Bidders for tunneling jobs encouraged to vie for bundled station deals to drive down costs

Crossrail will encourage bidders for the main tunnelling works to include two stations in their bids, in order to drive down costs.

According to documents posted on the Official Journal, the rail operator has bundled the Liverpool Street and Whitechapel station jobs, as well as Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road, and wants shortlisted teams for the running tunnels on the two contracts to include the stations when tenders are returned in the summer.

A source close to the project said: “No company can win both running tunnel jobs. But they can include either the western or eastern stations in their bids to make them more competitive. The savings will be taken into account when evaluating bids.”

Works on the station tunnels, scheduled to take 47 months, will include the construction of platform, concourse, cross passages and escalator tunnels, as well as the provision of temporary invert fill to the platform tunnels to enable the running tunnel boring machines to be pulled through.

At Liverpool Street a contract to build structures for the eastern and western ticket halls will be let separately, while Whitechapel will also see the construction of a ticket hall under another contract.

Bidders for the tunnelling works included a joint venture comprising Balfour Beatty, Morgan Est, and Vinci; a joint venture comprising Bam Nuttall, Ferrovial Agroman and Kier, a joint venture comprising Costain, Skanska Bilfinger Berger Civil; a joint venture comprising Dragados and John Sisk & Son (Holdings); and a joint venture comprising Laing O'Rourke and Bouygues.

The western tunnel will be bored from Royal Oak Portal through to the new Farringdon station. The eastern starts from a launch chamber at Stepney Green, through to the Pudding Mill Lane Portal, and a portal at Limmo Peninsula through to Victoria Dock Portal to the east.

Work on the remainder of the stations under Crossrail's remit comprises:

  • Work is underway to redevelop ticket halls and entrances at Tottenham Court Road station by a Bam Nuttall/Taylor Woodrow joint venture. And three teams - Balfour Beatty, Laing O’Rourke/Bachy Soletanche/Costain and a joint venture between Taylor Woodrow and Bam Nuttall – are bidding for similar work at Bond Street.
  • A planning application for further development at Paddington station, through the Paddington Integrated Project, was submitted this week. Early works construction is underway by Carillion.
  • Costain is on site at Farringdon undertaking works for Network Rail’s £5.5bn Thameslink programme, with a contract for Crossrail works here still pending.
  • Woolwich Station is being privately funded by Berkeley Homes, while Laing O’Rourke is on site at the new station for Canary Wharf.

Network Rail will upgrade the stations outside the central London section under a £2.3bn works programme.