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Green light for DLR scheme

CONTRACTS STRATFORD

FOUR bidders have their sights on a £50 million rail scheme at Stratford station in east London.

Carillion, Skanska and Amec have returned bids along with Balfour Beatty, who has linked up with Hochtief, to bid for the deal for client Docklands Light Railway. Bidders expect the client to announce a winner in October.

The work involves building an island platform for North London Line passengers terminating at Stratford.

The station's current platforms are being taken over by the DLR as part of the conversion of the NLL overland line to Docklands Light Railway between Stratford and Canning Town.

The scheme also includes laying 600 m of new track and realigning 300 m of existing NLL track - known as the High Meads Loop - to run DLR trains.

The region's transport links have come under scrutiny ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games, with the DLR readying itself for a period of major investment.

The new platforms at Stratford are part of a £185 million plan to extend the DLR and link the current Stratford station with the new Stratford International station due to open next year.

The rest of the work involves a £120 million contract to convert heavy rail track into the DLR standard and also includes building new stations along the Canning Town route. The tenders for this package are expected to go out at the end of July. A winner is due to be announced early next year.

The client is also planning a £25 million scheme to create a new junction south of Canning Town that will link the four DLR lines connecting Poplar, Beckton, North Woolwich and Stratford International. This should also be tendered next month after the existing Stratford DLR line was deemed too awkward to extend.

A Docklands Light Railway spokesman said: 'It's all about the regeneration of the lower Lea Valley. We looked at a range of options, including keeping the overland railway, but the conversion work was the most favourable.'