London Underground’s new train modification unit (TMU) in Acton forms part of, and is a key enabler for, their Central Line Improvement Programme (CLIP), which will see the Central Line fleet upgraded.
BakerHicks provided design services, including civil and structural, architectural and permanent way, for the facility, which can handle up to five trains at a time, as well as for the associated accommodation block providing welfare and office facilities for 100 staff. With sustainability a key concern, the design incorporates a blue roof drainage system and other features such as photovoltaic panels, supporting the project in achieving London Underground’s desired CEEQUAL rating.
The BakerHicks team with supply chain partner PBH Rail also provided the design for the track and supporting infrastructure on the approach to the new 160-metre-long facility. This incorporated four pitted rail tracks and one bogey road, as well as new tracks and turn outs to connect with London Underground’s existing network.
Located within an existing facility, work on the new unit had to be undertaken without disrupting existing operations. This also meant great care had to be taken with the formwork foundations, given the proximity to existing buildings, to minimise the amount of excavation required and mitigate risk associated with temporary works. The project team also had to navigate through the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, ensuring appropriate staff welfare programmes and protocols were in place.
With the track design requiring a complex approach into the depot on a tight curve before fanning out into the five individual roads, BakerHicks conducted a digital ‘fly through’ to help them detect potential clashes and pinch points in advance.
Alwyn Hanekom, Managing Director for Infrastructure, Government & Defence at BakerHicks, says the TMU is further evidence of BakerHicks’ all-round rail capability:
This is a high-profile and very complex project, and one that we are extremely proud to have been involved in. It sits alongside our recent completion of Whitechapel Station and the GRIP 4 design for Chart Leacon Depot in demonstrating our team’s capability in delivering highly complex, multi-discipline projects, in both station and rail systems environments.
It’s been a real team effort and we have worked closely with our sister company Morgan Sindall Infrastructure and London Underground throughout to ensure the success of the project.
The new facility has now been handed over and is in operation.