Staffordshire Alliance wins best Major Project at the Rail Industry Innovation Awards

The team behind the delivery of the Stafford Area Improvement Programme (SAIP) was named the winner of the ‘Major Project’ category at the Rail Industry Innovation Awards, on Friday June 24; in London.

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The Staffordshire Alliance, which is the first rail alliance of its kind in the UK and made up of partners Atkins, Laing O’Rourke, Network Rail and VolkerRail, has been recognised as leading the way in innovation and showing that the alliance model has much to offer large infrastructure projects.

Ian Johnson, alliance manager, Staffordshire Alliance said: “The Alliance has had a real focus on innovation throughout, with a dedicated innovation manager appointed to the Alliance management team. This gave the project the drive to innovate and effectively manage ideas from the start through to implementation. Every idea and experience was captured, so there is a wealth of information for other projects to draw on to embed best practice in the future.”

SAIP has improved performance and reliability and enables more passenger and freight services. Two additional trains per hour now run between London and the North West, delivering an improved travelling experience for the public. From the client’s perspective, the team delivered the project on budget and 18 months early with exceptional performance against key objectives.

The new railway removes one of the last major bottlenecks on the West Coast main line, which will allow more frequent services through the Stafford area, as well as speeding up journeys and improving reliability on the West Coast main line; one of the busiest rail routes in Europe. The scheme is part of Network Rail’s £40bn Railway Upgrade Plan, which has also seen new modern, more reliable signalling installed.