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Old September 23rd, 2011, 06:36 PM   #881
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Network Rail unveils first section of new roof at King’s Cross

For the first time in half a century, passengers can pass through the concourse at King’s Cross station bathed in natural daylight after the first section of the new roof was unveiled. As part of an extensive six-year redevelopment of King’s Cross station, the 270m-long iron and glass roof above platforms 1 to 8 is being completely refurbished.

Once complete, 7,500 clear glass panels and over 1,400 photovoltaic panels, which will reduce the station’s carbon footprint by 10%, will have replaced the yellowing fibreglass which was installed in the 1970s, creating a better environment for passengers.

Ian Fry, King’s Cross programme director, Network Rail said: “The new roof is an important part of our plans to transform King’s Cross station. The glass panels will make the station brighter, more environmentally friendly and a better place for passengers to be.

“We always knew accessing the roof without any impact on passengers or train services would be a huge challenge, but it’s one we rose to, and it is great that passengers can start to see the benefits. ”

A small number of skilled workers slid 130 tonnes of scaffolding 80m along the length of the roof to shield passengers during the next phase of work. Technology used to keep cars running safely on roller-coasters has been adapted and evolved by the project team, to keep the innovative curved structure safely resting on two small beams.

Grit blasters, firing at over 450mph, stripped layers of paint from the ironwork before repainting and carrying out any minor repairs. In some places 32 different coats had been applied over the years until it was a centimetre thick and any detailing in the intricate ironwork was lost.

The roof is Grade I listed and consequently, English Heritage and conservation planners have been closely involved in all aspects of the restoration, which combines traditional materials and techniques with 21st century engineering.

Eighty specialists have worked on the roof for over two years, including lead workers, conservation masons and roof glaziers. More sections of the roof will be revealed later in the month, with the entire length completing in 2011.
http://www.rail.co/2011/09/19/networ...t-kings-cross/
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Old September 25th, 2011, 12:47 AM   #882
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A Look at the Crossrail Tunnelling Portal at Royal Oak

Sandwiched between the Westway and the Hammersmith & City Line is Crossrail’s Royal Oak Portal – the point from which central section tunnelling will start in the west and the point at which trains will enter or leave the tunnelled section.

Construction of the Portal has now largely been completed, with tunnelling due to commence next year. At only 21m wide, its an incredibly narrow worksite and, as the photo below demonstrates, one that borders pretty much directly onto the live railway at various points.

...
http://www.londonreconnections.com/2...-at-royal-oak/
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Old September 27th, 2011, 08:49 PM   #883
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Thameslink Resignalling programme hits milestone

A major milestone in the Thameslink programme which will ultimately allow more frequent trains to run between Blackfriars and St Pancras was achieved over the weekend with the commissioning of the first part of the major resignaling work.

The work involved redesigning and modernising the signalling through the central London core to enable the more frequent, metro-style service that the Thameslink programme will deliver.

This first 10-month phase of the work, between Kentish Town and Farringdon, has taken 320,000 man-hours – on average 1,100 man-hours per day – and was completed in 39 weekend line closures to keep passenger disruption to a minimum.

Martin Chatfield, Network Rail’s senior programme manager on the Thameslink programme “We’ve been installing and testing the new kit for a while now, but this weekend was crunch time, when the old system turned off and the new one brought into full use. It was a considerable technical challenge, but careful planning and some fantastic expertise in the team and on the ground paid off.”

The longer services are due to start running in December this year, with major station redevelopments complete by Summer 2012.

The congestion-busting Thameslink programme allows longer, more frequent passenger services to run north-south to and through London. The first phase of the programme will be finished in 2012 and sees the complete redevelopment of Blackfriars and Farringdon stations in central London, and platform lengthening, resignalling and power upgrades along the Thameslink route.

The second phase includes the redevelopment of London Bridge station, and the complete remodelling of the track and signalling systems to allow the service to increase to up to 24 trains per hour. It will begin in 2013 and is due for completion in 2018.
http://www.rail.co/2011/09/27/thames...its-milestone/
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Old September 29th, 2011, 12:53 AM   #884
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First Crossrail portal completed ahead of schedule

Construction of Royal Oak portal, the first of five tunnel portals on the Crossrail route is now complete and work has begun to prepare for the start of tunnelling next year.

The tunnel portals will act as an entry point for the tunnel boring machines and ultimately provide an entrance and exit for trains to the underground sections of Crossrail.

Tunnel construction is scheduled to start in spring 2012 when the first TBM is launched from Royal Oak. This will be followed by the launch of further TBMs to construct the remaining tunnels.

Construction of Royal Oak Portal was completed nearly a month ahead of schedule. Work started in January 2010 within a narrow corridor at Royal Oak, bordered by the A40 Westway to the north and the Hammersmith & City line and Network Rail lines to the south.

The works comprise a massive ramp structure that will take the Crossrail tracks from ground-level down into the underground tunnels. A total of 25,000m3of spoil was excavated to construct the tunnel portal with the excavated material re-used at construction sites in London.
http://www.theconstructionindex.co.u...ad-of-schedule
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Old September 29th, 2011, 10:43 AM   #885
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The scheme, which also includes a section running through to Abbey Wood in south-east London and a spur line to Heathrow, will be funded by central government, Transport for London and the private sector.
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Old September 29th, 2011, 09:03 PM   #886
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What scheme?
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Old September 30th, 2011, 06:18 PM   #887
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Originally Posted by PortoNuts View Post
What scheme?
Crossrail presumably.
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Old October 1st, 2011, 05:42 PM   #888
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Ah okay.

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Crossrail work starts in Essex for new nature reserve

Work is underway at Wallasea Island in Essex as it gets ready to create a nature reserve from six million tonnes of material to be excavated by Crossrail.

The construction of a 21 km twin-bore tunnel will allow vessels to offload resources at the site.

It is expected that the first ships will arrive in summer 2012 as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds sets about creating the wetland nature reserve.

Andy Mitchell, Crossrail Programme Director, said the firm is committed to pursuing "sustainable" methods in terms of this project.

"All of the excavated material from Crossrail's western tunnels will be transported to Wallasea Island by freight train and ship to minimise the number of Crossrail lorries in central London," he added.

The organisation is currently preparing the Royal Oak Crossrail site ahead of the tunnelling, which is due to get underway in the spring of 2012 and will see five separate tunnel portals created.
http://www.trl.co.uk/trl-news-hub/tr..._800744600.htm
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 07:23 PM   #889
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Network Rail, major resignalling commissioning keeps Thameslink on track

The work involved redesigning and modernising the signalling through the central London core to enable the more frequent, metro-style service that the Thameslink programme will deliver.

This first 10-month phase of the work, between Kentish Town and Farringdon, has taken 320,000 man-hours – on average 1,100 man-hours per day - and was completed in 39 weekend line closures to keep passenger disruption to a minimum.

Martin Chatfield, Network Rail’s senior programme manager on the Thameslink programme “We’ve been installing and testing the new kit for a while now, but this weekend was crunch time, when the old system turned off and the new one brought into full use. It was a considerable technical challenge, but careful planning and some fantastic expertise in the team and on the ground paid off.”

The longer services are due to start running in December this year, with major station redevelopments complete by Summer 2012.

The congestion-busting Thameslink programme allows longer, more frequent passenger services to run north-south to and through London. The first phase of the programme will be finished in 2012 and sees the complete redevelopment of Blackfriars and Farringdon stations in central London, and platform lengthening, resignalling and power upgrades along the Thameslink route.
http://www.breakingtravelnews.com/ne...link-on-track/
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Old October 4th, 2011, 01:42 AM   #890
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Canary Wharf Crossrail works

by frenchconnector on Flickr.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/pixeltr...n/photostream/
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Old October 4th, 2011, 06:51 PM   #891
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YouTube video outlines Old Oak Common high-speed rail hub vision

A Youtube video providing an interactive regeneration vision for Old Oak Common has been released. The run-down area will see 12,000 new homes and 40,000 jobs in Hammersmith and Fulham if the Department for Transport (DfT) approve its high-speed rail (HS2) plans in December.

It would result in a new transport hub and major interchange station linking Great Western and West Coast mainlines, Crossrail, Bakerloo and Central underground lines and Heathrow Express as the HS2 travels from London to Birmingham in just 49 minutes.

A major regeneration of the area, dubbed Royal Park City, designed by world-renowned architect Sir Terry Farrell would revolutionise one of London’s poorest areas.

And the council has developed a computer-generated video clip with interactive artist impression’s of the ambitious project. Filmed to the soundtrack of 80s classic We Built This City by Starship, the video is called We Built This City on Rails and Road and is four minutes long.

A narrator describes Old Oak as a ‘forgotten area of London and area of urban deprivation’ and in the bottom fifth of the most deprived areas of the UK.

Councillor Stephen Greenhalgh, council leader, said: “The YouTube clip clearly shows how HS2 could be the catalyst to create Park Royal City. HS2 is the fastest way to deliver much need new homes, jobs and opportunities in one of London’s poorest areas and the case for an interchange station at Old Oak is overwhelming.”

Sir Terry, who is also designing the controversial Earls Court development, will talk about the plans at The Place West London event at Olympia on October 1.

He said: “The regeneration potential of the transport super hub at Park Royal City is a tremendous opportunity for London and the UK as a whole. This project is of huge significance to the economy of London and will deliver a new metropolitan quarter of the city, with new homes and employment opportunities in an area currently occupied by brown field land.”

Community members and business leaders in Old Oak have welcomed the plans. But the government’s HS2 plans have come under fire from other parts of London and the Home Counties for the impact it will have on their own environments.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 05:50 PM   #892
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Work starts on solar bridge at Blackfriars station

Work on the world's largest solar bridge formally begins today as the first of more than 4,400 solar panels are installed above the new Blackfriars station platform. The historic London site is undergoing a multi-million pound refit, which includes extending the platform along Blackfriars Bridge, a structure built in 1886.

When complete in 2012, the Victorian bridge will play host to some 6,000 square metres of photovoltaic (PV) panels, making it London's largest solar array.

Solarcentury, the UK company managing the installation, expects the panels to generate around 900,000kWh of electricity a year, providing half of the station's energy and reducing annual CO2 emissions by an estimated 511 tonnes.

"Blackfriars Bridge is an ideal location for solar; a new, iconic large roof space, right in the heart of London," said Solarcentury chief executive Derry Newman in a statement.

"Station buildings and bridges are fixed parts of our urban landscape and it is great to see that this one will be generating renewable energy every day into the future. For people to see that solar power is working is a vital step towards a clean energy future."

Other energy saving measures, such as rain harvesting systems and sun pipes for natural lighting, are also being fitted at Blackfriars, as part of Network Rail's plans to reduce carbon emissions by 25 per cent per passenger kilometre by 2020.

Lindsay Vamplew, Network Rail's project director for Blackfriars, said that the refurbishment will make the station a template for green stations around the world. "The Victorian rail bridge at Blackfriars is part of our railway history," he said. "Constructed in the age of steam, we're bringing it bang up to date with 21st century solar technology to create an iconic station for the city."

One other solar bridge is known to exist, the Kurilpa footbridge in Brisbane, Australia, although 16,000 solar panels were laid on the top of a train tunnel in Belgium earlier this year. The array is capable of powering all of the country's trains for one day a year.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environmen...?newsfeed=true

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Solar bridge points to a bright future

It will cost just over £7m and nothing quite like it has been built in London before. But the most striking feature of the latest addition to the capital’s streetscape is that it will generate enough electricity to power about 300 houses every year.

After years of planning, workers have started to install the first of nearly 100 solar panel “leaves” that will form the roof of the new Blackfriars station that Network Rail is assembling above a Victorian bridge over the Thames.

“It’s absolutely unique. You’ve got a 19th century bridge with a 21st century roof,” said Derry Newman, chief executive of Solarcentury, the London company that helped develop the roof.

He hopes the structure, which will generate about half the station’s power needs, will show solar power can be viable in a country where the sun often struggles to shine. “It will start to inform people’s opinion that this is part of what the future is and a normal part of where you get electricity,” he said.

The station roof, which is due to be finished next year, will almost certainly be London’s biggest solar array. But Solarcentury and Network Rail think Blackfriars may also be the world’s biggest solar bridge.

Brisbane claims to have the world’s biggest solar powered footbridge, a futuristic structure that opened two years ago and looks like a collection of enormous knitting needles. And thousands of solar panels were put on top of a train tunnel in Belgium earlier this year on the route from Paris to Antwerp.

The Blackfriars roof will have just over 4,400 solar panels, and may not be the last of its kind. “This is the first time we’ve stuck solar panels on a station roof, so it’s going to provide a lot of information for us,” said Network Rail spokesman David Wilson. “If it’s successful you will see a lot more solar panels on stations in future.”

The Blackfriars project was supported by the Department for Transport’s safety and environment fund, but the private sector is also contributing to the relentless march of renewable energy projects across the country.

On Tuesday, the Little Chef roadside restaurant chain began the roll-out of electric charging points at more than 100 of its car parks, a move it described as the biggest deployment of its type. The project has been developed with Scottish and Southern Energy, one of the country’s biggest energy companies, and Chargemaster, the Luton-based car charging company.

“This will mean that 90 per cent of the UK will be no further than 30 miles from a Little Chef equipped with an electric vehicle charging point,” the partners said in a statement.

The move comes shortly after Ecotricity, the Stroud-based green energy company, announced it had teamed up for a similar network of charging points with the Welcome Break restaurant chain.

Another Chargemaster project, known as Polar, aims to install 4,000 electric vehicle charging bays in about 100 towns and cities across the UK by the end of 2012. Only about 800 electric cars were registered in the eight months to the end of August, but the number is expected to balloon as major car makers introduce more models.
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/e0e3c...#axzz1a0t0XL26
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Old October 8th, 2011, 05:12 PM   #893
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High-speed rail could link Gatwick and Heathrow airports in 15 minutes

A high-speed rail link could take passengers between Gatwick and Heathrow within 15 minutes, according to a new proposal drawn up by civil servants. The £5bn plan – creating a hub known as Heathwick – would mean there is no need to build another airport to serve London or expand the current facilities at Heathrow.

According to sources, officials at the Department for Transport have already put the idea to the airports and companies involved – but it remains only one option to be considered under the current aviation review. The plans are at an early stage and could easily run into opposition from Heathrow, which is owned by BAA and keen to expand on its own. Gatwick is owned by Global Infrastructure Partners.

There could also be protest from people who live near the area, including the Surrey constituents of Philip Hammond, the transport minister. To minimise disruption, the trains, travelling at 180mph, would largely follow the route of the M25 motorway and could be underground for part of the way.

Under the current proposals, passengers would not need to go through separate immigration procedures or check-in twice, because Gatwick and Heathrow would be considered part of the same aviation “hub”.

Ministers are under pressure from business groups to find a solution to lack of airport capacity in the South East, after the Coalition ruled out any more runways at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. The main concern is that poor airport infrastructure is making Britain less competitive.

The British Chamber of Commerce first put forward plans for a "Heathwick" hub two years ago, but the idea has only gained ground during the current review of the UK’s aviation capacity. It would take some time to build the 35-mile line, but less than creating another new airport in the Thames Estuary, which is the favoured solution of London Mayor Boris Johnson.

The Department for Transport is planning to publish its aviation policy in the spring.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/n...5-minutes.html

Quote:
Heathwick airport hub on agenda

A radical plan for a new “Heath-Wick” airport hub featuring a £5bn high-speed rail link between Heathrow and Gatwick is being considered seriously by ministers, the Financial Times has learnt.

The idea was put forward as an alternative to the politically unpalatable expansion of Heathrow and is being closely examined by ministers, who are under pressure to increase airport capacity in the south-east of England.

The British Chambers of Commerce suggested two years ago that high-speed rail could be used to link Heathrow and Gatwick, creating a “collective hub”. Councillor Victoria Borwick, a member of the Greater London Authority’s transport committee and former Conservative party treasurer, will on Saturday call for a more detailed consultation into the idea.

She believes her proposal will expand capacity around London without jeopardising the coalition’s promise not to build new runways at Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted. Stansted, in Essex, is relatively unpopular with airways and is only running at 58 per cent capacity.

Building a 15-minute link between Heathrow and Gatwick could increase the price of landing slots at the latter, and eventually force low-cost airlines such as Ryanair and EasyJet to move to Stansted. This could free up more slots at the new “Heath-Wick” hub for an expansion of regional capacity, an idea which has caught the eye of cabinet ministers.

The Department for Transport said a draft aviation policy would be published for consultation in the spring. “We are seeking views on the key issues which need to be addressed, including the importance of a UK hub airport and whether it might be possible to create a ‘virtual hub’ by improving connectivity between existing airports,” it said. “This proposal will form a useful contribution to the debate.”

The 35-mile high-speed rail route would see trains travelling at up to 180mph parallel to the M25, before disappearing into tunnels en route to Gatwick. Passengers would not need to pass through immigration or check-in twice.

The route would take several years to legislate and another five to build. As such it would be faster to build than alternatives including the £40bn “Boris Airport” proposed by London’s mayor, Boris Johnson, for the Thames estuary.

“We have all heard of ideas floating around such as Boris Airport, Cliffe Airport or RAF Manston but most are 25 years off,” said Cllr Borwick. “We need to look at what we can do in a reasonable time frame and to a reasonable budget.”

Mr Johnson this week rowed back from his once-cherished plan, suggesting he was now “not wedded to any particular solution”. “It may be that there are alternative ideas that people provide,” he said. “High-speed links between this or that airport ... creating a dual hub or whatever.”

Airlines including British Airways are likely to reject the plan and call again for a third runway at Heathrow. But the government believes a U-turn over Heathrow is politically impossible.

David Begg, chair of the Business Infrastructure Commission and a non-executive director at BAA, said Heathrow’s third runway was still the best “shovel-ready” option: “You could do it quickly but the problem is that politically that option is just toxic and off-limits just now. That is why it makes sense to look at a number of options such as this one.”
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/f4949...#axzz1aCQAYlcs
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Old October 8th, 2011, 06:36 PM   #894
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London Overground rail project scoops award

Work to upgrade the North London Railway has been recognised at the National Rail Awards 2011. Transport for London (TfL) reports that the scheme, which has taken three years and cost £550 million, scooped the prize for Project of the Year at the industry event.

Part of the London Overground, the area that has undergone the upgrade has benefitted from longer platforms, new trains, increased capacity and more frequent services.

TfL, the Department for Transport (DFT), the Olympic Delivery Authority, Network Rail and the Stratford Transport Implementation Group funded the project and the route looks set to prove integral once the 2012 Games kick off next summer.

These efforts already appear to be paying dividends, with weekly journeys on the Clapham Junction and Richmond routes rising from 600,000 ahead of December 2010 to a record high of more than one million in July.

Mike Brown, Managing Director of London Rail, said: "The upgrade is now delivering real and tangible benefits for passengers and has created a legacy far in advance of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympics Games."

The DFT announced yesterday (October 4th) it has awarded almost £10 million to a scheme to improve Reading Train Station, which will include installing secure, step-free pedestrian access.
http://www.trl.co.uk/trl-news-hub/tr..._800749211.htm
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Old October 8th, 2011, 07:27 PM   #895
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Give me control of Greenwich’s trains, says Boris at cable car launch

London mayor Boris Johnson has called for control of London’s overground rail routes following a power failure which saw hundreds of Greenwich line passengers stranded on a viaduct this morning.

The mayor spoke as he unveiled a £36m sponsorship deal for the cable car between the Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks, which will now be officially called the Emirates Air Line. But the launch came as Greenwich’s existing transport network was crippled by the closure of the A2 due to a dangerous building at Deptford Bridge, and the failure of the Southeastern train at Deptford.

Passengers were stuck on the train for two-and-a-half hours until it was “rolled” back to Deptford station. London-bound services were diverted via Lewisham throughout the morning.

“The failure on the overground rail is something we could well sort out if only they would give us control,” Mr Johnson told greenwich.co.uk. Transport for London has control of just one of the capital’s mainline operators, London Overground, which was launched by his predecessor Ken Livingstone in 2007.

“It’s a continual bugbear that you have passengers who feel frustrated because their journey into work isn’t comfortable from the south-east. We’re not empire-building, but we just think we could help if we’re involved in those franchises.

“Cable theft is a big problem now and we think that the systems being put in place to protect passengers against disruption are inadequate. Frankly, as mayor, I get people asking me about this and I think I need a bit more jurisdiction.”

The £36m, ten-year deal, will see the cable car stations named Emirates Greenwich Peninsula and Emirates Royal Docks, with the 34 gondolas painted in the airline’s red livery. Inside, the seats feature a bus-style moquette. The service – which will have a capacity of 2,500 people in each direction each hour – will appear on the Tube map, but fares and operating times are still not confirmed. It is due to open next summer, although TfL is not guaranteeing it will be ready for the Olympics.

But the sponsorship cash falls well short of the £59m total budget of a scheme the mayor originally hoped would be entirely funded by private finance. TfL is applying to the European Regional Development Fund for an £8m grant which would “more or less wipe out the construction costs”, Mr Johnson said.

As for the remaining funds, the mayor said most of it was set aside for contingencies that hopefully would not be needed. “Even in the worst case scenario, there will be a revenue stream from the cable car in terms of fare revenue for TfL which would help to defray that cost very substantially.

“Secondly, there will be further commercial opportunities associated with the base stations, which we will use – retail and so on – and whatever’s left over will represent sensational value for a significant new piece of transport infrastructure.”

The mayor added: “Emirates are one of the most successful airlines in the world – ask yourself why they put £36m into this. I think we’ve got a good deal and they’ve got a good deal. £36m is a good sum to give London a cable car that it needs.”

TfL’s managing director of underground and rail services, Mike Brown, said: “I was on site yesterday and work is well under way – the contractors are doing a great job from what I can see so far. Our plan is to get it up and running next summer, but it was never designed as being critical for the Olympics. But obviously we want to get it in service as soon as we can.

“This is an area of London that’s developing all the time, there are events at ExCeL and at the O2 arena – not just at weekends and in the evenings, but increasingly throughout the day – so we’re very positive about the revenue stream we’ll generate from this.”

Asked if the cable car car was the best priority for Greenwich’s transport problems, Mr Brown said: “TfL is investing a huge amount of money in the delivery of Crossrail, which of course will carry huge volumes of people, many more than the cable car was designed for.

...
http://www.greenwich.co.uk/news/0621...ground-trains/
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Old October 8th, 2011, 09:50 PM   #896
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Crossrail Royal Oak Portal

by IanVisits on Flickr.















Crossrail mockup.



More: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ianvisi...th/6174864629/
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Old October 9th, 2011, 11:36 PM   #897
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Transport for London warns against PFI deal for Crossrail

Boris Johnson's Transport for London (TfL) authority has warned that funding the £1bn Crossrail trains contract through a private finance initiative "does not represent sufficient value" for the taxpayer, as the London mayor pushes for a state-funded deal.

A confidential memo by TfL officials, drawing on the experience of the £30bn public-private partnership to upgrade the tube network, argues that altering PFI contracts can be "complicated and expensive". TfL wants to raise its debt ceiling and acquire the carriages directly – an idea that has met resistance from the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Treasury, which must OK such a move.

PFI deals are potentially more expensive for the taxpayer because privately raised debt costs more than borrowings backed by the state's AAA credit rating.

The memo rejects the argument that the PFI "premium" is worth paying because it transfers risk away from the taxpayer to the private sector, which has to raise the debt.

"The recent financial crisis has resulted in a significant widening of the gap between the cost of finance under a private-financed concession compared with the public sector," it states, pointing to a Treasury select committee report that found PFIs can add up to 70% to the cost of a project.

"It is TfL's view that this level of 'premium' does not represent sufficient value for the Crossrail rolling stock and depot, and that the benefits that do arise from private finance could also be achieved through a disciplined, wholly public procurement."

The memo raises the pressure on the DfT, after ministers pledged that the next train supply contest will put British contenders on an "equal footing" with their European counterparts, after Siemens of Germany was preferred bidder for the £1.4bn Thameslink carriages contract.

TfL's debt burden of £6.4bn is constrained by the DfT. Under the terms of its settlement with the DfT in the public spending review, TfL cannot increase its borrowings by more than £1.9bn by 2015.

Tony Travers, director of the Greater London group at the London School of Economics, said TfL's reference to a "disciplined" publicly funded deal raised the ghost of the Jubilee line extension, which opened over budget and behind schedule in 1999 and was overseen by London Underground, which spent £3.4bn on the project.

"The word 'disciplined' ... is conceding that there used to be a problem," he said, adding that a publicly funded procurement could benefit Bombardier, owner of Britain's last remaining train factory, because it will not have to provide guarantees on private financing.

Industry sources believe that inferior financial heft contributed to Bombardier losing out as preferred bidder for the Thameslink contract, forcing the manufacturer to announce plans to cut more than 1,400 jobs at its Derby factory.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2...?newsfeed=true
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Old October 11th, 2011, 06:30 PM   #898
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Old October 11th, 2011, 11:13 PM   #899
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Major resignalling commissioning keeps Thameslink on track

A major milestone in the Thameslink programme which will ultimately allow more frequent trains to run between Blackfriars and St Pancras was achieved recently with the commissioning of the first part of the major resignalling work.


The first phase of the programme will be finished in 2012 and sees the complete redevelopment of Blackfriars and Farringdon stations in central London, and platform lengthening, resignalling and power upgrades along the Thameslink route. Photo: Network Rail.

The work involved redesigning and modernising the signalling through the central London core to enable the more frequent, metro-style service that the Thameslink programme will deliver. This first 10-month phase of the work, between Kentish Town and Farringdon, has taken 320,000 man-hours – on average 1,100 man-hours per day – and was completed in 39 weekend line closures to keep passenger disruption to a minimum.

Martin Chatfield, Network Rail’s senior programme manager on the Thameslink programme: “We’ve been installing and testing the new kit for a while now, but this weekend was crunch time, when the old system turned off and the new one brought into full use. It was a considerable technical challenge, but careful planning and some fantastic expertise in the team and on the ground paid off.”

The longer services are due to start running in December this year, with major station redevelopments complete by Summer 2012. The congestion-busting Thameslink programme allows longer, more frequent passenger services to run north-south to and through London.

The first phase of the programme will be finished in 2012 and sees the complete redevelopment of Blackfriars and Farringdon stations in central London, and platform lengthening, resignalling and power upgrades along the Thameslink route.

The second phase includes the redevelopment of London Bridge station, and the complete remodelling of the track and signalling systems to allow the service to increase to up to 24 trains per hour. It will begin in 2013 and is due for completion in 2018.
http://www.rail.co/2011/10/11/major-...link-on-track/
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Old October 13th, 2011, 05:18 PM   #900
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Manufacturer selected for remaining Crossrail tunnel boring machines


The first TBM components will begin arriving in the UK at Tilbury Docks in December with the second TBM arriving later in January. Photo: Crossrail.

The remaining two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) required to construct Crossrail will be manufactured by Herrenknecht AG, Germany. The final two TBMs will dig Crossrail’s Thames Tunnel in south-east London.

Once complete, Crossrail will dramatically cut journey times for travellers in south east London. From Abbey Wood, Crossrail will reach Canary Wharf in 11 minutes, Liverpool Street in 17 minutes, Tottenham Court Road in 23 minutes and Heathrow in just 51 minutes.

To construct the 21km of twin-bored tunnel required for Crossrail, eight tunnel boring machines will be required and will undertake ten individual tunnel drives to construct the 6m diameter rail tunnels. The first two TBMs will launch from Royal Oak in spring 2012.

Earlier this year, Herrenknecht AG was selected by the major tunnelling contractors to build the first six tunnel boring machines for Crossrail.

Construction of the Thames Tunnel is being undertaken by a Joint Venture comprising Hochtief Construction AG and J Murphy & Sons Ltd who have selected Herrenknecht AG to construct the remaining two TBMs. There are no UK-based tunnel boring machine manufacturers.

Slurry TBMs will be used to construct the 2.6km twin bore Thames Tunnel due to the chalk ground conditions in this part of the capital. The remainder of the tunnels, between Royal Oak, Pudding Mill Lane and Victoria Dock Portal will be constructed using Earth Pressure Balance Machines which will pass through ground which is predominantly London clay, sand and gravels.

The Slurry TBMs will be launched from Plumstead Portal in late 2012 and will tunnel westwards towards North Woolwich.

Construction of Plumstead Portal is now underway with work for North Woolwich Portal commencing in early 2012. The first two Crossrail TBMs are currently being manufactured. Factory assembly of these TBMs begins in October and will complete during November.

The tunnel boring machines will then be factory tested before being dis-assembled in readiness for shipping to London.

The first TBM components will begin arriving in the UK at Tilbury Docks in December with the second TBM arriving later in January. The TBM components will be transported to Westbourne Park for re-assembly.

...
http://www.rail.co/2011/10/12/manufa...ring-machines/
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