Lafarge expects the rail sidings to be operational from mid February 2012. The first main user of the restored line will be the Crossrail project, which will transport excavated material from the western tunnel bore at Royal Oak, near Paddington, by train to Northfleet, for onward transportation to Wallasea Island by ship.
Balfour Beatty Rail is carrying out all the design and construction of the new sidings and connection to the main line. Chunnel Group has carried out the siding preparation works within the main site. The overall length of the rail link is around 2.25km and in total 4.75km of new track will be provided.
Proposals for the 104 acre site have been developed by Lafarge, in association with councils of Kent and Gravesham. Linkage of the site to the main line represents an important step in the regeneration and redevelopment of Northfleet embankment, Lafarge said.