Turner & Townsend hired to support Network Rail digital connectivity

Turner & Townsend hired to support Network Rail digital connectivity

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Network Rail’s telecoms professional services framework has appointed Turner and Townsend to help it drive better connectivity across Britain’s transport network.

Network Rail is committed to transforming its legacy systems and capabilities into a simpler, more resilient and affordable set of technologies.

Turner and Townsend will provide project, program and portfolio management services, as well as strategic business change support. The partnership will last for an initial two years, with the possibility of a two-year extension.

The framework is designed to make sure network rail can acquire the necessary skills and capabilities to support its telecoms infrastructure plans.

Speaking on the opportunities that are available to Turner and Townsend, James Corrigan managing director of UK Infrastructure, said, “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.”

Turner and Townsend have already worked with Network Rail in other capacities for 20 years, but Corrigan believes the new appointment will give them a chance to deepen what he calls their “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 learnings, for the benefit of Network Rail’s telecoms services and its stakeholders," Corrigan continued.

In January 2023, Network Rail revealed their latest plans to upgrade their aging telecoms infrastructure. Specifically, it has intentions to enhance wireless connectivity on trains and in stations for passengers, improve data-driven train performance and safety systems and align with the Government’s levelling up agenda and support current objectives to improve connectivity across Britain.

Network Rail’s fibre infrastructure includes 16,000km (about 10,000 miles) of cabling that runs alongside its tracks, much of which is still copper. Network Rail also plan to build 250 towers with the intention of eliminating black-spots around their network.

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