Awards, contracts & appointments

05.02.18

Balfour Beatty wins £40m Stoneblower contract

Balfour Beatty has been awarded a four-year contract worth over £40m, which will see the company take over the operations and maintenance of Network Rail’s fleet of track maintenance machines known as “Stoneblowers.”

It will deliver over 2,800 maintenance shifts a year across the UK rail network, and there is the option to extend for an additional year.

The Stoneblower fleet is made up of 14 operational machines, 11 Plain Line machines which are allocated to specific geographical areas across the rail network, and three multi-purpose machines which operate across the entire network.

The machines maintain the track by pneumatically injecting small stones under the sleepers, filling voids and stabilising the track.

The first term of the contract will see the delivery of seven multi-purpose machines which will replace the ageing Plain Line fleet, with the first one entering service in 2020.

Balfour Beatty will be responsible for providing the highly-skilled crews required to operate the new machines on delivery, and will assist Network Rail and the original equipment manufacturer with the commissioning of the new machines.

Mark Bullock, managing director of Balfour Beatty’s rail business, said: “The award of this contract to maintain and operate Network Rail’s fleet of Stoneblowers demonstrates the technical rail expertise Balfour Beatty has gained over many generations of working on the railway.

“The contract is an exciting one for us as it not only includes the operation and maintenance of the current fleet, but also the introduction of seven new Multi-Purpose machines.

“We are delighted to be operating more plant for Network Rail on a national basis.”

Recruitment will commence early in 2019. At its peak, the deal will see around 140 people employed, including four apprentices and graduates.

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