Construction of UK’s first eco-town begins


Construction of UK’s first eco-town begins

Network Rail has appointed four framework suppliers to work on a £2Bn electrification programme billed as the biggest in a generation that will bring electrified train services to key routes across the UK for the first time.


Over 2,000 miles of railway route will be electrified under the programme over the next seven years securing thousands of railway jobs, and after which over half of the UK’s rail network will be electrified and electric trains will account for 75% of all rail traffic.


The projects include electrifying the Great Western and Midland main lines, Liverpool to Manchester and Preston, the Valley Lines in South Wales, and the ‘electric spine’ from Southampton docks to the West Midlands and Yorkshire.


The four framework suppliers are ABC Electrification, a joint venture between Alstom, Babcock and Costain to undertake electrical engineering works; AmeyInabensa, a joint venture of Amey and Spanish engineering contractor Inabensa; Balfour Beatty; and CarillionPowerlines, a 70:30 joint venture between Carillion and Austrian railway specialist SPL Powerlines. 


The four share six geographically based frameworks. ABC Electrification has the Central (London North Western, South) Region and the Western and Wales region; AmeyInabensa has the Southern Region; Balfour Beatty has the Central (London North Western, North) region; CarillionPowerlines will deliver projects in two of the frameworks, the Central (East Midlands Region), and the Scotland and North East Region. 


Photo: Network Rail


Simon Kirby, managing director of Network Rail’s infrastructure projects division, said: “Our work to electrify two thousand track miles represents the biggest programme of rail electrification in a generation and will provide faster, quieter and more reliable journeys for millions of passengers every week while cutting the cost of the railway. 


“Thanks to a firm commitment from government to invest in electrification schemes across the country, we are transforming the railway and providing Britain with a sustainable, world-class transport system that is fit for the future.”