Cross­rail un­lim­ited

To co-or­di­nate and ex­e­cute Europe’s big­gest in­fras­truc­ture project to date has re­quired an en­tirely new method of work­ing, say JOHN BARKER, JONATHAN MOR­RIS and MIKE LAWS of Tran­scend

Rail (UK) - - Crossrail -

RAIL finds out how the Tran­scend Joint Ven­ture helped to co-or­di­nate and ex­e­cute Cross­rail.

On May 15, 2009 Cross­rail broke ground

when the then-Sec­re­tary of State for Trans­port Lord Ado­nis and Mayor of Lon­don Boris John­son drove the first pile into the North Dock on the site of the new Ca­nary Wharf sta­tion, sched­uled to open in De­cem­ber 2018.

Although this marked the of­fi­cial start of the phys­i­cal work, it could only hap­pen af­ter a phase of in­ten­sive prepara­tory work, which was trig­gered by the grant­ing of Royal As­sent for the Cross­rail Act the pre­vi­ous July.

One of Cross­rail Ltd’s key tasks dur­ing that time had been to ap­point both a Pro­gramme Part­ner and a sep­a­rate Pro­gramme De­liv­ery Part­ner (PDP), to en­sure the suc­cess­ful de­liv­ery of Europe’s largest in­fras­truc­ture project.

The PDP was a con­sor­tium led by Bech­tel (see p58-59 and p70-71), while the Pro­gramme Part­ner was con­firmed in March 2009 as a joint ven­ture called Tran­scend, com­pris­ing mem­ber firms AE­COM, The Ni­chols Group and CH2M (see panel) sup­ported by Turner & Townsend and Uni­part. Pro­gramme Part­ner lead and AE­COM’s Cross­rail and Trans­porta­tion Direc­tor John Barker ex­plains: “We aim to help Cross­rail Ltd be a more ef­fec­tive client. From the out­set, it was a strate­gic role to help Cross­rail Ltd come up with its over­all de­liv­ery strat­egy, and to help man­age con­trol at pro­gramme level. This in­cluded manag­ing the in­ter­face with the pro­gramme spon­sors, third par­ties and other key stake­hold­ers, and sup­port with other crit­i­cal work be­fore

Col­lab­o­ra­tion is crit­i­cal to suc­cess for Cross­rail. John Barker, Pro­gramme Part­ner lead, AE­COM

the ma­jor con­struc­tion con­tracts were awarded.”

Now fully in­te­grated with the client or­gan­i­sa­tion, each Part­ner has con­tin­ued to lead in the ar­eas for which they pre­vi­ously held re­spon­si­bil­ity, adds Barker.

“As Pro­gramme Part­ner we have recog­nised the im­por­tance of a very col­lab­o­ra­tive ap­proach to en­able Cross­rail to achieve its ob­jec­tives and op­er­ate as it needs to.”

“The way the Pro­gramme Part­ner role has man­i­fested is that we now de­ploy peo­ple who work across a range of func­tions in the in­te­grated client man­age­ment team - for ex­am­ple, in the pro­gramme con­trols func­tion, where key peo­ple are re­spon­si­ble for re­port­ing, sched­ul­ing and cost and risk man­age­ment. We also de­ploy se­nior peo­ple across the tech­ni­cal direc­torate, in­clud­ing en­gi­neer­ing man­age­ment, qual­ity as­sur­ance, tech­ni­cal in­te­gra­tion and reg­u­la­tory ap­provals. We’ve also taken a key role in pro­vid­ing sup­port in other ar­eas such as the In­no­va­tion Pro­gramme and lo­gis­tics teams, thereby pro­vid­ing spe­cial­ists across a di­verse range of im­por­tant dis­ci­plines.”

Ear­lier this year Tran­scend achieved a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone hav­ing con­trib­uted 1,000,000 work hours to the project, with some peo­ple still in con­tin­u­ous ser­vice since the com­mence­ment of the orig­i­nal Pro­gramme Part­ner con­tract in 2009.

Mike Laws, of CH2M and Cross­rail Ltd’s Head of Re­port­ing and Head of Pro­gramme Efficiency, ex­plains that the three joint ven­ture part­ners had come to­gether for their con­sid­er­able and com­ple­men­tary skill sets, pro­vid­ing a bal­anced ca­pa­bil­ity of­fer­ing, cho­sen by Cross­rail.

“The joint ven­ture recog­nised the strength of en­gi­neer­ing in AE­COM, the Pro­gramme man­age­ment ex­per­tise of CH2M, and the strate­gic ad­vice spe­cial­ism and in­dus­try author­ity of The Ni­chols Group. We came to­gether to cre­ate the Tran­scend joint ven­ture.”

“AE­COM was brought in for its ex­pe­ri­ence on ma­jor rail­way projects from across the world, and to bring its en­gi­neer­ing knowl­edge to Cross­rail. CH2M was pre­ferred be­cause of its knowl­edge of pro­gramme con­trols in par­tic­u­lar, Ni­chols was se­lected for its strate­gic and pro­gramme man­age­ment ex­per­tise and ex­ten­sive knowl­edge of the UK rail in­dus­try.”

Barker adds: “The mo­ti­va­tion of work­ing on such an in­spi­ra­tional project has re­ally driven the col­lab­o­ra­tive spirit and the will­ing­ness to work to­gether on all the teams.”

“As busi­nesses, we’ve learned a huge num­ber of lessons, but on a per­sonal level, one of the big­gest things I’ve learned from Cross­rail is that col­lab­o­ra­tion is crit­i­cal to suc­cess. We have prided our­selves since day one on our will­ing­ness to work well, not just with our own Tran­scend col­leagues, but with ev­ery­one in the in­te­grated team and be­yond, chal­leng­ing each other and re­spect­ing each other in pur­suit of com­mon goals.”

“In­fras­truc­ture pro­grammes in the UK are grow­ing in scale, and that’s en­cour­ag­ing com­pa­nies to form joint ven­tures due to the de­mands for a wide range of skill sets and re­sources. So you need joint ven­tures to form with strong breadth and depth, like Tran­scend, but they can only be suc­cess­ful with col­lab­o­ra­tion among them­selves and with the client. We are very proud of the re­la­tion­ship we’ve had with each other and Cross­rail Ltd, its part­ners and stake­hold­ers, and the mo­ti­va­tion of our staff to make it the huge suc­cess it has been to date. We now have to see it over the line.”

The Tran­scend team will con­tinue to sup­port the Pro­gramme dur­ing its re­main­ing stages while the sta­tions are com­pleted and through the com­mis­sion­ing of the rail­way’s op­er­a­tional sys­tems. The fin­ished rail­way will then be handed over to Trans­port for Lon­don next summer, be­fore the new tun­nelled sec­tion opens to the first rev­enue-earn­ing pas­sen­ger ser­vices as the El­iz­a­beth Line in De­cem­ber 2018.

Jonathan Mor­ris, of The Ni­chols Group and Cross­rail’s Pro­gramme In­te­gra­tion Man­ager, con­cludes: “With the Pro­gramme nearly 85% com­plete, we are now in the com­plex fi­nal stages as we in­te­grate the new sta­tions, tun­nels and rail sys­tems into a co­her­ent, safe, func­tion­ing, end to end rail­way.

“Work in­cludes the test­ing of the rail­way that has been built, pre­par­ing for its han­dover to the op­er­a­tors, and han­dling the gover­nance that will al­low us to tran­si­tion from a con­struc­tion pro­gramme to an op­er­a­tional rail­way. Tran­scend is very heav­ily in­volved in all of those ar­eas, and mak­ing sure all re­main­ing milestones are suc­cess­fully com­pleted.”


Newly in­stalled track be­tween Royal Oak por­tal and Padding­ton.

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