Faithful+Gould on Track with National Rail Commission

Kevin McNealey
The specialist rail team at the Leeds office of international project management and cost consultants, Faithful+Gould is approaching successful completion of the first 12 months of a five year commission from Network Rail to assist with its ongoing national maintenance programme.

This latest contract is a result of Faithful+Gould’s introduction to the rail infrastructure manager of a new web-based tool called the ‘Value Based Contracting System’ (VBCS) which has been designed and developed internally and is ideally suited to the scope of work required by Network Rail.

VBCS is a groundbreaking system which will allow for the management of the maintenance works required to keep the railway infrastructure running. Typically, the nature of this work will range from urgent tunnel repairs to the removal of vegetation from the lines.

Faithful+Gould has established a strong working relationship with Network Rail spanning many years. The man behind the development of the system, regional director, Rob Hinchliffe, said:

"This commission has required us to take an innovative and forward thinking approach to providing a practical solution to Network Rail’s requirements, using the latest technology. On this occasion we have created a bespoke system. Unlike other tools, VBCS is web based and as it is hosted on Faithful+Gould’s own server, does not require any software installation, other than Internet Explorer, by the client or the contractors who will carry out any works.

“Using VBCS will allow for the efficient and cost effective management of contracts worth tens of millions of pounds stretching across the national rail network over the next five years. Users of the system can log on from any location with internet access. One of the many benefits of the system is that it allows access to reports and KPIs (key performance indicators) across nationwide contracts. The system monitors and ensures that maintenance requests from Network Rail are responded to within the agreed timeframe by the contractor and works are valued on a structured and competitive basis – which gives greater control and allows the ongoing monitoring of expenditure.”

This latest piece of technology has provided the rail infrastructure manager with a highly efficient method of working, allowing it to harness commercial intelligence across its infrastructure, while demonstrating the commercial innovation and flair of Faithful+Gould.

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