ODA Transport Director Hugh Sumner said: "These schemes are an important part of our transport plans for 2012 but their significance to the delivery of the wider Olympic Park is even greater. The work on Stratford Regional Station will enhance a key gateway into the Olympic Park in Games time and in legacy, and the new sidings we are constructing at Orient Way will unlock land right in the heart of the Park, providing access for the construction of key 2012 venues.
"The progress we are making with our transport partners on these projects shows that four years out from the Games we are firmly on track to deliver first-class transport links and a world-class Olympic Park for 2012."
Twelve new railway sidings are under construction at Orient Way just outside the north-east boundary of the Olympic Park, allowing an existing set of sidings in the heart of the Park to be removed in summer 2008. This will free the site to become a logistics site for the construction of the Olympic Stadium and Aquatics Centre.
Five kilometres of track will be installed to form the new sidings at Orient Way, covering the equivalent area to 3 full-size football pitches. Work began in September to clear the Orient Way site ready for the construction of the new sidings.
Disused equipment and redundant buildings have now been removed, with demolition materials being reused on site, and work is now well underway to install the new sidings with 1km of track already installed. With the sidings due to be finished by the summer, the Orient Way works will be one of the first major 2012 transport projects to be completed.
Significant progress has also been made on the ODA's project to upgrade Stratford Regional Station, a key gateway into the Olympic Park. Through building new platforms, subways, lifts and entrances, the upgrade will significantly enhance passenger capacity and improve accessibility during the Games and in legacy.
Work on the station began last August, and the second phase of works were successfully completed on time over the Christmas period. Christmas works included the removal of disused station buildings to create more space for passengers, and the construction of a support structure that will carry a new Central Line platform into the station. The station's western subway was also extended in preparation for the construction of a new northern Ticket Hall which will give spectators direct access into the Olympic Park.
Further phases of the Stratford Regional Station upgrade will take place through 2008 and 2009, with work expected to be completed in 2010. Further improvements will include:
- Nine new lifts to all platforms improving accessibility throughout the station
- Re-opening a disused subway to create additional access to platforms and make it easier to change between rail, tube and DLR services
- A new westbound Central Line platform
- Lengthening and widening of platforms to increase capacity
- A new station entrance at mezzanine level to improve the flow of passengers
Work to construct the new sidings at Orient Way is continuing with overhead line equipment due to built above the track and a site office constructed for the new sidings. Work will be completed in the summer, allowing the new sidings to be tested before opening for the stabling of trains.