Major milestone in NET Phase Two as first track foundations laid

The project to extend Nottingham Express Transit has reached another milestone with the first 120 metres of track foundations being laid at a new tram park and ride site for
1,300 cars near to Bardills Island on the A52. This work was undertaken on Friday 9th November using an innovative machine – known as Appitrack – of which there are only four in existence in the world.

The laying of these foundations is a key milestone in the project as it shows the first  tangible progress in the construction to the untrained world as work continues towards
an opening in 2014. The Appitrack machine is unique to Alstom – who are part of the Tramlink Nottingham consortium – and not only speeds up the process of laying tram tracks by up to six times but also reduces the amount of noise and dust created in comparison to standard methods.

Cllr Jane Urquhart, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Transportation at Nottingham City Council, said: “The foundations for the first track tracks being laid represents a significant step forward in Nottingham’s ambitions to extend trams to serve the south and southwest of the city, which would give Nottingham, already recently named Transport City of the Year, one of the best, if not the best, integrated transport networks in the country. Extending NET is creating jobs and generating construction work opportunities for local companies, and will help to stimulate the local economy to generate long term employment growth and bring inward investment into the city.”

Approximately 500 jobs have been created so far as part of the construction of phase two of NET which should see trams reaching Beeston, Chilwell and Clifton by the end of 2014.

Terence Watson, Managing Director of Alstom’s UK and Ireland Transport business, said: “We’ve brought our latest state-of-the-art technology in the form of the Appitrack track laying machine to Nottingham to get the track laying off to a great start. Appitrack is particularly well suited to rapid track-laying in the tight confines of city centres and suburban locations where it will reduce disruption for Nottingham’s citizens, which is an
extremely important factor to our delivery team.”

And for anyone who wants to get up and close to the various different pieces of equipment being used to help construct the extension they are being offered the chance to do so as part of an “Open Doors” event on Friday 9th and Saturday 10th November at the main site
office on Toton Lane, Stapleford. As well as the aforementioned Appitrack machine other different types of equipment will be on show and there will also be interactive displays and activities which showcase the work that is going on across one of the country’s largest construction projects. The idea of the “Open Doors” event – which is being held at several locations across the UK – is to encourage people to find out more about the construction industry and the career opportunities it offers.

A view of the Appitrack machine used to lay the track by Alstom. It is seen here at the main Toton worksite of the contractors. (Photo: Ian Peberday)

Another piece of equipment which is used alongside the Appitrack machine. (Photo: Ian Peberday)


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