Tender for new £5bn railway track alliances launched: Laying track for the Borders Railway

Tuesday 19 Jun 2018

Tender for new £5bn railway track alliances launched

Region & Route:

Network Rail is inviting suppliers to bid for the next generation of track work contracts, the largest of its kind being undertaken for the upcoming funding period.

Signalling the start of the tender process, which is valued at up to £5bn, a Contract Notice has been issued in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) opening the contracts up to interested suppliers. These contracts cover 10 years of railway track works starting in 2019 and introduce three new geographically-focused alliances between Network Rail, designers and construction suppliers.

These 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 and switches & 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 CP6 procurement strategy, which aims to promote collaborative arrangements with the supply chain that offer better value for money for devolved route customers.

Steve Featherstone, Network Rail’s director for Track said ‘Combining our plain line expertise with that of switches & crossings will bring huge benefits to both our route customers and the wider supply chain. The proven alliance model offers a flexible and cost effective solution with a greater focus on each route’s specific requirements and needs.’

The maintenance and renewal of Britain’s 20,000 miles of track forms part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan, which sees £130m invested every single week on improvements for passengers. As a result, by 2019 there will be an extra 170,000 seats into major cities across the country every single day, with 6,400 extra train services and 5,500 new train carriages – a 30% increase in capacity. Journeys will be quicker, trains will run more frequently and it will be more comfortable on board under the biggest programme of rail modernisation since the Victorian era.

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 relentless pursuit of excellence, highly innovative approaches, and a demonstrable track record of success in collaborative environments. Potential bidders are now invited to submit their Expressions of Interest via BravoNR in accordance with the details provided in the Contract Notice. The pre-qualification period for the tender will start in June.

The published Contract Notice Works - 262492-2018 - TED Tenders Electronic Daily contains full details on the tender and information of where suppliers can register their interest.



  • For further information, please contact Tim Jakeman at email address: IPTProcurement@networkrail.co.uk.
  • The new alliances bring the development and delivery of plain line and switches & crossings infrastructure works together both operationally and contractually. They replace the current arrangements whereby plain line and switches & crossings are contracted and delivered separately. Switches & crossings are currently contracted using the alliancing contract form. This contract form will be deployed for the future combined plain line and switches & crossings contracts bringing Network Rail, designer and construction suppliers together.

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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.

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.

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