Tuesday 11 Sep 2007

NETWORK RAIL ANNOUNCES TRACK RENEWAL CHANGES

Route:
National

Contractors delivering renewals work to be reduced from 6 to 4

Work rebalanced geographically, with points and plain-line aligned

Quality, performance and efficiency of rail renewals to improve

Network Rail has today announced the result of a six month assessment of its track renewals aimed at reducing the number of contractors delivering work from six to four.

The proposal to rationalise arrangements, originally announced in December 2006, forms part of a wider programme to drive improved delivery performance, including safety and engineering quality, whilst improving the efficiency of the rail renewals programme.

The four contractors are: Amey SECO (JV), Balfour Beatty (BBRIS), First Engineering Ltd, and Jarvis PLC.

Today’s announcement also includes an alignment of the delivery of switches and crossings (points) and plain-line track renewals by all contractors. This change is designed to improve the ability to plan and coordinate renewals work. It will also allow each contractor to reduce the distance between its depots and worksites.

Announcing the result of the assessment, Peter Henderson, Group Infrastructure Director, said: “By making these changes, Network Rail aims to achieve significant improvements in the delivery of our track renewals programme. By aligning plain-line track renewals and switchings and crossings renewals, and by working closely with our suppliers, we can deliver much improved quality, safety and efficiency.”

Without these changes, track renewals were expected to deliver 18% efficiency savings over five years; that figure is now expected to be closer to 23%.

The six month review and measurement process examined key aspects of the contractors’ performance including: safety, engineering quality, cost, volume, and ability to start and finish work on time avoiding delays to passenger services, as well as an assessment of corporate behaviours.

Confirming Network Rail’s support of its supply base, Peter Henderson added: “Longer-term security for the successful contractors coupled with improvements in our ability to define and plan the work, will enable us to create an environment whereby we can all plan work with confidence, promote innovation and invest in equipment and people.

“Our joint aim is to deliver value for money in track renewals delivery along with a top quality product. We will now be in a better position to strengthen the working relationships with these four contractors and ultimately reduce the infrastructure cost associated with track renewals delivery.”

Transfers of work between contractors will take place in a planned manner in the next few months. Employee transfers will follow contractors’ consultation with Trade Unions so that the handover is done safely and effectively.

Approximately sixteen major depots are likely to change hands. The transition is a contractor to contractor transition; contractors have proposed TUPE will apply for employees transferring between these businesses. The realignment of track work is planned to be carried out with no adverse affect on train services.

Renewals work in the short-term will continue to be delivered under the existing possession arrangements by the teams currently in place. It is anticipated that the transition will largely be complete by the new year.

Notes to editors

Network Rail’s current renewals contractors (in alphabetical order) are: Amey SECO (JV), Balfour Beatty (BBRIS), Carillion Rail, First Engineering Ltd, Grant Rail, Jarvis PLC.

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