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Three invited to tender for £230M Borders Railway

Bam is to compete against consortiums including Sir Robert McAlpine and Carillion and Fluor and Miller Construction for the £230M Borders Railway PFI.

Transport Scotland has announced its intention to invite three organisations consisting of seven of Europe’s biggest construction and financial companies to tender for the contract.

The three organisations that have been invited to participate are:

  • BAM  (BAM UK Ltd)
  • IMCD (Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd, Iridium Concesiones de Infrastructuras, Carillion Construction)
  • New Borders Railway (Fluor Limited, Miller Construction (UK), Uberior Infrastructure Investments (Lloyds Banking)

The individual companies include those responsible for some of the biggest rail projects in Europe, including the high speed links between Amsterdam and Belgium (Zuid) and Figureas to Perpignan in France, the East Coast Mainline Upgrade, the London Underground Connect Project and Manchester Metrolink.

A market day held in January, attended by over 55 UK and European companies, resulted in a strong response with Transport Scotland receiving formal expressions of interest from five organisations.

The five organisations, comprising a total of 12 construction and financial companies, submitted pre-qualification questionnaires in March 2010. A rigorous and robust evaluation was undertaken to identify the three preferred organisations to be invited to participate in Competitive Dialogue, the next stage of procurement.

During the competitive dialogue stage, the three organisations will now enter into dialogue with Transport Scotland over the next year to discuss their proposals for delivering the railway and associated infrastructure. During this process, the three organisations will be reduced to two, who will then be invited to submit a final tender.

It is anticipated that the award of the contract for Borders Railway will be made in winter 2011 with main construction work also beginning at this time. The project is estimated for completion with train services running in 2014.

The Scottish Executive’s cabinet secretary for finance & sustainable growth John Swinney said the next stage in the process will introduce real competition to the rail market, encourage innovation and drive best value for money.

All the necessary land has been acquired to allow construction of the railway. Accelerated funding was made available last year to allow advanced works to be completed early to reduce the level of risk in the main works contract. The Utilities work which began in March 2010 ‘triggered’ the Waverley Railway (Scotland) Act 2006 states that once work has begun the railway must be finished in its entirety from Edinburgh to Tweedbank.

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