Transport for London has awarded a key rail infrastructure contract to Laing O’Rourke for the capacity upgrades of operational railway facilities at Willesden, in North West London.
The major infrastructure project, part of the London Overground Capacity Improvement Programme (LOCIP), will see capacity upgrades associated with the rail maintenance and stabling facilities in the Willesden area, in addition to platform extensions and a major rail junction remodeling to Willesden low level to enable increased train lengths from four to five cars to be implemented.
The £22m contract represents the first multi-disciplinary rail infrastructure win for Laing O’Rourke in the UK, and will see the company self delivering a broad package of track, overhead line and third rail electrification, depot M&E and signaling upgrades.
“Our various rail discipline teams worked together seamlessly during the Willesden bid to ensure the project challenges were thoroughly understood and most appropriate delivery solutions developed,” said Laing O’Rourke Project Leader Paul Taylor MBE. “This project, like many rail projects, has specific challenges associated with the limited access to the tracks, amplified further at Willesden with upgrades works being delivered in and around an operational maintenance depot. Our construction smarts and approach to staging that minimizes schedule risks were key attributes to securing this important project.”
“London Overground has seen great success in recent years with passenger numbers doubling since 2008 with a forecast to increase even more by 2021,” said Laing O’Rourke Rail Infrastructure Operations Leader Nick Sarai. “Willesden is a key project for TfL in providing additional services in response to this predicted growth and we are delighted to have been selected for delivering these works. This project has seen elements of our complete Unique Business Offering, through digital engineering, DfMA and direct delivery which were greatly received by the client and provided the competitive advantage to our bid. We’ll be working closely with the TfL team over the next few months to further develop this offering and ensure the benefits of direct delivery established across our other sectors have a huge impact in the rail sector.”
TfL’s Director of London Overground, Mike Stubbs, said: “This is a key contract in the development of the network as we work to provide 25 per cent more capacity as part of TfL’s continued investment in London Overground. It will ensure we remain able to meet the growing demand for London Overground services which – at 89 per cent – have one of the highest levels of passenger satisfaction in London and the South East.”
Laing O’Rourke recently began pre-construction development work with Network Rail as part of the £250m Staffordshire Alliance, which will deliver significant upgrades to the UK’s West Coast Mail Line between Stafford and Crewe. This was the first major rail infrastructure to be awarded under Network Rail’s revised procurement model, with the partners, Atkins, Laing O’Rourke, VolkerRail and Network Rail, all working together in an integrated single-team structure.
“We have shown that we have the skills, passion, innovation and ability to deliver significant rail projects across the world, but naturally we’re delighted to secure our first multi-disciplinary win in the UK,” said Arith Liyanage, Laing O’Rourke Rail Sector Leader. “Laing O’Rourke’s approach integrates the latest digital engineering and off-site manufacturing capabilities with our direct delivery model, which will bring great efficiency and an improved safety culture to the industry.”