Hanwell station, a historic Grade II listed Victorian building, has been awarded the Ealing Civic Society’s 2021 Annual Award for its restoration work ahead of the start of Elizabeth line services next year. Transport for London (TfL) worked with the Railway Heritage Trust to upgrade the nineteenth-century station to meet modern standards while retaining its historic character.
The original station buildings have been repaired, re-painted, and restored to the traditional Great Western Railway cream and golden-brown colour scheme. Historic signs on the platforms have also been carefully restored, and on the staircases, timber handrails, and cast-iron balustrades have been given a new lease of life and lighting upgraded with brighter, energy-saving LEDs fitted in the traditional hanging lanterns.
Other key upgrades at the station include the conversion of a derelict building on platform 2 into a new, spacious waiting room with restored period features, a newly converted accessible toilet facility, and the installation of an accessible ticket office window.
Customers using Hanwell TfL Rail station also benefit from step-free access from street to platform after the installation of lifts, one of which required the use of specialist equipment and a closely-managed hand excavation over a period of weeks so that the historic timber canopy could be left in place. Like Hanwell, all of the 41 stations on the Elizabeth line will be step-free. The station is staffed at all times while trains are running with ramps available for those that need them to board trains.
Improvement work was undertaken by J. Murphy & Sons and Elm Site Services and resulted in Hanwell being removed from the “Heritage at Risk” register by Historic England.
Since 1989, the Ealing Civic Society has given awards to recognise and encourage building and environmental projects that make a noteworthy contribution to the community in the Borough of Ealing. The judging panel, who were unanimous in awarding the Society’s top prize to Hanwell station, commended the restoration of the station, and stressed that the work had upgraded it up to modern standards and transformed its accessibility whilst protecting historical features, ensuring that a vital aspect of local and railway history is preserved.
Peter Herridge, TfL’s Station Enhancement Manager, said:
“The renovation work at Hanwell station was a real collaborative effort between TfL, our operator MTR Elizabeth line, the Railway Heritage Trust, and the London Borough of Ealing. It has delivered not only step-free access, but vital new facilities that customers will benefit from for years to come. I am delighted that this achievement has been recognised by the Ealing Civic Society.”
Ann Chapman, Chairman of the Ealing Civic Society, said:
“Ealing Civic Society is delighted to make this award to TfL for the restoration of Hanwell Station. This unusual project shows that it is possible to combine sympathetic restoration of a heritage asset with modern convenience. That this is a publicly accessible location is also welcome, allowing the restoration to be appreciated by travellers every time they pass through.”
Harbinder Birdi, Partner, Infrastructure Sector Lead at Hawkins\Brown, and a member of the Ealing Civic Society judging panel, said:
“Hanwell station clearly demonstrates how successful infrastructure can be delivered through collaboration with the client, contractor, design team, and local community. The judges were mindful of the constraints that the project had to be delivered within, notably being constructed whilst keeping the station operational. All the judges commended the considered restoration of the existing station buildings, platforms, and waiting rooms creating a station of rich visual character and heritage that will aim to serve it’s community for generations to come.”
A commemorative plaque and certificate was awarded to TfL by the Ealing Civic Society which will be displayed at the station.