The old taxi rank at Paddington Station closed on 12th February 2012 and in its place a brand new elevated taxi rank, created above Platform 12, opened for business. UK lift company Stannah have played a crucial role in the new facilities supplying and installing escalators and lifts for essential access to the main concourse and platforms on the lower level.
After 6 months of accelerated work the deadline was met and the new taxi facility opened on 12th February 2012. This enabled Crossrail to commence their main station works on time, in line with the demanding schedule of works. The area will be the subject of further finishing cosmetic works in the summer of 2012.
Stannah engineers worked their final shift for over 24 hours in order to meet the deadline. Failure would have delayed the switch on of new traffic lights so preventing the new taxi rank to open and thus holding up Crossrail.
Andy Swift, Project Manager, Paddington Integrated Project C272 for Carillion, praised the hard work of everyone involved in meeting the deadline:
Through the very low temperatures over the final weekend it truly was a great team effort that allowed us to overcome the challenges which we went through over the last few months and without everyone being dedicated and determined to achieve this goal we wouldnt have made it. Over the final few weeks it was clearly noticeable on site that the momentum was building up and determination to deliver on time was evident. Well done everyone.
Ken Price, Operations Manager for Stannah Major Projects and Ian Carter, Escalator and Moving Walkway Department Manager, added:
We were determined and delighted to meet the absolutely crucial deadline but are aware that there is further work to do to achieve the final finish to the whole area around the 2 escalators and 2 lifts. It was an amazing team effort that has enabled the new equipment to fully operational and providing the vital access for the public.
The duplex 16-person/1200kg, 2-stop,hydraulic, bespoke passenger lifts are finished to industry specifications and therefore meet the requirements of the Lifts Directive (95/16/EC) 1995, and EN 81-1/2 safety rules for the construction and installation of lifts. Manufactured to the highest specification, both lifts are fitted with electronic 3D safety edges to all car doors, alarm push buttons, and two-way communication systems in the cars and at each landing. In-car speech synthesisers also provide lift travel information at each landing. Operating at a contract speed of 0.63 metres per second, they each feature landings with a clear access of 1100mm x 2100mm.
The pair of Stannah escalators run each side of a central stairway to the main station concourse. The units are heavy duty transport escalators manufactured and installed to Network Rail specification set out by Butler & Young Lift Consultants for contractor Carillion and client, Crossrail Limited.
This specification includes full VVVF drive system (variable voltage, variable frequency) that enables slow speed control when traffic is low, thus conserving energy and in turn complying with BREEAM requirements.
All the Stannah lifting equipment at Paddington is supplied with guarantees and will be maintained by the Dartford branch of Stannah Lift Services, covering London and the South East branch as part of the nationwide service and maintenance contract with Network Rail.