Electrifying key UK rail routes will mean faster, greener, quieter and more reliable journeys for thousands of passengers. More seats than diesel trains and superior performance will give journey-time savings. Electric trains are cheaper to operate, require less maintenance and have lower energy costs.

They are also lighter and have less impact on the rail infrastructure. Electric trains emit 25-30% less carbon per passenger than a diesel. They also improve air quality in city centres and mainline stations. They are quieter and virtually silent when in a station.


Alstom, Babcock and Costain have formed ABC Electrification to support Network Rail in meeting these challenges. We combine design, engineering and delivery expertise across all electrification activities, so we can be trusted with the most complex, demanding schemes.
  • Alstom Transport is the only manufacturer in the world to work across the whole of the rail sector from installing electrification infrastructure to building trains.

    Alstom employs 92,000 people worldwide, with a turnover of over 20bn Euro and has an extensive fleet of rail installation equipment and plant.

    Services include: power supply, distribution installation, 25kV Overhead Line Equipment, SCADA and signalling design, installation management, testing and commissioning.
  • Babcock is Network Rail’s Supplier of the Year for 2012 and the largest conventional track renewals UK contractor, with 50% of the market.

    Babcock Group employs 27,000 people worldwide and, through our partnership with Austrian company Swietelsky, we have a modern fleet of specialist on-track plant including our electrification ‘piling train’.

    Services include:
    engineering, logistics, planning, plant & equipment, design, signalling, telecoms, testing & commissioning.
  • Costain is currently delivering £1.3bn of UK rail projects, including London Bridge Station and the 2012 Network Rail Major Project of the Year, Farringdon Station.

    Outside rail, our 3,000 people specialise in managing interfaces and programmes to deliver difficult schemes safely. For example, Evaporator D at Sellafield is the largest UK nuclear construction project for many years, being built in the most highly-regulated, controlled environment.

    Services include: project management, interface management, programme management, civil engineering.


We have a proven record of safe delivery. Our processes have been approved and accredited by respected customers, industry associations and academics. Our behavioural safety campaign was the first in the UK, in any sector, to be accredited by the highly respected Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies in Massachusetts. Our programme encourages our people to be safe ‘because they want to, not because they have to’.
The technology and working practices have continued to evolve over the last 20 years, since the electrification programme was scaled-back in the UK.

Our overseas experience means that we have up-to-date knowledge of the latest designs and technology.
In delivering our station projects, we manage interfaces with train operating companies, station users and passengers, maintenance and operational teams, as well as contractors delivering other packages such as rail or signalling. As manufacturers of power equipment and rolling stock, we understand the technical electrification issues and can have informed straight conversations with others working on the network. We also work with stakeholders to protect the heritage and natural environment, manage complex materials logistics, minimize noise and disruption for residents and businesses, while maintaining train services and accommodating up to 250,000 passengers per day. To encourage cooperation, we have developed a number of commercial incentivisation schemes so that we all work together for the benefit of the scheme. We also make sure we work with the rail regulators and approval authorities. This means the design is right first time and we build a scheme that works.
We use a series of readiness reviews and ‘go / no-go’ decisions to ensure we complete our tasks without overrunning engineering works. We also work as Principal Contractor on most of our projects, so we plan and manage the activities of others. This means we all have the space, resources and time to work safely and effectively.
We are part of the National Skills Academy for Rail Engineering and are developing training programmes to ensure our teams have the skills to deliver safely and effectively.
We use a number of tools and techniques to monitor and continually improve our performance. This includes lean process improvement. In other sectors, we have reduced costs by up to 10% by analysing and improving our performance. The repetitive tasks in rail electrification are ideal for this type of scrutiny. We are also proud of our value creation; ensuring sustainable procurement throughout our supply chain, working with local suppliers and local people, improving whole life cost and environmental enhancements. These all improve project results at no extra cost.

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Electrification Programmes Director
Mark Berg
01788 821450

Operations Director
Steve McWhan
01698 203005 

Engineering Director
Nick Snell
01788 821450 

Business Development Manager
Ross McKenzie
01628 842444 

Communications Manager
Jo Evans
01788 545654

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