Rhyl Station

By | 23 May 2019

With its team of experts in the polycarbonate and roof glazing fields, Twinfix works on developing the best, newest and most cost-effective roof glazing products.

A family business, Twinfix has been involved in the polycarbonate roof glazing market for nearly 30 years.

Its innovative Multi-Link-Panel has been used in many markets, such as in the replacement of broken glass or failed PVC in station canopies and depot roof lights, where its patented fixing method results in incredibly quick installation times, a real bonus when working with limited possession times.

Early in 2017, Twinfix Ltd worked with structural engineers JNP Group on the design of the roof refurbishment for Rhyl Station ensuring a structure that would be in keeping with the original age, design and character of the station was specified.

The station at Rhyl is steeped in history and character. It opened in 1848 in line with the opening of the Chester & Holyhead Railway, and was later adapted as the station grew. The London & North Western Railway completed a major station enlargement in 1900 which included a new footbridge, water-powered luggage lifts and new signal boxes at each end of the station, both still standing. Rhyl railway station is on the Crewe to Holyhead North Wales Coast Line and serves the holiday resort of Rhyl, Wales.  Rhyl has long been a central hub for tourism. Once an elegant Victorian resort, families travelled across from Liverpool and Manchester after the Second World War changing the face of the town. The area had declined dramatically by 1990, but a series of regeneration projects are bringing Rhyl back to its former glory.

As part of the Railway Upgrade Plan, Network Rail is delivering £50m of investment along the North Wales Coast. The project includes rail enhancement works at Rhyl and restoration of the station, which will stand the test of time.

JNP Group agreed that the innovative Georgian Wired Multi-Link-Panel NF would be an ideal fit for the refurbishment project at Rhyl.  Georgian wired polycarbonate is a 6mm solid polycarbonate sheet from Twinfix with a dimpled surface that mimics Georgian wired glass. It’s important to retain the feel of a station, so a sympathetic restoration is crucial. However, it’s also essential to not just replace like with like, as although traditional materials may look the same there are often disadvantages associated with them. Installed at traditional 600mm centres it helps satisfy the Heritage requirements at many older stations.

Polycarbonate glazing mimics the traditional Georgian wired glass that it will be replacing, but it will not break in use. It is therefore safer to install and to use as an overhead glazing material, with no risk of glass cracking and shards of glass dust falling onto the platform below.  The Georgian wired polycarbonate is pre-glazed in a multi-link framing system which has several advantages over the old style two-part glazing bars that are put together on site to create a glazed roof.

The safety of people on roofs is of paramount importance and CDM regulations are very specific in advising designers and specifiers to design out any future possible dangers wherever possible. Specifying non-fragile rooflights helps them do that.

The HSE recommend a drop test (ACR[M]001:2014 Test For Non-Fragility of Profiled Sheeted and Large Element Roofing Assemblies) to establish whether a roofing assembly can be classified as Non-Fragile.  The Twinfix Multi-Link-Panels NF (Non-Fragile) fitted with the following glazing has been tested and they all pass this test with a ‘B’ designation.

  • 16mm and 25mm multiwall polycarbonate
  • 6mm solid polycarbonate
  • 6mm GW polycarbonate
  • In-Line Access Hatch

The Multi-Link-Panel NF passed because it consists of specially designed bars combined with a patented method of installing the polycarbonate that holds it in place when subjected to the drop test.

The multi-link system is made in the Twinfix factory in Warrington and incorporates an innovative fix and link installation feature that makes it very quick to install. So once on site there is less disruption at a station, which is important as the public needs to be serviced as normally as possible during building works. This panel system also results in fewer errors on the install as the work to get it right is carried out before it hits the site.

Vicky Evans, Managing Director at Twinfix said “The aluminium used in the Multi-Link-Panels can be powder-coated to virtually any colour and will not rust or require repainting, which helps cut down on future maintenance costs. Add this to the light weight of the polycarbonate glazing and you have rooflights that can extend the life of any existing canopy structure.”

All these advantages led to a successful roof re-glazing, providing Rhyl station with a non-fragile, virtually unbreakable and attractive roof that keeps the feel and look of this heritage station. Any hurdles that were met were overcome by the Twinfix team working closely with MPH Construction Ltd – the main contractor on site, with one joint goal in mind, completing the project successfully.  Now finished, it’s a wonderful example of the Georgian wired multi-link product and Twinfix, MPH Construction Ltd and Rhyl station can all be very proud of the refurbished premises.

Sam Buswell Senior Engineer at JNP Group commented: ‘JNP Group were approached by Network Rail to provide a refurbishment design for the Station Canopy which would be sympathetic to the heritage of the Grade II listed Station Building and Footbridge. We had the ambition of bringing the Canopy back to its original appearance by opening up the previously boarded over sky lights. We had worked with Twinfix in the past on similar rail schemes and knew their products would be ideally suited. It has been a pleasure seeing the canopies given new life by the re-introduction of these sky lights’

Evans summarised: ‘With countless years’ experience working on stations and depots across the UK, from Victoria Station in London, to Wigan Wallgate in the North West and Stafford in the Midlands the Twinfix team has developed a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the rail sector. Heritage considerations have always been important and now we can offer an even wider range of non-fragile rooflight panels that conform to these heritage requirements.’

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