Crossrail confirms partners and training initiative
Crossrail confirms partners and training initiative Apr 2009
Jacobs Engineering UK, with the support of accountant KPMG, is appointed the UK Government's watchdog for the £16 billion Crossrail project, and Bechtel is confirmed as the Delivery Partner for Network Rail to help manage the overground sections of the 118km long rail integration project between Maidenhead in the west and Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.
These appointments follow earlier confirmations by Crossrail of Transcend (a group comprising Aecom, CH2M Hill and Nichols Group) as its overall project Programme Partner and award of a £400 million contract to the Bechtel, Halcrow, Systra JV as its Project Delivery Partner to manage the 21km long underground section beneath central London.
Jacobs with KPMG is appointed by the UK Department for Transport to provide oversight to the two project sponsors (DfT and Transport for London) to ensure that Crossrail Ltd will deliver the project on schedule, within budget and to the agreed standard. As Project Representative, it will review designs and construction strategies, engaging design professionals at the start and tunneling and construction experts during the realization stage. Jacobs is selected from a shortlist of nine who were invited to tender the contract following its notice in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) in September 2008. The shortlisted bidders included: Arcadis; Atkins; Booz & Company (UK) with support from Aecom and Turner & Townsend; Mott MacDonald with Ernst & Young and FirstCo; the Nichols Arup JV with support from First Class Partnerships and NTTX Ltd; Parsons Brinckerhoff with Davis Langdon; Parsons Group with Gardiner & Theobald; and Praxis High Integrity Systems and its supporters.
Bechtel, as the Rail Delivery Partner, will assist Network Rail in its integration of the new cross-capital heavy-rail link. As national owner of existing rail infrastructure, Network Rail will become owner and maintenance guardian of the new Crossrail infrastructure when it opens in 2017, including the tunnels and underground stations on the central London section.
Meanwhile, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson has unveiled details of a Crossrail Tunnelling Academy to train 1,000 people by 2015 in the specialized skills needed to work on the central London tunnelled and underground section. Mayor Johnson has committed £8 million to the project saying: "I want to make sure that Londoners benefit from the opportunities that this scale of work can offer. Across the Greater London area, we are cultivating hundreds of apprentices working to spark young people's interest in engineering and inventing to give many hundreds the skills necessary to be a part of building London's long-awaited Crossrail." The academy created through a partnership between Crossrail and the construction industry is planned to open in spring 2010. Preparing the labour force and the domestic capacity for Crossrail has also been the focus of a working group in the British Tunneling Society.
At its peak, Crossrail is expected to employ 14,000 people with another 7,000 jobs created in related industries. As a much needed associated benefit, the mega-construction project will help London and the UK weather the economic downturn, with a vast injection of capital into infrastructure that will serve the city and the nation well into the future, as construction of the London Underground did before it. Construction work is expected to start in early 2010.
London's Crossrail moves into detailed design Dec 2008
Twelve firms have qualified to compete for design packages on the near £16 billion (US$24 billion) Crossrail project in London. Constituting the largest civil engineering project currently in Europe, the underground alignment passes 21km beneath the city of London from Paddington Station on the west to Liverpool Street Station and Canary Wharf on east and beyond, with an underground connection to Heathrow Airport on the west and an under-passing of the River Thames to Woolwich on the south-east. Engineering packages include design of twin tunnels and shafts, cavernous underground stations, and new railway systems. Of proposals received for the Design Framework Agreements, the successful qualifiers are:

Crossrail alignment

Aedas Group
Capita Symonds
Halcrow Group
Hyder Consulting (UK)
Jacobs Engineering U.K.
Mott MacDonald
Ove Arup & Partners International
Parsons Brinckerhoff
Scott Wilson Railways
WSP UK Limited
Commenting on the Design Framework Agreements, Dr Graham Plant, Programme Director at Crossrail said: "It is clear that Crossrail has excited the construction industry and we look forward to working with the selected Design Framework Agreement companies as we drive forward the design work for this world-class railway."
The announcement follows last week's funding pledge by the City of London of up to £350 million. On December 4, Crossrail secured £200 million from the City, with The City of London Corporation agreeing to seek an additional £150 million from some of the capital's biggest businesses, of which it has guaranteed £50 million. The committment closes one of the last funding gaps in the mega-£16 billion project.
Control of the project also passed to Transport for London, which will fully own the company responsible for delivering the project, Cross London Rail Links.
London's Mayor, Boris Johnson, and Minister of Transport Lord Adonis, speaking to reporters, expressed confidence that the project would move ahead despite the recession. "Even though there's clearly a downturn in the economy, all of the elements are in place and the commitment of the parties necessary for making a contribution is there", said Adonis. The Mayor added: "I don't have any doubt whatever that we will get this show on the road - indeed, under the road. It's going ahead full tilt now."

Comparative tunnel sizes

Crossrail will run 118km from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21km tunnels under central London to Shenfield and under the River Thames to Abbey Wood in the east. It will bring an additional 1.5 million people within a 60 minutes commuting distance of London's key business districts. When Crossrail opens in 2017 it will increase London's public transport network capacity by 10%, supporting regeneration across the capital, helping to secure London's position as a world leading financial centre, and cutting journey times across the city.
In early 2009 Crossrail plans to appoint a programme partner from a short-list of three bidders that includes Bechtel; Legacy 3 - a joint venture between Parsons Brinckerhoff, Balfour Beatty Management and Davis Langdon; and Transcend - a joint venture between AECOM, CH2M Hill and Nichols Group. The programme partner will help deliver safely the overall project to time, to the desired standard, and within budget.
Preparatory works for Crossrail will begin in 2009 with main construction starting in 2010. It is scheduled to open for service in 2017.


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