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Morgan Est looks to rail for growth

Morgan Est wants to double the size of its rail business to £100 million in the next three years.

The firm has raided Balfour Beatty to beef up its senior management team, poaching Geoff Baldwin as communications director, who started last week, and Graham Castle, who joins in early April as pre-contract and engineering director.

It is currently bidding on a number of major jobs including the £70 million Farringdon revamp for the Thameslink project and the £18 million renovation of the King’s Cross train shed roof.

A decision on Farringdon was expected at the end of the month but has now been pushed back to April. The firm is battling it out with a Laing O’Rourke/Costain joint venture for the job.

Managing director of Morgan Est’s rail division Danny Duggan said: “The spend profile of upcoming projects is huge. There’s Crossrail, Thameslink and all the work for Transport for London.”

Mr Duggan said Network Rail’s improvement as a client was one of the drivers behind their expansion.
He told Construction News: “We aspire to get involved early with clients, so we can work on at least the last 30 per cent of the design process. That’s when we can add maximum value and we’ve really seen Network Rail taking this approach.”

London Underground also remains a major client and working together with Morgan Est’s tunnelling division has proved beneficial for its rail business.

Mr Duggan said: “We’re working with them on the Shepherd’s Bush station revamp and we’ll use our experience on that to make strong bids for Crossrail.”

Shepherd’s Bush is a split job. The new station for client Westfield is costing £30 million but Morgan Est is still negotiating with London Underground on the cost of the sub-surface work, even though two of the new shafts have already been sunk.

Projects Morgan Est is bidding for

LONDON UNDERGROUND

Step free access for South Kensington and Queensway stations n/a

Victoria Line tunnel cooling £50 million

NETWORK RAIL

King’s Cross main train shed roof £18 million

King’s Cross shared service yard £22 million

Victoria station upgrade (joint venture with Balfour Beatty) £400 million

Farringdon station £70 million