Bechtel and Network Rail Safely Deliver Ambitious Project in Record Time
10 April 2013
Major Rail Work Completed in 10 Days
Bechtel and Network Rail have successfully completed the most ambitious part of a $1.37 billion (£895 million) program to remodel Reading railway station and the surrounding track. The upgrade, which was started late at night on March 28 and finished early morning on April 8, 2013, was the biggest simultaneous commissioning of new track, signaling, and infrastructure works in Network Rail’s history.
“In just 10 days, we have worked with Network Rail, their contractors, and partners to complete work that would normally take 20 weekends to do. More than 3,500 shifts were worked around the clock to rigorous safety standards to ensure that on April 8 the trains could run as scheduled. It sounds like an impossible feat but careful planning, hard work, and close collaboration have made this happen,” said Dr. Amjad Bangash, managing director for Bechtel’s global rail business.
The work included the installation and commissioning of six miles of track and a major signalling upgrade. Four new platforms, two new concourses, and a new passenger footbridge at Reading station were also completed on schedule. The Reading Station Area Redevelopment program is due to be completed by 2015, a year ahead of schedule.
“This was the biggest change in track layout to take place in over 100 years on the Great Western Mainline and means that we’re now able to relieve one of the worst railway bottlenecks in the UK and improve passenger journeys. We’re very grateful to rail passengers for their patience whilst these works were being carried out,” said Robbie Burns, regional director, Western and Wales, Network Rail Infrastructure Projects.
During the same 10-day period major works also took place on the Crossrail part of the program. Work included the replacement of four bridges, signaling, installation of a track crossover, and works on the substructure for a new flyover. Network Rail appointed Bechtel as its delivery partner for the Crossrail and Reading program in 2009.
Bechtel has successfully delivered some of the largest and most complex railway projects in the world, which in the UK includes the Jubilee Line Extension on the London Underground, West Coast Mainline Modernization, and High Speed 1.