Network Rail awards infrastructure framework contracts

Network Rail has kickstarted its infrastructure investment plans for London and the south east for the next five years by nominating four preferred suppliers for contracts worth a total of £1.2bn.

The framework agreements, which will come into force on 1 April 2014, will cover almost half Network Rail’s £2.5bn workbank for the 2014-19 funding period in the region, delivering longer platforms for longer trains on key commuter routes, station enhancements, new footbridges to improve accessibility and upgrades to bridges, embankments and tunnels to increase the resilience of the infrastructure in some of the most intensely-used parts of Britain’s rail network.

VolkerFitzpatrick, Costain, BAM Nuttall and Geoffrey Osborne are the four suppliers who will work with Network Rail’s regional infrastructure projects business to build a bigger, better railway on the Anglia, Kent, Sussex and Wessex routes.

Nick Elliott, southern regional director for infrastructure projects, Network Rail, said: “The number of people travelling by rail has more than doubled in the last decade and is predicted to grow by a further 400m by 2020.

“To help meet this growth in demand, our plans for the next five years will help deliver a 20% increase in the number of seats into London at the busiest times of day. We’ll do this not only through big, high-profile schemes, but also by targeted investment to lengthen platforms, improve stations, increase accessibility and make our infrastructure more reliable across London and the south east.

“I look forward to working with our suppliers to build a bigger, better railway for passengers in and around the capital and to help support the region’s economic growth.”

The frameworks agreements have been designed to encourage increased collaboration between Network Rail and its partners, and will incorporate shared objectives to enable both sides to share in risk and reward and to incentivise safe, efficient project delivery. Safety accounted for 15% of the evaluation criteria for suppliers, which is a significant increase on previous frameworks and highlights Network Rail’s commitment to improving workforce safety.

Nick Elliott continued: “Safety is at the heart of everything we do, so it is right that we reflect that in the way we choose our supply partners. This represents a significant change to the way we assess safety and underlines our commitment to delivering a fundamental improvement in workforce safety within the rail industry.”

Source: Network Rail press office