West Acon station on London Underground’s Central Line is dominated by a 25 metre high window with 20 reinforced concrete pillars.
It had undergone many minor repairs over the years, but this was the first time it had been fully restored.
Staff at the station had reported that small bits of concrete had fallen from the window. There was a concern about maintaining the fabric of an important building and for the safety of passengers and staff.
Concrete needs regular maintenance, especially when it is used in large windows like the one at West Acon tube station.
The constant action of rain water, pollution and changing temperatures causes concrete to degrade and break apart, and the internal steel reinforcement to rust.
Lanes Rail deployed an eight person team working night shifts for four weeks to do the work, using scaffolding and powered access platforms to safely reach the areas needing to be repaired.
Loose and degraded concrete was cut out, and exposed steelwork cleaned and treated with rust-proof primer.
A tough concrete filler was then applied to the numerous patches created, and the window was given fresh coats of white paint.
Throughout the project, special care had to be taken to protect the original glass panels in the window, which had become brittle with age.
LU facilities managers praised Lanes Rail for carrying out what they considered one of the best building repairs in recent years.
West Acon Station, which is in Ealing, was designed by Brian Lewis, chief architect of the Great Western Railway (GWR), on
behalf of London Transport, as part of a programme to extend the Central Line.
It was first listed in 2011, because of its “dainty modernist style” which later characterised the Festival of Britain, in 1951, and because it was built to original designs.
Seventy-seven of London Underground’s 270 stations have listed building status.
Lanes Group Challenge
A 25 metre high window at West Acon underground station, a Grade II listed building, was in need of repair. The window is one of the main features of the 74-year-old station, designed by Great Western Railways chief architect, Brian Lewis. But its 20 concrete mullions were blistering, and there was a risk of pieces of concrete falling on staff and passengers.
Lanes Rail was commissioned to carry out the first ever comprehensive repair of the window, restoring it to how it looked when the station was first built, and preserving what is an important heritage building.
Lanes Group Achievements
- Delivery of a specialist concrete repair service praised by London Underground (LU) managers for the quality of the work
- Thorough project management to ensure the work was carried out within the agreed time period and to budget
- Restoration of the window to original condition
- All works carried out to the highest health and safety standards.