Network Rail awards portable plant contract to VP Plc
The six-year contract will see VP Plc be responsible for the hire, supply and maintenance of portable plant for Network Rail.
Credit: Network Rail
Network Rail has announced that it has awarded a six-year portable plant contract, worth up to £257 million, to VP Plc for the hire, supply and maintenance of portable plant.
From 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2026, with an option to extend to 31 March 2028, VP Plc will be responsible for all small plant for the railway powered by external means and any related consumables – this includes rail drills, torque wrenches, chainsaws and handheld tamping machines, as well as oil, repairs and spare parts.
Thirteen agreements have been outlined, one for each of Network Rail’s routes, to cover the maintenance and repair of 28,000 items within Network Rail-owned small plant, including the hire and supply of other small plant.
Lead Sourcing Manager at Network Rail, Garry Pyne, said: “The plant now available for hire is innovative and modern, more reliable and cheaper to maintain. It is better for the environment and its lower vibration levels mean it is safer for our employees. The battery-operated vegetation clearance kit is much quieter, which is better for people living by the railway. We are also rolling out Bluetooth tracking on desirable items, so they are less likely to be lost or stolen. There’s a real opportunity and incentive to switch to hiring new small plant and start to phase out our older, owned plant.”
Benefits of the VP Plc contract include access to over 235 local depots, reduced delivery times, enhanced service levels, a wear-and-tear damage waiver and Bluetooth tracking of all items. Network Rail has estimated a cost savings of £2.5 million as a result of the contract.
The contract also represents a wider range of options for Network Rail’s routes to switch from using owned, petrol-operated small plant to more sustainable, battery-operated hired items.