Atkins, Balfour Beatty JV Signalling Solutions and Invensys Rail chosen for framework agreement

Network Rail has announced new framework agreements of up to seven years to deliver railway signalling projects worth around £1.5bn.

Atkins, Signalling Solutions - the joint venture company formed by Balfour Beatty Rail and Alstom Transport in 2007 - and Invensys Rail have been chosen for the work, which will cover the majority of signalling renewals and enhancements across England, Scotland and Wales.

The agreements, which are expected to commence on 2 April, will operate for the remaining two years of ‘control period 4’ and can be extended by Network Rail to cover the whole of ‘control period 5’ (2014-19).

The framework agreements are a key part of Network Rail’s programme to modernise and maintain safety-critical railway signalling systems and are designed to deliver the efficiency savings Nework Rail is required to make.

Simon Kirby, Network Rail managing director of infrastructure projects, said: “Network Rail is continuing to drive down the costs of Britain’s railway and is committed to meeting tough efficiency targets. As the number of passengers and companies that rely on Britain’s railway continues to rise, the safety-critical systems we use to run a safe and efficient railway are more important than ever.

“These new frameworks represent a seven-year commitment by suppliers, allowing us to work closely with them to develop long-term plans for work to be carried out more quickly and efficiently.

“The length of the agreements, coupled with a visible workload, will provide much-needed stability throughout the supply chain and drive further cost savings and innovation across our signalling renewals and enhancements activities.”

Balfour Beatty chief executive, Ian Tyler, said: “Network Rail is one of our key customers and we are delighted to have the opportunity to extend our relationship with them. The rail sector is of great importance to the UK and to us as a group and we look forward to using our strategic approach to innovation and collaboration in these important projects.”

Uwe Krueger, Atkins’ chief executive, said: “This is a notable win for our UK region and a credit to the excellent long term relationship that our rail business has built up with Network Rail.”

The new frameworks appoint both a primary and secondary supplier for each area. The agreements also provide the option to competitively tender up to 20% of the predicted workload each year.

Proposed route-based framework areas: (SSL is Signalling Solutions Ltd)

Framework areaPrimary contractorSecondary contractor
Central (west)InvensysSSL
Central (east)SSLInvensys
Wales & WestInvensysSSL
Great Western (inner)SSLInvensys
Great Western (outer)SSLInvensys
Anglia & KentAtkinsSSL
Sussex & WessexAtkinsInvensys