Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. announced today it was awarded a contract by Network Rail to continue its support for improving rail links from the Great Western main line to Heathrow Airport in the United Kingdom (U.K.). The work is a key part of a project to improve connections to the U.K.’s busiest airport and create a global gateway for west England.
The proposed rail link enables passengers throughout west England and beyond to travel directly to Heathrow Airport from Reading and Slough without having to change at London Paddington. It is expected to ease congestion on roads, lower carbon dioxide emissions by the equivalent of 30 million passenger road miles per year and provide an economic boost for businesses in the region.
Jacobs’ contribution to the project is expected to be executed from its offices in the U.K. over the next 27 months. The project’s financial contract terms will remain confidential.
Under the terms of the contract, Jacobs is supporting Network Rail’s development consent order (DCO) submission. The initial project work is focused on defining a preferred option to take through consultation. Once a recommendation is agreed upon, Jacobs’ role is to lead the multi-disciplinary engineering and environmental design component to an approval-in-principle level of design for the new 3.1 mile tunneled route. This includes completing the environmental impact assessment to produce the scheme’s environmental statement, which critically informs the engineering design, construction strategy and environmental mitigation program to minimize impact on local residents and the environment during both construction and operation phases.
Jacobs Senior Vice President Buildings and Infrastructure Bob Duff stated, “We started supporting Network Rail on its feasibility plans for this essential rail link in October 2011. Being able to continue our collaboration in an effort to help Network Rail realize the extensive social, economic and environmental goals of this important project is exciting. We are leveraging our experience with the DCO process to support the delivery of sustainable design and compelling application."
Jacobs has worked with Network Rail and its predecessors for more than four decades, supporting projects across infrastructure, operations and asset management. Other U.K. rail projects include Blackfriars Station, the Thameslink Programme (including KO2 and London Bridge station), the Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement Programme and the On Network Works for Crossrail at Stockley.
Jacobs was also recently appointed as the client-side technical advisors to the Western Australia Public Transport Authority for the Forrestfield Airport Rail Link in Perth, Australia.