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Conflict-free proviso for Railtrack's West Coast work

RAILTRACK WILL today warn contractors that they could be excluded from its £2.5bn West Coast Main Line upgrade programme if their project teams include staff with a reputation for causing conflict on site.

It will instead set out plans for a conflict-free partnership approach at a suppliers seminar to be held at this week's Civils 98 exhibition in Birmingham.

WCML's head of external affairs Tim Jones told NCE earlier this week that Railtrack wanted to use its investment programme to help bring an end to conflict within the construction team.

'If the industry changes, staff and key resources need to change. You may find that some staff are not suited to this style of working,' he said. 'We do not want the old confrontational attitudes.'

Last week Railtrack confirmed that it had appointed consultant Brown & Root to help its in-house team project manage the WCML.

The consultant was chosen after impressing Railtrack with its track record of delivering major projects - mostly in the offshore oil sector - on time and as much as 20% under budget.

Railtrack and Brown & Root have already started working in the same London office and will set up a partnering board and project management team to oversee the project. An open book approach to projects on WCML will be promoted with construction teams made up of staff from contractors, Railtrack and Brown & Root.

At today's seminar the Railtrack/Brown & Root project team is expected to encourage contractors to invest in state of the art equipment including track laying and catenary erection machinery - worthwhile as the project is expected to take between five and seven years to deliver.

Andrew Bolton

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