Network Rail has signed framework agreements with five IT suppliers, including Accenture, BAE Systems Detica, Cognizant, CSC and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to design, build and manage its IT infrastructure in a deal worth around £350m.
The agreements will allow Network Rail, which manages a variety of systems of varying complexity, to simplify its computing relationships with over 270 individual IT suppliers.
Network Rail chief information officer Susan Cooklin said that the company, which runs the UK’s railway network, relies on IT to keep everything moving.
"By creating this framework we will be able to scale more flexibly our resources to meet demand, while retaining our vital assurance role," Cooklin said. "In this way we can improve our efficiency while continuing to allow 24,000 trains a day across the rail network."
According to Accenture, passenger demand for rail in the UK is expected to more than double and freight demand will increase by 140% over the next 30 years.
Accenture will provide business management, business administration, stakeholder relationship management, corporate compliance and citizenship, as well as logistics management.
The company will also be responsible for property management, business information management, service management and development, service operations management, access planning and infrastructure lifecycle management.
Accenture UK and Ireland transportation practice executive David Wilkinson said: "Technology will play an increasingly vital role in improving a rail network that every year provides 1.3 billion journeys and carries 100 million tonnes of freight."
BAE Systems Detica will offer Network Rail corporate services, network operations, asset management and investment projects.
The framework agreement will see Cognizant work on Network Rail’s core information management functions and processes, including the reliability of infrastructure and performance.
TCS will help Network Rail implement a structured multi-sourcing model to invest in a customer-centric IT strategy over four years to improve efficiency, effectiveness and innovation across the network.
Image: The IT solutions and system integration framework agreements will help Network Rail improve its IT infrastructure. Photo: courtesy of Network Rail.