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Network Rail appoints designers for London Bridge Thameslink works

Network Rail has appointed WSP and Jacobs Engineering as designers for the redevelopment of London Bridge as part of the £5.5bn Thameslink project.

The rail infrastructure company said the contracts represented two major design contracts for one of Britain’s largest and complex railway projects.

WSP has won a 16 month contract to design the station building, from outline design to construction. Work is due to begin late in 2012, as part of phase two of the project.

Jacobs will complete the outline design of the railway systems elements of the redevelopment, including track, signalling, telecoms and associated power supplies. There will be extensive improvements and modernisation of the railway at and around the station, and elsewhere on the route to accommodate the longer, more frequent Thameslink trains.

The station will be completely rebuilt to create more space for passengers with additional concourse space below the platforms at street level. The track layout will also be radically changed and the signalling renewed to accommodate metro frequency services on the Thameslink routes through the station.

Announcing the winning bids, Network Rail’s major programme director for the Thameslink programme Jim Crawford said: “Both teams presented strong bids, and showed a real understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities presented by the project. Engaging with the right suppliers, and giving them the opportunity to develop an effective design that will help facilitate the safe and cost efficient delivery of this challenging project is critical to the success of the Thameslink programme.”

“We are delighted to be appointed as lead designer for London Bridge station and look forward to working with Network Rail to transform the station into a flagship transport interchange. This project has particular significance for WSP in adding a further dimension to our involvement in the revitalisation of the area around London Bridge, which includes the Shard, London Bridge Place and the bus station projects,” WSP’s UK rail sector director, Dave Darnell, added.

The Thameslink programme will relieve congestion across London’s transport network by allowing longer, more frequent trains to run to, and through, the capital on the route from Bedford to Brighton. The first phase of the programme is on track for completion by mid 2012, and includes new stations at Farringdon and Blackfriars and longer platforms and station improvements across the route. The second phase, including the redevelopment of London Bridge station, is due for completion on 2018.

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