Team picked to design and build the East West Rail Phase 2 (EWR2) scheme


A Laing O’Rourke, Atkins and Volker Rail team have agreed an alliancing contract with Network Rail to design and construct the second phase of its major east-to-west rail link in southern England.

The project, East West Rail Phase 2, will link Oxford to Bedford and Milton Keynes via Bletchley, as well as Milton Keynes to London Marylebone via Aylesbury.

It involves upgrading and reconstructing underused and mothballed sections of the railway system and will link the Great Western, Chiltern, West Coast and Midland mainlines north of London.

The alliance contract will see all four partners share in the risks and benefits of the scheme, which Andy Milne, Network Rail’s senior programme manager and alliance manager, said will “help drive down costs, reduce risks and lead to the more efficient and timely delivery of the project”.

The alliance is currently continuing with the development of the outline design and the construction programme for the project.

Following this phase of work the EWR2 alliance partners will consult with the Department for Transport to agree the final design scope, construction timetable and costs with an aim to submit an application for a Transport & Works Act order in autumn 2016. 

Graeme Castle, rail sector leader for Laing O’Rourke, speaking on behalf of all the EWR2 partners, said: “Our early involvement in the East West Rail Phase 2 project will guarantee an efficient and constructible design that is at the forefront of innovation built on digital engineering and offsite manufacture.”

The plans include a new station at Winslow, two new platforms at Bletchley, construction of 18 new overbridges, construction of 22 new footbridges/subways and changes to 97 railway crossings.