Four suppliers have been appointed by Network Rail to deliver a £2bn programme to electrify more than two thousand miles of Britain’s railway over the next seven years.
The successful bidders are Balfour Beatty; AmeyInabensa, a joint venture between Amey and Spain’s Inabensa; CarillionPowerlines, a Carillion and SPL Powerlines joint venture; and ABC Electrification, a consortium made up of Alstom, Babcock and Costain.
They will work with Network Rail to plan and deliver a range of schemes that will see routes in England, Wales and Scotland electrified for the first time.
Once electrification schemes including the Great Western and Midland main lines, Liverpool to Manchester and Preston, the Valley lines in south Wales and the ‘electric spine’ from Southampton docks to the West Midlands and Yorkshire are complete, more than half Britain’s rail network will be electrified with electric trains accounting for three-quarters of all traffic.
In a statement Simon Kirby, managing director of Network Rail’s infrastructure projects division, said: ‘Our work to electrify two thousand track miles represents the biggest programme of rail electrification in a generation and will provide faster, quieter and more reliable journeys for millions of passengers every week while cutting the cost of the railway.’
Six geographic framework contracts have been awarded, each with a defined package of schemes to be delivered, an approach endorsed by supply chain and industry groups including Railway Industry Association.
Jeremy Candfield, director general of the Railway Industry Association, commented: ‘This is a major and very welcome step in the transformation of the railway. It will encourage suppliers to invest in the training and equipment needed for the growing national electrification programme and pave the way for suppliers’ greater involvement to maximise the efficient delivery of the projects.’
The inclusion of a significant number of committed projects within each framework is expected to bolster investment in training and development, including support for the proposed development of a Network Rail Electrification Training Academy.
‘The framework approach chosen by Network Rail gives suppliers a greater degree of certainty about the company’s pipeline of work and means suppliers can target investment so they have the right people with the right skills in the right parts of the country to deliver schemes which will improve our railway and boost economic growth,’ said Kirby.
Network Rail believes electrification will provide faster, quieter, and more reliable journeys for passengers and freight users whilst cutting the cost of the railway.
Southern region: AmeyInabensa
Central (London North Western, South) region: ABC
Central (East Midlands) region: CarillionPowerlines
Central (London North Western, North) region: Balfour Beatty
Scotland & North East region: CarillionPowerlines
Western & Wales region: ABC
Source: Network Rail