Murphy Spearheads £60 Million Rail Electrification Project in London

A major rail electrification project is well underway in London

Murphy is forging ahead with a £60 million rail contract to transform London’s passenger and freight transport network by early 2018. The £133m Gospel Oak to Barking project heralds a new era for a 12-mile stretch of Victorian track as it transfers to electrified power, benefiting commuters, local communities and the environment.

The engineers at Murphy have co-ordinated the planning to carefully consider every inch of the line, painstakingly calculating the overhead structures andcabling to be installed at a later point in the project for new electric trains. Murphy is now mid-way through lowering five stretches of track and upgrading the rail systems for the route. The project is a complex engineering feat involving circa one million hours of work by a team of 60 staff and 120 site operatives across the sites.

The team from Murphy has completed the majority of the 480 piled foundations, and are now progressing well with the installation of 78 precast parapet beams. The team have completed 90 out of 97 steel brackets, which fix to the walls of the Victorian viaduct from Wood Grange Park to Leytonstone. Murphy carried out slope reinforcement works before lowering the track, upgrading signals and telecoms.

The project, which has involved close collaboration with London Underground Limited, has involved the laying of precast concrete slabs, as well as installed foundations for the electrification masts along the entire line. Murphy has created a multidiscipline design, which takes into account the specifics for this particular project, as well as Network Rail and London Underground Limited considerations and assets.

A Green Route

The electrified route will bring environmental benefits, offering a reduction in CO2 when compared to diesel engine trains. There will be double passenger capacity on the line, with the introduction of new four-car trains from 2018 to ease congestion and meet future demand. The switch from diesel to electric trains will improve air quality for those residents close to the line, while the works will create an alternative route for electric rail freight traffic across north London.

Murphy CEO Steve Hollingshead said: “This major rail infrastructure scheme fits perfectly with Murphy’s strategy of working sustainably across our business, and projects, on behalf of our clients. The benefits from this work will be long-lasting and make a real difference to people who regularly use this train line, as well as those across the local areas.”

With sustainability a key driver on the project, Murphy carefully selected materials by:

  • Using sustainable materials throughout the project wherever possible
  • Only using timber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
  • Delivering more than 90 per cent of materials by rail, reducing traffic disruption locally

Murphy is also committed to increasing local biodiversity, working in partnership with the London Wildlife Trust, to develop new wetlands.

J. Murphy & Sons Limited is a leading global, multi-disciplined engineering and construction company founded in 1951. Murphy provides a wide range of construction services to infrastructure sectors including rail, water, power and natural resources. It also has a thriving building and development business. The company directly employs more than 3,500 engineers, professional managers and skilled operatives.