“Pure alliance” to deliver £250m rail deal

Grant Prior 11 years ago
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Network Rail, Atkins, Laing O’Rourke and VolkerRail have formed the industry’s first ‘pure construction alliance’ to deliver the £250m Stafford Area Improvement Programme (SAIP) on the West Coast Main Line.

The initiative will see all sides working together and sharing information under a model trialled in Australia.

Work in Stafford will involve remodelling/resignalling and construction of a new flyover at Norton Bridge.

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.”

The ‘Pure Alliance Model’ is based around one unified agreement where all parties share the benefits and the risks.

It is a clear move away from the more traditional ‘hub and spoke’ style of contracting towards a completely integrated ‘one team’ structure.

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.

Network Rail’s Managing Director of Infrastructure Projects Simon Kirby said: “This type of truly collaborative approach is the natural way forward for contracting within Network Rail and indeed the wider rail industry.

“By adopting a common focus and shared approach with our industry partners, this will ultimately help to drive down costs, reduce risk and lead to the more efficient and timely delivery of major projects such as Stafford.”

Steve Higham of Atkins and a member of the Alliance Leadership Team 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.”

Fellow Alliance Leadership Team member Graeme Castle of Laing O’Rourke said: “Partnership, safety, teamwork and collaboration are the watchwords of the infrastructure sector and we are honoured to stand alongside our colleagues to champion this new approach for rail in the UK.

“Laing O’Rourke is also delighted to apply its world class engineering experience to this landmark project.”

Volker Rail’s Stuart Birch, also a member of the Alliance Leadership Team, said: “VolkerRail is excited to be part of the first true alliance in the UK rail industry; it is a fantastic opportunity to help shape the future delivery of complex projects.

“It also provides us with the chance to demonstrate how well collaboration can drive cost-savings, improved health and safety and quality. We will build on the success and experience VolkerRail has had in other major project collaborations to help ensure that the SAIP Alliance is internationally recognised as a supplier of choice.”

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