Transport Scotland: announcement of invitation to tender

From Transport Scotland (link to original article)

21 June 2010

Delivery of the Borders Railway moved a step closer today as Transport Scotland announced its intention to invite three organisations consisting of seven of Europe’s biggest construction and financial companies to tender for the contract.

The three organisations that have been invited to participate are:-

  • BAM (BAM UK Ltd)
  • IMCD (Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd, Iridium Concesiones de Infrastructuras SA, Carillion Construction Ltd)
  • New Borders Railway (Fluor Limited, Miller Construction (UK) Ltd, Uberior Infrastructure Investments (Lloyds Banking)

The individual companies include those responsible for some of the biggest rail projects in Europe in recent times, including the High Speed links between Amsterdam and Belgium (Zuid) and Figureas to Perpignan in France, the East Coast Mainline Upgrade, the London Underground Connect Project and Manchester Metrolink.

This contract will be another boost for the construction industry as part of Scottish Government’s current infrastructure investment programme.

John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Finance & Sustainable Growth said:

“I am encouraged by the strong UK and European interest received from the construction and financial industry and look forward to a competitive dialogue process which will introduce real competition to the rail market, encourage innovation and drive best value for money.

“This milestone takes us another step closer to providing timetabled passenger train services to communities along the route for the first time in over 40 years. Helping to create further opportunities for Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable growth in South East Scotland and provide a safer, quicker and greener mode of transport are key aims of this Government.”

A Market Day held in January, attended by over 55 UK and European companies, resulted in a strong response with Transport Scotland receiving formal expressions of interest from five organisations.

The five organisations, comprising a total of 12 construction and financial companies, submitted pre-qualification questionnaires in March 2010. A rigorous and robust evaluation was undertaken to identify the three preferred organisations to be invited to participate in Competitive Dialogue, the next stage of procurement.

During the Competitive Dialogue stage, the three organisations will now enter into dialogue with Transport Scotland over the next year to discuss their proposals for delivering the railway and associated infrastructure. During this process, the three organisations will be reduced to two, who will then be invited to submit a final tender.

It is anticipated that the award of the contract for Borders Railway will be made in winter 2011 with main construction work also beginning at this time. The project is estimated for completion with train services running in 2014.

All the necessary land has been acquired to allow construction of the railway. Accelerated funding was made available last year to allow advanced works to be completed early to reduce the level of risk in the main works contract. The Utilities work which began in March 2010 ‘triggered’ the Waverley Railway (Scotland) Act 2006 states that once work has begun the railway must be finished in its entirety from Edinburgh to Tweedbank.

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Laurencekirk Station numbers exceed expectation

The passenger statistics, as reported by BBC News in an article on the reopened Lawrencekirk Station, are almost double those predicted.

This may well indicate that passenger projections for the Borders Railway are likely to be significantly underestimated.