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Thameslink contractors named

Network Rail announced Balfour Beatty, Skanska and joint venture of Costain and Laing O’Rourke as their preferred contractors for initial Thameslink works on Friday.

The £27 million Thameslink programme has contracts at three key sites to upgrade exisitng infrastructure to accomodate the 12 car trains that will be used on Thameslink routes from 2012 and to provide new track capacity at Borough by early 2012.

Balfour Beatty will be working at Blackfriars to completely rebuild the station to accommodate 12 car trains with the new station spanning the River Thames and providing an entrance on the South Bank for the first time. The £15 million Stage One contract also covers a wide range of advance works at and around the existing National Rail and Underground stations and on the railway bridge across the River Thames to prepare for the start of the main project in 2009.

Skanska will be working at Borough, which is one of the worst bottlenecks on the national rail network. The Thameslink Programme will increase capacity here with the construction of a new rail viaduct . The £1.7 million contract covers a range of minor works to enhance facilities at Borough Market and will also provide a new temporary market hall alongside the existing wholesale market to house the stalls that will need to be relocated during the construction phase that starts in 2009.

The Costain / Laing O’Rourke joint venture will be working at Farringdon Station to extend National Rail platforms, new station entrances and expand the concourse space to accommodate 12 car trains. The £10.3 million contract includes extensive preparatory works for the major work to redevelop the station from 2009 including replacement of the existing interchange bridge, construction of part of a new station entrance & concourse on Turnmill Street and other minor works on emergency access / escape routes and cable diversions.

Network Rail’s Chief Executive Iain Coucher said:

"We have an exciting range of investment projects all over Britain to build a bigger, better railway. These contracts mark a major step forward in rebuilding one of the most important rail links in the country, providing sorely needed extra capacity for travellers to and through the Capital and underpinning the economy of both London and the UK in general for decades to come."

Network Rail’s Thameslink Project Director Andy Mitchell said:

"After a lengthy and exhaustive process examining a number of submissions of extraordinarily high quality from the construction industry we are now ready to move forward and I’m delighted that we are now on the starting blocks to begin major works on the Thameslink route through central London. These contracts will provide us with the firm basis to work upon that will be required to deliver three very complex projects on time and on budget that when complete will transform this vital transport link."

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