150-year-old rail station throws up surprises for Spencer Group in Scotland

Spencer Group’s works to restore a 150-year-old train station in Scotland are progressing well despite a number of logistical surprises.

As the team began the restoration works at Wemyss Bay Station, it uncovered further infrastructure that required improvement due to the age of the facility.

Almost 100 per cent of the existing slates were classified as unsuitable for the station’s coastal environment and Spencer was instructed to replace these in full.

A post-contract-award structural assessment also revealed significant overstressing in the existing structural members, requiring a substantial strengthening variation to be added to the package.

Finally, further testing to remote areas of the roof revealed that existing lead coatings are still in place at some locations. As a result of this testing, it was determined that these require significant refurbishment.

To overcome these unexpected challenges, the team will work through the winter period, implementing measures to maintain environmental conditions within the encapsulated painting zones. The project remains on course for completion prior to the winter of 2015/16.

Spencer project manager David Field is overseeing operations on the Wemyss Bay Station Canopy Refurbishment project.

“As with any structure more than a century old, once starting work to restore certain aspects we uncovered other items,” he said.

“These issues have significantly impacted the contract programme but, in an attempt to mitigate these, we are working with the client to implement a permanent earthed section to one of the platforms, which means we will be closing one of the tracks to trains and, in effect, having isolation for an extended duration. This will allow certain activities to be undertaken safely as a daytime operation.”

Works complete to date include all car park canopy roofing works as well as the scaffold and encapsulation to the canopy.

Spencer has now begun roofing works on Platform 1 and Platform 2 and scaffold erection on Platform 0 is well underway.

The remaining works include installation of a new access system to the canopies, refurbishment of the concourse roof, other miscellaneous building works, both internally and externally, and the added actions on the back of inspections completed after works began, as outlined above.

Wemyss Bay Station in Inverclyde is a Listed Building designed by James Miller in 1903 for the Caledonian Railway. It incorporates the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry terminal, connecting mainland Scotland to Rothesay on the Isle of Bute.

Spencer has done and will continue to, where appropriate, consult with community group ‘The Friends of Wemyss Bay Station’ to update them on the works throughout the project.