Network Rail has been given the go-ahead to build a £60M flyover to relieve a capacity bottleneck on the East Coast Main Line - the first project to be taken forward in its new contracting structure.
No more crossed lines
The flyover at Hitchin in Hertfordshire will remove the need for Cambridge trains travelling from London King’s Cross to cross three other lines to switch between the East Coast Main Line and the line to Cambridge.
This crossing reduces capacity for other services and makes the railway less reliable when delays occur.
The new link will avoid these problems by taking the line to Cambridge over the East Coast Main Line and creating the capacity to run more services to and from the capital every hour when future timetables are developed.
It will be the debut project for Network Rail’s new long term alliances on major projects, where cost savings with contractors will be shared when projects come in under budget.
The alliances could involve more than one partner. They will have responsibility for project delivery and cost, and will have a cap to the amount of pain share.
The deals are designed to drive out inefficiencies, by giving contractors a financial stake in improved performance.
Work on the Hitchin rail link is planned to start later this year, with trains able to run on the new line in early 2014.