MARCH 31 has been set as the bidding deadline for the £500m main works contract to build the East London Line extensions. Part B of the tender documentation was issued by Transport for London to four shortlisted consortia in December.

The E-link consortium is led by Laing O'Rourke Civil Engineering, with AMEC Spie Rail and Vinci Construction Grands Projets, and a joint venture of Atkins and Arup as key subcontractor. East London Rail is led by Mowlem with Parsons Group, advised by Jacobs-Babtie, whilst a joint venture of Balfour Beatty and Carillion Construction is working with Scott Wilson. The ELL Integrated consortium is led by a joint venture of Skanska Construction and Costain, with First Engineering and Siemens, and Faber Maunsell as key subcontractor.

TfL London Rail hopes to announce the successful bidder 'in the summer of 2006', with work starting by the end of this year.

A contract to supply rolling stock is expected to be awarded by the end of this month. Shortlisted bidders include Bombardier, Hitachi and Siemens who are proposing new trains, and Porterbrook Leasing which is offering Class 458 EMUs currently operated by South West Trains.