Crossrail and Idom Merebrook

Idom Merebrook, one of the UK’s leading multi-disciplinary engineering consultancies has been working on Crossrail, one of the UK’s most ambitious rail projects, for the past five years. Idom Merebrook believes this experience has galvanized their rail credentials and will help further develop their rail division.

Crossrail Limited is delivering a new railway for the London and the South East. As Europe’s largest infrastructure project, it is building 42km of tunnels, 10 new stations and improving 30 more.

The finished railway will be an accessible route to 40 stations from Reading and Heathrow in the west, through central London and to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. The Elizabeth line, as the railway will be known when it opens to the public in central London in 2018, will change the way people travel. It will add 10% to central London’s rail capacity, reduce journey times and increase choice.

Idom Merebrook has been involved in the project since 2011 when they were awarded a contract by Bam Ferrovial Kier JV (BFK) to undertake and coordinate temporary works designs on the western running tunnels and station caverns contracts.

BKF was awarded three contracts on the project. The contracts comprised two 6.8km tunnel drives between Royal Oak and Farringdon; a contract to construct early access shafts and sprayed concrete lining works for Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road station tunnels, and a contract for the main construction works at the new Farringdon station.

Involvement in the Crossrail project has supported the establishment of Idom’s London office and developed the company’s credentials within rail infrastructure and rail engineering.

The engineering team’s expertise has been further enhanced by building a greater knowledge of rail operating systems, and managing of interfaces between construction work and Network Rail operations. There is a new understanding of areas such as track alignment requirements in relation to the TBM tunneling capabilities and construction of the tunnel track slab and platforms

Idom’s scope of work has included structural and geotechnical design and detailed construction drawings for the temporary propping and floor supports at the east ticket hall at the new Farringdon station. These works included a two story basement of bottom up construction including temporary props that were installed during the excavation phase, and removed during the construction of the permanent works.

The Idom team prepared fabrication details, risk assessments, method statements and specifications for the temporary works, including: shaft ring beam design (at Fisher Street), existing building structural reinforcement, tower crane base design for cofferdam, temporary platform, materials handling storage structures, piling mat and access ramp design, services chamber design, as well as retaining wall assessments and reinforcement design.

In addition, Idom Merebrook has carried out structural assessments of existing buildings and prepared bespoke reinforcing details to ensure that no damage was caused by the construction works. The geotechnical analysis team carried out a finite element analysis of the ground to assess the potential effects of deep excavations adjacent to existing building basements.

Nigel Huish, Managing Director, Idom Merebrook commented:

“Idom’s track record in rail systems has spanned a variety of rail networks across Europe including high-speed systems, conventional rail, tramways and metro systems including the design of the railway from Lisbon to Madrid and the provision of the infrastructure supporting the high-speed line from Madrid to Barcelona.

However, on home-ground for us being part of the fulfillment of the Crossrail development has been a real opportunity, both to galvanize our rail credentials in the UK, as well contributing to one of the most significant rail projects in the heritage of British rail engineering.”

Idom will continue to support Crossrail and is proud to have played a role in one of the most significant rail projects in the UK.

For Idom, their involvement in the Crossrail project positions them to develop their rail division and makes them a strong contender for future large-scale rail projects.