Monday 24 Nov 2003


Region & Route:
| Southern
Network Rail today awarded Birse an £11 million contract to redevelop the former marshalling yard at Whitemoor, March.  The brownfield site will be turned into an engineering supply depot, storing 30,000 tonnes of ballast, housing engineering trains for the whole of East Anglia and carrying out light wagon maintenance.  The depot will serve the increased level of maintenance and renewals, which Network Rail is committed to undertaking. The contract is for the construction phase of the site, which will start on 24 November 2003.  The project is scheduled to finish in late Spring 2004.  The site used to be the largest marshalling yard in Europe, but with the decline of freight traffic Whitemoor finally closed in the early 1990s.  The need for the depot has been brought about by the closure of Temple Mills in East London which will transfer to Eurostar.  However, as the site in Whitemoor is much larger than Temple Mills, Network Rail is able to increase the level of activity which will take place on site, creating more efficient maintenance practises. Peter Heubeck, Network Rail Project Director said: “There is a great need for this depot to open next spring and we are confident that Birse will be able to deliver this project.” - more - Birse – 2 The first task for Birse will be to install temporary portacabins for the construction team and build railway sidings for the delivery of construction material.  In constructing the site, Birse will lay 17 kms of new track and install 68 sets of points. Neil Thompson, Birse Rail Managing Director said: “We are delighted to have been appointed to deliver this high profile project and look forward to working closely with Network Rail over the coming months to ensure the facility is operational in line with their requirements.”

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