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Crossrail appoints Independent Chair to head new compliance and assurance group

By Julie Struber

Mike Rayner has been appointed Independent Chair of Crossrail’s new Compliance and Assurance Group (CAG), responsible for providing the railway engineering and operations functional assurance, including compliance with standards, of the central area design.

CAG, with nominated members for each discipline from Cross London Rail Links (CLRL), Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd and London Underground, will focus particularly on new and innovative or complex systems for this world-class, affordable railway.  Interfaces will also be a key part of the Group's considerations.

Mike Rayner is founder of MWR Associates, an industry recognised provider of independent rail infrastructure systems review panels to multi-billion pound rail projects. He said: ‘I am pleased to be a part of what will be the largest engineering project in Europe and am keen to get the Group established and receiving, scrutinising and approving submissions.’

Key early submissions to the CAG will include system safety plans and the menu of central area design documentation.

Mike continued: ‘I see my role as ensuring the CAG functions properly, fairly, effectively and efficiently working with all participants to enable the project to meet its targets, including approving resolution of the complex interface issues. I look forward to working closely with colleagues at CLRL, Network Rail and London Underground.’

Douglas Oakervee, CLRL Executive Chairman, said: ‘We are now moving into a new phase of the project and having independent experts working with our team is vital.  Mike has a strong background in the industry having established and chaired the System Review Panel process for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link Sections 1 and 2 and for Tube Lines and Jubilee/Northern Lines Upgrade Project.’

Crossrail received funding approval from the Prime Minister in October and is scheduled to open in 2017.  The high-frequency railway will connect the City, Canary Wharf, the West End and Heathrow Airport to commuter areas east and west of the capital.

The Crossrail Bill has successfully completed its passage through the House of Commons and is now before the House of Lords.  CLRL, the prospective nominated undertaker of the project, will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London once Royal Assent is granted and the various governing agreements have been executed.