British engineering group Costain has secured an initial £150m contract from Network Rail to provide infrastructure and stations on the Crossrail North East Spur between Stratford in east London and Shenfield in Essex.
The company will work with Network Rail to immediately begin the design and professional services work to develop detailed plans for the project.
The scope of the contract includes major station improvements at Romford and Ilford; as well as other upgrades at Forest Gate, Goodmayes, Harold Wood, Gidea Park, Chadwell Heath and Brentwood.
The company will install new lifts at several stations along the route to enable step-free access.
Costain will also upgrade the tracks and overhead electrification equipment as well as extra train stabling capacity and turnback facilities, as part of the major infrastructure improvements.
The main works are slated to take place between late 2014 and 2017.
Crossrail surface director Matthew White said: "Network Rail is undertaking a major upgrade of the existing rail network for Crossrail including a significant programme of track renewals as well as stations improvements.
"For the residents of east London and Essex, Crossrail will deliver significant benefits to passengers including new trains, better stations and quicker journeys."
The existing trains used on stopping services from Shenfield to London will be replaced with new ones, beginning 2017. However, the fast and semi-fast services from Shenfield to Liverpool Street will continue to operate.
Image: Costain to upgrade stations between Stratford in east London and Shenfield in Essex. Photo: courtesy of Crossrail Ltd.