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Atkins, Laing O' Rourke, VolkerRail and Network Rail form alliance for Stafford rail improvements

Consultant Atkins has joined contractors Laing O’Rourke and VolkerRail, and rail operator Network Rail to form a “pure construction alliance” to deliver the £250M Stafford Area Improvement Programme (SAIP).

The alliance is to remodel and resignal the rail lines through Stafford. There is also a proposal for a flyover at Norton Bridge to separate commuter, freight and intercity services.

The pure alliance model is new to the UK rail industry and centres around an agreement where all parties share the benefits and risks. Parties were asked to submit bids as alliances during the invitation to tender stage.

“Whilst collaborative contracting and the concept of alliancing isn’t new to the industry, for Stafford due to the different disciplines involved, we wanted to push the boundaries and develop a ‘one project, one organisation’ mentality, removing the barriers associated with traditional contracting,” said SAIP alliance manager Dominic Baldwin.

The programme is due for completion in December 2017.

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