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News from the UK Rail Industry 27th June 2019

Posted by: Warren Drobac
Industry News

Network Rail announces £215 million nationwide signalling contracts 

Network Rail has announced the award of 17 multi-million-pound framework contracts to deliver minor signalling works across the country, worth an estimated £215m for Control Period 6 (2019-2024).

The minor signalling frameworks, which are split into 17 route-based lots, with two framework contractors for seven of the routes and three framework contractors for the Western route, have been awarded as follows:

  • Amaro Signalling - South East
  • AMCO - Scotland, South East and Wales
  • Amey - Wales, Wessex and Western
  • Balfour Beatty - London North Eastern & East Midlands, Wessex and Western
  • Linbrooke - Anglia, Western and London North West
  • OSL - Scotland
  • Volker Rail - Anglia, London North Eastern & East Midlands, London North West

The frameworks will deliver minor signalling and refurbishment works, supporting Network Rail’s Works Delivery teams.

Martin Robinson, commercial director signalling said: “The minor signalling framework awards are the second awards in a three-tier approach to signalling delivery for CP6 which aims to recognise the differing signalling work banks we have to deliver. The awards have gone to signalling suppliers that between them, have many years of experience supporting our maintenance and delivery teams and will help Network Rail to continue to improve the signalling asset condition and in turn improve reliability for passengers over the coming years.

“The framework’s approach using fewer contractors will help bring them closer to Network Rail and the routes and make further progress in working more collaboratively. We will continue to build on the successful relationships we already have with our suppliers and look forward to working with them all going forward.”

Kevin Robertshaw, programme director signalling, said: “Our strategy for delivering signalling works in CP6 focuses on bringing the supplier closer to the client and facilitating a more integrated way of working. This is the second of three framework tiers to be awarded and part of a strategy enabling Network Rail and the signalling supply chain to be more innovative, collaborative and effective. I look forward to working with the successful suppliers and making a success of the opportunity ahead of us.” Full story.

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Green light for testing of UK’s first hydrogen train 

Porterbrook and the University of Birmingham’s Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) have confirmed that the UK’s first hydrogen train, HydroFLEX, will be tested on the main line railway following a successful proof-of-concept.

The mainline testing of HydroFLEX marks an important step in the development of a zero-carbon emission propulsion system that could help to decarbonise Britain’s railway. 

The HydroFLEX pilot involves fitting a hydrogen powerpack to an existing Class 319 electric multiple unit, which would eventually allow it to run on conventional electrified routes as well as independently.

Mary Grant, Porterbrook CEO said: “Sustainability and innovation are integral to what we do here at Porterbrook, and so we are tremendously proud to have played a key role in designing and building the UK’s first hydrogen train. This is a first test but we are excited about being in a position to provide HydroFLEX as a viable offering very soon. Britain’s railway has a key part to play in reducing transport emissions and we are committed to helping our customers play an important role in delivering this.”  

Helen Simpson, Porterbrook Head of Innovation and Technical Services, said: “The Porterbrook team are delighted to support the testing of HydroFLEX on mainline railways. We have been very pleased with how the train has performed on the test track and are looking forward to getting it out on the national rail network. Delivering the UK’s first hydrogen train is a huge step for the rail industry and marks a milestone for green transport everywhere. Demonstrating how mainline approvals for hydrogen can be delivered is the next step forward and allows more people to see the benefits of hydrogen.”

Alex Burrows, Director at Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, commented: “This is a great success story for the UK Rail Industry, which shows our capability and commitment to helping the government meet decarbonisation targets. Key to this success is the close partnership between academia and industry which has enabled us to pool the expertise needed to rapidly progress this technology from concept to full-scale working demonstrator." Full story.

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