Leeds Train Station is a major commuter hub for our city and many of the people working across our three buildings rely on it to get into work every day.
That’s why, when the plans for Leeds Train Station improvements were first announced towards the end of 2018, we got rather excited. According to the reports at the time, Leeds rail commuters could look forward to a new platform, better track, upgraded signalling, a brand-new roof and an outdoor transformation in front of the main entrance, all of which will be funded by a £161m investment by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.
The aim of the improvements of course, is to provide more space for more trains, as well as reducing delays and generally improving services overall, at what is now the country’s second busiest train station outside of London. For those familiar with commuting through Leeds Train Station, many of these improvements can’t come soon enough either, as there are often delays due to trains queuing outside the station while they wait for platform space to become available.
Now at the end of 2019, we’re taking a quick look at how the work is progressing so far… and we have to say, things appear to be on track! The first significant change expected to be completed was the new roof and as promised, the south concourse is now flooded with natural light as this part of the improvements has now been completed.
The material used for this new roof is the same material you’ll find in the huge domes at the Eden Project. It’s known as transparent Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene or ETFE, and while that’s a bit of a mouthful to pronounce, it’s certainly been worth the investment,
Compared to glass, ETFE transmits more light, insulates better, and costs 24 to 70 percent less to install. ETFE is only 1/100 the weight of glass, and it has properties that make it more flexible as a construction material and in our opinion. It’s looking great!
New ticket gates are already in position across the south concourse and the 40p charge for using the station toilets has been scrapped too (woo!).
A new platform, ‘Platform Zero’ will be created with the aim of creating more space for trains and reducing the spread of knock on delays. Platform Zero will also be part of an improved platform layout scheme for platforms 1-6 due to complete in 2021.
All in all, Leeds Station is already vastly improved and we can’t wait to see how the rest of the improvements take shape as work continues. We’ll keep you posted on our thoughts…