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Upgrade for historic tramway

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Structural steelwork is playing an integral role in the upgrade of Blackpool’s tramway, which runs 11 miles along the famous seafront.

Caunton Engineering, working on behalf of main contractor Volker Fitzpatrick, is constructing a depot to house new rolling stock. The steel framed building will be able to house 20 new Supertrams.

Internally the building is divided into three parts, a maintenance area and a stabling yard, separated by an office block. Covering these zones, the structure features a curving roof  with an overall span of 66m and designed to resemble waves.

To accommodate the wave-like design the roof has 12m wide alternating concave and convex sectors at differeing levels, with both rising to a slightly higher western (seafront) elevation.

The vertical space created where the high level roof meets the low level will be clad with glazing on the north side, and sheeting on the south facing side.

Caunton’s Project Designer, Julian Harrold said: “The design of the portal on the glazed interface was critical as there were some very tight deflection restrictions to prevent the glass cracking.”

The depot, which will eventually require 400t of structural steelwork, is scheduled to be ready for Easter 2012 when the tramway will reopen.

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