Network Rail consultancy lands first contract

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The consultancy arm of Britain’s rail infrastructure manager, Network Rail Consulting, has been awarded its first contract as safety assessor for the design and construction of Sydney’s North West Rail Link.

Network Rail has said its contribution will account for a ‘single-figure’ million sum of the project’s predicted £4.8 billion spend.

Network Rail Consulting will oversee the Tunnel & Station Civil Works Contract and the Surface & Viaduct Civil Works Contract, and advise the project’s Operations, Trains and Systems Contract.

Both construction contracts are expected to be finished by early 2017 and the operations contract by the end of 2019.

Four TBMs will arrive in Australia next year where they will begin work on two 15km tunnels between Bella Vista and Epping – what will be the longest rail tunnels in the country.

The fully-automated North West Rail Link will also include eight new stations, a 4km elevated ‘skytrain’ viaduct between Bella Vista and Rouse Hill, an upgraded 4km Epping to Chatswood Rail Link and modernisation works to a further 14 kilometres of railway.

Nigel Ash, managing director of Network Rail Consulting, said: “This commission heralds the start of a long-term working relationship with Transport for New South Wales and coincides with the recent opening of our Sydney office as a focus for our work in this vibrant rail market.”

Network Rail Consulting was launched last year as the organisation sought to expand internationally, offering its expertise in policy development, procurement and re-structuring, strategic planning, asset management, operations maintenance, timetabling and maintenance programmes, and a project management service for capital projects.

The NWRL contract is the first to be undertaken by Network Rail Consulting since its launch.  However, the Network Rail subsidiary did announce in the summer that it had joined a group of international operators and infrastructure owners set up to advise on the  modernisation of the USA’s Northeast Corridor between Washington and Boston.


  1. How can it be that the UK taxpayer is subsidising Network Rail to the tune of c£4bn per annum yet they see fit to export their expertise overseas whilst saying that in the next control period train punctuality will not be improved above the current 92.5%? This is like the NHS saying that all is well at home and they will just pop over to their offices in Sydney for some expense account action. Who is in control of them? Why is a not for profit company underwritten by the UK taxpayer allowed to indulge in this empire-building?


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