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Network Rail awards two major Crossrail contracts for west London and Berkshire

By Peter MacLennan

Network Rail has awarded a contract to VINCI Construction UK Ltd. for the design and upgrade of 13 stations in west London and Berkshire and a separate contract for overhead line equipment to Balfour Beatty.

The stations contract covers significant improvements to stations from Acton Main Line to Maidenhead. Many of the stations on the route are being refurbished or partially rebuilt in preparation for Crossrail.

Proposed improvements along the line include new station buildings and ticket halls, new lifts to deliver step free access and longer platforms. The detailed design phase will start at the end of 2013 and main works will take place between mid-2014 and 2018.

The contract awarded to Balfour Beatty involves the installation of electric overhead line equipment between Airport Junction and Maidenhead across all tracks facilitating the delivery of Crossrail services as well as new high speed Intercity Express trains on the Great Western route.

The remainder of the Great Western route to Swansea is being electrified as part of a wider programme that will see electric services operate from late 2016.

Matt White, Crossrail’s Surface Director said: “For the residents of west London and Berkshire, Crossrail will bring new trains, better stations and quicker journeys. With work at stations set to begin next year, the programme is well on course to deliver significant benefits to passengers.” 

Rob McIntosh, Crossrail Programme Director, Network Rail, said: “This is an exciting step for the western surface section and we look forward to working closely with Vinci and Balfour Beatty in delivering the station improvements and the electrification programme to Maidenhead.

“The work on the western stations will help create improved facilities for passengers travelling on the Great Western Main Line. We are moving forward with formally presenting our plans to the local authorities and look forward to getting on site at some of the stations as soon as summer next year.”

Crossrail will start services through central London in late 2018 with the full route running in 2019. Brand new electric Crossrail trains will allow passengers in west London and Berkshire to travel right through central London and all the way out to Essex, reducing journey times and making it quicker and easier for people to get to a range of destinations across London and the South East. 


For further information contact the Crossrail press office on 020 3229 9552 or email [email protected]

About Crossrail

Crossrail will transform train travel across London and the south east, delivering faster journey times, boosting London’s rail capacity by around 10% and bringing an additional 1.5 million people closer to the capital’s business centres. Crossrail will be integrated with existing London Underground, DLR and National Rail stations making it easy for passengers to change between services.

Network Rail is responsible for the design, development and delivery of the parts of Crossrail that are on the existing network. The work includes upgrading 43 miles of track as well as improving 27 stations from Maidenhead in the west to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east.

Transport for London and the Department for Transport, the joint Sponsors of the Crossrail Project, aim to make the whole Crossrail route accessible. There is already provision for 31 of the 38 stations to have step free access and work is underway to look at practical solutions and funding options for the remaining seven which includes Hanwell and Iver, Taplow and Langley on the Great Western Main Line.

The exact opening strategy for Crossrail has not yet been finalised but the current planning assumption is that Crossrail services will be introduced as follows:

  • Heathrow to Paddington (mainline platforms) – May 2018 (when the Crossrail concession takes over the Heathrow Connect service)
  • Paddington (Crossrail platforms) to Abbey Wood – December 2018
  • Paddington (Crossrail platforms) to Shenfield – May 2019
  • Full through service (including services to Maidenhead) – December 2019