Parsons Brinckerhoff awarded East West Rail design contract
Parsons Brinckerhoff has been awarded the design contract for the Western Section of the East West Rail scheme, which will re-establish a passenger and freight rail link between Oxford and Bedford, Milton Keynes and Aylesbury for the first time in more than 40 years.
The first phase of the Western Section, which is being delivered by a collaboration between Network Rail and Chiltern Railways, is already underway with the construction and doubling of track for more than 18km of railway to increase line speeds to 100mph along with a variety of other works.
As part of Parsons Brinckerhoff’s contract, worth up to £8m, for the second phase of the scheme, the company will carry out timetable modelling, the design and alignment of track, civil engineering works to bridges and embankments, geotechnical investigation and survey works, studies on how the reinstated railway will impact on level crossings, station design, consents, ecology and environmental works.
Darren Reed, Parsons Brinckerhoff’s director of rail UK/Europe, said “We are delighted to be working with Network Rail and the East West Consortium to facilitate the development of this major complex rail programme which will enable essential east west rail connectivity.
“We look forward to developing this visionary strategic transport scheme, which in turn will encourage economic growth and promote sustainable transport solutions.”
Recently, a new assessment by Arup revealed that the Western Section of the East West Rail scheme could boost the regional economy by £72.7m per annum, almost double the £38m forecast by Oxford Economics in 2010.
Andy Milne, Network Rail senior programme manager, said: “This contract award marks a significant milestone for the East West Rail scheme. The work Parsons Brinckerhoff will be carrying out will enable the project to be developed to the point where we can then award contracts for detailed design and construction.”
The Central Section of East West Rail (Oxford to Cambridge) is a considerably more difficult project, which is at a much earlier stage of development. But the consortium has been pushing its economic benefits and looking at potential routes.
(Top image: A combined Laserscan and Lidar surface and terrain model image – perspective view – being used in topographical and structural surveys along the route)
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