The alliances, announced on June 17, are North Alliance on the Scotland Route, Central Alliance covering London North West, London North East and East Midland routes, and South Alliance, covering the Anglia, South East, Wessex, Western and Wales routes. They will combine the development, design and delivery of plain line track and points and crossings, as well as associated infrastructure works for each area.

They replace the current arrangements whereby plain line and points and crossings are contracted and delivered separately. Points and crossings are currently contracted using the alliancing contract form, which will be deployed for the future combined plain line and points and crossings contracts.

The move sees plain line and switches and crossings brought together operationally and commercially, which NR says will enable it to deliver infrastructure works more efficiently and effectively. It says the move is a key component of its Infrastructure Projects procurement strategy for Control Period 6 (2019 - 2024), which aims to promote collaborative arrangements with the supply chain that offer better value for money for devolved route customers.

Potential bidders have been invited to submit their Expressions of Interest via BravoNR, with the pre-qualification period for the tender to start in June.