GB Railfreight has operated the first test locomotive on a new freight line to be used by Crossrail to transfer millions of tonnes of excavated material from London to Northfleet, Kent.
Lafarge have reinstated a disused rail freight link from the North Kent Main Line into their Northfleet site. The length of the new freight line is around 2.25km with 4.75km of new track provided.
Trains will be operated by GB Railfreight, with the first freight train carrying excavated material due to operate in summer 2012.
Excavated material generated from tunnelling operations for the western tunnels (Royal Oak to Farringdon) will exit at the Royal Oak Portal and be transported by freight train to Northfleet. From Northfleet, the material will be transferred by ship to regeneration sites, including a new RSPB nature reserve at Wallasea Island, Essex. Up to five freight trains will operate from Westbourne Park on Mondays to Saturdays with up to four trains on Sundays.
Andy Mitchell, Crossrail Programme Director said: “The reinstated Northfleet rail link has been successfully commissioned with the operation of the first test locomotive by GB Railfreight. This new rail link will help us minimise lorry use in central London, as well as ensuring the efficient transfer of excavated material to sites where it can be best used for environmental improvement.”
John Smith, Managing Director, GB Railfreight said: “I am very pleased that the first test locomotive has run successfully on the reinstated Northfleet rail link. This is an important project for GBRf and our involvement demonstrates yet again that we have both the capability and resources to work on major projects and deliver an exceptional quality service.”
David Simms, Lafarge Cement's Land and Planning Director said: "Northfleet, until recently the location of the UK's largest cement works, is a site with a long history of rail use and is key to the sustainable onward distribution of essential construction materials for the built environment. Our involvement with the Crossrail project marks the latest stage in our vision for the 104 acre Northfleet site and delivers on our commitment to sustainable regeneration."
Tunnelling for Crossrail will produce in the region of 6 million tonnes of material which will be excavated from constructing the 21km of twin-bore tunnel. Close to 100% of the excavated material is expected to be clean, uncontaminated and reusable elsewhere.
Notes to Editors:
C300 western running tunnels contractor BFK (BAM / Ferrovial / Kier JV) appointed GB Railfreight, in February 2012, to transport excavated material from Royal Oak to Northfleet.
Reinstatement of the freight line was delivered for Lafarge by Balfour Beatty Rail as the first stage of Lafarge’s regeneration of the Northfleet site. The rail link was completed on time and with zero safety incidents.
GB Railfreight will dedicate two Class 66 locomotives as well as two sets of 27 JNA wagons to transport the excavated material. Each of the 54 wagons has a carrying capacity of 76.9 tonnes.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) will require 10 million tonnes of excavated material to create a new 1,500 acre nature reserve at Wallasea Island in Essex - one of the largest new wetland nature reserves in Europe for some 50 years. Crossrail will provide close to 4.5 million tonnes of excavated material to the RSPB. The remainder of Crossrail’s excavated material will be beneficially reused elsewhere. The first ships from Northfleet will arrive at Wallasea in summer 2012.
For further information contact:
Crossrail Press Office on 020 3229 9552 or email email@example.com
GB Railfreight: Kaye Inglis of Woodhouse Communications on 01444 221000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Lafarge: Steve Carter on 0845 8126387 or 07850 867657 or Daniel Daniels on 01905 391047 or 07590 728508
The total funding envelope available to deliver Crossrail is £14.8bn.
The Crossrail route will pass through 37 stations and run 118 km (73 miles) from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km (13 miles) tunnels to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.
When Crossrail opens it will increase London's rail-based transport network capacity by 10%, supporting regeneration and cutting journey times across the city. Crossrail services are due to commence through central London in 2018.
Crossrail is being delivered by Crossrail Limited (CRL). CRL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London. Crossrail is jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and Transport for London.