Network Rail has awarded Atkins a contract for a scheme at Acton in west London to improve the reliability of passenger services and deliver increased freight capacity.
When Crossrail services begin in 2017, even more trains will travel along the Great Western main line (GWML) so work is needed to improve capacity in the area.
Atkins, the UK's largest engineering and design consultancy, will be responsible for the design element of the work to build a dive under at the west end of Acton freight yard and modifications to Acton yard. This will enable freight trains that head west along the main line to leave the yard without affecting passenger trains and provide increased capacity for freight.
Robbie Burns, Network Rail's programme director for Crossrail, said: "Network Rail is transforming the railway to make Crossrail a success and this work at Acton will give passengers a more reliable service whilst providing more capacity in the Paddington approaches area. This scheme supports our vision to increase the modal share of rail by taking freight off roads and onto rail, reducing both traffic congestion and carbon emissions."
Richard Molloy, Atkins director, added: "We are delighted to have the opportunity to support Network Rail and the Crossrail programme in the design and engineering of the significant works at Acton. Not only will this project contribute to improving Britain's railway infrastructure, but it also reaffirms the role our industry can play as we look to a low-carbon future."
Network Rail is responsible for the design, development and delivery of the parts of Crossrail that are on the existing network, covering 70km of track and 28 stations from Maidenhead in the west to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east.
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Notes to Editors
Crossrail will run 118km from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21km tunnels under central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. It will bring an additional 1.5 million people within 60 minutes commuting distance of London's key business districts. When it opens in 2017, Crossrail will provide new transport links with the Tube, Thameslink, National Rail, DLR and London Overground.
Network Rail delivering Crossrail
Network Rail is a key partner in Crossrail and is making a multi-billion pound investment in upgrading our network around the Capital to deliver it. This complements Network Rail's other work to increase capacity and improve performance across Britain.
Network Rail's work will integrate Crossrail with the national rail network, delivering faster, more frequent trains into central London from the east and west. The work includes upgrading 70km[b1] of track, redeveloping 28 stations, and renewing 15 bridges, as well as removing around one million cubic metres of spoil from the tunnel excavation by rail, reducing the need for construction traffic on the roads.
Unlike the central tunnel, Network Rail will do all of this on an active operational railway, delivering vital upgrade works whilst minimising disruption to train services.
Network Rail has already made a start on Crossrail works at Paddington and Farringdon stations.
About Network Rail
Network Rail is the 'not for dividend' owner and operator of Britain's railway infrastructure, which includes the tracks, signals, tunnels, bridges, viaducts, level crossings and stations - the largest of which we also manage We aim to provide a safe, reliable and efficient rail infrastructure for freight and passenger trains to use Our website: www.networkrail.co.uk