Network Rail has announced details of how it will allocate spending on its southern area building and civil engineering framework over the next five years, revealing a costs rise of 20% since tenders for the overall £2.5Bn programme were invited.
Four contractors were announced in December as winners of work representing about 50% of the five year spend that will deliver improvements across routes serving London and the south east, with VolkerFitzpatrick being awarded the Anglia area, BAM Nuttall securing Sussex, Osborne winning Wessex and Costain taking Kent.
Details released by Network Rail show that VolkerFitzpatrick’s work will be worth some £480 million, with around £276 million for both BAM Nuttall and Osborne and £144 million for Costain.
Network Rail says the frameworks will deliver a range of improvements to enable railway infrastructure in the south east to cope with an anticipated rise in demand for London commuter services in particular. An extra 400 million train journeys are forecast by 2020 and an increase of 20% in the number of seats into London at peak times is planned.
Longer platforms will be created at many stations to handle the longer trains that will be needed on these key commuter routes thereby creating hundreds of construction jobs. Other works will include station enhancements, new footbridges, upgrades to bridges, embankments, tunnels and other structures to make the railway infrastructure more resilient.
The frameworks are being carried out under the NEC3 form of contract - a first for Network Rail – in a bid to encourage suppliers to work in a closer and more collaborative way. Collaboration was given a 25% weighting in the bid evaluation process, its highest ever. Safety was also given a higher weighting than ever before, 15%.
Picture: Lengthening platforms to take longer trains will be a key element of work under the framework agreements. Photo: Network Rail