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New canopies for a historic station


The station at Pembroke Dock is steeped in history and character. It opened in 1863 and was later adapted, as the station grew in the early 1900s following the takeover of Pembroke and Tenby by Great Western Railway, with fully glazed canopies added over the station entrance and platform.

Now a Grade II listed building situated in a conservation area, Pembroke Dock station has recently been regenerated as part of the £24 million Wales Station Improvement Scheme. The project includes restoration of the station canopies, which will stand the test of time. Principal contractor AmcoGiffen focused on renewing the station, while adhering to the specification to keep the historic design and character of the station.


AmcoGiffen brought in Twinfix, a family business that has been involved in the polycarbonate roof glazing market for nearly 30 years. With its team of experts in the polycarbonate and roof glazing fields, Twinfix works on developing the best, newest and most cost-effective roof glazing products.

To restore Pembroke Dock station, Twinfix supplied its Multi-Link-Panel non-fragile roofing system to replace the existing, old, tired, discoloured glazing.

Better than like-for-like

The innovative Georgian wired Multi-Link-Panel NF (non-fragile) roof-glazing was an ideal fit for the refurbishment project at Pembroke. It was important to retain the feel of a station, so a sympathetic restoration would be crucial. However, it was also essential to not just replace like with like – while traditional materials may look the same, there are often disadvantages associated with them.

Georgian wired polycarbonate is a 6mm solid polycarbonate sheet with a dimpled surface that mimics the Georgian wired glass that it was replacing, but it will not break over time. Substantiality is a key advantage of the Multi-Link-Panel and this long lasting, very low maintenance material will ensure the station glazing needs very little attention, as these panels will not break.

As well as ensuring the new glazing’s looks were in keeping with the historic Pembroke Dock station, it is also important to improve the safety of the roof and the Multi-Link-Panel system is classified as non-fragile in accordance with the ACR(M)001:2014 roofing test. This is an important feature of the roof and brings it up to date with modern day safety requirements.

In addition, the access hatches at Pembroke Dock are designed to allow access from underneath, rather than on top of the roof, enhancing the safety of the roof. These access hatches are also designed to blend into the glazing and fit the heritage requirements of this historic station.

Quick and safe installation

Off-site construction is very important in rail and, as the panel is made and assembled in the Twinfix factory, it allows for a very quick installation and also results in fewer errors on the install than other systems, as any corrections are carried out before it hits the site.

Vicky Evans, joint managing director at Twinfix, said “The non-fragile Multi-Link-Panel has a long list of advantages. The new roof system is non-fragile which is a very important safety feature. The Georgian wired polycarbonate glazing looks the same as the old glass, so really is in keeping with the look of the station. The system, as a whole, brings the required key safety features whilst still being aesthetically pleasing.”

Chris Howchin, capital delivery programme manager at Network Rail added “Twinfix have delivered a fantastic canopy at Pembroke for the community and our passengers, being brighter, better and of course, in keeping with the station itself. The safer access panels alongside the incredibly resilient polycarbonate panels and fixing mechanisms mean that the canopy will be in good condition for the years to come. Thank you Twinfix.”

Paul Childs, company secretary for the Railway Heritage Trust, commented: “The Railway Heritage Trust supported Network Rail’s decision to use Twinfix in the restoration of the canopies, which was carried out in a sympathetic and considered manner on this historic structure.”

Now complete, the installation is a wonderful example of the Georgian wired Multi-Link-Panel system. Twinfix, AmcoGiffen and Pembroke Dock station can all be very proud of the refurbished premises.

Nigel Wordsworth BSc(Hons) MCIJ
SPECIALIST AREAS Rolling stock, mechanical equipment, project reports, executive interviews Nigel Wordsworth graduated with an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Nottingham University, after which he joined the American aerospace and industrial fastener group SPS Technologies. After a short time at the research laboratories in Pennsylvania, USA, Nigel became responsible for applications engineering to industry in the UK and Western Europe. At this time he advised on various engineering projects, from Formula 1 to machine tools, including a particularly problematic area of bogie design for the HST. A move to the power generation and offshore oil supply sector followed as Nigel became director of Entwistle-Sandiacre, a subsidiary of the Australian-owned group Aurora plc. At the same time, Nigel spent ten years as a Technical Commissioner with the RAC Motor Sports Association, responsible for drafting and enforcing technical regulations for national and international motor racing series. Joining Rail Engineer in 2008, Nigel’s first assignment was a report on new three-dimensional mobile mapping and surveying equipment, swiftly followed by a look at vegetation control machinery. He continues to write on a variety of topics for most issues.


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