The rail systems contracts run for five years with an option for a further five-year extension and cover track, points, signalling and overhead electrification upgrading work.

Colas Rail and Aecom have been named preferred bidder for the South Alliance contract covering NR’s Anglia, South East, Wessex, Western and Wales routes, while Babcock Rail, Arup and Arcadis have been chosen as the preferred bidder the North Alliance covering Scotland.

The bidding process is still underway for the Central Alliance contract, which covers NR’s London North West, London North East and East Midlands routes.

“Reaching this important milestone ensures we will have a stable foundation for the delivery of Britain’s core railway infrastructure for the next decade,” says Mr Steve Featherstone, NR’s programme director, track. “Our new strategy allows us to better align to the routes and ultimately, deliver for customers.”