UK's Network Rail begins £47bn procurement programme with supply chain partners

By James Henderson
Network Rail is embarking on a £47bn procurement programme across its supply chain, which will encompass thousands of companies. The organisation’s...

Network Rail is embarking on a £47bn procurement programme across its supply chain, which will encompass thousands of companies. 

The organisation’s delivery arm for renewals and projects, Infrastructure Projects (IP) organises itself into four regional areas; Scotland North East, Central, Southern, and Western and Wales, and national programmes for signalling, track and the pan regional Northern Programme.

The Office of Rail and Road will now review and consider Network Rail’s plan and publish its draft funding determination in June, and its final determination in the autumn.

“Significant investment in the country’s rail network will continue in the five years ahead giving thousands of companies – and our hugely important supply chain partners – the surety they need to invest in their people, innovation and value for money,” said Matthew Steele, commercial director.

“The beginning of our CP6 procurement activity provides suppliers with a real opportunity to secure substantial work-banks and be part of delivering essential improvements that will help shape the future of Britain’s railway.”

The Scotland North East and Southern regions are anticipated to hold the most significant work-banks for the coming five year control period, with over £5bn of renewals spend estimated per region in addition to substantial network wide upgrades.

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To help improve efficiency for both Network Rail and the supply chain, the tender and procurement process for CP6 has been intentionally phased.

This month, Scotland North East and Southern regions both commence their procurement programmes, with the remaining regions beginning the process between now and June 2018.

For the supply chain, the extensive renewals workbank should provide opportunities across specialisms, with signalling (around £4.5bn) and track (around £3.5bn) representing the largest areas of expected spend.

Considerable expenditure is also expected within structures, electrification and fixed plant, buildings and telecoms.

This significant investment in the renewal of railway infrastructure forms part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan to make Britain’s railway more reliable, cost efficient and provide additional capacity. 

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