Atkins and Parsons Brinckerhoff have been chosen by Network Rail to lead the planned electrification works on the Great Western Mainline.

The joint venture will install around 20,000 overhead line support structures to prepare for the electrification of the London to Cardiff route.

Work on the Great Western Mainline is part of Network Rail’s wider electrification programme and will allow the new Hitachi-built Intercity Express trains to run on the line when they arrive in 2017.

Douglas McCormick, managing director of Atkins’ UK rail business, said: “Electrification is vital for the UK railway network. It will enable greater capacity, shorter journey times, less maintenance, lower energy costs and will boost the economy by providing better connections between towns and cities.”

As well as designing the overhead line equipment and power systems, Atkins and Parsons Brinckerhoff will also carry out modifications of platforms and bridges and track lowering.

Darren Reed, head of rail UK/Europe at Parsons Brinckerhoff, said: “The combined strength of Atkins and Parsons Brinckerhoff creates a market leading electrification design and engineering capability – and it is an area in which we both continue to invest heavily to meet future anticipated industry demand.”

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