Parsons Brinckerhoff has won an £8M contract to design the second phase of the East West Rail scheme, which will see a passenger and freight rail link re-established between Oxford and Bedford, Milton Keynes and Aylesbury.
In the construction phase this will involve upgrading and reconstructing underused and disused sections of railway.
Work to be carried out by Parsons Brinckerhoff will include timetable modelling, design and alignment of track, civil engineering works to bridges and embankments, geotechnical investigation and surveying.
The firm will also deliver studies on how the reinstated railway will impact on level crossings, station design, consents, ecology and environmental works.
Network Rail senior programme manager Andy Milne said: “This contract award marks a significant milestone for the East West Rail scheme. The work Parsons Brinckerhoff will be carrying out will enable the project to be developed to the point where we can then award contracts for detailed design and construction.”
Parsons Brinckerhoff director of rail UK/Europe Darren Reed said: “We are delighted to be working with Network Rail and the East West Consortium to facilitate the development of this major complex rail programme. We look forward to developing this visionary strategic transport scheme, which in turn will encourage economic growth and promote sustainable transport solutions.”
The first phase of the East West Rail scheme is already being carried out by a joint venture between Carillion and Buckingham Group Contracting. This involves construction and doubling of track for more than 18km of railway to increase line speeds to 100mph.
Other works on phase one include construction of new overbridges, underbridges and footbridges, closure of 37 level crossings, construction of a new station at Oxford Parkway and work to upgrade Bicester Town and Islip stations along with a new signalling system.