A new roof for Gilmour Street


Gilmour Street Train station, Paisley, Glasgow

Gilmour Street Train Station has undergone a £1.5 million facelift resulting in the installation of a brand new structural steel glass roof.

The station, in Paisley Glasgow, was fitted with a 4,740 square metre roof structure, which in total contained 360 tonnes of steel, in a project that lasted six months.

Work began with the removal of the stations old roof. After this the line and level of the remaining original lattice girders (which were left in place due the stations ‘B’ listed status) were surveyed. New structural support beams were then installed on top of the original lattice support girders with ‘packers’ being used to level them as the lattice girders were out of line by up to 122 millimetre from one end of the roof to another.

Gilmour Street Train station, Paisley, Glasgow

The new roof was designed so that the load was distributed down the existing cast columns; this was to avoid placing any extra pressure on the original lattice girders. The installation of all the structural support beams took place during just one ten hour nightshift.

The 36m long beams were transported to the site by artic trucks and surrounding roads were closed to allow workers to easily offload the beams. The beams were then assembled, lifted and secured into position on the roof using a 160 tonne crane.

Gilmour Street Train station, Paisley, Glasgow

Although the station is one of four that serves the Renfrewshire town it is by far the busiest. It is an important interchange for destinations such as Glasgow Airport, Braehead Shopping Centre, St Mirren Football Club and Hillington Industrial Estate and sees more than five million passengers passing through every year. The project therefore required an innovative engineering solution that would reduce passenger distribution to an absolute minimum, as well as eliminate any risk from the close proximity of the overhead lines to the existing roof and which would also work within the confines of the building constraints imposed on the station due to its heritage status.

The innovative solution was provided by Miller Fabrications. As lifting by crane was not allowed to take place over the station whilst trains were running during the day, sub-contractors Miller Fabrications developed a bespoke installation method. Their method allowed large sections of the roof to be installed by rolling them into position over the station using their unique ‘mono rail system’. This system allowed work to take place during the day and night whilst the station could remain open below. As a result of their design ingenuity no trains were stopped during the entire project and installation time was reduced by 50 per cent.

Gilmour Street Train station, Paisley, Glasgow

The ‘mono rail system’ used sat on the top and inside flange of the structural support beams that has been installed. Complete five metre apex sections of the roof were assembled in a ‘Green Zone’, which is a safe area, at the side of the roof and then rolled out over the station and into place using our unique ‘mono rail system’. They were then bolted securely into position. Another section would then be assembled and rolled out until the entire grid line was compete. The same process was carried out for the next bay, until the entire roof was complete.

Gilmour Street Train station, Paisley, Glasgow

Each section of the roof was fully assembled before being rolled out into position – complete with walkways, handrails, GRP flooring, purlin rails, rafters, fire escape stairs and gutters. In total Miller fabrications supplied and installed over 1800 metres of deep flow guttering.

Miller Fabrications received praise from senior managers within Network Rail for the installation method they used. It was hailed as a ‘first of its kind’ original concept with outstanding results. No trains were stopped during the entire installation of the roof which is vitally important when working in the rail sector.

Gilmour Street Train station, Paisley, Glasgow

John McLaughlin, Construction Manager with Network Rail, said:

“I was extremely impressed with Miller Fabrications positive attitude concerning health and safety. Their planning of all crane works, road closures and overall project management was also excellent; resulting in not a single train having to be stopped throughout the entire installation process.”

The main contractor on the project was Spencer, an engineering group who offer a plethora of services including rail infrastructure, engineering, sustainability, technology and professional services. Spencer Rail has been highly commended at the prestigious National Rail Awards for their work at the 170-year-old Paisley Gilmour Street Station.

Gilmour Street Train station, Paisley, Glasgow

Raj Sinha, Spencer Rail’s Managing Director, said:

“I personally attended the National Rail Awards, where we received great recognition by over 1,000 rail industry professionals , all whom applauded the fact we gained a high commendation by the judges for the Paisley Gilmour Street Roof Project.

“I applaud the leadership of the team, the project management and the delivery. I would also like to thank all of our colleagues in Network Rail and the station management team, who supported us through thick and thin and worked collaboratively, in order to ensure that we succeeded together.”

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