Vinci’s civil engineering arm Taylor Woodrow is looking to pick up HS2 and major station refurbishment works after completing its work on the western concourse at King’s Cross station in London.
The £550m western concourse opened to the public for the first time on Monday and has represented the biggest transformation in the 160-year history of the Grade-I listed station while the total investment in transport infrastructure in the King’s Cross area in the last ten years now stands at £2.5bn.
Vinci/Taylor Woodrow currently has a large pipeline of work including enabling work at Liverpool Street Station; Connaught Tunnel; Nottingham Tram and Mainline Station and London Undergound’s Ealing Common and Upminster depots.
It is now well placed to win work in London and beyond as part of HS2, according to sector director for transportation projects Fred Garner.
He told CN: “Most of the large projects these days are all about reengineering existing structures or facilities, probably while operational. This demonstrates that Vinci Construction and Taylor Woodrow work in these environments and we can work with the client to understand the issues, plan for them and work with them in practice.
“I would hope that this will be a springboard for us in this area and if you look at what HS2 needs, it needs re-engineering of Euston and a new station in Birmingham and that’s where we will be looking to deploy our experience in future.”
The contractor is currently involved in joint ventures on major rail projects at Tottenham Court Road and Victoria and Mr Garner said they would be bidding for schemes in similar conditions where stations need to keep running while works are carried out.
He said: “Clearly we’d like to use that experience on something like Bank which is another complex environment where the station needs to be kept operational while you’re re-engineering it.”
More than 5,000 people worked on the project, providing a vital boost to the economy with 15 per cent of the work force coming from the local area. The construction used:
- Over a thousand tonnes of steel
- One million specially made heritage bricks
- Five million ceramic tiles
- Five million metres of cabling
Health and Safety
The contractor introduced various safety initiatives for staff through the construction period, including stopping work early on one day to have workers’ families in.
Mr Garner said: “We realised the record in 2010 wasn’t good enough and we tried to get the guys to think about the impact an accident would have on them and their families.
“We got the workers to bring families to the project and shut the site down early so people could see what was being worked on. It was a successful event and doesn’t often happen on the major projects.”
The project had one accident in 2011, down from four the previous year.
Mr Garner insisted that the fact that the project opened on time was testament not only to Taylor Woodrow but its supply chain, and he paid particular tribute to NG Bailey for its work in replacing the existing station operations suite.
The complex work involved identifying systems including electricity, gas, communications, water and sprinklers – built up over 160 years - in the existing suite and stripping them out
He said: “I don’t think any suppliers went bust on the project. One of our key suppliers was NG Bailey. They were integrated into our project team and they played a big part in the success of the project because a station doesn’t function without its systems and they played a big role in identifying and stripping out the services.
“Most of our supply chain have performed well as evidenced by us opening on time for Network Rail.”
£2.5bn has been invested in transport in the King’s Cross area over the last 10 years. This includes:
- £850m for the improvements to King’s Cross St Pancras Underground
- £850m for St Pancras International itself
- Around £550m for the new King’s Cross western concourse and other work
- £125m for Thameslink
- £250m invested by the King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership in the wider infrastructure which includes local transport (roads, walkways etc)