Rail haulage and seasonal service contracts worth £800 million have been awarded as part of Control Period 6 (CP6).
This framework award is one of the most substantial of the CP6 contracts to be let by Network Rail; the final investment figure has been subject of speculation – following the final determination from the Office of Rail and Road, £42 billion was confirmed for rail operations, maintenance and renewals.
The contracts cover rail haulage and operations of engineering trains, as well as seasonal treatment services for the next five-year funding period.
Network Rail intentionally phased the tender and procurement process for this contract and others like it in CP6; the idea is it would increase efficiency – both for Network Rail and the supply chain.
Network, bulk ballast and possession engineering trains are part of the rail haulage contracts, awarded to Freightliner, GB Railfreight, Direct Rail Services, DB Cargo UK and Colas Rail UK.
During CP6, DB Cargo UK, GB Railfreight and Freightliner will operate Network Rail’s supply chain operations local distribution centres, focusing on improvement of facilities and safety for better working practices and performance.
For the seasonal services contracts, weedspray and autumn/winter multipurpose (MPV) services will be undertaken, as will rail head treatment train (RHHT) autumn services.
Snow and ice treatment trains will be operated, while Direct Rail Services will operate the winter development train.
More reliable services for passengers and freight will be driven by these contracts.
In total, eight lots have been awarded, and Rob Morton, director of supply chain operations at Network Rail, explains what these contracts will provide.
He 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 your goals, but those of our supply partners.
“These 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.”