Network Rail is on the hunt for designers, as it plans to spend £4bn upgrading Britain’s railway stations over the next ten years.
According to a spokesman, Network Rail will hold tenders with a view to appointing a series of designers to help create concepts, as it seeks to redevelop its 2500-strong portfolio of stations. Initial plans include a revamp of London’s key stations – including Euston, Victoria and Waterloo – and between 30 and 50 regional stations, such as Leicester and Reading.
Network Rail plans to build a consortium of developers to carry out work on a station-by-station basis. The team will draft in designers – who are likely to carry out work spanning graphics, lighting and branding elements – when appropriate.
Currently, Network Rail is ‘informally talking’ with parties to redevelop London’s Euston and Victoria stations, with a view to kick-starting the ‘formal process’ of selecting designers at the end of this year. The company will address plans to refurbish Waterloo station next year.
‘It is very early stages for the project, but we will be holding tenders with a view to making appointments,’ says the spokesman.
The designs are likely to throw up different site-specific schemes, which could lead to radical makeovers for many of Britain’s ageing railway stations.
For example, between 46 000m2 and 70 000m2 may be added to London Victoria, which could possibly be converted into a mixed-use development featuring offices and shops. Euston station could also be redesigned to include a large mixed-use development. The projects come as Transport for London undertakes its biggest push to date to redesign the London Underground network.
It appointed Priestman Goode to work on a series of Underground stations and is working with Keane Brands to launch its first bespoke chain of bars and stores (DW 15 September).
MAKING THE MOST OF NETWORK RAIL’S ASSETS
• This current initiative represents one of the biggest pushes yet by Network Rail, to maximise the value of its commercial property assets across the network
• Design appointments are set to follow next year
• Railtrack previously drew up plans for Victoria and Euston stations, but plans failed to get off the ground