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NEWS


Bombardier confirmed as LU signalling contractor


The 15-year-old dream for a rail link from central southern England to East Anglia is still alive, and the consortium promoting the plans has released a new video explain- ing its proposals and the potential benefits.


The complete scheme would link Ipswich, Norwich and Cambridge with Letchworth, Bedford, Milton Keynes, Bicester and Oxford, al- lowing connections to Swindon, the Thames Valley, South West England and South Wales, togeth- er with a spur to Aylesbury.


The route is planned to connect the ports of Felixstowe and Har- wich with the Great Eastern, East


Coast, Midland, West Coast and Great Western main lines without the need to travel on congested tracks around North London.


A key part of the route, the Sandy- Bedford link, was closed in the 1960s and, due to redevelopment, would be very difficult to reinstate, forcing the consortium to look at other options.


But the DfT has agreed that the western section of the East West Rail project (Bedford-Oxford), which makes use of existing rail infrastructure, should be assessed for inclusion in the next HLOS.


The new five-minute video is on the consortium’s website at http:// eastwestrail.org.uk/


For readers’ views on East West Rail, see page 18 and page 39.


London Underground has award- ed


Bombardier Transportation the contract to upgrade the sig- nalling on the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metro- politan lines.


Alongside the fleet of 191 new air- conditioned walk-through trains, already being rolled out on the Metropolitan line, the new signal- ling system, when complete, will mean passengers can travel more quickly and frequently on all of the sub-surface lines, Transport for London said.


For the full story, see page 69.


Apprenticeship scheme launched at NSARE conference


Network Rail chief executive Da- vid Higgins has been knighted for his previous role as head of the Olympic Delivery Authority.


Sir David, who joined Network Rail in February, was praised by chair- man of London 2012, Lord Coe, for keeping the work on the Olym- pic Park on time and on budget.


He said: “David Higgins played a central role in the extraordinary progress we have made in the de- livery of the Olympic Park - both the regeneration and the world class sports venues.”


ODA chairman John Armitt added: “David did an inspirational job leading the ODA in delivering the


biggest construction project in


Europe to the ultimate fixed dead- line. David’s leadership has been


absolutely critical to this success and this honour is a fantastic rec- ognition of this.”


John Hayes, Minister for Educa- tion, Skills & Lifelong Learning, launched the rail industry’s Ap- prenticeship to Fellowship scheme at NSARE’s first major conference on June 22 at the IMechE.


Nearly 200 industry representa- tives attended the conference, chaired by Terry Morgan, chair- man of Crossrail.


Speakers at the busy event in- cluded representatives from Network Rail, Transport for Lon- don, the Rail Freight Group, the National Rail Contractors Group, the Railway Industry Contractors Association, the IMechE and the IET, RIA and the Young Railway Professionals.


For the full story, see page 106.


rail technology magazine Jun/Jul 11 | 11


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