AS PART of its cost-reduction programme, Network Rail has revised its policy on leasing on-track plant.

At present NR leases on-track machines such as tampers for maintenance, and its renewals contractors either own or hire their machines separately. Awarding common contracts is expected to boost productivity by 50% and bring major savings.

Seven three-year contracts worth around £77m a year in total will start on April 1, with an option to extend for a further two years. They have been awarded to Amey Infrastructure Services Ltd, Balfour Beatty, Fastline, GrantRail, Seco Rail, First Engineering and Carillion.