Network Rail have announced preferred bidders to deliver the next decade of rail system – anything needed to make the rail system work including track, points, overhead lines and signalling –  contracts in Scotland and the South of England. 

Following an extensive tender period, Network Rail have awarded the track and rail system alliances in the South to Colas Rail and AECOM, and in Scotland to Babcock Rail, Arup and Arcadis. This announcement is subject to contract terms being finalised and agreed, with procurement currently operating a standstill period.

The 10-year contracts (initial 5-year period with an option to extend) are divided into three new geographically-focused alliances between Network Rail, designers and construction suppliers; 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 continues and a preferred bidder will be announced in due course following final verification and internal approvals. The three contracts in Scotland, Central and the South are work an estimated £5bn over the term of the contracts.

Steve Featherstone, programme director Track, 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.”

Jean-Pierre Bertrand, CEO of Colas Rail Ltd, commented: “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.

This was echoed by Archie Bethel, Babcock International’s CEO: “Building on our long term relationship with Network Rail, we are delighted to have been selected as preferred bidder for this major programme of railway systems work, with our alliance partners Arcadis and Arup.  We look forward to working with Network Rail in the new alliance.”

Colin Wood, chief executive – Civil Infrastructure, Europe, Middle East and Africa, AECOM, said: “We’re extremely pleased to be named, along with our partners Colas Rail, as a preferred bidder for the track and rail system alliance. We now look forward to working with Network Rail to deliver vital upgrades to Great Britain’s railway infrastructure over the next 10 years.

“Reinforcing our position as one of the UK’s leading track and rail engineering renewal consultants, the award is testament to the reputation we’ve established and the trust we’ve built up over the years with Network Rail and Colas Rail as part of the S&C alliance.”

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