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Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT) helps innovation prosper at Gatwick Airport station project

Gatwick Railway Station 2020


18 November 2020

Building work has started on Gatwick Airport’s huge new railway station concourse as the first train pulled into a temporary platform, delivered ahead of schedule by Costain.

The £150m project has seen many changes at the station since it began in May, including the closure of platform 7 and the installation of a temporary replacement. By project end it is anticipated there will be a bigger, brighter and better station, with much improved accessibility for passengers.

Costain’s project delivery team led by Mark Howard, has brought leading edge delivery expertise to this complex delivery programme. They have been working with Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT), a tried and tested approach which helps projects unlock innovate ideas to save time and reduce costs.

“SIT provided our project team with an opportunity to think in different ways. With a facilitated approach, SIT helped us break fixity of thought away from our usual patterns and to come up with innovative ideas on demand”, explained Mark.

The collaboration with SIT, Network Rail and our supply chain has generated a wealth of ideas that will enable Costain to make continued improvements to project delivery and ways of working.

“We are two months ahead of programme and intend to maintain that advantage all the way to the end of the project, using SIT will help build on that success and support an improved outcome,” he added.

Gatwick airport is the UK’s second busiest airport with the rail station one of the 10 busiest stations in the UK outside of London, handling in excess of 20 million passengers annually.

MP for Crawley Henry Smith recently visited the construction site and said: “During such dark days for airports and fewer people currently travelling by train due to COVID-19 it may seem strange to celebrate upgrading Gatwick’s rail station but now is the moment to build back better ensuring that as our economy recovers it does so with the infrastructure to support people and businesses. Investing to expand platform capacity and enhance the passenger experience at Gatwick is timely and I welcome this commitment.”

The project is being managed by Network Rail and delivered by Costain, in partnership with the Department for Transport (DfT) and Govia Thameslink Railway and Gatwick Airport Ltd.