Case Study: Making the right connections: Improving access at King's Cross

To help meet the demands of modern rail travel, a Stannah Midilift SL vertical platform lift complements Stannah’s 24-strong lift fleet in Network Rail’s £547-million revamp of London King’s Cross, a major listed railway terminus first opened in 1852. Managed by the Stannah Major Projects team, the installation was straightforward with the Midilift SL running to schedule, providing a cost-effective contribution to Network Rail’s policy of total station access.

All change at King’s Cross

Playing a crucial role in this station’s overall modernisation and refurbishment, the brand new 7,500m2 Western Concourse – the largest single-span structure in Europe – is a 20m-high semi-circular roof supported on 16 steel 'tree form' columns radiating from a central funnel. It is more than three times the size of the disjointed concourse built in the 1970s under ‘temporary’ planning consent, which is to be demolished by September 2013 to create a public area.

Access for all

Located adjacent to a small flight of steps in the entrance area to the East Coast Railway’s First Class Lounge, the Stannah Midilift SL vertical platform lift helps station-users of all mobility levels – including wheelchair-users – to access the elevated glass bridge that will take them across the train shed with the platforms below.

Working to plan

Manufactured in the UK by Stannah, the Midilift SL delivers the ideal access solution in this world-class transport hub. A fixed ramp overcomes the need for a pit, and a self-supporting enclosure obviates the need for a lifting beam, making installation a swift, simple process. With a hydraulically driven travel capability of up to 7 metres, it negotiates the 1300mm, 7-step rise with ease and safety.

First-class specification

Supplied with a structure-supported enclosure, the Midilift SL was easy to install. Finished in RAL 8019 grey-brown, it features panoramic, full-height, glazed landing doors to the cabin on the ground floor with a half-height gated enclosure on the upper level. There is a 900mm clear opening at each entrance with mechanical safety edges around the platform.

Hydraulically driven at an approximate speed of 0.15m/s, the lift is easy to use with one-touch call stations at each landing, and constant-pressure button controls on board. Audible and visual notification of floor level and travel direction brings reassurance to its users, and the two-tone arrival chime at each landing indicates when it is safe to enter and exit.

If necessary, there is an emergency lowering facility supported by an alarm. An overload indicator will alert the user that the lift will not function if the total weight exceeds the rated load of 400kg; and a keyswitch will isolate the lift at the main floor.

Fully compliant

Compliant with Part M (England & Wales) and Section 4.2 (Scotland) Building Regulations, the Midilift SL helps Network Rail meet the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.

“Stannah enjoys a substantial presence in the emerging, new-look London King’s Cross, helping this world-class transportation nexus meet all the access needs of its millions of users. The Midilift SL is an important link in this presence. By connecting key station areas for people of all mobility levels, including wheelchair-users, it delivers a dedicated access solution in keeping with Network Rail’s overall people-moving strategy.”
John Ottaway, Sales Support Engineer, Stannah Major Projects, Lift Services

Total support

Stannah is also providing full support with the Midilift SL – as with all the Stannah lift products in King’s Cross – being looked after by the London & South East branch of Stannah Lift Services. Part of Stannah’s nationwide network of service branches, it is on-hand 24/7, 365 days a year to keep the fleet in peak condition, ensuring that Network Rail delivers total access to its travel and retail facilities.

An additional case study is available, detailing Stannah Major Projects’ 24-lift upgrade of King’s Cross Station.