Press release 11/09/1998 00:00 CET

Fifteen Kvaerner Construction staff are today preparing for a move to Rail Link Engineering’s offices as part of a joint team working on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link contract for constructing the high-speed line through Ashford.

This follows the signing last night of a Letter of Exclusivity, to enable mobilisation, with Union Rail for Channel Tunnel Rail Link Contract 430, the Ashford contract, which will be worth about £140 million.

Kvaerner staff will move to Evergreen House to join project managers at Rail Link Engineering with whom they have already been working closely. The joint team will take over a complete floor to prepare for a move onto site on October 1.

The Kvaerner team combines both civil and ground engineering staff. It has already been able to identify additional resources required and Kvaerner Cementation Foundations, is completing negotiations for two self erecting piling rigs to be used exclusively on the Ashford contract. This will enable the company to continue with its other work as normal.

The Ashford project, the biggest and probably the most complex of the four CTRL contracts announced today, is on the critical path running from Ashford Lenhem-Heath to Ashford town centre. It includes 17km of rail track, with cut and cover tunnels through the centre of Ashford and links into the existing international station. Kvaerner will keep trains running on Ashford’s existing rail network while installing the completely new railway through the centre of the town.

Keith Clarke, Kvaerner Construction chief executive, said: "We are delighted to have won this contract. We have always been fully supportive of CTRL and applaud the way everyone has pulled together to overcome the difficulties so quickly and to finally get construction underway on this vital route. It is an excellent example of government and the private sector working in partnership."


For further information contact:Cheryl Eaton, PR Manager - 01923 423 030Kris Birkett, Press Officer 01923 423 833