UK rail infrastructure manager Network Rail (NR) has awarded a £60m multidisciplinary design and build contract to J Murphy & Sons to support the electrification of the London Overground route between Gospel Oak and Barking.

NR awarded the contract to carry out principal enabling works on behalf of Transport for London (TfL) and the UK Department for Transport (DfT).

Four two-car diesel trains an hour are currently being operated from Gospel Oak to Barking but electrifying the route will allow TfL to introduce new four-car trains from January 2018.

"The project also shows that Murphy is continuing to grow and build on its established reputation in the rail sector."

In addition to meeting the growing passenger demand, the project will create an alternative route for rail freight traffic across north London.

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Murphy chief executive Steve Hollingshead said: "This is a major rail infrastructure scheme and we are pleased to be working alongside Network Rail again on such a significant project, one that will have a positive impact on the thousands of passengers who use the route every day.

"The project also shows that Murphy is continuing to grow and build on its established reputation in the rail sector."

The deal will see Murphy work on the track, including track lowering of plain line and switches, and the installation of slab track.

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The company will also reinforce embankments and cuttings, modify signals for 25kV AC electrification and telecommunication assets, as well as renovate existing bridge parapets.

Scope of work also includes the replacement of an existing overbridge, platform reconstruction at Walthamstow station, and foundation installation for electrification masts along the line.

Under this deal, Murphy is collaborating with project designer Amey and specialist contractor Stobart Rail, which will be responsible for the slab track works.

To be carried out as part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan, the project will electrify the line, extend the platforms and improve stations to accommodate the new longer trains.

Once complete, the electrified route will also bring environmental benefits with the energy from the new trains, offering a reduction in CO2 when compared with a diesel engine.