Bidding is getting underway on the first contract for Crossrail 2, the next major underground railway proposed for London.
Transport for London (TfL) has invited the consultants on its engineering project management framework to bid for the deal, which involves developing the proposals for Crossrail 2 towards a planning powers application in late 2017.
Around 20 firms are understood to have been asked to bid, including Arup, Atkins, Aecom, Parsons Brinckerhoff, and CH2M Hill.
The contract covers:
- Engineering feasibility and scheme design, including stations, tunnels, operational planning, cost and risk;
- Transport planning, including modelling, option appraisal and business case development;
- Environment and sustainability, including environmental analysis; and,
- Town planning, including further exploring the development potential from Crossrail 2 and associated town planning.
A spokesman for TfL said the contract “should be awarded on 26 November 2014” and that this phase of work would be completed “by late 2015”. He was unable to put a value on the contract.
By picking firms from an existing framework, TfL has avoided the need to go through a protracted OJEU bidding process.
Crossrail 2 is being promoted jointly by Network Rail and TfL. It replaces an earlier scheme known as the Chelsea-Hackney line, and aims to relieve congestion on both the national and TfL rail networks.
Two options are currently being considered for Crossrail 2.
1. The metro option – an underground railway between Wimbledon and Alexandra Palace (see thumbnail image, above).
2. The regional option – a combined underground and overground railway, operating from Alexandra Palace and Hertfordshire to various locations in south west London and Surrey (see thumbnail image, above).
TfL carried out a public consultation on Crossrail 2 between 14 May and 2 August 2013.
The next steps in the development of the project are:
- 2014: Protect a preferred route from development by using a legal process known as safeguarding. The current route safeguarded is known as the Chelsea-Hackney line.
- 2014-15: Planning work on the preferred (metro or regional) option.
- Late 2015: Undertake a public consultation on the preferred option.
- 2016-19: Detailed design, further consultation and application for planning powers.
- 2020-2030: Construct and test Crossrail 2.
- Early 2030s: Crossrail 2 opens to the public.