30 January 2003
Network Rail, Railtrack's successor, wants the first contract to come back in-house to act as a benchmark for maintenance.
Les Mosco, director of supply chain at Network Rail, told SM: "It is not being driven by cost savings, but by wanting to have a control area to better understand the detail of maintenance work, to get cost comparisons and to get detailed information between this and other contract areas."
The contract is a £50 million deal with Amey for general infrastructure upkeep including rail, ballast, sleepers and signalling along the busy London Paddington-to-Reading corridor.
The contract, let in 1994, was chosen because it comes up for renewal in March and does not reflect Amey's performance, said Mosco. Some Amey purchasers will transfer to Network Rail.
Railtrack decided about 18 months ago that it would consider bringing maintenance contracts back in-house, but only two or three will be chosen out of the 20 deals, which are worth around £1 billion a year, Mosco said.
"Our intent is that the majority of our work will be done by contract, but with Network Rail assuming greater responsibility for decision-making on what work needs to be done and work prioritisation."