NETWORK Rail is taking signalling design work in house in a bid to save £150 million a year.
The network operator is looking to recruit up to 200 staff from consultants to form a signalling design division based at the firm's Euston headquarters in central London. It will also have offices in Croydon, Swindon, York and Birmingham.
But a source at one signalling contractor said: 'Network Rail complains about inefficiencies on our side but they haven't developed projects properly, which means they want them redesigned all the time.
'For every week we spend designing something, we work in at least a day for redesigning it, but it never seems to be long enough.'
One leading rail consultant said: 'Network Rail is assuming that working for them is going to be more appealing than working for names like Atkins and Mott MacDonald. They'll have to put some very attractive packages together.'