Balfour Beatty joins Centro for laying of first track for Midland Metro Station link extension

7 November 2013  •  Author(s): Balfour Beatty

Balfour Beatty, the UK’s largest infrastructure company, laid the first track for the £18.6 million extension to the Midland Metro in Birmingham City Centre for its customer Centro this week.

They are the first of 1.5 kilometres of track that will soon provide a surface light rail link between Snow Hill and New Street stations, serving more than 3.5 million passengers a year.

Midland Metro track laying

• Cllr Roger Horton, Centro lead for Rail (left), with Steve Davies, Balfour Beatty Midlands Managing Director (right) tightening the bolts on the first track to be laid on the Midland Metro extension.

Balfour Beatty will be using its wide range of light rail capabilities in the delivery of the project, including those of its professional services division, Parsons Brinckerhoff, the engineering consultants for Manchester’s Metrolink, the Phoenix Arizona Light Rail and Bangkok Mass Transit System, Thailand. The company will utilise its civil engineering expertise in the construction and testing of the project to provide best value to Centro.

In addition to new tram infrastructure, the project involves substantial improvements to the street scene and public realm including natural stone paving, street furniture, lighting and landscaping. Following completion of detailed design and advanced works, construction started in July this year and an operational service will be introduced by 2015.

Chris Haworth, Centro Project Manager said: “This is a significant moment for the Metro extension as it has been 60 years since the last tram ran in Birmingham.

“We are pleased that Balfour Beatty, with their wide range of experience in delivering similar light rail systems across the world, will be helping us to deliver this project and provide best value for money for our residents and businesses in doing so.”

Steve Davies, Balfour Beatty Managing Director for the Midlands, said: “We are delighted to be celebrating the achievement of this significant milestone with Centro and Birmingham City Council.

“Despite the complexity of the construction works and the highly confined space we will be operating in, the works are progressing at an excellent pace.

“Balfour Beatty has a wide range of experience in delivering mass transit systems internationally and we look forward to providing Birmingham with a world-class tram system by 2015.”

The project is part of a £127 million extension of the Metro from Snow Hill to New Street that is expected to create more than 1,300 new jobs and boost the West Midlands economy by more than £50 million a year.

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