Dyer & Butler, a part of M Group Services, has been appointed to deliver platform extensions at Cambridge railway station on behalf of Abellio Greater Anglia.

The programme of works will include a 40 metre platform extension along with fencing, drainage and platform end steps to allow Greater Anglia’s new, longer Bombardier commuter trains to call at the station.

In addition, Dyer & Butler will deliver circuit signal rehabilitation works; buffer stop relocation on the main tracks; overhead line strengthening; additional lighting; and additional CCTV cameras and public address speaker installations. The work, which is planned to start in December and finish in May 2021, will see Dyer & Butler work closely with Greater Anglia’s new trains project team throughout.

The platforms will be extended using EPS modular expanded polystyrene platform system blocks. Over the last 18 months, Dyer & Butler’s Rail team has used the Network Rail approved system to complete 26 platform extensions across 17 stations, equating to 1,132 metres of new platform.

The system can be installed in either standard engineering access hours or abnormal possessions and offers a number of benefits. The expanded polystyrene can be factory notched to accept multi-ducts in various configurations to contain services, and passive provision for any future services. In addition, its lightweight construction eliminates any need for deep or piled foundations and minimises programme duration, vehicle movement and removal of waste.

As well as cost and time saving benefits, with a design life-span of 100 years the lightweight EPS blocks provide excellent compressive strength, durability, sustainability and ease of handling. The speed of installation (two metres of platform per hour) has been shown to result in a build time four times quicker than traditional platform build methods.

In July 2020, Grade II listed Cambridge railway station celebrated its 175th birthday; Dyer & Butler will work closely with the local conservation team to ensure that the station’s original exterior is preserved. Dyer & Butler’s expertise in historical rail structure projects spans over 17 years. Its processes, techniques, knowledge and skilled, in-house trained workforce enable the company’s project teams to develop appropriate interventions using modern materials to repair and refurbish rail heritage structures.

Greater Anglia’s Franchise and Programme Director, Ian McConnell, said: “This key work will enable our new Bombardier commuter trains to run on our route between London Liverpool Street and King’s Lynn, giving commuters the mod-cons they’d expect from a train in the 21st century from the moment they get on to when they arrive at their destination.”

Paul Fennessy, Dyer & Butler Operations Manager, commented: “We are delighted to deliver these works at Cambridge Station on behalf of Abellio. This project will provide improved accessibility and additional capacity for passengers visiting the station and supports Greater Anglia’s continued programme of investment in the railway in East Anglia.”