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Crossrail lets first six enabling contracts

Crossrail yesterday announced the award of the first six contracts under its enabling works framework while advance works near the Royal Oak tunnel portal gathers pace.

Costain Skanska JV has won contract for Royal Oak Portal near Paddington. Carillion has the contract for the Paddington Integrated Project and Kier Construction is to build a working platform over the East London Line at Whitechapel. Keltbray is to demolish the existing eastern ticket hall at Farringdon station and Select Plant Hire has won two separate contracts for Liverpool Street site facilities and for Bond Street’s eastern and western ticket Halls.

“The first contracts awarded under the enabling works framework are visible evidence that Crossrail is now gearing up towards the start of main construction this year,” said Crossrail programme director Andy Mitchell.

Further evidence of the build in momentum was provided by Crossrail’s dual announcement that preparatory work was well underway for the tunnel portal structure at Royal Oak in west London.

2010 is a huge year for Crossrail, with main construction commencing on Europe’s largest infrastructure project.

Rob Holden, Crossrail

“2010 is a huge year for Crossrail, with main construction commencing on Europe’s largest infrastructure project,” said Crossrail chief executive Rob Holden. “Work is now underway at Canary Wharf, Farringdon, Paddington and Tottenham Court Road with construction at the remaining stations on Crossrail’s central section beginning this year.”

Network Rail is managing the Royal Oak portal work on behalf of Crossrail, which will construction of a 190m long diaphragm walled box to form the foundation from which tunnelling will commence in late 2011.

Construction of the western tunnel portal will continue following the start of tunnelling and will be completed in 2014.

Surveys of the site have now been completed and in the meantime the contractor will shortly construct protective barriers next to Royal Oak Tube station to safeguard existing Network Rail and London Underground engineering assets and locate site offices.

In late 2011, the first tunnel boring machine will start out on its journey from Royal Oak towards Farringdon. This will be followed shortly by the launch of a further tunnel boring machine in Docklands that will head towards Farringdon under central London.

The first two major rail tunnelling contracts that will deliver tunnels underneath central London linking the Great Eastern and Great Western mainlines and will form the centrepiece of the Crossrail project are expected to be awarded by mid-2010. The remaining third contract will be awarded at a later date.

Once complete in 2017, new 10-carriage trains carrying upwards of 1,500 passengers will travel through the 21km long tunnels, significantly reducing journey times between Heathrow, the West End, the City and Canary Wharf and providing new journey opportunities and much needed additional transport capacity.

Enabling Works: The first six packages in full

Package C209 - Farringdon Demolition - Eastern Ticket Hall - Keltbray
Package C223 - Bond Street Eastern & Western Ticket Hall - Select Plant Hire Company
Package C225 - Liverpool Street Site Facilities - Select Plant Hire Company
Package C244 - Whitechapel working platform over East London Line - Kier Construction
Package C271 - Paddington Integrated Project (site facilities, piling and groundworks) - Carillion
Package C330 - Royal Oak Portal - Costain Skanska JV

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