Helping relieve one of the UK’s busiest rail routes and a vital link through central London
Construction Services UK
complaints over Christmas 2009
workers on site
The line is so busy that 50 percent of regular users say they sometimes can't board trains because of overcrowding.
The solution is simple: run more frequent, longer trains. What's not so simple is accommodating those trains. Station platforms must be lengthened, bottlenecks must be cleared.
One of the worst bottlenecks is the 1886 Blackfriars railway bridge and its outdated station.
To bring them into the 21st century, we are widening and strengthening the bridge and building a new station across it, for Network Rail, with realigned tracks and new covered platforms spanning the River Thames. A new southern entrance will give passengers access from the south of the river for the first time.
"It's a tricky job, made trickier by the need to keep the station open virtually throughout the programme to minimise disruption for passengers."
We have done much of the work at night and over weekends and holidays, while causing as little disturbance to neighbours as possible (over Christmas 2009, the office stayed open 24/7 to respond to neighbours' concerns and received not one complaint).
The schedule is tight. We started in September 2008 and finish by 2012, so the new trains can be running in time for the Olympics.
With at least 200 engineers in the project office and up to 500 workers on-site, it helps that we can bring together the key resources from within the organisation – from specialists in piling and bridgework to world-class rail experts.
The Blackfriars project follows on from the success of our £115m project to build the new underground northern ticket hall at King's Cross St Pancras. London Mayor Boris Johnson described our work there as "the standard by which all new station developments should be judged."
Project Director, Balfour Beatty
"It's like changing the engines on an aircraft mid-flight! You'd rather not do it that way, but you've got to keep the passengers moving."