Network Rail announces £800m rail haulage contracts

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Credit: RailView

Network Rail has announced that it has awarded contracts worth £800m for the haulage and operations of its engineering trains and seasonal treatment services.

These contracts run from 2019 to 2024, known as CP6.

The rail haulage contracts, which include network, bulk ballast and possession engineering trains, have been awarded to Freightliner, GB Railfreight, Direct Rail Services, DB Cargo UK and Colas Rail UK.

DB Cargo UK, GB Railfreight and Freightliner will now also operate Network Rail’s supply chain operations local distribution centres in CP6.

As part of the seasonal services contracts, Balfour Beatty and DB Cargo UK will be providing the weed spray and autumn/winter multipurpose (MPV) services in CP6.

Railhead treatment train, RHTT, autumn services will be operated by DB Cargo UK, Direct Rail Services, Colas Rail UK, GB Railfreight and Freightliner.

GB Railfreight will be operating the snow and ice treatment trains while Direct Rail Services will operate the winter development train.

Haulage and seasonal services contracts:

  1. Haulage for network, bulk ballast and possession trains – Freightliner, GB Railfreight, Direct Rail Services, DB Cargo UK and Colas Rail UK
  2. Operations at Network Rail’s local distribution centres – DB Cargo UK (Millerhill, Carlisle, Doncaster, Toton, Hinksey, Westbury and Hoo), GB Railfreight (Bescot, Whitemoor and Eastleigh) and Freightliner (Crewe)
  3. Multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) weedspray treatment – Balfour Beatty and DB Cargo UK
  4. MPV autumn and winter treatment – Balfour Beatty and DB Cargo UK
  5. Rail head treatment train (RHTT) for autumn treatment – DB Cargo UK, Direct Rail Services, Colas Rail UK, GB Railfreight and Freightliner
  6. Snow and ice treatment train (SITT) for winter treatment – GB Railfreight
  7. Winter development train for winter treatment – Direct Rail Services
  8. Snow ploughs, route proving and ice breaking for winter treatment – Direct Rail Services
What did the officials say?

Rob Morton, director of supply chain operations, Network Rail, said:

“These contracts demonstrate the commercially creative approach Network Rail’s supply chain now adopts. We have applied a more collaborative and forward-thinking style to our sourcing than previously, which aligns not only our goals, but those of our supply partners.

“The new contracts provide us with sufficient flexibility to direct our spend to those suppliers who deliver the best service. We have also ensured the deals have appropriate mutual benefit to maximise their longevity and chance of delivering successfully.”

Michael Leadbetter, planning and resourcing director, Freightliner, said:

“Freightliner has a long history of working with Network Rail to deliver maintenance and renewal of the working railway. We’re also really proud to have been involved in the delivery of many major projects across the country, improving the national infrastructure and helping to provide a rail network fit for the future. We’re delighted to be able to renew and build on this collaboration with Network Rail for another five years.”

Hans-Georg Werner, CEO, DB Cargo UK, said:

“DB Cargo UK is proud to continue its longstanding relationship with Network Rail. These contract awards are testament to the hard work of our employees who allow us to deliver reliable and sustainable services every day. We look forward to collaborating with Network Rail for a further five years as we ensure the railways keep moving in Britain.”

Mark Wyborn, general manager for Network Rail / Infrastructure, GB Railfreight, said:

“GB Railfreight is delighted to be a trusted partner and has been working closely with Network Rail for many years. We remain incredibly proud of the role our services play in keeping Britain’s trains moving safely and securely and the part we play within the overall supply chain.

“The local delivery centres (LDCs), haulage and seasonal services contracts we have been awarded demonstrate just how valued GB Railfreight is to the successful delivery of the rail network and best placed to offer high quality services across the freight sector.”

Chris Connelly, chief operating officer, Direct Rail Services, said:

“Direct Rail Services is delighted to once again be playing a vital part in keeping Britain’s railways open for business in support of both freight and passenger operations. Over the last five years we are proud to have developed a strong relationship with Network Rail as a valued customer and we look forward to continuing this over the next five-year period.”

Jean-Pierre Bertrand, CEO, Colas Rail UK, said:

“We are committed to deliver a best in class service to Network Rail supply chain operations. By delivering both track renewal and maintenance works alongside our freight services we can ensure efficient and timely delivery for the benefit of the end users, supporting Network Rail in enhancing the infrastructure for the benefit of the passengers.”

Mick Rayner, managing director of Balfour Beatty’s rail business, said:

“Our engineering excellence and continuous drive to improve Network Rail’s asset performance was instrumental in securing this new contract. We look forward to continuing our work with Network Rail to operate and maintain the next generation of MPV fleet, while tackling everyday weather-related challenges to provide a resilient railway for the public.”

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Michael Holden avatar
I have had an interest in Railways for as long as I can remember. I am a member of a number of heritage railways and actively volunteer at 2 of them. I enjoy all types of railways, real life, model and simulations. I started RailAdvent in 2014 and am the main editor of the site.
  • Despite it’s a lot of money. I think freight rail companies should introduce more freight services and to take HGVs carrying cargo containers off the roads and put cargo containers onto freight trains. Which I think it is a brilliant idea.

  • In reply to the above it is fair to say that capacity problems inhibit the expansion of freight liner services; in theory if HS2 is built reducing the number of inter-city trains using WCML then some additional paths can improve the flow of liner trains. A recent journey Crewe-Euston showed numerous freightliner trains in both directions. On one I counted 68 “boxes”..that equates to 68 400hp diesel lorries, 68 drivers by road haulage. Oh, yes, hauled by 1 class90 electric loco, 1 driver…….(for most of the journey anyway). Still waiting for the Activists to pick up on that one!