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State-of-the-art Dundee station opened after 20 years of planning

Article written by Callum Wood of Rail Technology Magazine

Dundee station opens its doors to the public after 20 years of planning and development.

Located on the western edge of Dundee’s central waterfront, the £38m development is part of the £1bn Dundee waterfront development which has been in the works for the last two years.

Passengers were joined by Minster for Public Health and Sport Joe Fitzpatrick, as well as other senior officials to celebrate the stations opening after two years of reconstruction. 

Facilities will include a 120-room hotel, to be operated by the 'Sleeperz' Hotel chain. It will also contain a range of new ticket facilities, a new passenger concourse, cafés and retail space.

The hotel overlooks V&A Dundee which opens on the 15th of September as the first Museum in the world, aside from one in London, dedicated solely on design.

V&A Dundee explores Scotland’s grand history of design heritage as well as its future. City development director Mike Galloway said: "We didn't want the V&A Museum to be open and people not be able to arrive in our new railway station.’’

The designers include construction services Jacobs, and the locally based architects Nicoll Russell Studio--who were set the task of building an impressive landmark to provide an attractive entrance into the city of Dundee for all passengers travelling by rail.

City development convener Lynne Short said: “I’ve heard the old station compared to a gulag. If that was someone’s first impression of the city, even though the people are brilliant and the location is one of the best in the world, it can take a lot to overcome it.’’

John Fitzpatrick commented: “the revitalised Dundee Station creates a gateway to the city and is an excellent example of how the industry can work in partnership with the public and private sector to deliver to wider regeneration goals.

"It is also delivering additional benefits through significantly increased cycle facilities, providing cycling capability to all parts of the Waterfront Development.’’

The station will also include a piano, donated by 84 year old local, David Patterson. Patterson has chosen to donate his piano in loving memory of his wife, Jean, who died in February following a battle with Alzheimer’s.

The building has been constructed on 188 piles in order to raise it from platform to street level and is accessible by elevators and escalators.

In total, the buildings steel frame weighs over 2600 tonnes as well as another 500 tonnes of metal in bridge beams. At its longest point, the facility is 38.5 meters long.

It was added by Alex Hynes, ScotRail Alliance managing director. He said: “The city of Dundee is undergoing a major transformation, and I am proud that the station is at the heart of that investment. Improved station facilities in Dundee and across the country are a key part of our plan to build the best railway Scotland has ever had.”

Dundee station was originally built by the Northern British Railway in the year 1878, having been originally proposed by John Leng, editor of the Dundee Advisor, in 1864.

Various plans were devised in the nineteenth century to concentrate all of Dundee’s railway facilities within a singular station, but these were never put into effect.

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