Wednesday 15 Jan 2003


South East
Network Rail [has] this week awarded consultants Owen Williams two new 10-year partnership contracts to provide regular inspections of all the structures within its Great Western Zone and Eastern Region. Both contracts will commence in April 2003. Owen Williams’ role will involve detailed examinations of the regions’ structural assets including bridges, viaducts, tunnels, culverts, retaining walls, equipment support structures, depot structures, structural elements of stations and coastal and estuarial defences. For the Great Western Zone contract it also involves the examination of many historic landmarks such as the Royal Albert Bridge and the Severn Tunnel, built by engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel more than 150 years ago. Both contracts will work as partnering agreements between Network Rail and Owen Williams. In addition to regular inspection the consultancy is also expected to record and report all examinations and to provide a rapid response service in cases of emergencies such as flooding or lightning strikes. -2- For Owen Williams Railways Division the contracts represent a major success for the consultancy. It has been responsible for examinations within the Great Western Zone for the last five years. “Until now we have always been offered short term contracts of between two to three years,” said Chief Executive Richard Williams. “ However, the award of two longer 10-year contracts will enable us to invest heavily in new technology and training.” “We were the first to train the new generation of bridge examiners and we have recently introduced advanced electronic systems for reporting and inspecting to make us even more efficient. We are looking forward to providing an even better [people- friendly] customer service for Network Rail.”

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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.

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