Ilford Rail Depot, London


Lawson Group would be responsible for the decommissioning and demolition of several structures and industrial units within a live rail depot. These included demolition of a footbridge and stairs removal, the paint shop, various training buildings and Workshop B.


This was to be a live rail depot which required 24-hour access to remain for normal operations. Extensive protection works of surrounding tracks would be required throughout demolition activities. Due to the close proximity of railway tracks and Overhead Line Equipment (OHLE) a number of working practices and restrictions would be implemented. A works package plan would need compiling – outlining the methodology, programme and resources. This would need submitting for review and approval as part of the BAPA. A height restriction of 4.75m was placed on all equipment.


A Basic Asset Protection Agreement (BAPA) was arranged for each phase before any works commenced. Lawson Group sponsor a number of operatives under the Sentinel Scheme. All management and operatives assigned to this project were accredited with Personal Track Safety (PTS) and OLEC1.

The works comprised of demolition of 2no paint workshops, toilets, welfare areas and stores, removal of gantry crane, footbridge and stairs removal. All hardstanding was broken up excavated, crushed and removed from site. The waste was loaded and carted away utilising the onsite rail infrastructure. Height restriction barriers were placed at all site entry points and each demolition zone was detained within solid timber hoarding.

The paint shop was the largest unit to be demolished. The structure comprised of insulated steel cladding on roof purlins that span the rafter of the 177m long building. The internal fittings, including the air tight spray booth, were removed by Lawson Group’s strip out team prior to the deconstruction of the superstructure. A concrete cutting floor saw was utilised to form a 3m x 3m section of floor slab to the base of the OLEs which remained in-situ during removal of the remaining floor slab.

A 360-degree excavator with mechanical shear attachment was used to commence deconstruction of the paint shop from the west elevation working in an easterly direction. It was deconstructed bay by bay. The excavator first cut at roof level to the west gable exposing the roof trusses. These were then cut, allowing one bay at a time of the roof to be lowered in a controlled manner.

Due to the live operation of the rail depot shift patterns, night works were required. Temporary lighting was installed and demolition works continued throughout night time shifts. All deliveries and traffic movements were prescheduled and booked in with a minimum of 24-hour notice.

The environment was protected by utilising a Dust boss that produces a fine mist suppressing the release of any dust. Noise monitoring was carried out during works to ensure exposure levels were not exceeded.


All works were completed on time and to the agreed programme. The site was then successfully handed back to the client.

To find out more on how Lawson Group can help with your next demolition or asbestos removal project, call 01793 782000, email