Full steam ahead

28 November 2022


In the article, Tom explains how the East West Rail Alliance – consisting of Atkins, Laing O’Rourke, Network Rail and VolkerRail – are utilising Balfour Beatty’s NTC machines to reinstate a section of the former Varsity Line between Bicester in Oxfordshire and Bletchley in Buckinghamshire, driving significant productivity and safety efficiencies in the process.

The overarching programme, promoted by the East West Railway Company, ultimately aims to connect Oxford in the west with Cambridge to the east, after the railway between the two university cities was mothballed during the 1960s.

Having already delivered 27 kilometres of track on the project since 2020, the pioneering technology can lay track much faster than conventional construction methods. In addition, because the NTC machines require less plant and personnel on the tracks, it reduces risk for operatives.

Speaking to Transport Infrastructure News, Tom said: “In a typical weekend possession there are about 54 hours where we get the passenger trains stopped before they start again on Monday morning. We can deliver more new track per weekend using these machines.”

To learn more about Balfour Beatty’s NTC Machines and the efficiencies they have delivered to the East West Rail project, read the full article here.

Tom Cunningham, Balfour Beatty New Track Construction (NTC) Machine Operations Manager