Network Rail picks six for £750m civils framework

Contractors Balfour Beatty, Morgan Sindall and Carillion have been named amongst six chosen for Network Rail’s £750m mixed works framework.The framework, which combines signalling track and other civils work, is split in to five regions and is known as the Multi Asset Framework Agreement (MAFA). One contractor has been named for each mainline route, with the exception of the South East, where the volume of work means it is split between two. This is a reduction from the 14 firms on the previous version of the framework.

The winners are:

Scotland – Balfour Beatty

London, North-west – Buckingham

London, North-wast – Carillion

West – Colas joint venture with Morgan Sindall

South-east – shared between C Spencer and Volker Fitzpatrick

Network Rail said the new version of the framework will see costs cut by 20% and the time taken to mobilise contractors following contract awards reduced from “months to weeks”. In a statement Network Rail said previously it had taken up to 11 months for contractors to mobilise, “causing frustration for Network Rail’s clients and putting off potential investors.”

Buckingham Group will start work on the first of the projects later this year, extending 22 platforms at 14 stations around Manchester before the end of the year.

The announcement is the latest move from Network Rail, which has been reforming its procurement strategy since new chief executive David Higgins joined from the Olympic Delivery Authority. He has called for a partnership approach, and the major projects division within Network Rail, run by Simon Kirby, will now operate as a separate business.

Simon Walkley, rail director for Buckingham Group, said: “We welcome the move to much earlier involvement in these projects. The early signs are good. We have already been given some early challenges and we have seen a more co-operative and open approach by a Network Rail team that is showing the necessary open approach.”