Work on the East Kent Phase 2 project is progressing well with the operational compound and operational office complex already complete and housing the partnership team. The project has also already achieved BS11000 accreditation.
The scheme itself involves replacing old signalling equipment, increasing capacity and capability, delivering operational savings and improving network integration with other modes of transport.
Specific milestones in this project include:-
- The total renewal of life-expired signalling between Longfield
and Sittingbourne, transferring the control of the signalling to the East Kent Signalling Centre (EKSC) – Gillingham.
- The re-control of Strood from Ashford, Sheerness Branch and Medway Valley line to EKSC.
- The renewal of life-expired signalling at Maidstone East
- The creation of a new station at Corporation Street in Rochester.
- 12 car platforms at Strood.
- New Turnback facility at Rainham in the form of a new 12 car bay platform.
The relocation of Rochester Station is a particularly challenging aspect of the project which involves moving the current station 1km closer to the town centre. The current station is a listed building, and whilst the platforms will be demolished, the building will be kept for future use.
Project Director Tom Kerins outlines the scale of the challenge:
“The new station will be built 1km closer to the town centre and will require a subway under the existing railway line. This will be jacked into place during the Easter blockade.
“By moving the station closer to the town centre, users will benefit from improved transport links, better facilities and longer trains.
“The scheme supports Medway Council’s regeneration plans for the Riverside area by providing a pedestrian route via the subway”
This £145m scheme is being delivered as a partnership between ourselves, Atkins, Balfour Beatty and Network Rail, with all partnership staff sharing the same office in an example of truly collaborative working.