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Work Starts On New Crossrail Route

6 May 2014

Work has started on a major new rail sector contract – the first track section of the new Crossrail route that will be commissioned.

The 16.4-mile section, from Stratford, east London, to Shenfield, near Brentwood in Essex, forms the North East Infrastructure and Stations project which will form one end of the eastern section of Crossrail. The new route will run from Reading in the west through central London and then divide, with one spur going to Shenfield and the other southeast to Abbey Wood, in Kent.

Its significance for Costain lies in the fact that it is the first time the Group has handled this type of multi-discipline rail contract and is another indicator of its transformation from a construction and civil engineering company to an engineering solutions organisation.

“It has civils, building, track work, electrification and some signalling design work,” explained Costain’s Director of Rail, Gren Edwards. “But it also incorporates works at 13 stations.” Highly experienced personnel from the rail sector have been recruited to head the new disciplines.

Much of the work will involve changing existing track configurations. There will be some new track capacity as well: “We’ll be creating stabling for new Crossrail trains at Chadwell Heath,” added Rail Customer Director, Ross MacKenzie.

Despite the amount of work involved, he added: “There shouldn’t be disruption.” Costain had demonstrated considerable experience in avoiding such disruption at major projects such as Farringdon, Reading and London Bridge stations, where major works were taking place next to operational areas.  This had been an important factor in winning the contract from client Network Rail, said Ross.

Avoiding any such disruption as Costain will be working alongside live, operational tracks and normal schedules will have to be maintained while the work progresses.

Work on the North East Infrastructure and Stations project, which is worth around £150 million, began at the start of March and will continue until December 2017.