Balfour Beatty, Laing O'Rourke, Costain and Skanska win contracts on three main London station upgrades

Network Rail has announced its preferred contractors for initial work worth a total of £27m at three key sites on the £5bn Bedford to Brighton Thameselink.

Balfour Beatty has won the Blackfriars Station contract. The station will be completely rebuilt to accommodate 12 car trains with the new station spanning the River Thames and providing an entrance on the South Bank for the first time.

Borough Viaduct

The £15m phase one contract involves setting target costs and timelines for completion of the job.

It also covers a wide range of advance works at and around the existing National Rail and Underground stations and on the railway bridge across the River Thames to prepare for the start of the project proper in 2009.

The Borough Viaduct scheme has gone to Skanska. The £1.7m contract covers a range of minor works to enhance facilities at Borough Market and will also provide a new temporary market hall alongside the existing wholesale market to house the stalls that will need to be relocated during the construction phase from 2009.

Finally, joint team Laing O'Rourke and Costain, who carried out the initial work on the Blackfriars scheme, will begin work on a £10.3m contract to replace the existing interchange bridge, construction of part of a new station entrance and concourse on Turnmill Street, and other minor works on emergency access/escape routes and cable diversions.

Andy Mitchell, Network Rail’s Thameslink project director, said: “After a lengthy and exhaustive process examining a number of submissions of extraordinarily high quality from the construction industry we are now ready to move forward and I’m delighted that we are now on the starting blocks to begin major works on the Thameslink route through central London.

“These contracts will provide us with the firm basis to work upon that will be required to deliver three very complex projects on time and on budget that when complete will transform this vital transport link.”