Network Rail plans to award three framework agreements for multi-discipline railway asset enhancement and renewal works across its Anglia, Southeast and Wessex routes during the five years of Control Period 6, with three one-year options to extend into CP7. The total value of the SMD Frameworks may be in the region of £2bn to £7bn. A market briefing event is to be held in London on January 29.

On January 3 Network Rail announced the appointment of former Skanska UK President & CEO Mike Putnam as a non-executive director, replacing Malcolm Brinded who retired from the board in July 2016. Alison Rumsey has been appointed as the group Human Resources director, and Caroline Murdoch as Communications director.

The final section of the new concourse at London Bridge station opened on January 2. Five platforms also reopened, permitting trains to and from Canon Street to begin serving the station for the first time since 2016. Work continues to complete the concourse before through Thameslink services are reinstated in May.

Great Western Railway’s electric services from London Paddington were extended from Maidenhead to Didcot on January 2, after Network Rail completed 25 kV 50 Hz electrification of a further section of the Great Western Main Line.

The departments for Transport and Digital, Culture, Media & Sport have issued a call for evidence seeking feedback by February 7 on potential revenue streams and commercial models for the roll-out of improved mobile data connectivity for passengers on mainline routes.

Greater Anglia has trained 10 volunteers as rail pastors, who will patrol stations and trains between Shenfield and Colchester to assist anyone who is vulnerable, distressed or in need of help. The scheme is an initiative of Ascension Trust, supported by British Transport Police, train operators, Network Rail and Samaritans

The ScotRail Alliance has spent £300 000 to make more than 300 Edesix body-worn CCTV cameras available for use by frontline staff. Clipped onto the staff member’s uniform or worn on a lanyard, the clearly-marked CCTV cameras have a 130˚ field of view and are can record up to 8 h of video and audio when activated. Staff are encouraged to wear the new cameras, but it will not be compulsory. Users do not require specialist training, and have no access to the footage which is downloaded automatically.

The Railway Heritage Trust has awarded a £40 000 grant towards a £160 000 internal and external restoration of the building at Greater Anglia's Attleborough station in Norfolk.

Network Rail completed more than 260 projects valued at over £160m over the Christmas and New Year period, including signalling renewals between Birmingham and Wolverhampton.

East West Railway Co was officially launched on December 14 to oversee the development of a rail link on the corridor between Oxford and Cambridge.