Exclusive: Three bidders have been shortlisted for a deal to complete civils works worth up to £200 million as part of the Northern Hub.
Bids from Bam Nuttall/Skanska, Carillion/Morgan Sindall and Laing O’Rourke have prequalified for the civils works for the Ordsall Chord, which will link Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Victoria stations, along with interventions at Oxford Road and Piccadilly.
The timing and format of the next stage is currently being finalised, but it is anticipated that the final appointment will be made in July or August. The value of the contract is between £150m and £200m depending on where the scope boundary is drawn by Network Rail.
Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Victoria will be directly linked via a new track at Ordsall, while both stations will benefit from extra train capacity.
There will also be new platforms built at Manchester Piccadilly on the route through to Oxford Road to enable more trains from the north and west to get to the south side of the city.
The Ordsall Chord will provide a link between Manchester Victoria and Manchester Piccadilly and allow for the new route across the city.
The Northern Hub scheme is expected to be worth up to £4 billion to the region and to create between 20,000 and 30,000 new jobs.
Chancellor George Osborne committed £130m to the Network Rail’s Northern Hub electrification and upgrade programme in last year’s Budget to improve the transport links between Manchester, Sheffield, Rochdale, Halifax, Bradford, Bolton, Preston and Blackpool.
Network Rail committed £242m to the Northern Hub as part of spending totalling £37bn in Control Period 5, which will run from 2014 to 2019.
Northern Hub timetable:
Spring 2010: Network Rail launches Northern Hub report
Summer 2012: Government sets out national rail service requirements for five-year period (2014-19) and announces full funding for the Northern Hub project
January 2013: Network Rail publishes Strategic Business Plan 2014-19
Summer 2013: Work starts (between Huyton and Roby)
Autumn 2013: Office of Rail Regulation decides on funding available to meet Network Rail’s plans, including Northern Hub proposals
Winter 2016: Phase 1 (Ordsall Chord) scheudled for completion
Winter 2018: Phase 2 (remaining schemes) scheudled for completion