Suppliers in the UK have been invited to bid for the next generation of track work contracts worth up to £5 billion.
These 10-year contracts begin in 2019 and introduce three new geographically-focused ‘alliances’ between Network Rail, designers and construction suppliers.
These new alliances are: North Alliance (Scotland route); Central Alliance (London North West, London North East and East Midland routes); South Alliance; (Anglia, South East, Wessex, Western and Wales routes).
They will combine the development, design and delivery of plain line track and switches and crossings, as well as associated infrastructure works for each area.
This step sees plain line as well as switches and crosses brought together operationally and commercially as a means of delivering infrastructure works more efficiently and effectively for customers.
This move is a key component of Network Rail’s Infrastructure Projects procurement strategy for Control Period 6 (2019-2024), which aims to promote collaborative arrangements with the supply chain that offer better value for money for devolved routes.
Network Rail director for track Steve Featherstone said the proven alliance model offers a flexible and cost-effective solution with a greater focus on each route’s specific requirements and needs.
He added: “Combining our plain line expertise with that of switches and crossings will bring huge benefits to both our route customers and the wider supply chain.”
Given the large-scale and long-term nature of the contracts, prospective bidders will be expected to exhibit their commitment to delivering value through the pursuit of excellence, innovative approaches, and a demonstrable track record of success in collaborative environments.
Potential bidders are now invited to submit their expressions of interest. The pre-qualification period for the tender will start in June.
The start of the tender process was signalled with the issue of a Contract Notice in the Official Journal of the European Union.