Iarnród Éireann – Irish Rail has commenced a project to renew and replace the 19th-century roof of Dublin’s Pearse station.
The roof structure, which dates from the 1880s, is in poor condition, and protective mesh netting has been in place in the station below roof level in recent years to protect customers and rail services, due to the corrosion which has occurred.
The €17 million project is funded by the National Transport Authority (NTA), and will take 23 months to complete. Although the roof is not a protected structure, Iarnród Éireann has confirmed that the external appearance and character of the structure will be maintained.
Pearse station, on Westland Row in Dublin, is Ireland’s second busiest train station and the busiest commuter station on the network. It opened in 1834 and was the original terminus of the first railway line in the country (Westland Row to Kingstown – Pearse to Dun Laoghaire).
The roof structure dates from the 1880s and comprises two main areas. The main station area roof comprises forty barrelled roof trusses, each spanning approximately 28 metres, over thirty-eight bays, with additional gable end structure at both ends. The bays spaced are spaced approximately 4.25 metres centre to centre, while the trusses are longitudinally linked by timber purlins along the length of the running shed and are laterally braced with ties and struts.
The fabric of the main station area roof is divided into three distinct sections – the upper glazed atrium section, a middle metal decking on timber section and a lower polycarbonate-sheeted section that dates from the 1990s.
Adjacent to this main station roof there is a second, similar roof over a station infrastructure area. It is smaller and comprises nineteen trusses over 18 bays. The span of this second roof is approximately 17 metres, with bays also spaced at 4.25m intervals. The roof fabric of this smaller roof is similar to the main running shed.
The main trusses of the roof provide the primary roof support. These trusses are either supported off a spandrel section, its supporting cast iron column or off a brick corbel where there is no spandrel present.
During the repairs, all of the primary trusses will be replaced with new steel trusses, or similar, and the existing roofing materials replaced using new materials chosen to maintain the external appearance and character of the structure.
A crash deck will be installed over the main station for the duration of the repairs, and addition steps will be taken to separate the work sites from both the operations of the station and from the surrounding high-density area, which includes residential, commercial, educational and amenity areas.
Work will continue until July 2020. To allow for crane operation, a total of up to 13 dedicated construction weekends are likely to be required during this time, suspending train services through the station and meaning train services will not operate between Connolly and Grand Canal Dock.