We buy in essential goods and services that help us to run Britain’s rail network

Every year, we spend around £7bn on works, services or products, and we’re committed to maximising the value delivered by each and every supplier. We currently have around 11,000 listed suppliers – 4,000 of these were engaged in the last financial year.

We survey our suppliers every year to better understand their perception of us and how we can improve. We’ve already taken five primary actions to improve our procurement practice and clearly demonstrate our commitment to improving supplier relationships:

  • a review of purchase-to-pay processes and implementation of iSupplier
  • the development of a strategic sourcing process to manage commercial activity consistently
  • the launch of a supplier account management process for key suppliers
  • a review of our qualification and assurance processes
  • a refresh of our standard suite of contracts.

Category families

We’ve established 30 category families which cover our entire expenditure profile. While doing this, we defined the category scope by connecting it with RISQS codes.

Category strategies consider the category from a company-wide perspective and use historic and, more importantly, future demand and market analysis to define a three-to-five-year strategy for each category family. For more information on this, please get in touch using the procurement service centre request form

Information technologyIT services including software, hardware and business systems
TelecomsOperational telecoms, all voice and data, and hardware
Facilities (hard services)General building maintenance, including air conditioining, heating and propery management
Facilities (soft services)Office and station service, including waste management, cleaning and catering
Supplies and servicesEquipment used by operational staff: office supplies, uniforms, and coperate travel and accomodation
Road fleetRoad fleet costs, imcluding purchase, hire and maintenance.
HR and trainingExternal training and staff benefits
Business consultancyConsultancy for business services, including marketing services, legal services, management consultancy, financial and insurance services
Recruitment servicesRecruitment services related to both permanent and temporary staff (excluding consultants and contingent labour)
UtilitiesElectricity, water and gas for offices, stations and depots, including electricity for powering trains
Professional services: directRailway infrastructure design, technical consultancy and commercial services
Rail and ancillariesShort (60ft) rail
Sleepers and bearersConcrete, steel and timber sleepers and bearers, and cable troughing (sleepers hold the rails apart and support the track on the ballast)
BallastBallast and associated loading and unloading activities (ballast is the graded stone sub-base used for drainage and support of the track)
Switches and crossings, and ancillariesModular and traditional railway switches and crossings, including related ancillaries (switches and crossings are part of the rail system at junctions between different rail lines)
Rail haulageLogistics and operation of rail haulage
Rail fleetPurchase and maintenance of rail wagons and locomotives, including seasonal treatment fleet
On-track machinesOn-track machines for treatment and maintenance of the track
Intelligent infrastructureTrain-and non-train-mounted remote condition monitoring systems for the monitoring of the rail infrastructure
Contingent labour: directTemporary infrastructure labour (including possession management) working under the direction of Network Rail
Infrastructure support services (on-and-off track)Support services for infrastructure maintenance, including track and vegetation clearance
Plant and toolsPlant and tools, including hand tools and portable plant
Railway sparesSpares required for the maintenance of the railway infrastructure
SignallingDesign, build and maintenance of railway signalling systems
Electrification and fixed plantProjects, materials and services to support the electrified part of the rail infrastructure
General civilsConstruction not related to station redevelopment
BuildingsStation building and renewals (shop fitting and renovation of existing stations)
On-track plantOn-track plant (for example, road rail vehicles)
Security solutionsSecurity equipment, manned security and policing costs
TrackTrack renewal projects and maintenance support

Related downloads

Supplying works, services or products to Network Rail
189 KB
Category management pipeline 2020-2021
276 KB

Other related pages