Network Rail’s Eastern Region Launches New Partnership to Streamline Infrastructure Improvement Work

Posted on 15 May 2024

The Eastern Routes Partnership (ERP) marks a significant milestone for the region, enabling the direct allocation of crucial infrastructure projects to supply chain partners throughout the new railway control period (CP7). This move emphasises collaboration and efficiency, streamlining the process.

ERP is set to span the entire duration of CP7, with the possibility of extension for up to five years into CP8 from 2029, fostering stability in the region's partnerships. Establishing this stability ensures that supply chain partners are already aligned when planning for CP8 commences.

The framework eliminates the need for individual procurement events, resulting in time savings, increased value for money, and enhanced collaboration between the region and its partners from the outset of each project.

The ERP comprises fifteen suppliers, each playing a crucial role in delivering approximately £3.5 billion of investment during CP7. These suppliers are divided into two categories:

  1. Generalist suppliers, forming the core partnership team, are selected across various discipline-specific lots to tackle larger, complex projects, as well as emerging single-discipline enhancements.

  2. Specialist suppliers are assigned specific work banks, catering to requirements that demand a smaller delivery partner with particular expertise.

Jake Kelly, Managing Director for the Eastern Region at Network Rail, highlighted the significance of the ERP launch, emphasising the two years of dedicated effort to innovate commercial delivery in CP7. He stressed that the ERP framework is pivotal in sustaining infrastructure and improving train performance over the next five years.

Jake emphasised that ERP aims to bolster relationships with supply chain partners, leveraging their skills and experience. The framework also promotes a collaborative approach by bringing engineers, delivery teams, and suppliers together early in the process to identify the minimum viable product

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