AECOM has been appointed to lead the technical design for the new southern entrance of Sunderland’s railway station. AECOM will be working in partnership with BAM Nuttall, Network Rail, Nexus, Grand Central and Northern Rail, and Sunderland City Council to deliver the project, which is part of a wider £26m station redevelopment.
The new entrance will feature a large glass wrap-around design and will include a ticket office and reception, retail and cafes and a mezzanine level with office space for rail staff. The wider six-year project will also see the northern entrance of the station revamped and platform-level works undertaken to increase the capacity of the station, with four tracks and four platforms to separate Tyne and Wear metro from mainline services.
This year the existing southern entrance will be demolished, clearing the way for the construction of a new building overlooking Market Square. In line with AECOM’s carbon reduction and build to last methodology, the plans will optimise the use of the existing structure, thereby avoiding the need to replace it with a new set of concrete retaining walls that would result in increased emissions. AECOM says that by reusing what is already there, it can avoid carbon emissions and reduce costs whist working towards 2050 net zero carbon targets.
AECOM rail director Simon O’Connor said: “AECOM’s architecturally led teams are delivering schemes which put people and connectivity at their heart. Early engagement with contractors has meant that we are collaborating to produce a digital design which can tackle construction challenges before a spade has even gone in the ground. AECOM’s team is undertaking the technical design for this aspect of the Sunderland station redevelopment, delivering value to clients whilst designing to reduce cost and the impact on passengers during the works. Consideration of environment, social and governance (ESG) is central to AECOM’s work and our designs for this scheme will reduce carbon impacts during construction.”
AECOM has a strong presence in the north-east and is already working with BAM Nuttall on projects such as the £100m redevelopment of Darlington railway station, which will see three new platforms on the east side of the existing station, a new station building and linking footbridge. An upgrade to the Victoria Road entrance and car park is also planned, alongside new road layouts, wider pavements and improvements to walking and cycling access to make the station easier to reach.
Further significant rail projects in the north-east include AECOM’s work with Northumberland County Council to construct six new stations along the Northumberland Line, which will see regular passenger trains between Ashington and Newcastle reintroduced by 2024 – boosting education, employment and housing prospects for the region. AECOM’s role on the project includes programme management, engineering design, planning and consents and stakeholder management.