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Morgan targets rail cont racts

Rail business acquired from Gleeson renamed Morgan Est Rail and focused on winning more Network Rail deals

MORGAN Sindall is expecting the rail business it bought off Gleeson last week to win more contracts with Network Rail.

The renamed Morgan Est Rail currently carries out three-quarters of its work with London Underground and has only one scheme on its books with Network Rail, a £1 million deal to extend a signalling box at Edinburgh's Waverley station. Morgan Sindall snapped up Gleeson MCL for £23 million last week, ending a six-year association with the firm.

Gleeson is due to release its interim results tomorrow (Friday), when chief executive Terry Massingham will announce a major group restructuring.

Gleeson MCL managing director Danny Duggan, who will continue to head the business, said: 'Gleeson has been good for us but I think Morgan Sindall is better placed to move us forward.' The business had targeted a £5 million workload with Network Rail this year but Mr Duggan said the firm, which is pitching for half a dozen Network Rail contracts, would not make that. He added: 'We will be looking at wider opportunities with Network Rail and we will not be bound geographically.' The firm will still be based in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, but will fall under the control of parent Morgan Est, headed by new boss Mark Cutler.

Mr Cutler is four weeks into a three-month review of the infrastructure business. He said: 'Our civil engineering and water sectors are not outstanding and we are looking to do better here.' He added that the newly-acquired rail business would continue to concentrate on its core building and civils operations. He said: 'We will not be getting into trackwork and signals.' Morgan Est Rail also hopes to carry out work on a number of planned rail schemes such as Crossrail in London and the revamp of the Brighton to Bedford Thameslink route.

Turnover at the rail business this year will be around £40 million. Mr Cutler said he was looking to grow this beyond £50 million.