Tuesday 4 Nov 2008
£400M READING SCHEME SEEKS BEST TEAM FOR THE JOB
Companies will be selected for their skills and willingness to be innovative across a diverse range of works including:
- Civil engineering, including the construction of an rail viaduct and the widening and replacement of several bridges
- Signalling and telecoms, including upgrading the signalling equipment at Reading
- Track, renewing and constructing new ones; and
- Station and depot works, including building new platforms, pedestrian footbridge and the northern entrance to the station
Rupert Walker, project sponsor for Network Rail, said,
“This is one of the most prestigious, high-profile schemes in the country and it will provide national benefit to Britain’s railways. We owe it to the millions of rail users coming through the Reading area each year to secure the best talent available for this vital project.
“The selection process will be rigorous and competition will be tough so we can draw on the best people to deliver the job. Every successful bidder will have an excellent opportunity to showcase their expertise and ability to deliver.”
Dividing the contract into separate work packages, a favoured industry approach, means Network Rail will be closer to the ‘front-line’ in the delivery of the scheme. This also means opportunity for more firms to compete for and benefit from this scheme – boosting the industry and creating more engineering jobs, potentially for the area in Reading.
Successful bidders will go through a three-stage process to qualify for the final selection, which will begin in early 2009. The first set of work packages will be awarded by summer 2009 for preliminary work to start by end of next year. The larger contracts for the main programme of work, which include the construction of the elevated railway and track renewals, will be awarded from the end of 2009.
Notes to editorsNetwork Rail is working closely with Reading Borough council on this government-funded programme to tackle the bottle neck at Reading, one of the most critical rail hubs in Britain. Reading’s current track layout and signalling severely limits the number of services that can travel through the station. The project has funding of £425m to deliver a 37% improvement in train service performance reliability in the Reading area by 2015. Reading will benefit from this project as will the many destinations that Reading serves, including London Paddington, Bristol, South Wales, Cornwall and Oxford, along with London Waterloo, Gatwick Airport and the south coast.
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About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.