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Bechtel scoops second major Crossrail contract

Network Rail has this morning named Bechtel as its delivery partner for its £2.3bn of work on the £16bn Crossrail scheme and the Reading station upgrade project.

Network Rail’s decision means Bechtel has a clean sweep of Crossrail work, after Transport for London selected the firm as the project delivery partner on the central tunnnelled section.

Bechtel formally signed a contract for the coveted £400M project deliver partner to design and manage construction of the central section of Crossrail this week.

Network Rail’s £2.3bn of Crossrail work includes:

  • Electrifying the western route from London to Maidenhead
  • Managing the tunnel spoilage – circa 2Mm³
  • Rebuilding and improving stations on the route including Paddington, Abbey Wood, Ilford, Romford and Ealing Broadway
  • Major junction and train reliability improvements

At Reading, the £400m+ scheme will dramatically improve the station and the reliability and punctuality of services accessing and passing through the station by:

  • Removing the current bottleneck by constructing a new railway viaduct west of the station thus improving the reliability and punctuality
  • Doubling the number of platforms and building a new passenger footbridge and northern entrance to the station

Bechtel will join Network Rail’s team to assist with the delivery of all these important upgrades to the infrastructure.

Robbie Burns, major programme director, Network Rail said: “Passengers and freight users are at the core of our work. These big investment projects at Reading and the Crossrail scheme will deliver dramatic tangible improvements.

“Bechtel has an excellent record of delivery and we welcome them onto our projects to complement our strong in-house team, bringing extra skills and resource.”

Bechtel’s team on the Network Rail contract will be led by Dick McIlhattan, who was Programme Director on the £8.9bn modernisation of the West Coast Main Line upgrade, which concluded earlier this year.

Mr McIlhattan said: “The engineering works required on the existing rail network are just as extensive and demanding as those in the central section. Working as an integrated team with Network Rail, we look forward to meeting the challenge to upgrade the two busiest rail arteries into London and tackle the bottle neck at Reading, one of the most critical rail hubs in Britain.”

Network Rail is working in partnership with Crossrail Ltd, Transport for London and the Department for Transport on the £16bn scheme.

When complete, Crossrail will link Maidenhead to the west of London through to Shenfield in Essex and Abbey Wood. It will connect commuters directly to the City, Canary Wharf, the West End and Heathrow Airport, using mainline trains and a 21km tunnel under the centre of the City, adding in one fell swoop an entire 10% to London’s combined rail and tube capacity.

Main construction will begin in 2010, and when it does, Crossrail will be the largest civil engineering project in Europe.

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