Network Rail requires nationwide operation and maintenance of Plain Line Rail Grinders to carry out both corrective and preventative rail grinding works throughout the UK across England, Scotland and Wales. Colas Rail will operate and maintain 6 rail grinding machines and deliver almost 1400 operational shifts a year around the clock in 24/7 operation.
As the incumbent supplier, Colas Rail has been delivering these works since July 2015. This new contract will commence in February 2019 for a minimum of 3 years with the possibility to extend for a further two years to 2024.
Demonstrating its commitment to Network Rail and the delivery of these works, Colas Rail facilitated the introduction of three brand new Loram C44 plain line rail grinders, the largest of which is C44-03, a 64 stone machine that is almost 150m long, into service in 2017, expanding its maintenance depot in Rugby to accommodate the longer machines.
Network Rail’s fleet of grinding vehicles cover the entire distance of Great Britain’s railway network, removing metal from the railhead to manage the profile and running band, undertaking remedial work covering around 5000 miles per year. This preventative maintenance helps Network Rail to achieve a reduction in the number of railhead defects that could cause surface cracking, which in turn can lead to rail breakages. It also provides improved comfort for passenger services and reduces the likelihood of damage to train wheels.
Jean-Pierre Bertrand, Chief Executive Officer – UK said. “This is a fantastic achievement for the Rail Services division and in particular, for the rail grinding teams involved in the delivery of the work and the formulation of the bid. This award is a reflection of Network Rail’s continued confidence in the performance of our teams, who will continue to deliver safely, on time and as per the required quality. With safety and performance as our key driver, we remain, more than ever, committed to fulfilling our promise to Network Rail.”