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Network Rail awards major Crossrail design contract

Network Rail has awarded a major contract to Atkins to design the bulk of works planned on the north-east section of the Crossrail route, between Stratford in east London and Shenfield in Essex.

The contract includes the design of station improvements along the 25km route at Romford, Ilford, Goodmayes, Forest Gate, Harold Wood, Gidea Park, Chadwell Heath and Brentwood, where platform extensions will allow longer trains to run. Other works will include infrastructure improvements, such as extra train stabling capacity and turnback facilities that will improve the reliability of passenger services.

When fully open, Crossrail will provide 12 trains per hour on the Great Eastern Main Line at peak times in each direction between central London and Shenfield.

Network Rail is responsible for the design, development and delivery of the parts of Crossrail that are on the existing network. Its work will integrate Crossrail with the national rail network, delivering more frequent trains into central London from the east and west. The work includes upgrading 70km of track, redeveloping 28 stations, and renewing 15 bridges.Sources close to Network Rail have previously said that the total cost of its works was £2.3bn.

Network Rail Crossrail programme director Robbie Burns, said: “Crossrail is vital for London’s economy, bringing an additional 1.5M people within a 45-minute commute of the capital’s key business districts and improving journeys for many millions more.

“Network Rail is making a multi-billion pound investment to transform the railway so it is ready for Crossrail. Passengers will benefit from more seats, better stations and a more frequent and reliable service.”

Atkins Rail Solutions business managing director Mark Cowlard said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to help Network Rail complete its Crossrail transformation. The design work we will undertake will be incredibly varied, from the extension of platforms, to the design of new footbridges, to remodelling overhead lines to incorporate the new metro-style services.

“Our multidisciplinary team will also be conducting ground and site investigations and making sure the best environmental practices are being used. It is great to build on the existing relationships we have with the ‘surface’ team, and also is the perfect chance to further use the Crossrail knowledge we have gained from working on the central London sections.”

Crossrail will run 118km from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21km tunnels under central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. When it opens from 2018, Crossrail will provide new transport links with the Tube, Thameslink, National Rail, DLR and London Overground.

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