Work will be split into 25 individual work packages ranging between £1 million and £80 million in value.
The range of works will include:
• Civil engineering, including the construction of an rail viaduct and the widening and replacement of several bridges
• Signalling and telecoms, including upgrading the signalling equipment at Reading
• Track, renewing and constructing new ones; and
• Station and depot works, including building new platforms, pedestrian footbridge and the northern entrance to the station
Network Rail project sponsor Rupert Walker said: “The selection process will be rigorous and competition will be tough so we can draw on the best people to deliver the job. Every successful bidder will have an excellent opportunity to showcase their expertise and ability to deliver.”
Successful bidders will go through a three-stage process to qualify for the final selection, which will begin in early 2009.
The first set of work packages will be awarded by summer 2009 for preliminary work to start by end of next year.
The larger contracts for the main programme of work, which include the construction of the elevated railway and track renewals, will be awarded from the end of 2009.