Birmingham Gateway / New St. Station
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  • Name: Birmingham Gateway
  • Category: Demolition
  • Client: Network Rail c/o/ MACE Group
  • Description:

In 2012 DSM were awarded the contract to undertake specialised deconstruction works as part of the multi million pound re-modelling and development of Birmingham New Street Station and adjoining shopping and leisure centre renamed as Birmingham Grand Central.

The initial works comprised the removal of a ten storey NCP car park above New Street Station in sections with a low enough weight to be transported down the car park’s ramps to the lowest level. Access to the car park was an elevated road that had to be maintained at all time as it was the only service vehicle access to the shopping centre. A further constraint posed by this narrow service road was that all loads to and from site could only be on site during pre-booked time windows.

MACE, the principal contractor for the whole development operated a mandatory KPI system for all contractors working on site. The measured KPIs included performance measures including no disruption to Network Rail’s or the shopping centre’s operations, no accidents or incidents, adherence to programme daily and overall, no negative safety observations during daily and weekly site inspections.

DSM consistently achieved the highest KPI score of all the contractors on site and always achieved a score of over 94%.

In light of DSM’s outstanding performance in the removal of the car park we were invited to return later in the contract to undertake the removal of elements that were critical to allow the overall development open on schedule. These works included:

  • Removal of a staircase, perimeter plasterboard walling and hoarding within the live station and the soft strip and demolition of various retail units and signage removal
  • The removal of boilers and mechanical and electrical plant from the plant room located on platform 1
  • The removal of the vehicle barriers from above platforms 3 and 4
  • The removal of the Mega Screen from within the main concourse area
Two of these elements of works posed particular problems to delivering the works on programme.

The removal of the vehicle barriers above platforms 3 and 4

These vehicle barriers had to be removed in a full rail possession including isolation of the overhead wires. Following a meticulous planning process, which with the time to obtain approval, took six weeks the works were commenced.

The first phase of the works took place over four weekend rail closures during which time a cantilevered scaffold was erected above the tracks.

The main removal works involved the substantial barriers being supported by crane before being released from their fixings using oxy/propane cutting under a hot works permit. Once free the barriers were lowered to a pre-prepared lay down area.

The main closure period had a duration of 36 hours which could not be extended for any reason. DSM through careful planning and pre-works modelling was able to hand the rail track back to Network Rail in only 18 hours

The Removal of The Mega screen

The Mega Screen was a huge steel framed structure holding king span panels, directly above the live rail infrastructure. No heavy plant was permitted to access the screen and therefore an innovative method was required to remove the structure safely.

Removal took place at night over a twelve week period. A floating lightweight deck was installed above the Mega Screen in working areas to spread super imposed loads. Specially designed spider MEWPs were employed for access, from which the decking was removed. Under a hot works permit the steel beam were removed in a controlled sequence whilst being supported by chain hoist. Each beam was freed by oxy/propane cuts to the ends and then safely lowered for removal.