Network Rail, ACE and CECA launch new standard contract for track work

Contractors tendering for and working on Network Rail track projects should  find their ability to evaluate the contract documentation vastly simplified thanks to an innovative collaboration between Network Rail, Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) and the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA).

Over recent months a new approach to producing conditions of contract for Network Rail has been developed with Network Rail’s current bespoke amendments for Track (NR8) being incorporated into the Infrastructure Conditions of Contract to produce a standard form of contract for such work.  The opportunity has also been taken to refine the amendments to reflect current client requirements and working practices.

This amalgamation to produce a single document which contains all the terms and conditions will enable both contractors and client representatives to gain a clear understanding of roles and responsibilities which will assist in both saving time and costs as well as facilitating good working relationships as the work progresses.

Speaking on the rationale behind the collaboration, ACE chief executive Nelson Ogunshakin said; “I am confident that this is the first step in a long line of engagement with other partners seeking simplified and integrated contract strategies in the future. 

"ACE recognised that the industry wanted to make efficiencies in its contractual arrangements.  With a budget of approximately £5.7bn to spend, it is evident that Network Rail has recognised the value of adopting a standard form to deliver these efficiencies, and on the way we have found a solution and way forward that can be adopted by others.”

Network Rail has already begun to introduce its commercial teams supporting the new plain line track contracts to the new document through the delivery of training sessions and is keen to monitor the benefits of the new approach. The ICC Measurement Version incorporating NR8 Track amendments is due to be published in mid-October.

Eoin O’Neill, commercial director (track) at Network Rail commented; “This collaboration and the resulting impact will only have positive connotations for both the Network Rail and contractor teams working on our new plain line contracts.

"As part of the overall contract strategy for track we set ourselves a challenge to introduce a more effective and simpler process for all our teams to follow. Its introduction made sense in an environment where everyone is looking for more efficiencies in resource and expenditure.”

The Infrastructure Conditions of Contract can be found on the ACE website  here 

Purchase price is £30.00/edition 

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