Atkins Win East West Rail Phase 2 Contract

Image courtesy of Network Rail

Atkins, along with Laing ORourke and VolkerRail, have been awarded an alliancing contract for the design and construction of the East West Rail Phase 2 (EWR2) scheme by Network Rail.

As part of Network Rails Railway Upgrade Plan, this programme will connect Oxford to Bedford and Milton Keynes via Bletchley, and Milton Keynes to London Marylebone via Aylesbury.

Andy Milne, Network Rails senior programme manager and alliance manager, said:

We are an alliance of four equal parts working as one team. Never before on a rail project of this size has an alliance been convened this early. By scoping all aspects of the project now we will see potential problems early and be able to mitigate them. The earlier we do this work the greater value for taxpayers money we can deliver.

The alliance will develop the outline design and set out the construction agenda for the scheme.

Andy Milne added:

The alliance is a completely integrated team where all parties share in the benefits and risks.  This will help drive down costs, reduce risks and lead to the more efficient and timely delivery of the project.

Once the initial part of the programme is finished, the EWR2 alliance partners will work with the Department for Transport to finalise the design scope, construction timetable and budget. The alliance expects to apply for a Transport & Works Act order in the autumn of 2016.

Graeme Castle, rail sector leader for Laing ORourke, speaking on behalf of all the EWR2 partners, said:

We are all proud to be involved in this nationally significant project and aim to build on the success of the Staffordshire Alliance, where the partnership is working collaboratively to deliver the Stafford Area Improvements Programme.
Our early involvement in the East West Rail Phase 2 project will guarantee an efficient and constructible design that is at the forefront of innovation built on digital engineering and offsite manufacture.

The East West Rail scheme includes the upgrade and reconstruction of underused and mothballed parts of the line connecting the Great Western, Chiltern, West Coast and Midland main lines north of London. It will also deliver a strategic east-west route connecting key stations. It will create economic, social and environmental benefits to Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire.

East West Rail Service Improvements

Once complete, the rail link will provide the following train journeys:

  • Oxford Milton Keynes (calling at Oxford Parkway, Bicester, Winslow and Bletchley)
  • Oxford Bedford (calling at Oxford Parkway, Bicester, Winslow, Bletchley, Woburn Sands and Ridgmont)
  • Milton Keynes Aylesbury London Marylebone (a continuation of the existing service between Marylebone and Aylesbury Vale Parkway, with stops expected at Bletchley, Winslow, Princes Risborough and High Wycombe)
  • Increased capacity for freight services
  • A new station at Winslow
  • Two new platforms at Bletchley
  • 18 new over bridges
  • 22 new footbridges/subways
  • Changes to 97 railway crossings

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