BAM Construction and architects Aedas have secured a contract to design and build Network Rail's new flagship rail operating centre (ROC) and training facility in York.
The ROC, located on the Engineers Triangle, will be one of just 14 proposed centres across Great Britain and will eventually coordinate and control all rail operations on the London North Eastern route. The training centre will consolidate services already provided at several different locations into a single, purpose-built facility.
The project marks a further collaboration between BAM, Aedas and Network Rail. The contractor is already at work on a key national centre in Milton Keynes, which opens in summer 2012 and will provide state-of-the-art facilities for more than 3,000 people, and is redeveloping the retail units at Waterloo Station. Aedas similarly has work on-going for the national rail operator at Euston, Manchester, Rotherham, Bolton, Edinburgh and Leeds.
John Phillips, construction director for BAM, said:
‘The York Engineers Triangle will provide a railway operations centre housed in modern high specification office facilities with the capacity to expand to 48 desks over time. We will also develop a detailed design for the workforce development centre which will be learning space, such as lecture theatres and classrooms and areas to simulate track repair and maintenance. We’re now working closely as part of the joint project team with Network Rail, Aedas and Giffords, who will provide the structural and mechanical expertise, to progress the project.’
Robin Gisby, managing director of network operations for Network Rail, said; “York has a proud railway history and these new facilities will allow us to continue that whilst providing a modern, efficient service. The Rail Operating Centre is a key part of our strategy to improve reliability whilst driving down the cost of running and maintaining the railway. It will allow us to retain jobs in the city as well as bringing future employment opportunities to the area, which is vital for long term economic growth and prosperity.”
Michael Gardner, regional director of architects Aedas, added: “The bringing together of professional and technical staff training onto one site, combined with a next generation signalling and operational control centre, is a unique and complex challenge. Architecturally the design must respond to the setting, which is steeped in rail heritage and adjacent to York Station, and be faithful to business strategies of the various components. We are already working closely with City of York Planning and Conservation Teams, English Heritage and Civic Trust and will implement a detailed programme of consultation over the coming months.
Construction of the full multi-million development is envisaged to start during the summer of 2012, subject to securing planning consent and other statutory permissions. With building work complete by 2014, the gradual relocation of operations and staff into the rail operating centre will begin.