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London & Continental gets foot in Crossrail door


CHANNEL TUNNEL Rail Link operator London & Continental Railways (LCR) has moved a step closer to taking a role in London's £10bn Crossrail project, industry sources speculated this week.

Last week LCR director John Carter joined the board of Cross London Rail Links (CLRL) in a move which brings the two organisations closer together.

CLRL is the public sector company responsible for promoting Crossrail. It is a joint venture between the Department for Transport and the London mayor's Transport for London department.

LCR is looking for a role for its Union Railways (North) team of planners and engineers when civils work on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) ends next year.

It has already signalled its intention to get the team involved with Crossrail (NCE 18 September 2003).

Carter's appointment was part of a DfT imposed shake up designed to kick start the drafting of the project's enabling bill (News last week). It is expected to go before parliament early next year.

A DfT spokesman denied that Carter's involvement signalled a new role for Union Railways. 'John Carter is there purely for his expertise, ' he said. He pointed out that former Bechtel vice president Carter specialised in delivering major projects.

Union Railways acts as client for the CTRL and has extensive experience of handling interfaces with the local rail network, London Underground, utilities and the public.

Dealing with similar interfaces will be a key part of the Crossrail project. The Crossrail route crosses all of London Underground's lines, and must dovetail with the national rail network at each end.

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