Balfour Beatty has been named preferred bidder for £600m of Railtrack work.

The package comprises maintenance contracts for the East Coast Main Line (£250m), all the track in Kent (£200m), and the upkeep of the Great Eastern and Anglia lines (£150m).

The contracts, which are extensions of jobs that Balfour is already working on, will start on 1 January and last five years.

The company beat shortlisted firms Jarvis, Amey and Amec to the contracts.

Ian Tyler, Balfour Beatty’s finance director, said the deals augured well for the future transport work heralded in John Prescott’s 10-year transport plan.

He said: “It continues the business we currently have with Railtrack and puts us in a very good position for future work.”

The contracts will be partnering deals and evaluated through key performance indicators.