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Murphy, Laing O'Rourke, Atkins, VolkerRail, Amey, Bam, Costain and Carillion among contractors in £2bn TransPennine race

Some of the UK’s biggest construction firms have teamed up to bid for a Network Rail job worth up to £2bn after PQQs were released nearly three months later than planned.

The TransPennine Route Upgrade package will require an alliance partner to carry out electrification and major interchange improvements between Leeds and Stalybridge.

The contract will be worth between £800m and £2bn.

Construction News understands that the Staffordshire Alliance of Atkins, Laing O’Rourke and VolkerRail will again team up to bid for the package, adding contractor Murphy Group to its consortium.

An Amey / Bam Nuttall / Lundy Projects joint venture will also bid, while Alstom, Babcock and Costain are to partner again after winning work on Network Rail’s £2bn electrification framework in 2014.

A team led by Carillion is also understood to be lining up a bid.

Hochtief was interested in bidding but a source claimed the firm had decided not to pursue the contract.

The Alstom / Babcock / Costain team secured contracts in 2014 to carry out the electrification of Network Rail’s London North Western and Western and Wales regions.

The seven-year framework also saw AmeyInabensa scoop the southern region contract, while Carillion Powerlines – a 70:30 joint venture between Carillion and Austrian-based SPL Powerline – was awarded deals for the East Midlands and Scotland and North-east regions.

Carillion and VolkerRail also took over the £75m North-west electrification contract previously awarded to Balfour Beatty.

The PQQs for the TransPennine Route upgrade works were released on 19 August following a delay of nearly three months.

According to initial tender documents, PQQs had been expected to be released in the week commencing 23 May.

However, after receiving feedback from suppliers, Network Rail decided to take some of the work originally intended for contractors in-house.

Firms will now be required to return tender documents by the end of the month, with three teams to be shortlisted at the end of October.

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