Over five years of detailed development, many alternative approaches were considered to integrate the demolition and reconstruction of London Bridge station with the complete remodelling of the track and signalling on its eastern and western approaches.
Delivery & Execution Strategy
How collaboration and incentivisation were crucial to successful delivery of Key Output 2
In May 2013, this culminated in the London Bridge Area Partnership (LBAP) team – comprising Network Rail, Costain, Balfour Beatty and Siemens – embarking on one of the most challenging and complex programmes of railway infrastructure works ever undertaken.
In this interview, James Elford, Project Manager for Costain discusses the collaborative arrangement behind the LBAP.
LBAP partners worked in a uniquely close collaboration throughout to deliver 128 stages of construction since 2012, a staging plan that took over three years to perfect. This accommodated the re-signalling, track remodelling and construction of London Bridge station, construction of the Bermondsey Dive Under to the east and Borough Viaduct to the west – all while continuing to operate over 80 trains per hour alongside the construction sites. This staging strategy formed the blueprint for delivery; each stage of the programme created the next worksite for the station team, track team, civil engineering team or all three.
Over 18 months of enabling work was required, including complete diversion of all the signalling and power cables out of the existing station to facilitate the demolition of the station, without ever incurring a service affecting failure.
The real success of the programme has been the ability of each partner to work collaboratively with a high degree of professionalism – sharing problems, managing risks collectively and working as one team to drive efficiency and deliver for passengers – all because of detailed, meticulous planning.
A series of inter-organisational working groups were also established to collaborate on areas of programme, safety, route access, design, social and environmental sustainability, commercial behaviours and construction.
Each of the supply chain partners had a series of incentivised milestones that they had to achieve, but they were only rewarded if everyone achieved their milestones, bringing cross-fertilisation and cross-alignment of incentives – either all succeed together, or all fail together. This drove behaviours around how various supply chain members worked together to achieve delivery targets – the project’s key contractors were focused on achieving that schedule and supporting each other. The dedication and output of these teams meant that every major milestone on the programme was achieved.
Key outcomes and performance indicators
The London Bridge Area Partnership delivered:
- The remodelling of London Bridge station and opening of a huge, bright new concourse with better retail, passenger and staff facilities
- Complete demolition and reconstruction of 15 new platforms and canopy modules
- 150+ switch and crossing units
- 38km of track completely re-laid
- 100+ stages of railway systems work (plain line renewal, S&C renewal, location cabinet moves, train describer works)
- Nine major signalling commissionings
- Bridge strengthening across the network to compensate for increased capacity
- Construction of a new grade separated junction at Bermondsey and the commissioning of South Bermondsey turn-back
- Automatic Train Operation / European Train Control System in the core section between London Bridge and St Pancras (the first time this has been used on an operational railway in the UK)
- Organised fundraising and collections for charities including the Manna Centre for homeless people in London Bridge
- Supported the creation of community spaces such as Whites Ground Community Garden and The Greenwood Theatre pocket park
- Delivered 89 apprenticeships to local people
- Created 12 retail locations in the station dedicated to local/start-up businesses
- 63% of the direct awarded value has been won by local businesses
- Approximately 44% of businesses winning Thameslink Programme direct contracts were SMEs
- Sharing information about procurement processes and forthcoming contract opportunities with supply chain development programmes in the local area, including Supply Southwark and Supply Cross River
- Engaged with SMEs to de-mystify the process of registering and becoming approved within the Achilles Link-Up system, which is widely used by buyers in the utilities sector
- Resource Efficiency Workshops to address sustainability at design stage which led to a reduction in concrete and number of piles required in design of Bermondsey Dive Under from 1600 to 1000.