UK railway infrastructure owner Network Rail has published its preferred bidders for the next generation of rail system contracts for Scotland and the South of England. These contracts cover all aspects of the rail infrastructure system, such as tracks, points, overhead lines and signalling equipment.
After a lengthy tender process, Network Rail has selected Colas Rail and AECOM to deliver track services in the south. Network Rail’s preferred bids for Scotland came from Babcock Rail, Arup and Arcadis. In both cases these contracts are subject to the parties finalising and agreeing the terms. This means procurement is currently in a standstill period.
The five-year contracts come with an option to extend by a further five years. They are set up as new geographic alliances between Network Rail, designers and construction suppliers. Firstly, the North Alliance (Scotland route), secondly, the Central Alliance (London North West, London North East and East Midlands route), and thirdly, the South Alliance (Anglia, South East, Wessex, Western and Wales routes).
The initial five-year contract covers Control Period 6, which runs from 2019 to 2024, while the extension would cover Control Period 7, from 2024 to 2029. Specifically, Network Rail has been able to make this framework award after the ORR confirmed 35 billion GBP for rail maintenance and renewal.
The bidding process is ongoing for the Central Alliance. Network Rail will announce its preferred bidder after final verification and internal approvals. In total the value of the three contracts is worth around 5 billion GBP over their term. In particular, the North Alliance contract is worth 1 billion GBP over the ten-year period.
Steve Featherstone, Programme Director Track, said:
“Reaching this important milestone ensures we will have a stable foundation for the delivery of the Great Britain’s core railway infrastructure for the next decade. Our new strategy allows us to better align to the routes and ultimately, deliver for customers.”
Jean-Pierre Bertrand, CEO, Colas Rail Ltd, said:
“We are extremely proud of our team being recognised for the quality of the tender submission. We are fully committed to delivering major improvements to the UK railways in the South working together with our partners Aecom and Network Rail over the upcoming 10 years.”
Archie Bethel, CEO, Babcock International said:
“Building on our long term relationship with Network Rail, we are delighted to have been selected as preferred bidder for this major programme of railway systems work, with our alliance partners Arcadis and Arup. We look forward to working with Network Rail in the new alliance.”
Colas Rail will also perform nationwide rail grinding works in a separate Network Rail contract. It uses Loram rail grinders to perform the work. To clarify, this contract is for a period of three years with an option to extend by two years.
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