Frankham Consultancy Group were appointed by Network Rail to oversee the £5 million redevelopment of Fleet Railway Station, including the detailed design of the replacement station building, Access For All footbridge, and extensive platform alterations.
Frankham was commissioned by Osborne to develop Network Rail’s outline design for a replacement station and footbridge, with lift and stair access, and to produce a fully coordinated scheme providing:
- A replacement modern station building under the Government’s NSIP (National Station Improvements) Programme, in partnership with Network Rail (NR) and South West Trains (SWT)
- A replacement fully accessible footbridge complete with lift and stair access between the two platforms, provided under the Government’s AFA (Access For All) Programme in partnership with NR/SWT
- The complete rewiring and relighting of the station car parks to improve operability and safety.
Works include replacement canopies and other works to platforms at the picturesque site, situated between two lakes.
A temporary footbridge and ticket office were installed to ensure the station could remain operational for the duration of the works.
The design, which recognised the standards now being implemented throughout the Wessex Alliance corridor, provided a raft of enhancements to the station. These included new retail space, new glazed modern style station building, improved transport interchange for taxis and car users, enlarged waiting area with additional seating, a larger booking hall and improved ticket facilities, state-of-the-art destination information screens, and modern staff and public amenities. The new station also provides improved energy efficiency and optimisation and a welcoming reception to the busy station.
The M&E services include for new LED and conventional high frequency lighting with DALI programmed control. All services are sub metered with the various electrical meters reporting to a centralised system for energy use co-ordinating. The ventilation has heat recovery and enhanced thermal insulation. Transient areas such as the ticket hall were heated via high level radiant heaters to make them comfortable even when there is a high passenger flow through external doors. Heating and cooling was generally provided by reverse cycle heat pumps using the latest refrigerant and control technology.
General electrical installations for electrical distribution, small power, fire alarms, data and earthing and bonding were installed to the latest national and Network Rail standards. A co-ordinated network of containment was installed for the electrical services but also for what is termed the ‘SISS’ services which include CCTV, ticketing, driver operated displays, train time displays etc.
Much of the construction of the new station building was undertaken during the station’s operational hours. The new steelwork stairs, lift towers and Vierendeel truss structure of the long span footbridge were all installed utilising overnight track possessions. Throughout the project works have been planned to ensure disruption to the travelling public was kept to an absolute minimum. In this respect the provision of temporary electrical and mechanical services has been quite extensive and required close co-ordination and co-operation between the design team, users and specialist contractors.
During the course of this project Frankham, working with SWT, had additionally overseen the design and construction of a large modular decked car park on the site of the existing south car park under a separate works contract. This package completed the delivery of a transformed railway station and associated environment.
Following the recent opening of Wokingham Station by Minister Baroness Kramer, Fleet is the 400th NSIP funded station.
Frankham took on the GRIP5 Detailed Design as Osborne Rail’s preferred designer. Being able to offer all design disciplines in-house helped deliver a seamlessly co-ordinated cost efficient, environmentally friendly, safe by design and quality product for the residents of Fleet, Hants.
The aspirations of Network Rail, South West Trains and the travelling public were conveyed by the architects’ interpretation given to the design for replacement of the dated prefabricated railway station with one fit for the 21st Century.
Lessons learnt on similar projects were brought to the fore, the design concentrating on maximising off-site fabrication of all key components, thus minimising disruption to the operational railway and the travelling public. Continuing good working relationships with preferred suppliers and being able to bring them on board and utilise their specific knowledge and particular skills during the design phase ensured buildability was kept foremost in the minds of the whole Project team.
Any potential problem areas were identified early in the design development and thus minimised the effect on the subsequent construction, enabling cost control to be closely maintained.
Frankham added value to the project by identifying flaws in the early stage design, completed by others, but once uncovered these additional challenges were addressed to ensure the project could be efficiently delivered, where otherwise the project would have been unbuildable.