Pilkington Planar Puts St.Helens Station On The Right Track

05 December 2007
The new St Helens Central Train Station provides visitors to the town with an impressive welcome as well as a stunning backdrop for those leaving, thanks to the world's leading structural glazing system, Pilkington Planar™.
St Helens Central Train Station

The new station was designed by SBS Architects Ltd and uses more than 400 square metres of Pilkington Planar™, 50 per cent is monolithic glass and the other 50 per cent is single glazed laminate incorporating Pilkington Optifloat™ clear. The majority of the glazing is supported by a curved steel structure using specially designed Pilkington Planar™ stainless steel castings and articulated Pilkington Planar™ 902 fittings. The complex shape and geometry of the steelwork required a specific Pilkington engineered fitting solution - the vertical gable ends are supported by 19mm thick toughened glass fins cantilevering down from the steelwork at the head of the building structure.

Andy Leaver, Architect, SBS Architects Ltd, chose Pilkington products for a number of reasons, he said: "As Pilkington is based in St Helens we were pleased to be able to specify local products. Pilkington appreciated how complex the project was and I was confident that they would be well equipped to deliver it; not only do they have the technical expertise, their system also satisfies our requirements architecturally.

The roof of the new station forms a faceted arc, an aspect of the design which demanded a specific glass type. The ceiling was constructed using a system of minimalist castings and architecturally bolted, laminated glass. Pilkington Planar™ is a system that allows the glass to be connected to form various different shapes, it is also a structural system which makes it technically possible to achieve the curved glass look that the design required."

Pilkington is very proud to be part of the long awaited refurbishment of the St Helens central station, which last received a make over in the 1960s. The station sees over 400,000 passengers a year, but it is hoped that the refurbishment will increase the numbers of people travelling to and from the town by rail.

The project was developed by Merseytravel, Merseyside's Passenger Transport Authority and Passenger Transport Executive. Councillor Mark Dowd, Chair of Merseytravel, said: "The new-look St Helens Central Train Station provides an impressive gateway to the town and, importantly, it will transform services for passengers. Many thousands of people will benefit from our investment."

Neil Scales, Chief Executive and Director General of Merseytravel said: "St Helens Central Train Station is an iconic building, it represents a real step change in terms of public transport provision. Having local suppliers involved in the scheme is important and we are very delighted with the results."