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NCE Live News Updates Monday 27 January: 51 firefighters called to crane incident

Major operation to secure damaged equipment in Croydon

5.15pm: Ealing Council has appointed architects HOK and John McAslan + Partners to improve the design of two Crossrail stations.

HOK has been asked to review and amend plans drawn up by Crossrail for Ealing Broadway in a bid to improve the look and feel of the building.

At Southall Station, John McAslan + Partners will work with Crossrail to improve the appearance of the station and make it as easy as possible for passengers to use.

Leader of the council Julian Bell said: “We know that Crossrail will bring huge economic benefits to the borough and accelerate the regeneration already taking place. 

“But the council is also determined to ensure that we get the best possible station designs, because they will be significant buildings in our town centres, and experience shows good design brings greater regeneration benefits.” 


5pm: Environment Agency teams are carrying out Somerset’s biggest ever pumping operation amid warnings of further rain in the county.

More than 60 pumps are being operated 24 hours a day to drain about 1.5M.t of water off a 65m2 area of the Somerset Levels.

About 40 properties have flooded on the Levels, while defences have protected over 3,500 more, according to the Agency.

Environment Agency flood risk manager Kate Marks said: ““We are doing everything we can to pump water off the Somerset Levels and have 65 pumps working 24/7 in the biggest pumping operation ever undertaken in the county.”


3pm: Network Rail engineers are working to repair a stretch of Surrey railway damaged by a landslip in storms over Christmas.

A 40m stretch of embankment near Ockley station collapsed after intense rain on Christmas Eve, pitching more than 1,000t of spoil down the slope.

Network Rail plans to return the line to full service next month.

Route managing director Tim Robinson said: “It has been a considerable challenge just to get to this stage, as we’ve had to build a new road to bring our plant to the site of the slip.

“Now we are underway, things are going well, and we’ve begun to install a wall of sheet piles. These are partly buried in the ground, to form a new base to the embankment.

“We will then need to deliver between 4,000t and 5,000t of new material to fill the gap before we can begin to run trains again.”

A limited service of peak-hour trains has been operated by Southern over the undamaged line furthest from the slip.


12.30pm: Thames Tideway Tunnel chairman Sir Neville Simms spoke about the project’s close relationships with Crossrail before Andrew Mitchell made the switch between the two.

Mitchell, currently programme director at Crossrail, has been appointed chief executive of the super sewer scheme.

Sir Neville told NCE in December: “Crossrail goes before us and there are all sorts of things to learn in terms of logistics, underground conditions and labour requirements.”

Read more of the wide-ranging interview here.


12pm: Investment in infrastructure has been named best way to boost the Scottish economy… in a poll commissioned by Scottish builders of infrastructure.

More than 1,000 adults were asked to choose from six options including reducing red tape, better childcare and continuing free access to higher education.

One in three said investment in infrastructure was the most likely to increase economic fortunes, with cutting business taxes and regulation the second most popular option.

Vaughan Hart, managing director of the Scottish Building Federation - which commissioned the poll - said:” This new poll demonstrates public support for investment in infrastructure as a key plank of a successful strategy for Scotland’s long-term economic recovery.”


11.30am: Thirteen flood warnings remain in place across England this morning.

The Environment Agency had nine warnings in the South West, two in the South East and one each in the Midlands and North East.

Flood warnings mean flooding is expected and immediate action is required by people living in the areas specified.

There were a further 139 flood alerts in the UK, meaning flooding is possible in these areas.


11.15am: Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has declared himself “pleased” with Simon Kirby’s controversial £750,000 salary for running HS2.

McLoughlin told the BBC’s Daily Politics: “We are going for the best engineers in the world to engineer this project.

“It is a large salary but I am rather pleased that engineers, rather than bankers, can be seen to get big rewards for delivering what will be very important pieces of national infrastructure.”

Kirby will join HS2 in June as chief executive – construction, where he will be responsible for leading the project through its construction phase.

Read NCE editor Mark Hansford’s views on Kirby’s salary here.


10.30am: The US government has awarded $886M (£535M) for the rebuild of New York transport infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will receive the money to continue rebuilding and replacing equipment hit by the devastating storm in 2012.

US transportation secretary Anthony Foxx said: “The funds we are providing today will go a long way to help the MTA continue clearing debris from tunnels; rebuilding stations; and replacing electrical systems damaged by flooding – giving transit riders a transit system that is stronger than ever before.”

Rail, power and signaling systems require work as well as stations and terminals.


10am: More than 50 firefighters were called after a crane was damaged in high winds in Surrey over the weekend.

London Fire Brigade was called into action after the incident left the crane in a “precarious position” on top of an 18-storey building in Croydon.

Six fire engines, four fire rescue units and 51 firefighters and officers from seven stations were called to the scene.

A safety cordon was put in place and specialist crane engineers were called to secure the structure. No-one was injured.

The emergency services received more than 100 calls in less than two hours on Saturday as wind and rain lashed the capital.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Quoted above: More than 60 pumps are being operated 24 hours a day to drain about 1.5M.t of water off a 65m2 area of the Somerset Levels.
    This doesn't seem to be a very big area unless the 'm' means miles?

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