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King's Cross new roof section revealed

Network Rail has unveiled the first completed section of a new 270m long cast iron and glass roof above platforms 1 to 8 at King’s Cross Station in London, under its ongoing redevelopment scheme.

The yellowing 1970s fibreglass roof panels are being replaced by 7,500 clear glass panels and more than 1,400 photovoltaic panels. Grit blasters stripped layers of paint from the ironwork before repainting and carrying out repairs. In some places 32 different coats had been applied over the years until it was 10mm thick.

Some 130t of scaffolding, 80m long, is shielding passengers during the next phase of work. “We always knew accessing the roof without any impact on passengers or train services would be a huge challenge, but it’s one we rose to,” said Network Rail King’s Cross programme director Ian Fry. “It is great that passengers can start to see the benefits.”

The roof is Grade I listed. English Heritage and conservation planners have been closely involved in all aspects of the restoration. More sections of the roof will be revealed later this month, and the entire length will be completed by the end of this year. The wider redevelopment — including a new concourse to the west of the station — will be mostly completed in time for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, with the transformation work complete by 2013.

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