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Thursday, May 23, 2024

'Pure alliance' to deliver Stafford improvement programme

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Network Rail has established a new partnership with Atkins, Laing O’Rourke and VolkerRail – the first of its kind in the UK – to deliver the £250 million Stafford Area Improvement Programme (SAIP).

The planned series of improvements on the West Coast Main Line, which include remodelling, resignalling and the construction a new flyover at Norton Bridge, will be carried out by what Network Rail is describing as a ‘pure construction alliance’ – a consortium model originating from Australia where all member organisations share the project’s benefits and risks.

Dominic Baldwin, alliance manager for the SAIP, said: “Whilst collaborative contracting and the concept of alliancing isn’t new to the industry, for Stafford due to the different disciplines involved, we wanted to push the boundaries and develop a ‘one project, one organisation’ mentality, removing the barriers associated with traditional contracting.”

Operating from Crewe and Stafford, the SAIP Alliance of Atkins, Laing O’Rourke, Network Rail and VolkerRail will be responsible for the successful delivery of the Stafford improvements, covering disciplines including trackworks, civils, signalling, telecommunications, highways alterations and pipeline diversions.

Steve Higham, of Atkins, said: “There is a clear requirement for us all to work smarter to reduce the cost of running the railway. We will collaborate with our alliance partners to do just that.

“With proven expertise in complex signalling projects, Atkins will deliver signalling, power, telecommunications and all multi-functional design for this important scheme.

“SAIP is an exciting project and provides an opportunity to push the boundaries of infrastructure delivery through innovation.”

Caption: The SAIP Alliance Leadership Team, left to right, Graeme Castle – Operations Leader for Laing O’Rourke Construction Ltd; Stuart Birch – Director of Major Projects for Volker Rail Ltd; Steve Higham – Managing Director, Rail Engineering Projects for Atkins; Rob Offord – Commercial & Finance Director (Central) for Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd.

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