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Network Rail to be contractor/consultant

Network Rail is to launch an infrastructure projects group in April next year to provide civil engineering consultancy as well as construction services.

Full range of services

Network Rail said that it expects to be able to offer a full range of consulting and contracting services by the beginning of its next control period in 2014.

Initial details were announced by chief executive David Higgins earlier in the year.

A Network Rail spokesman said the exact structure will be finalised over the next month before staff are informed. Current director of investment projects Simon Kirby will head the new division.

Work that would usually have been carried out in-house by Network Rail will now be put out to tender.

“If a Balfour Beatty or a Carillion can do the work for a cheaper price, then we are open to that,” the spokesman said.

However, the new group will also be able to bid for the work. On top of this, Network Rail will also bid for overseas civil engineering and contracting work.

This story has been updated since publication to correct the erroneous description of David Higgins as outgoing chief executive.

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