Consultant will draw up initital designs for what would be final link in an orbital railway around central London

Transport for London has selected Parsons Brinckerhoff to draw up preliminary designs for a £75million further extension of the East London Line.

The project, originally announced by mayor Boris Johnson and transport minister Geoff Hoon in February 2009, is to design a 1.3km stretch of new line which forms part of the new route between Dalston Junction and Clapham Junction. The extension will provide the final link to make an orbital railway around central London.

Parsons Brinkerhoff is to use 40 staff members to begin a schedule of design work to get to Grip Stage 4 by September 2009. The designs will transform a disused rail corridor into a four-train-per-hour line.

Gary Stevens, project manager at Parsons Brinckerhoff, said he was inspired by the job. He said: “Very rarely does any firm get to design new track within London rather than improving what is there already. This will bring back a 1950s’ railway corridor closed by Dr Beaching and making good use of it. Looking at the wider picture, this project will help increase rail capacity.”

PB will continue to work on the project as technical advisor for over two years after design work is complete. The aim is to open the line to the public in May 2012.