AECOM designed the North Doncaster Chord, a railway flyover at Shaftholme to the north of Doncaster. The flyover takes slow-moving freight trains up and over the busy East Coast Main Line (ECML), rather than across it, freeing track space for much needed additional passenger services. Separating freight and passenger trains prevents slow-moving freight trains from delaying passenger services and reduces fuel costs by providing a more direct route for freight transportation.
Before the chord opened, freight traffic had to run on the busy ECML for 22 kilometres from Applehurst to Hambleton South at North Doncaster before turning off and heading for Immingham Dock and Aire Valley power stations. Now the chord has opened, approximately 30 coal trains travel on the chord each day to and from the power stations and dock.
AECOM delivered the detailed design for the new 3.2 kilometre railway chord, which includes a 246 metre-long viaduct, new overbridge and underbridge, and railway embankments at either side to bring rail levels up to a height suitable to cross the ECML. AECOM delivered the project for contractor Morgan Sindall, which was working in an alliance with Network Rail. The North Doncaster Chord is part of a £600 million package of work to improve journey time reliability along the ECML.