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Published on : Friday, July 8, 2016
Network Rail carried out a comprehensive makeover of the Grade II* listed station, which is managed by East Midlands Trains, including major upgrades to the track and signals in 2014. It re-opened to passengers in October that year but one final job – to restore the decorative terracotta pieces on the façade around the top of the station – remained outstanding.
Specialist artisan manufacturers were called in and selected old pieces were carefully removed by hand. Then new pieces were cast using a process which has not changed since the 19th century.
Jacquie Brown, Network Rail project manager, said: “The craftsmen have done a wonderful job. Each individual piece of terracotta had to be an exact fit because they shrink when they are fired. – it’s like replacing a jigsaw puzzle and the result is amazing. It really is the icing on the cake in the restoration of this beautiful station.”
Network Rail worked with Historic England to ensure that the restoration was done sensitively and the original terracotta pieces were not damaged by the removal of the old, damaged pieces and their replacements being installed.
In all 42 new pieces were manufactured and installed. Steel struts, which had been installed to support the remaining terracotta mouldings while the new replacements were being made, have now been removed and the scaffolding will be fully removed by Monday, 11 July.
The redevelopment of Nottingham station was a joint project between Network Rail, Nottingham City Council, East Midlands Trains and the Rail Heritage Trust. Under the scheme the station’s porte-cochere entrance hall was made vehicle free, a new platform was built, there were more shops and the construction of a bridge to carry trams over the top of the station.
Pictured in front of Nottingham station are Daniel Windwood, Nottingham City ouncil planning officer, Jacquie Brown, Network Rail project manager, Robyn Briggs, Network Rail scheme project manager, Garry Hanna, Galliford Try project manager, and David Bamford, Galliford Try site manager.