Rail signalling

ORR to boost competitiveness in rail signalling market

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) is working with Network Rail to increase competitiveness in the market when procuring signalling contracts.

The follows the recommendations set out by ORR in November aimed at attracting more suppliers to the signalling market.

It is hoped that these recommendations cam help boost competition within the market and achieve greater value for money when procuring signalling equipment.

The signalling market is valued at £800m-£900m per year and ORR is working with Network Rail to drive further improvements.

Network Rail is delivering on the ORR report by delivering a revised commercial approach for how it procures and delivers signalling in Control Period 7 (2024-2029).

The roll-out of the supplier contracts for the forthcoming European Train Control System (ETCS) infrastructure will be a materially approach to previous control periods.

This will improve the attractiveness of signalling projects to suppliers by lowering barriers and the investment required to enter the market.

John Larkinson, ORR Chief Executive commented on the work being done to boost competitiveness in the signalling market.

Mr Larkinson said: “We are pleased that Network Rail’s assessment of the challenges in the signalling systems market are aligned with ours.

“It is progressing with plans to remedy them.

“These initiatives can play a key role in reducing the cost of signalling, meaning Network Rail’s funds can go further.

“The transformation to a digital railway presents an opportunity to reinvigorate the signalling market with improved value for money.

“This can play an important role in helping Network Rail meet the fiscal challenges of the post-pandemic world.

“We will continue to work closely with Network Rail to ensure the benefits of its proposals are realised as fully as possible in both conventional and digital markets.”

Network Rail will work with ORR to provide better reporting information to improve transparency and inform decision making on signalling renewal market performance.

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