Network Rail has published a contract notice inviting bids for its £5bn “next generation” track works contracts.
The suite of contracts is the largest of its kind being undertaken in the upcoming funding period, control period 6 (CP6) which runs from 2019 to 2024.
A prior information notice for the contract was issued in March this year.
The contracts, which cover 10 years of railway track works, will introduce three new geographically-focused alliances between Network Rail, designers and construction suppliers.
The alliances are the North Alliance (Scotland Route); Central Alliance (London North West, London North East and East Midland routes) and the South Alliance; (Anglia, South East, Wessex, Western and Wales routes).
Each will combine the development, design and delivery of plain line track and switches and crossings, as well as associated infrastructure works for each area.
The step sees plain line and switches & crosses brought together operationally and commercially as a means of delivering infrastructure works more efficiently and effectively for customers, said Network Rail.
It said the move was a “key component” of its Infrastructure Projects CP6 procurement strategy, which aims to promote collaborative arrangements with the supply chain that offer better value for money for devolved route customers.
Network Rail director for track Steve Featherstone said: “Combining our plain line expertise with that of switches & crossings will bring huge benefits to both our route customers and the wider supply chain. The proven alliance model offers a flexible and cost effective solution with a greater focus on each route’s specific requirements and needs.”
The pre-qualification period for the tender will start in June.