Arup, Aecom and Arcadis are among the winners named on Network Rail’s £5bn, 10-year “next generation of rail systems” framework.
Network Rail said it had awarded the track and rail system alliances in the South to Colas Rail and Aecom,and in Scotland to Babcock Rail, Arup and Arcadis. after an lenghty tender period. The framework will include “anything needed to make the rail system work” including track, points, overhead lines and signalling.
The award is one of the most substantial of Network Rail’s control period 6 (CP6) contracts to be let following the Office of Rail and Road’s final determination, which was confirmed as £35bn for rail maintenance and renewals.
The contracts in Scotland and the South of England are worth an estimated £5bn.
The 10-year contracts, which will run for an initial five-year period between 2019 and 2024 with an option to extend, are divided into three new geographically-focused alliances between Network Rail, designers and construction suppliers.
These are the North Alliance (Scotland route); Central Alliance (London North West, London North East and East Midlands route) and South Alliance (Anglia, South East, Wessex, Western and Wales routes).
The Central alliance bidding process is ongoing and a preferred bidder will be announced following final verification and internal approvals Network Rail said.
After criticism of the way procurement of rail projects was organised in CP5, Network Rail said the tender and procurement process for CP6 had been intentionally phased to help improve efficiency for Network Rail and the supply chain.
In an interview with New Civil Engineer, former Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne urged his successor, Andrew Haines to implement “radical reform” to improve the track operator’s alliancing process.
Network Rail programme director track Steve Featherstone 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.”
Colas Rail chief executive Jean-Pierre Bertrand added: “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.”
The announcement is subject to contract terms being finalised and agreed, with procurement currently operating a standstill period.
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