Replacing Carlisle Railway Station’s Glass Roof and Facade with Texlon® ETFE

Carlisle railway 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 roof. The repair of the roof was categorized as emergency works. Is Texlon® ETFE a possible solution for this renovation project Carlisle Station? Yes, it is! In fact, replacing the previous glass roof with ETFE was the only solution.

Lightweight Texlon® ETFE System Replacing the Glass System

The preservation of the building required a sensitive solution that would restore the station as close to the original design as possible. However, 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. So, the team decided replacing it with a lightweight Texlon® ETFE system.

We knew this would be a challenge, but we also know and understand the whole scope of challenges in our line of work. Vector Foiltec’s highly experienced in-house teams worked closely with Jefferson Sheard Architects to meet all of the requirements. All involved made Carlisle railway station what it is today.

The New Texlon® ETFE Roof and Facade System

Finally, with the unique combination of knowledge, experience and world-class engineering of our team, we installed a 10,500 m2 single-layer Texlon® ETFE foil system at Carlisle railway station. The system is formed of 10 metre by 5 metre extruded ETFE sheets, each with a thickness of just 250 microns.

Firstly, each ETFE sheet is welded along its perimeter to form an edge that can be folded over a ‘Keder’ extrusion rod. Secondly, the perimeter assembly enables a structural connection between the ETFE panel and the aluminum perimeter framing. In addition, 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.

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


Date 2017
Location Carlisle, United Kingdom
Sector Transport
Size 10,500 m²
Structure Steel
Type Roof & Facade, Roof, Facade
Architects Jefferson Sheard Architects

Expert Contact

Lyndon Clayton
Managing Director UK
Replacing glass was the major aspect at this renovation project
Lightweight solution for replacing the previous heavy glass roof with Texlon® ETFE.
Lightweight single layer Texlon<sup>®</sup> ETFE roof. It is a great renovation project.
A bright view at the bright roof.
Look under the roof at Carlisle Station's renovation project
Single layer Texlon® ETFE system.
Lightweight solution for replacing the previous heavy glass roof with Texlon® ETFE.
Lightweight solution for replacing the previous heavy glass roof with Texlon® ETFE.

All images Copyright © Gallyford Try

Getting the New Texlon® ETFE Roof as Close as Possible to the Original Glass Design

The design innovation aspects of this project are primarily focused on using the right design form of ETFE. That ensures 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. Furthermore, natural daylight continues to enter the station in the same way as previously enabled by the glass roof.

Vector Foiltec’s Texlon® ETFE System is the Best Solution Available on the Market

Keeping the passengers and employees at the Carlisle railway station warm, whilst considering the strong gales and heavy rain, is no easy task. The new Texlon® ETFE roof better withstands against these harsh weather conditions due to the strong resilience of the ETFE. Replacing the previous glass roof was the only solution.

The low maintenance requirements, the proven longevity and remarkable durability of the Texlon® ETFE system is of the smartest long-term building solutions available on the market today.

Our Scope of Work on the Carlisle Station

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. Consequently, Vector Foiltec and the team used an extensive temporary scaffolding platform during the refurbishment. This provided the maximum protection possible to the station operators, the public, and the construction site team.

Our scope of work included project management, dismantling, design, procurement, fabrication. And of course, construction site management, installation, safe disposal of hazardous materials, and maintenance and access strategy advice.

The projects we endeavor are not only creative, aesthetically pleasing and efficient powerhouses, but they are also among the most secure environments people can work, play and live in. Above all, you can rest assured in knowing that our priority is and always will be safety and security in everything we do.

We worked closely with Galliford Try, an established British construction company, with a strong history in infrastructure management and delivery. As you can assume, there were very high standards and expectations for this project. We managed our supply chain to ensure full collaboration, coordination and cooperation. To sum up, we delivered on time and to the expected high standards.

Our Solutions for Infrastructure Renovations

Infrastructure renovations require solutions that are cost-effective, efficient, sustainable and in harmony with the existing environment. We have worked with a wide range of clients to deliver innovative solutions to infrastructure design projects. In other words, these clients rely on our skills, experience and excellence – and our Texlon® ETFE system.

As the global market leader in ETFE, with a great deal of experience, we have succeeded in creating exceptional solutions across the globe. Moreover, the most important element to us is that you understand the variety of options you have. We have a complete quality management process to ensure maximum reliability when it comes to production quality.

We have a can-do attitude – contact us if this appeals to you too.

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