Heuston Station has been transformed into a bright, modern railway station which is indeed more like a sleek airport terminal
O’Connor Sutton Cronin were appointed as consulting engineers to Iarnrod Éireann in 1996 to carry out the structural engineering works on the upgrading and remodelling of Heuston Station. Heuston Station is a Grade 1 listed protected building. It represents one of the few examples of ironwork construction built at the beginning of the Irish industrial age. The station train shed built in 1844 to a design by the railway engineer, Sir John MacNeill incorporates 17 No. 11m (36ft) bays of cast iron castellated beams and columns supporting 5 bays wrought iron roof trusses spanning 10m (32.5ft). MacNeill succeeded in designing a very light and sophisticated structure and dealing with all forces via a thorough understanding of statics and wind loads via release vents and ballast
The primary aim of the remodelling was to faithfully restore the historical elements whilst fusing new modern and contemporary structure. This necessitated the possibility of re-casting identical cast iron columns as the original shed. After thorough research & investigation, the contract was awarded to a UK sub-contractor to cast these elements which involved re-deploying old techniques in foundries now almost obsolete. The link between the train shed and terminal building was completed with the contrasting new cast iron beams and more modern bow string steel trusses.
A detailed investigation on the condition of the wrought iron roof elements together with value engineering on costs suggested the complete replacement of these trusses with new steel trusses of similar configuration.
The aim of terminal building refurbishment (originally designed in 1844 by Sancton Wood Architect) was to turn the station around to face the city by creating the new main entrance and plaza style concourse. This involved the mammoth engineering task of ‘scooping’ out the entire centre of the old GWR headquarters building and temporary propping until the new steel stability frames were erected. Major works were carried out on the existing basement walls by pressure grouting to allow a redistribution of the loading pattern and thus avoid expensive and disruptive piling.
Almost 5 million passengers per year travel through Heuston Station and the project was successfully completed in a number of phases without incident.