TUNNELLING IS expected to start in north London's busy King's Cross and St Pancras stations by next year, after Union Railways (North) this week went out to tender for the first heavy civils work on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link Section 2.
The tunnelling - part of Contract 103 - includes 600m of twin bore and 100m of cut and cover tunnel. It signals the beginning of extensive tunnelling works to take place in the city as Section 2 gains momentum.
'The Contract 103 tunnels will eventually provide the link between the planned Thameslink 2000 and East Coast Main Lines, ' said a CTRL spokesman, adding that the bored tunnels will lead into the proposed Thameslink 2000 station.
Four consortia have been invited to bid including Keir Construction/Edmund Nuttall, Tracklink (Mowlem/Bouygues/ Besix), Alfred McAlpine/Amec and Hochtief UK/Norwest Holst.
Also included in the works out for tender are new tracks for the CTRL and new connections to the West Coast and East Coast Main Lines. The contract is expected to be awarded next spring and work will begin in autumn 2001.
The critical path contract to build a 500m long, 25m wide underground box for the new Thameslink 2000 station, which is part of the CTRL Section 2 works, has yet to be put out to tender.
The Thameslink project could get the go ahead as early as April next year, according to latest reports.
The public inquiry is likely to end earlier than expected after City of London Corporation dropped its objections.