Stevenage Turnback Facility

Spencer Group were appointed by Network Rail to deliver the design and construction Turnback Facility including a new platform at Stevenage Station to accommodate 6-car trains, along with associated new railway infrastructure including a new S&C unit.


Key Project Details

Client Network Rail
Duration 2 years
Location Stevenage, Hertfordshire
Contract Form Network Rail 12

Project Scope

Spencer Group were appointed by Network Rail to extend the existing Down Hertford Loop into Stevenage Station and provide a turnback facility serviced by a new single platform sufficient for a 6-car train based on Class 717 coach lengths. The scope of works includes over a mile of new plain line P-Way complete with S&C unit connection into the ECML, along with associated new OLE structures and equipment, signalling, lineside cable troughing, bonding, E&P, M&E services and associated civil and structural engineering activities, such as earthworks to embankments, piling, drainage, RC works and structures. The scheme also includes the design and construction of a new station entrance, stairs and lift.

Within the Station and passenger areas, we have designed and are constructing a new turnback Platform which will have 127m operational length to accommodate a 6no. car Class 717 vehicles, including 5 meters safe distance between the train and the buffer stop. There is also 41m of passive provision for the future extension of the platform to accommodate an 8no. car sets.

The project involved

Largest ECML UTX under track crossing ever
71,000 tonnes of soil removed, 100% diverted from landfill


As part of our ‘Safe by Design process, we removed risks, by early investigations from the combined design and construction CREs and experienced constructors. For example, to prevent slippage of the programme, we erected 2 new portal structures for OLE at the South end of the site. This work had to be completed in week 22 within a 72-hour blockade. To de-risk the task Spencer Group brought in a large mobile road crane and built large supporting bases to ensure the available window of 24hours could be achieved.

By completing the major milestones over Christmas and in January, we minimised disruption to rail commuters and also engaged with the community throughout the project, including site tours for local residents and regular letter drops to keep them updated.

Collaboration between Spencer Group, Network Rail, stakeholders and the supporting supply chain contributed to the safe, secure and successful delivery of the project ahead of schedule. The platform opened over a year ahead of the original planned date, which was a fantastic success, as this included working through the COVID-19 lock down period.

Find out more about our Rail services

The project involved

130 metre long platform
2km of new track and signalling