Laing O’Rourke is part of a three-strong Alliance that is defining, determining, designing, deliveringEast West Rail
- Value £1.2bn
- Duration Completion due in 2026
- Project Partners Atkins, Network Rail, Volker Rail
Laing O’Rourke is part of a three-strong Alliance that is defining, determining, designing, delivering and deploying the works to provide a strategic route linking communities and businesses between Oxford, Milton Keynes, Aylesbury and Bedford.
The East West Rail Alliance is responsible for the delivery of the EWR2 project and consists of Atkins, Laing O’Rourke, VolkerRail and Network Rail who are working collaboratively to provide passengers with much improved cross-country rail links.
Using Digital Engineering to inform design
Our Digital Engineering team used model authoring software to project 2D utilities information, which helped us plan diversion works across the 30km scheme. This also reduced risk, created a long-term, maintainable solution for the service providers and Network Rail. Planning the 2D utilities was a significant benefit considering the rural location of the programme, along with the limited vehicle access and areas of ecological and environmental importance.
In addition, they also developed a digital tool that feeds data sets from the design team’s schedules to accurately map trackside drainage and culverts which helped the project team to save time, increase accuracy and provide automatic validation.
An environment for success and innovation
As the site stretches across rural land and even a flood plain, mitigation plans were developed to address everything from bats and badgers, to newts and noise. The relocation of animals was key, with translocation ponds for water-based wildlife and relocation areas for land-based wildlife identified.
We consulted the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Department for Transport, and Natural England to ensure that the environment surrounding the site experienced minimal impact. The Alliance has also created a bespoke tool which replaced the use of the RSSB’s Rail Carbon Tool and uses bills of quantities to measure the project’s carbon footprint and evaluate low-carbon options for materials and methods.
As well as the bespoke carbon footprint tool, Laing O’Rourke developed an integrated management system. Along with the Alliance innovation manager, the project team submitted a number of innovative ideas which lead to them being developed, this included shell abutments that saved eight weeks of programme delivery and 50% onsite labour.