Network Rail’s plans to invest almost £2bn in six major signalling schemes took a major step forward today with the award of four multi-million pound signalling framework agreements.
Network Rail claims that the new signalling systems will deliver substantial benefits to passengers and freight users, increasing reliability and reducing delays. Cost reductions around 26% for unit costs over the next three years are anticipated.
Network Rail’s Director, Major Projects & Investments Simon Kirby said: ‘This is great news for millions of passengers who will find their journeys significantly improved. Investment on this scale will reduce delays by improving the reliability of the railway. This will mean long-term benefits from a better rail network for different regions across the country.
‘Delivering efficiently, with the right supplier is hugely important. We have made long-term commitments to suppliers, giving them the opportunity to invest in the development of technology. In return, we have received long-term cost guarantees, helping us to achieve our cost targets.’
Upgrades, such as bridge improvements and track renewals work, will take place alongside signalling work to maximise use of the access to the track and minimise disruption for passengers.
The new signalling systems, which will replace systems dating back decades, will be designed by Network Rail’s specialist in-house team.