Europe’s first ‘carbon positive’ railway station upgrade completed in South London  

The upgrade of Denmark Hill railway station is being heralded as the first “carbon positive” rail upgrade carried out in Europe.

The £7.5M station extension is the first station upgrade in Europe to use photovoltaic ‘film’ to produce more power than the new building consumes.

The upgrade also relieves congestion at the station and provides better access for patients and staff to two major London hospitals in Camberwell.

A new entrance, more comfortable waiting facilities, sheltered platforms, better lighting and a brand new 85-space cycle hub are all part of the upgrade.

The design includes a new type of photovoltaic film fitted to the new roof which is able to produce more energy than the new building needs and put energy back into the electricity grid.

Rail minister Chris Heaton Harris said: “This upgrade transforms a Victorian station into a modern experience for passengers – cutting crowding, improving access, and introducing new space for cyclists and artwork.

“Making this new extension to Denmark Hill the first ‘carbon positive’ upgrade by utilising innovative solar technology also demonstrates our ambition to ensure our rail network is greener for passengers and better for our environment.”

Network Rail Southern region managing director John Halsall added: “The work we’ve done at Denmark Hill was ground-breaking in terms of upgrades to existing Victorian infrastructure in many ways, fusing the modern with the old, and above all making it accessible and user-friendly for passengers.

“The new upgrade is highly sustainable, using solar energy solutions that actually produce more power than the station upgrade needs to run, so we can put power back to the grid.

“We’ve managed to complete this project on time and on budget despite the impact of Covid, and that’s testament to our relationship with GTR, the Camberwell Society, and the Salvation Army for lending us part of their site for the works.”

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