Rail infrastructure contracts
Produced in partnership with Irwin Mitchell
Rail infrastructure contracts

The following Construction guidance note Produced in partnership with Irwin Mitchell provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Rail infrastructure contracts
  • Regulation of Britain's railways
  • Rail infrastructure works—key procurement routes
  • Asset Protection and Basic Asset Protection Agreements
  • Significant provisions in Network Rail infrastructure contracts
  • Alliance agreements

The UK rail network is the oldest in the world with over 1.5 billion people currently using the railways as a means of transport and over 100 million tonnes of freight being transported by rail every year. Demand from consumers is increasing which means that approximately a million more trains run every year and over the next 30 years passenger demand for rail is expected to more than double with freight demand going up by 140% (see Institution of Rail Operators).

Rail is currently an area of investment and growth. In order to grow effectively whilst maintaining and improving the rail services and reducing costs for passengers, the contractual relationships between Network Rail, other train operators and contractors undertaking works is important. This Practice Note explores recent developments and typical procurement routes in the rail industry, highlighting current trends and what lawyers need to know.

Regulation of Britain's railways

Network Rail is the monopoly owner and operator of the railway network and runs and develops Britain’s rail tracks, signalling, bridges, tunnels, level crossings and viaducts. It is regulated by the Office of Road and Rail (ORR), an independent regulator that operates within the framework set by UK and EU legislation and is accountable through Parliament and the courts. The role of the ORR (as stated on its website) is to ‘regulate