Extra 24k passengers daily between Tyne & Wear Credit gonzalo facello via unsplash

Extra 24k passengers daily between Tyne & Wear

Buckingham won a £55m contract to upgrade & electrify the existing freight line in South Tyneside and doubling three key sections to deliver the extra capacity. The electrification section will result in the Metro line running alongside the freight line such as happens on the Sunderland line. Construction is expected to commence early next year with work on the three sections between Pelaw and Bede to commence in September 2022. Called Metro Flow, the project has secured £95m of funding from the Transforming Cities initiative. In the new world trains will run every 10 minutes instead of every 12, and be faster, decreasing journey times.

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Biggest ever underground station in Old Oak Common

Old Oak Common Locomotive Depot, Credit Phil Beard via Flickr

Old Oak Common Locomotive Depot, Credit Phil Beard via FlickrOld Oak Common Locomotive Depot, Credit Phil Beard via Flickr

The largest ever station built in the UK in one go will be the HS2 station by Balfour Beatty, Vinci & Systra. Built like a box, the entire station will be 850m long, 70m wide & 20m deep. The new ‘super-hub’ replaces embattled Euston as the main HS2 London Terminus. Works are scheduled for May 2021 pending ground monitoring issues resolution. When finished, the station will have 14 platforms including 6 x 450m long HS2 platforms underground, twin tunnel access. 740 million cubic metres of ground (clay) must be excavated with the walls 1.8km in length and piles bored 25m into the ground!

Portishead Revival

Portishead_Lighthouse Credit Alexey Komarov via Wikimedia Commons
Portishead_Lighthouse Credit Alexey Komarov via Wikimedia Commons

Portishead Lighthouse Credit Alexey Komarov via Wikimedia Commons

The line between Temple Meads & Portishead, which the author until very recently thought took its name from a rock band, is due to be renewed. Network Rail are looking for a full-service single contractor to design and build 5.5km of new railway on the disused Pill line. The project is part of the ‘levelling-up’ agenda. It follows the £166m Northumberland announcement that it would renew the Ashington Newcastle line & the £760m award to East West Rail for the Bicester Bletchley line.

Goodbye Old Olympia

Goodbye Old Olympia Credit the-blowup via unsplash
Goodbye Old Olympia Credit the-blowup via unsplash

Demolition work has started at Olympia in preparation for the start of the £1.3bn redevelopment except for Olympia National and Olympia Grand which are Grad II heritage listed and will be incorporated into the new development. Laing O’Rourke won the main construction contract at £600m for the new 1,600 seat theatre due to open in 2024, the largest new theatre to open since the National Theatre in 1976. The project includes 2 hotels, 5 other buildings and a huge new music venue. The new construction is using MMC with the majority of parts being designed and made offsite for assembly onsite. With the tallest crane measuring 75m it will be the largest non-infrastructure project site in the UK.

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