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Listed station hall roof: Renovation of Bonn's main station roof is in the final phase

Listed station hall roof : Renovation of Bonn's main station roof is in the final phase

On Saturday, Deutsche Bahn began the final construction phase of the renovation of the listed hall roof of the main station building in Bonn. The work should be completed by the end of the year.

On Saturday afternoon, real precision work was once again required for the final moving into place of the assembly platform that marks the start of the seventh and final phase of the renovation of the hall roof of the main station. By the end of the year, Deutsche Bahn (DB) wants to have completed the restoration of the historic roof of the striking building dating from the Year of the Three Emperors in 1888. It will then have spent three years working on the arched construction.

According to DB, the modernisation of the listed historical platform roof will cover a total area of about 5,500 square metres.

The entire roof has been completely renovated since summer 2017, in seven individual construction phases. Each construction phase follows a fixed scheme: First, the individual roof elements must be dismantled, then these parts are closely examined and restored, which takes place in a factory in Dortmund.

After the preparation and replacement of the individual roof construction parts and cast roof supports, these are then reconstructed on site in Bonn. The fitters work on a large assembly platform in the covered hall over the railway.

Since the beginning of the renovation, this platform has gradually migrated further and further northwards as soon as a section was completed. For some passengers, however, the elaborate procedure had an undesirable side effect in that in view of the long closure of platform 1, the impression was often given that nothing was happening on the construction site. The "new" roof only emerged bit by bit from under the scaffolding from the south.

The financing of the project is shared by DB, the Rhineland Regional Transport Association and the federal government, and DB had planned to complete the project by the end of 2019. The delays were due not only to the poor building fabric in places, but also to additional needs, such as new escalators. The renovation was originally predicted to cost 13 million euros, but according to Deutsche Bahn, the construction costs for the modernisation are currently more than 30 million euros.

A project manager from Deutsche Bahn likened the historic building project with all the arches, supports, column ornaments and rivets, to the restoration of a vintage car in a barn in the countryside in France. Even if the 130-year-old roof of the railway, which was in need of repair, did not fall into place quite as expected, unlike "more modern" buildings, there is little to be said against it lasting another 130 years.

(Original text; Philipp Königs and Rüdiger Franz, translation John Chandler)