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S&C renewals contracts worth £800m confirmed

A joint venture of Colas Rail and URS has secured a contract worth up to £400m from Network Rail to deliver switches and crossings (S&C) renewals across the South of England and Wales over the next ten years, while AmeySersa won the contract covering the North of England and Scotland, also worth up to £400m.

Both alliances were originally announced as preferred bidders in May, but the contracts have now been confirmed.

Delivered using an alliance approach, the S&C Alliance will combine the skills of URS as designer, Colas Rail as installer and Network Rail to deliver “aligned goals and objectives” to carry out the works efficiently.

The S&C work is part of Network Rail’s track renewals programme for the 2014-19 funding period, where it will renew more than 7,000km of track as part of a £25bn investment programme to build a bigger, better railway for Britain.

Steve Featherstone, Network Rail track programme director, said: “Today, there are a million more trains on our network than a decade ago and that number increases every year.

“We look forward to working with Colas URS to help deliver a massive programme of work to maintain, renew and enhance the railway across southern England and Wales over the next five years, with the goal of providing a more reliable railway for passengers and freight.”

The S&C South Alliance covers six of Network Rail’s nine routes: Anglia, South East, Western, Wales, Wessex and the London North Western (South) region. The Colas URS team will begin work immediately.

Ondrej Roubicek, managing director of track renewals at Colas Rail, said: “We are delighted to be given the opportunity to work with our alliance partners on delivering the challenging CP5 programme of works. We are committed to building on our 16 year UK track record in renewals through continuous innovation and investment in our people and technology.”

When AmeySersa was announced as preferred bidder in May, it said: “AmeySersa provides a step-change in the industry by bringing the most efficient, sustainable and innovative track renewal methods from continental Europe, combined with UK engineering excellence and network knowledge. This new approach – which will see S&C renewals delivered in only eight hours and with far fewer workers on-site – significantly reduces risk and the duration of network possessions. As a result AmeySersa will minimise disruption and deliver unprecedented savings.”

Amey’s chief executive, Mel Ewell said: “We are delighted that Network Rail has selected AmeySersa as preferred bidder for this significant contract. By working in alliance with Network Rail and our partners we can tailor European best practice tailored to suit the UK’s rail network. Working collaboratively and introducing innovation we will provide a safer, more efficient and reliable rail network.”

Hubert Rhomberg, CEO of Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group, said: “For several years we have successfully delivered Switch & Crossing renewals in an innovative and revolutionary way throughout Europe. Therefore, we are extremely happy to implement this core competency in alliance with Network Rail and our partner Amey in the UK, which allows us to sustainably contribute to increased efficiency.”

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