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Major Milestone At Farringdon

3 January 2012

The Costain Laing O’Rourke JV Project team has successfully completed the latest major milestone delivery at the £250million Farringdon Station redevelopment: the handover of the lengthened platforms that enable train operator First Capital Connect to operate 12-car trains through the station.

This is a key step on the road to creating a major capacity expansion on the Thameslink route, which runs from Bedford, in the north, to Brighton, in the south.

The lengthened platforms were handed over to client Network Rail recently, with First Capital Connect starting its expanded service two days later.

Having completed the 12-car platforms, the team now has to maintain focus and deliver the next phase of the station. February 6 2012 will see the team finishing the internal changes to the existing 1920s London Underground (LU) station building and completion of the station accommodation building.

In addition to the new platforms the Farringdon redevelopment has included a new train shed roof, construction of a new LU entrance structure, a new Integrated Ticket Hall (ITH), replacement of the highway bridge to the front of the station, the installation of new power supplies and plant rooms, three new escape staircases; and installation of five new lifts to allow step-free access from platforms to street level. 

The platform extensions have been accomplished in four-hour overnight possessions after train services shut down, supplemented with weekend possessions. This has made logistics – ensuring that materials are at the right place at the right time in order to take advantage of the small working windows – one of the project’s biggest challenges.

Also opened recently was the new ITH, becoming the new entrance and focus for all national rail services including ticket sales, directly across the road from the existing LU station entrance. This new facility will also become the access to the new Crossrail service when that comes into operation later this decade. Completion of the ITH allowed the closure of the current London Underground building on Cowcross Street.

The JV team has been allocated an eight-week closure of the LU building and concourse, which includes two major NR possessions, of 101 hours over Christmas and 24 hours over the new year period, to maximise the opportunity for a sustained period of working on this remaining section of the station and to minimise the impact to the travelling public.

Farringdon’s historic status as the terminus of the world’s first underground railway, the Metropolitan Line, means that all aspects of the work on the LUL building require the approval of English Heritage.

“It’s now another drive to complete the next milestone,” said Construction Director, Daniel Powrie. “The Farringdon team has worked tirelessly for three years to deliver the 12-car platforms and the ITH and now we have to hand over the LU building and accommodation building in eight weeks – no simple task given the high specification and number of trades required to work in a very confined conditions.

“Fortunately, we have a brilliant team at Farringdon and we have yet to miss a single milestone, so we are confident we will deliver this one, too.”