Network Rail announces £800m rail haulage and seasonal services contracts: Multipurpose vehicle for seasonal railway treatment

Wednesday 15 May 2019

Network Rail announces £800m rail haulage and seasonal services contracts

Region & Route:

• Rail haulage and seasonal service contracts worth a total value of £800m
• Awarded to Freightliner, GB Railfreight, Direct Rail Services, DB Cargo UK, Colas Rail UK and Balfour Beatty as detailed

Network Rail has awarded contracts worth £800m for the haulage and operations of its engineering trains and seasonal treatment services in Control Period 6 (CP6, 2019-2024).

The rail haulage contracts, which include network, bulk ballast and possession engineering trains, have been awarded to Freightliner, GB Railfreight, Direct Rail Services, DB Cargo UK and Colas Rail UK.

DB Cargo UK, GB Railfreight and Freightliner will also operate Network Rail’s supply chain operations local distribution centres in CP6, with a focus on improving facilities and safety for better working practices and performance.

As part of the seasonal services contracts, Balfour Beatty and DB Cargo UK will be providing the weedspray and autumn/winter multipurpose (MPV) services in CP6. Rail head treatment train (RHTT) autumn services will be operated by DB Cargo UK, Direct Rail Services, Colas Rail UK, GB Railfreight and Freightliner. GB Railfreight will be operating the snow and ice treatment trains (SITT) while Direct Rail Services will operate the winter development train. 

The new contracts will help to drive improvements in performance and delivery for more reliable services for passengers and freight.

Rob Morton, director of supply chain operations, Network Rail, said:

“These contracts demonstrate the commercially creative approach Network Rail’s supply chain now adopts. We have applied a more collaborative and forward-thinking style to our sourcing than previously, which aligns not only our goals, but those of our supply partners.

“The new contracts provide us with sufficient flexibility to direct our spend to those suppliers who deliver the best service. We have also ensured the deals have appropriate mutual benefit to maximise their longevity and chance of delivering successfully.” 

Haulage and seasonal services contracts:

Lot 1 Haulage for network, bulk ballast and possession trains – Freightliner, GB Railfreight, Direct Rail Services, DB Cargo UK and Colas Rail UK

Lot 2 Operations at Network Rail’s local distribution centres – DB Cargo UK (Millerhill, Carlisle, Doncaster, Toton, Hinksey, Westbury and Hoo), GB Railfreight (Bescot, Whitemoor and Eastleigh) and Freightliner (Crewe)

Lot 3 Multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) weedspray treatment – Balfour Beatty and DB Cargo UK

Lot 4 MPV autumn and winter treatment – Balfour Beatty and DB Cargo UK

Lot 5 Rail head treatment train (RHTT) for autumn treatment – DB Cargo UK, Direct Rail Services, Colas Rail UK, GB Railfreight and Freightliner

Lot 6 Snow and ice treatment train (SITT) for winter treatment – GB Railfreight

Lot 7 Winter development train for winter treatment – Direct Rail Services

Lot 8 Snow ploughs, route proving and ice breaking for winter treatment – Direct Rail Services

Michael Leadbetter, planning and resourcing director, Freightliner, said:

“Freightliner has a long history of working with Network Rail to deliver maintenance and renewal of the working railway. We’re also really proud to have been involved in the delivery of many major projects across the country, improving the national infrastructure and helping to provide a rail network fit for the future. We’re delighted to be able to renew and build on this collaboration with Network Rail for another five years.”

Hans-Georg Werner, CEO, DB Cargo UK, said:

“DB Cargo UK is proud to continue its longstanding relationship with Network Rail. These contract awards are testament to the hard work of our employees who allow us to deliver reliable and sustainable services every day. We look forward to collaborating with Network Rail for a further five years as we ensure the railways keep moving in Britain.”

Mark Wyborn, general manager for Network Rail / Infrastructure, GB Railfreight, said:

“GB Railfreight is delighted to be a trusted partner and has been working closely with Network Rail for many years. We remain incredibly proud of the role our services play in keeping Britain’s trains moving safely and securely and the part we play within the overall supply chain.

“The local delivery centres (LDCs), haulage and seasonal services contracts we have been awarded demonstrate just how valued GB Railfreight is to the successful delivery of the rail network and best placed to offer high quality services across the freight sector.”

Chris Connelly, chief operating officer, Direct Rail Services, said:

“Direct Rail Services is delighted to once again be playing a vital part in keeping Britain’s railways open for business in support of both freight and passenger operations. Over the last five years we are proud to have developed a strong relationship with Network Rail as a valued customer and we look forward to continuing this over the next five-year period.”

Jean-Pierre Bertrand, CEO, Colas Rail UK, said:

“We are committed to deliver a best in class service to Network Rail supply chain operations. By delivering both track renewal and maintenance works alongside our freight services we can ensure efficient and timely delivery for the benefit of the end users, supporting Network Rail in enhancing the infrastructure for the benefit of the passengers.”

Mick Rayner, managing director of Balfour Beatty’s rail business, said:

“Our engineering excellence and continuous drive to improve Network Rail’s asset performance was instrumental in securing this new contract. We look forward to continuing our work with Network Rail to operate and maintain the next generation of MPV fleet, while tackling everyday weather-related challenges to provide a resilient railway for the public.”

Notes to editors:

  • The framework award is one of the most substantial of Network Rail’s CP6 contracts to be let following the Office of Rail and Road’s final determination, which confirmed £42bn of funding for rail operations, maintenance and renewals.
  • The tender and procurement process for CP6 was intentionally phased to help improve efficiency for both Network Rail and the supply chain.
  • Network Rail has a fleet of seasonal treatment machinesto help keep the railway running in all weathers. This includes snow and ice treatment trains, the winter development train and multipurpose vehicles and rail head treatment trains that jet-blast leaves off railway tracks in autumn.
  • Possession trains carry materials and other supplies between local distribution centres and engineering work sites. Network and bulk ballast trains provide a flow of materials from quarries to the local distribution centres where they are stored ready for maintenance and renewals on the railway.

About Route Services

The Route Services function supplies Network Rail’s route businesses with critical services they decide are best provided from a national team. This includes IT services and equipment, training, supply and operation of Network Rail’s rail and road fleet, materials including rail and ballast, contract management and procurement, and shared services including finance and HR. Working as a single, service delivery directorate, Route Services allows Network Rail to benefit from economies of scale and greater efficiency from specialised delivery.

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office -Lucinda Neal
Media relations manager, Route Services
07734 647775

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.

Follow us on Twitter: @networkrail
Visit our online newsroom: