New alliances to be formed as £5bn railway track work tender issued

Network Rail has issued a Prior Information Notice (PIN) via The Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) process for its tender exercise to let the next generation of railway track works contracts, valued up to £5bn over 10 years, starting 2019

Network Rail is spending £130m every single week on improvements for passengers through the Railway Upgrade Plan, including maintaining and renewing Britain’s 20,000 miles of track.

As a result, by 2019 there will be an extra 170,000 seats into major cities across the country every single day, with 6,400 extra train services and 5,500 new train carriages – a 30% increase in capacity. Journeys will be quicker, trains will run more frequently and it will be more comfortable on board under the biggest programme of rail modernisation since the Victorian era.

The contracts within this PIN will cover the development, design and delivery of plain line and switches & crossings, as well as associated infrastructure works using the alliancing contract form.

Three alliances will be formed between Network Rail and consortia comprising a minimum of one construction contractor and one designer.

The alliances will cover the following geographic areas:

  • Alliance 1: North (Scotland Route)
  • Alliance 2: Central (London North West, and London North East & East Midland Routes)
  • Alliance 3: South (Anglia, Southeast, Wessex, Western, and Wales Routes)

The pre-qualification period for the tender is expected to start in May, and will be preceded by a supplier engagement briefing for interested suppliers on Monday 23 April.

A significant infrastructure investment programme will be undertaken by Network Rail during the next five-year funding period, 2019-2024, known as Control Period 6 (CP6).

With this in mind, Network Rail invites bids from a wide range of suppliers who can illustrate relevant expertise. Given the large scale and long-term nature of the contracts, it will be essential for prospective bidders to exhibit their commitment to delivering value through the relentless pursuit of excellence, highly innovative approaches, and a demonstrable track record of success in collaborative environments.

Steve Featherstone, Network Rail’s director for track said: “This tender represents a major milestone in the development of our strategy for our track infrastructure investment programme. It also represents a significant commitment by Network Rail to the rail industry and we are expecting high levels of interest in these contracts from the supply chain. In return, we will be looking for clear and firm commitments from the supply chain to deliver value for Network Rail.

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