Network Rail has invited suppliers to bid for new track work contracts, which have to be undertaken for the upcoming funding period.

A Contract Notice has been issued in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) as part of the start of the tender process.

The contracts, valued at up to £5bn, cover 10 years of railway track works beginning in 2019. They will introduce three new geographically-focused alliances between Network Rail, designers and construction suppliers.

These alliances are Central Alliance (London North West, London North East and East Midland routes); South Alliance (Anglia, South East, Wessex, Western and Wales routes); and North Alliance (Scotland Route). They will combine the development, design and delivery of plain line track and switches & crossings, as well as associated infrastructure works for every area.

Under the project, plain line and switches and crosses will be brought together operationally and commercially as a more efficient way of delivering infrastructure works.

This is part of Network Rail’s Infrastructure Projects CP6 procurement strategy.

“Combining our plain line expertise with that of switches & crossings will bring huge benefits to both our route customers and the wider supply chain.”

The strategy aims at promoting collaborative arrangements with the supply chain that provide better value for money for customers.

Network Rail director for track Steve Featherstone said: “Combining our plain line expertise with that of switches & crossings will bring huge benefits to both our route customers and the wider supply chain. The proven alliance model offers a flexible and cost-effective solution with a greater focus on each route’s specific requirements and needs.”

Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan incorporates the maintenance and renewal of Britain’s 20,000 miles of track.

Under this plan, £130m will be weekly invested in improvements. There will also be an extra 170,000 seats into major cities across the country every day, as well as 6,400 additional train services and 5,500 new train carriages, which would increase capacity by 30% by 2019.

Due to the large-scale and long-term nature of the contracts, prospective bidders will be required to show their commitment to delivering value through innovative approaches.

Potential bidders have been invited to submit their expressions of interest via BravoNR as per the Contract Notice. The pre-qualification period for the tender will start in June.