completion in early 2015.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email [email protected]


Billd   06/08/2014 at 20:00

...of which the city can be proud of.? I do wish journalists would proof read their work before letting it loose on the public!

RTM   07/08/2014 at 08:58

Corrected, thanks for the spot Bill. We must have been channelling Live And Let Die ('the world in which we live in'...)

Rupert Le Bere   07/08/2014 at 09:15

Mighty impressive. Presumably the 100m beams were fabricated on site or how on earth did they get there?

RTM   07/08/2014 at 09:22

Hi Rupert, according to Severfield the ribs have been transported into the city centre by Eddie Stobart and JB Rawcliffe, and it is then manoeuvring them through a 4m wide gate before welding them together onsite to form the 15 single spans, which are all 1,200mm deep by 500mm wide.

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