Network Rail recruits Turner and Townsend to beef up telecoms services

High speed train

‘Professional services company’ Turner and Townsend have been drafted in to help improve the state of telecoms on the National Rail network across the UK.

Turner and Townsend, whose website also describes it as the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm, will be working on Network Rail’s telecoms professional services framework as it attempts to transform its legacy systems into ‘a simpler, more resilient and affordable set of technologies for providing reliable digital connectivity across Britain’s transport network.’

Marginally more specifically, we’re told the firm will provide project, programme and portfolio management services to Network Rail, as well as strategic business change support. The ‘framework’ is intended to provide a ‘streamlined process’ to acquire the necessary skills and capabilities to support telecoms infrastructure plans, and will run for two years, with the possibility of a two-year extension.

“The UK telecoms market has been evolving rapidly over the last decade and the government has made a clear commitment to providing fast reliable connectivity to all reaches of the UK by 2027,” said UK Infrastructure Managing Director, James Corrigan. “This strategic appointment offers us the platform to drive this change through a collaborative approach with Network Rail.”

“Having worked with Network Rail for the last twenty years, we are delighted to be able to further build on our special relationship. We will also continue to invest in the local community creating the opportunity for homegrown talent, while drawing on our global programme management learning for the benefit of Network Rail’s telecoms services and its stakeholders.”

There’s a lot of slick business talk to wade through there, but the gist of it appears to be Turner and Townsend are going to come up with a plan for improving telecoms services for Network Rail.

Having announced plans to upgrade its telecoms infrastructure earlier this year, Network Rail said it was in ‘exclusive talks’ with Neos Networks back in February to build out a new fibre network along train tracks that will deliver ‘ubiquitous connectivity nationwide.’ Assuming those talks are still ongoing, there will presumably be some overlap in the grand plans these two firms produce.


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