VolkerRail and VolkerFitzpatrick have been awarded a construction contract to revamp a freight yard in West London.

The companies beat off competition from a number other firms to land the £15.5 million deal, which has been granted by Network Rail in a bid to improve services at the Acton facility. Officials have stated that the work is part of the Crossrail initiative, which is designed to create a high frequency service across the English capital encompassing 35 new stops as well as helping the UK's freight industry remain productive and on track, the Construction Enquirer reports.

Crossrail's plan will see a new rail service from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west as well as from Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. It carries over 21 kilometres of newly bore out tunnels and will help 1.5 million people be within 45 minutes of London's key business hubs. The Acton development will see Volker upgrade plain line track renewals as well as installing new switches and crossings, modifying the overhead line systems and the switch of operating mechanisms.

Acton is currently an important part of the network, but if trains need to enter and exit the yard they need to cross over the main passenger line. However, plans for a diveunder have been put out to tender which will mean that when completed the freight engines will not interfere with passenger trains and therefore increasing the amount of cargo activity the yard can undertake.

Stuart Birch, major projects director for VolkerRail, told the source: "This is a great opportunity for us to work together with our sister company VolkerFitzpatrick todemonstrate our complementary capabilities and experiences."  

The initial part of these plans is set to be completed in 2013, while the other developments including the diveunder are penned for a finish date of 2016. Jorge Mendonca, Crossrail programme director, Network Rail also praised the construction which he states is an "important step" for delivering a more reliable service for passengers in the London area.

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