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

The contracts for Control Period 6 (CP6, 2019-2024) have been awarded to Freightliner, GB Railfreight, Direct Rail Services, DB Cargo UK and Colas Rail UK.

Network Rail supply chain operations director Rob Morton 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.”

Under the terms of the contracts, the contractors will be responsible for the upkeep of the network, bulk ballast and possession engineering trains.

Additionally, DB Cargo UK, GB Railfreight and Freightliner will operate Network Rail’s supply chain operations and local distribution centres in CP6. The three firms will help enhance facilities and safety for better working practices and performance.

Furthermore, Balfour Beatty and DB Cargo UK will deliver weed spray and autumn/winter multipurpose (MPV) services in CP6.

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As part of the seasonal services contracts, DB Cargo UK, Direct Rail Services, Colas Rail UK, GB Railfreight and Freightliner will operate rail head treatment train (RHTT) autumn services.

The snow and ice treatment trains (SITT) will be operated by GB Railfreight and Direct Rail Services will operate the winter development train.

Network Rail believes that the contracts will enhance the performance of its rail services and enables it to deliver passengers and freight services on time.

Colas Rail UK CEO Jean-Pierre Bertrand said: “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.”