Breakthrough For Rail Team

15 May 2014

Costain has made a significant breakthrough into a new sector of the rail industry with the winning of several track electrification contracts as part of its ABC Electrification joint venture with Alstom and Babcock.

While the scale of the contracts is substantial, at least as important is the actual entry into this area of the industry.

Traditionally, electrification has been dominated by two players, so the wins – for the London North West (South) region south from Crewe and the Wales & West region covering the South Wales ‘Valley Lines’ are noteworthy. A further contract to electrify the Glasgow-Edinburgh line has also been won.

“The electrification market was dominated by Balfour Beatty and Carillion,” noted Rail Customer Director, Ross MacKenzie. “What we’ve done is we’ve offered something different. A year ago, we won our first job as ABC and introduced ourselves. We’ve done what we said we would do.

“Our rivals have enjoyed their place in the market and haven’t had any competition. It’s not been easy, but we’ve been welcomed into the market. Network Rail is happy to have another competitor.

“Alstom is the biggest electrification company in the world, Babcock has knowledge of working on the railway, while Costain brings programme and commercial management plus engineering expertise.”

Behind the award of the London North West (South) contract is the intention to electrify a series of routes that connect to the West Coast Main Line that runs from London Euston to Glasgow. The first sections to be electrified are around Walsall and Rugeley, just north of Birmingham, with work due to start this year and run until April 2019. Combined with the Valley Lines electrification scheme the contract is worth £900m over seven years, with a possible three-year extension.

The contract to bring electric power to the 46-mile Glasgow Queen Street-Edinburgh Waverley route has been awarded to Costain but will be delivered through ABC, delivering the £650m Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement Plan.

This will not only see the electrification of the route but extensive infrastructure improvements at the two termini at either end of the route and platform extensions at several intermediate stations.