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NR looks for new alliances as £5bn track work tendered

Network Rail has issued a Prior Information Notice (PIN) process for its tender exercise on the next generation of track works contracts, worth up to £5bn.

The PIN was issued via the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), and the works are valued at up to £5bn over 10 years, starting in 2019.

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

This means that by 2019 there will be an extra 170,000 seats into major cities across the country each day, with 6,400 extra train services and 5,500 new train carriages, equating to a 30% increase in capacity.

The contracts within the PIN will cover the development, design and delivery of plain line, and switches and 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:

  • Alliance 1, located in the north, will cover the Scotland Route.
  • Alliance 2, which will cover the central area of London North West, and London North East and East Midlands Routes.
  • Alliance 3, will cover Anglia, Southeast, Wessex, Western and Wales Routes.

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

Network Rail is inviting bids from a wide range of suppliers who can illustrate relevant expertise, in preparation for the infrastructure investment programme during, CP6, the next five-year funding period between 2019-2024.

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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