Carlisle Train Station – Texlon ETFE

  • Date
  • 2017
  • Location
  • Carlisle, United Kingdom
  • Size
  • 10,500 m²
  • Sector
  • Transport
  • Structure
  • Steel
  • Application
  • Roof and Facade
  • Architect
  • Jefferson Sheard Architects


Carlisle Station with Texlon® ETFE roof and facade

Carlisle Station, also known as Carlisle Citadel, is a Grade II listed building, built in 1847. The station had a glass roof, but over the decades it had aged and deteriorated into a fragile condition. This posed the risk of glass falling onto the public and station operational areas below. The repair of the roof was categorised as emergency works.

The preservation of the building required a sensitive solution that would restore the Station as close to the original design as possible, while continuously functioning as a major transport link for generations to come. Part of that solution was to reduce the forces imposed on the original structure by the heavy glass roof by replacing it with a lightweight Texlon® ETFE system.

The new Texlon® ETFE roof and facade system

The 10,500 m2 single-layer Texlon® EFTE foil system installed at Carlisle Citadel Station is formed of 10 metre by 5 metre extruded ETFE sheets. Each has a thickness of just 250 microns.

Each ETFE sheet is welded along its perimeter to form an edge that can be folded over a ‘Keder’ extrusion rod. The perimeter assembly enables a structural connection between the ETFE panel and the aluminium perimeter framing.

For the facade element of the building, vertical mullions spaced along the ETFE panels have concave surfaces onto which convex mullion caps are clamped, sandwiching the ETFE foil perimeter edge into place and thus further tensioning it.


Texlon ETFE Facade

The roof and facade were installed by ETFE specialists at Vector Foiltec, using a unique technique developed for tensioning the ETFE to resemble glass.

Aesthetic of a glass roof

The design innovation aspects of this project are primarily focused on using the right form of ETFE to ensure the refurbished station ends up as physically and aesthetically close as possible to the original building design. Traditionally ETFE is not used to replicate glass, since it is already fabulous in its own form with its own benefits, but with this project it is different. The use of the engineered single-layer Texlon® ETFE for Carlisle Station ensures that the illusion of glass is retained to keep it as a Grade II listed building. It is important that natural daylight continues to enter the Station in the same way as previously enabled by the original glass roof.


Texlon ETFE Roof

Best solution with Texlon® ETFE

The new Texlon® ETFE roof will better withstand weathering, wind and snow. When combined with the transparency of the ETFE foil, the low maintenance requirements and the proven longevity and durability of the Texlon® ETFE system, this results in one of the smartest long term building solutions available today.

Vector Foiltec’s scope

Public safety and the continuation of train services were paramount during the refurbishment works. Six railway lines and associated platforms had to remain fully operational during the installation. The refurbishment was undertaken using an extensive temporary scaffolding platform. This provided the maximum protection possible to the station operators, the public, and the construction site team. Vector Foiltec’s scope of work included project management, dismantling, design, procurement, fabrication, construction site management, installation, safe disposal of hazardous materials and maintenance & access strategy advice.

Vector Foiltec worked closely with Galliford Try, an established British construction company, with a strong history in infrastructure management and delivery. There were very high standards and expectations for this project. Vector Foiltec managed its supply chain to ensure full collaboration, coordination and cooperation, to enable this project to be delivered on time and to the expected high standards.


The steel structure

About infrastructure renovations

Infrastructure renovations require solutions that are cost-effective, efficient, sustainable and in harmony with the existing environment. Vector Foiltec has worked with a wide range of clients to deliver innovative solutions to infrastructure design projects. These clients rely on Vector Foiltec’s skills, experience and excellence – and its Texlon® ETFE system.


Images: © Vector Foiltec