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Network Rail's contractor spend league table revealed

Costain has been displaced as Network Rail’s largest supplier by spend, with Siemens Rail Automation taking top spot for the 12 months to October 2018.

Siemens, which specialises in supplying and installing railway and signalling systems, reached the summit after securing £434.8m of work through Network Rail’s Infrastructure Projects division over the 12-month period.

Costain was pushed down to second place having carried out jobs worth £343.5m for the period. The figure marked a drop of nearly £200m on the £534m Network Rail awarded to Costain in the previous 12 months.

The fall in spend on Costain was matched by a decline in invoices submitted by the contractor, with the firm submitting 317 in the period compared with 603 in the previous 12 months.

Total supplier spend by Network Rail’s IP division for the year to October 2018 was £6.61bn, down from previous year’s figure of £7.82bn.

Network Rail’s top 18 suppliers were responsible for £2.89bn of total spend for the period – a drop from the previous period’s figure of £3.61bn.

Carillion, which collapsed in January this year, made the list as Network Rail’s 15th biggest supplier for the period, picking up £85.6m-worth of work in the months leading up to its liquidation.

Carillion Powerlines – the collapsed firm’s 50:50 electrification JV with SPL Powerlines – was 10th on the list having carried out £111m across the period. 

SPL Powerlines bought out Carillion’s share of the JV in March. The £111m figure covered work carried out before and after the deal.

Amey Rail, which bought all but two of Carillion’s rail contracts in February, was the biggest riser in the table, landing £294.2m of work in the 12 months to October 2018, up from £207.5m for the previous 12.

The Carillion contracts bought by Amey in February included its remaining North-west electrification packages, the Midland Mainline civils and upgrade contract, and the West Old Oak Common and Paddington approaches to support Crossrail.

ABC, the electrification JV comprising Alstom, Babcock Rail and Costain, saw the biggest drop in work as it exited the table entirely, despite the JV having taken eighth place in the previous table with a £166.9m haul.

A “change of contractor strategy” last August saw Network Rail replace ABC with Balfour Beatty for the electrification of 64 km of the Great Western Main Line between Bristol Parkway and Cardiff Central.

Murphy also saw its revenue drop significantly, with the contractor securing £83m in Network Rail work in the 12 months to October, down from £175.3m last year.

The latest data comes as a poll commissioned by contractor group the Railway Industry Association found four in five rail business leaders complained that the boom-and-bust nature of funding had a negative impact on their companies.

The Comres poll, which surveyed 122 rail supply chain leaders, found that 44 per cent of rail businesses had made redundancies as a result of the peaks and troughs in rail spend.

In addition, 61 per cent had frozen recruitment and 45 per cent had decided against investing in their businesses.

It also found that 96 per cent of business leaders felt the government could do more to smooth out rail spend across the funding periods.

Commenting on Network Rail’s latest spend table, RIA chief executive Darren Caplan said: “It is undeniable that some contractors will have seen reductions in workloads over the past year, showing how the ‘boom and bust’ funding of rail infrastructure is impacting businesses.

“Alongside polling from ComRes – showing that nearly all rail business leaders experience peaks and troughs in funding – it is clear the very real damage inconsistent workloads have on the supply chain.

“Boom and bust impacts the wider rail network and has been shown to increase the cost of work on the railways by up to 30 per cent.”

RankSupplier NameSpend# of Invoices
1 Siemens Rail Automation £434,802,768.42 1,452
2 Costain £343,511,219.88 317
3 Amey Rail £294,249,533.61 1,559
4 Colas Rail £224,934,935.72 1,056
5 Balfour Beatty Rail £204,195,344.45 1,183
6 Amalgamated Construction £162,049,901.75 2,469
7 Bam Nuttall £139,593,988.59 735
8 AmeyInabensa £139,328,766.33 81
9 VolkerRail £133,861,600.70 257
10 Carillion Powerlines £110,994,474.87 128
11 Skanska Construction UK £105,397,941.57 137
12 VolkerFitzpatrick £98,567,946.34 240
13 Babcock Rail £97,253,088.44 613
14 Alstom Transport UK £87,312,241.65 767
15 Carillion Construction £85,613,139.98 248
16 J Murphy & Sons £83,091,003.97 1,253
17 Buckingham Group Contracting £81,426,111.49 266
18 Atkins £71,714,140.83 547
  Others £3,713,258,308.60 372,481
  Total £6,611,156,457.19 385,789


Readers' comments (2)

  • "Top 20 Suppliers
    Financial year 2017-18"
    Correct to August 2018
    Supplier Name Spend % of Total Cumulative %
    01 - Siemens Rail Automation Ltd £460,302,474.82 6.6% 6.6%
    02 - Costain Ltd £421,726,417.34 6.0% 12.6%
    03 - EDF Energy Customers Ltd £313,760,970.24 4.5% 17.1%
    04 - Carillion Construction Ltd £305,335,072.60 4.4% 21.5%
    05 - Colas Rail Ltd £229,217,199.38 3.3% 24.7%
    06 - Amey Rail £210,973,663.04 3.0% 27.7%
    07 - Balfour Beatty Rail Ltd £193,226,853.60 2.8% 30.5%
    08 - Amalgamated Construction Ltd £163,297,857.33 2.3% 32.8%
    09 - VolkerRail Ltd £157,560,376.19 2.3% 35.1%
    10 - AmeyInabensa £144,277,478.07 2.1% 37.2%
    11 - BAM Nuttall Ltd £141,960,902.41 2.0% 39.2%
    12 - Babcock Rail Ltd £112,750,312.90 1.6% 40.8%
    13 - Alstom Transport UK Ltd £106,508,642.43 1.5% 42.3%
    14 - Skanska Construction UK Ltd £104,934,825.03 1.5% 43.8%
    15 - J Murphy & Sons Ltd £101,103,301.58 1.4% 45.3%
    16 - Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd £91,678,705.85 1.3% 46.6%
    17 - ABC Electrification Ltd £91,333,240.06 1.3% 47.9%
    18 - VolkerFitzpatrick Ltd £87,459,279.15 1.3% 49.1%
    19 - Capita Business Services Ltd £85,474,952.19 1.2% 50.4%
    20 - Carillion Powerlines Ltd £72,848,179.71 1.0% 51.4%
    Grand Total £3,595,730,703.92

    *Spend is defined by how much of the Invoiced Amount Network Rail has paid (within the time parameters of the report).

    © Copyright Network Rail 2018

    Is this not the correct table rather than the one in your article ???

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Hi there

    The table you refer to is for the last financial year.

    CN has obtained a more up-to-date table covering the 12 months to October 2018, which is the one in the article above.


    Andy Rennison
    Head of engagement
    Construction News

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