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Translink unveils development plans for Antrim

The redeveloped Antrim bus and rail station, being developed as part of the SusStation project by Translink, will feature roof-mount- ed solar panels, a natural ventila- tion system, a naturally insulated green roof, a grey water harvest- ing system, and reclaimed clay facing brick and triple-glazed cur- tain walling.

These various design techniques are all aimed at cutting the sta- tion’s impact on the environment, while also making it a nicer place for passengers, by providing an integrated bus/rail ticket office, a park and ride facility providing

180 spaces, a modernised wait- ing area, and new public toilets, parent room, and staff facilities. It will also have a new traffic man- agement system and improved pedestrian access.

Translink Infrastructure Execu- tive, Clive Bradberry, welcomed the visit from the other SusStation project partners, and said: “The proposed integrated designs for Antrim raise the bar in terms of environmental and sustainable station development in Northern Ireland.

“Sustainability is a key priority for

way-facing part of the station, but the bus station is basically a new build.

“We wanted to visit the site and be involved in the launch, and to do a design develop- ment workshop. That brought together representatives from DB, ProRail, Network Rail, ourselves, the project co-ordinator Jo French from Transport Regeneration, along with people from Translink, includ- ing their architect, and my architect for our Accrington station project, to go through the design they have developed for that and to review it at critical points and value- manage it.

“DB did a very detailed presentation about their StationGreen project they’re doing as part of SusStation, based on a development at Horrem, just outside Cologne. Marc Ulrich and their team of architects gave a detailed overview of the general approach.

“We were also there to get an update on the new station assessment tool that Pro- Rail are developing. It currently assesses sustainability of station developments in the Netherlands, but they’re working with us on adapting that to be a tool much more applicable to all European railway compa- nies. We’ve got Network Rail and Trans- link involved, alongside DB and SNCF. No doubt in time the Spanish and Italians will get on board too.”

These individual projects add up to some- thing greater than the sum of their parts, Watts explained.

He said: “SusStation is all about develop- ing ideas on how you incorporate sustain- ability within either refurbishments or new build station. That’s in terms of material choice and design choices too; for example,

maximising natural rather than artificial light, or minimising the requirements for heating and cooling in buildings through how they’re orientated. It’s all about es- tablishing good practice design for stations and also looking at how you can reduce the carbon impact by reducing the amount of concrete, for example, or using eco-mix concrete.

“It’s also about micro-generation. Various projects we’ve got are looking at how ef- fectively we could use solar electric, solar hot water, wind turbines, recycling water, geothermal technologies, and so on. In the Netherlands they’re using something called ATES – an aquifer thermal exchange system. That uses ground-source water to cool a building in the summer, or to help with the heating in the winter. It’s some- thing that’s quite big in Utrecht in the Netherlands, and we’re part-supporting a project that Nederlandse Spoorwegen are doing at the refurbishment of Utrecht Cen- tral station. The ground conditions there are good for this kind of technology, and this is probably one of its first applications to a railway station. Using a similar tech-

nology, DB are trying geothermal as part of the StationGreen project at Horrem.

“SusStation is also about being able to vali- date station sustainability. That’s where established assessment tools like BREEAM come in, which we used at Accrington and got an ‘excellent’ rating (see side panel). Or there’s also the tool ProRail are developing, which is more of an aid to project develop- ment. It will give pointers on the direction in which projects can be taken. It’s a differ- ent sort of tool, but one that can be used easily by a project manager or station man- ager to see how sustainable their station is, how much energy it’s using, and how they can look for ways to minimise the amount of energy they use.

“It’s quite a practi- cal tool that can be used by not only spe- cialists, but anyone working on a rele- vant station project.”

Richard Watts


rail technology magazine Jun/Jul 11 | 49

Translink. We recognise the im- pact our organisation can have on the environment. Public transport by its very nature is a sustainable mode of travel and is instrumental in helping cut carbon emissions.

“Rail travel has been a huge suc- cess in Northern Ireland. Over the last 10 years, there has been over 60% passenger growth across the network; the Londonderry line has been particularly strong, with over 130% growth in passenger jour- neys - almost 1.5 million last year.

“This is a great opportunity to showcase our development pro-

posals and also learn and share best practice with our European SusStation partners.”

Translink has implemented a se- ries of carbon reduction measures across the organisation, including a ‘switch to efficiency’ employee awareness campaign, a partner- ship with the international Eco- Schools Awards Scheme, using 100% green renewable electricity, running an eco-driving course for bus drivers and recycling more than 80% of general waste. Trans- link is also investing more than £0.5m in energy efficient lighting across stations and trains.

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