York Engineers' Triangle

A modern railway control and training hub on a historic site

South of the ancient city of York lies the York Engineers' Triangle: a site bordered by two train lines and known for its three 19th century roundhouses and an engine shed, abandoned in the 1960s and subsequently demolished.

Project details

  • Client: Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd
  • Main contractor: BAM Construction
  • Architect: Aedas Architects
  • Project manager: Network Rail Infrastructure
  • Structural engineer: Ramboll UK
  • Services engineer: Ramboll UK
  • Value: £27m
  • Completion date: March 2014

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I applaud the project team for delivering such an innovative and beneficial building. The efficiencies achieved from it will not only make training much easier to deliver for Network Rail, but it will also increase workplace and rail management productivity.

Colin Harrop

Chairman of the RICS Pro Yorkshire Awards judging panel

Network Rail appointed BAM to transform the derelict land into a Route Operating Centre (ROC) and a Workforce Development Centre (WDC). The ROC is the largest of 14 proposed centres across Britain, and now controls all rail operations on the East Coast Main Line, while the WDC is a modern training facility.
"The city has a strong railway heritage and the new rail operating centre is going to help secure existing jobs and expertise in our city, as well as generating opportunities for further growth."

Cllr James Alexander

Leader of City of York Council

Collaborating with Network Rail

Having completed 12 months of pre-construction development, including extensive consultation, we developed Network Rail’s brief to give them the best scheme possible within budget. We also employed consultants with strong local knowledge which helped us to achieve planning permission on programme.

Uncovering archaeology

Extensive survey works uncovered a large Victorian sewer, and the site’s heritage railway buildings.

To keep 95% of those foundations intact, we carried out a 3D cloud point survey of the archaeology and used BIM to co-ordinate the foundations with the archaeology. We lifted the levels of the buildings by about a metre and built retaining walls around the perimeter.

"These operating and training facilities will allow us to deliver a modern, efficient railway while at the same time maintaining York’s position as a proud rail city.

"The operating centre […] will bring the expertise and technology we need to operate the route into a single location. Meanwhile the investment in modern training facilities will make sure our rail employees remain among the best in the world."

Phil Verster

Network Rail Route Managing Director for London North Eastern

Preparing for safe working

We were working alongside a live railway on two of the three sides, and there was a major fibre optic link on the third side.

BAM Nuttall assisted by securing the necessary Network Rail technical approvals. We transformed the site from a live railway environment into a more traditional construction site.

Securing mission-critical services

BAM's specialist services engineering business was the natural choice to lead the implementation of the mechanical and electrical services on the project. The facility is effectively a mission-critical data centr, so these services were vital to the project.

The building services have to be resilient and flexible enough to last for the next 30 years and satisfy the demands of critical national infrastructure.