Network Rail, who is managing the Department of Transport-backed scheme, will award 25 individual work packages with values ranging between around £1 million and £80 million. Companies will be selected for their skills and willingness to be innovative across a diverse range of works including:
- Civil engineering, including the construction of a rail viaduct and the widening and replacement of several bridges
- Signalling and telecoms, including upgrading the signalling equipment at Reading
- Track, renewing and constructing new lines
- Station and depot works, including building new platforms, pedestrian footbridge and the northern entrance to the station
Successful bidders will go through a three-stage process to qualify for the final selection, which will begin in early 2009. The first set of work packages will be awarded by summer 2009 for preliminary work to start by end of next year. The larger contracts for the main programme of work, which include the construction of the elevated railway and track renewals, will be awarded from the end of 2009.