North-west electrification

operatives on the north-west electrification project
Siemens, Balfour Beatty
north-west England
May 2012
Jun 2019

VGC is playing a key role in the north-west electrification project.

The electrification programme consists of a series of upgrades to the railway in the north-west of England. We have been involved all phases, with clients Balfour Beatty and Siemens.

  • Phase 1 – Manchester to Liverpool
  • Phase 2 – Manchester to Bolton
  • Phase 3 – Bolton to Preston
  • Phase 4  – Preston to Blackpool
  • Phase 5 – Manchester Victoria to Stalybridge

For phase 4, VGC teams have been working for client Siemens on part of the Volker Rail project. VGC is providing the civil engineering infrastructure required for the signalling. This includes cable routes, hard standings, signal bases, signalling station bases and FLI piling.

“This latest phase of the project has been relatively straightforward,” said Richard Palin, operations director. “The challenges have been in the detail, where we’ve had to adapt engineering designs to the reality of individual situations.”

Siemens award
Siemens senior managers thanked Andrew Donnelly and his team for supporting a vulnerable member of the public. L to R: Sean Burdette (COSS), Andrew Cardiff (Siemens project manager NWEP phase 4), Alan Taylor (lookout), Ian Hendry (civils installer), Mark O’Leary (Siemens project director), Lee Cavill (COSS), Andrew Donnelly (team leader, COSS), Jamie Burdette (civils installer)

Other recent rail infrastructure projects with Siemens included the north Lincolnshire and Crewe junction upgrades. “Working alongside Siemens has been good for our teams. They appreciate the stability that these contracts entail.

“Siemens is a good company to work with. Their attitude to safety is exemplary and they are always wiling to listen to feedback from our teams.”

VGC started work for Siemens on phase 5 in October 2017. This includes further line of route works including troughing and location bases.

Railway electrification in the north

Laurence Mckidd, VGC’s managing director, pointed out that the government’s cancellation of further investment in railway electrification has caused widespread disappointment. “Not only is it a setback for travellers, it is a blow to the employment prospects of hundreds of people who work for Network Rail contractors.”

Happily for our teams, we are experiencing growing demand for our services on projects in the north of England and Scotland. These will ensure our future success and make sure we continue to meet our clients’ labour needs.rail operatives working on the electrification programme near Blackpool

Network Rail’s electrification upgrades will improve connectivity in the north of England. Phase 4 involves relaying track, building bridges and footbridges, extending stations, and associated works along 17 miles of track.


Read more about our work with Siemens in north Lincolnshire.