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Amey loses rail contract

AMEY RAILWAYS last week became the first victim of a Railtrack 'flying squad' created to investigate poor performance by rail maintenance contractors.

The contractor had been responsible for the £15M Bristol area track and signal maintenance contract. It was half way through the five year contract term. Railtrack said it sent in its flying squad after Amey failed to meet improvement deadlines.

Rail contractor GTRM has taken over the £15M contract. 'Investigators were unhappy with the way work was being done and after discussions Amey withdrew from the contract by 'mutual consent',' said a Railtrack spokeswoman.

A written statement issued by Amey last week said that Bristol area infrastructure was in 'poor condition at the time of privatisation'. It added: 'Significant traffic growth, particularly in freight, has further increased the scale of the maintenance task.'

'Railtrack is striving for more rapid improvements to be achieved in track quality ... and Amey has agreed that those improvements may be better delivered by a new contractor, not constrained by the original conditions.'

Railtrack set up the team of contract investigators two months ago as part of a nationwide shake up to improve track quality. Amey's track and signal maintenance contract in Bristol was the first to be investigated.

Railtrack said Amey's departure from the Bristol job did not affect other Amey contracts.

Richard Thompson

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