A CEREMONY at London’s Marylebone station on December 12 marked the completion of Chiltern Railways’ ?70m Evergreen II capacity expansion project. UK Transport Minister Tom Harris was joined for the ribbon-cutting by Laing Rail and Chiltern Chairman Adrian Shooter.Chiltern has largely completed a programme of improvements worth ?371m to which it committed in its 20-year franchise awarded in February 2002. Evergreen II has increased the number of platforms at Marylebone from four to six, and added extra signals to raise the number of peak-hour paths in and out of the terminus to 20. Chiltern plans to spend another ?22m over the next four years, including a ?6m refurbishment of its Class 168 Clubman DMUs.Shooter said Laing Rail had ’created the contractual framework’ for the first design, build, finance and transfer deal to fund enhancements on the UK national rail network. The project was procured by Chiltern and ’we have sold the completed project to Network Rail at a pre-agreed price, which means that NR did not take any construction cost over-run risk. The work was managed by Laing Rail, with Carillion as main contractor. Laing Rail Project Manager Rob Wright said ’we are particularly proud that this is the first project where Network Rail has allowed a third party to manage major signalling works on the rail network’.

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