Plans announced for new transparent roof at Leeds railway station

A new development that will improve the look and feel of Leeds railway station has been announced by Network Rail and the East Coast Main Line Railway Board.

A new transparent roof made from Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) will be installed in the southern concourse to improve passenger experience at one of the country’s busiest stations. The structure will replace the dark and tired wooden roof that currently sits above the main southern concourse which connects with New Station Street.

The lightweight design is the first of several upgrades to be announced at Leeds station in the coming weeks and is the first step towards the delivery of the transformational Leeds Integrated Station Masterplan (LISM) - a collaboration between the rail industry, Leeds City Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

The idea for the roof has come from the East Coast Main Line Railway Board which is chaired by Sir Gary Verity DL, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire and set up to bring together all elements of the rail industry to focus on improving the rail experience for passengers.

Today, Network Rail’s chairman Sir Peter Hendy and route managing director Rob McIntosh joined Sir Gary Verity to officially announce the plans with artist’s impressions of the design to reveal the spectacular new structure.

With a dedicated design and construction team in place, the project will be completed in under a year and, crucially, in time to welcome the tens of thousands of spectators who will descend on the city for the UCI Road World Championships which take place in Yorkshire in September 2019.

Network Rail chair Sir Peter Hendy said: “Last year we established railway boards across the country with the simple focus of getting closer to our customers, and making sure that together our industry delivers for passengers. I’m delighted to see that Leeds is going to be one of the first places to benefit from the work done by the East Coast Main Line Railway Board chaired by Sir Gary Verity.”

Chair of the East Coast Main Line Railway Board and chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, Sir Gary Verity said: “Leeds station is a main gateway into Yorkshire so it’s crucial people coming to visit the county are given a great first impression of the city of Leeds - now one of Europe’s most dynamic and vibrant cities. It was also important to the board that passengers who use Leeds station everyday have a station they can be proud of."

Construction of the new roof will begin in the coming weeks with scaffolding in the concourse to support a crash deck below the existing roof.

If you would like to contact Andy Walker about this, or any other story, please email