Irish Rail is seeking approval to remove multiple internal walls at Ceannt Station, and to lower one floor, to make the station more accessible and open in design.
The public transport operator is seeking to amend plans for a massive revamp of Ceannt Station, first approved by the city council in 2014, and granted an extension in 2019.
The new works sought by Irish Rail include the partial removal of three internal walls in the northern buildings, leaving their upper portions in place.
This is meant to increase visibility and help the flow of passengers to the platforms.
“These works are essential for the station to operate successfully as they will open up the space, leaving users in no doubt where to access the platforms,” the planning documents state.
The application states that the original “cellular layout” of the station will still be evident for historical purposes.
This is because only part of the internal walls are to be removed, with the “original ceilings and plaster cornices” retained, the application states.
A study of passenger movements within the station had found that this 18th century design was meant for considerably lower traffic levels, and is not appropriate for modern use.
In addition, the floor level on the eastern side of the building is to be lowered by 180mm to bring it in line with the rest of the station.
This is to make the full station more accessible to passengers with disabilities and mobility issues.
Conservation Assessments of the work to be carried out were submitted with this planning application.
Galway City Council is due to decide whether to approve the additional renovations by June 7 of this year.
Ceannt Station revamp
Irish Rail has plans to completely redevelop Ceannt Station, with a brand new glazed entrance lobby, and the extension of the existing North East Bay platform.
Planning permission for these improvements was first granted in 2014, and extended in 2019.
At that time, Irish Rail said that it was anticipated that work would begin in February of 2022, with a view towards being completed by August 2023. But this was before the COVID pandemic.
Other functional improvements will include adding 2,336sqm of train concourse and platform space by refurbishing the existing stores and maintenance areas.
A new pedestrian entrance is to be created, and a new partially glazed roof will be installed to replace the existing roof structure.
Other internal work in the station will include the “removal of walls within the train station to provide additional ticket purchase facilities, enlarged concourse areas, new toilet facilities, new ticket inspector accommodation North Eastern side of the station.”
The existing steel ramped access at the front entrance will be removed after the new level, pedestrian entrance has been completed at the southern end of Ceannt Station and the original step arrangement of the building will be reinstated.
Multiple additional glazed entrances to the station will also be created as part of the renovation project, as well as a new pedestrian link from Eyre Square to the new southern station entrance.