The two companies are part of a consortium called the Interail Strategic Transportation Group which plans to tender for London Underground's deep tube lines. Interail's other members are the civil engineering consultancy Gibb, transport consultants Mott MacDonald and Innisfree, a leading private equity investor.
It will be in competition with at least seven other consortia which are preparing to notify the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions of their interest in bidding before next month's deadline.
The Government's intention was to complete the Underground's part-privatisation by next spring but it looks unlikely that private contractors will take over any part of the network until 2001. The intention is to divide the deep tube lines - the Piccadilly, Northern, Jubilee, Central, Victoria, Bakerloo and Waterloo and City - into two groups and invite private sector bidders to take them over on 25-30 year contracts.
Railtrack has already been invited to take over the sub-surface lines - the District, Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith and City - and connect them up to its existing national rail network.
The successful bidders will take over the tracks, signals and rolling stock and fund their maintenance and upgrading. In return, they will be paid access charges by London Underground.
Each set of deep tube lines is likely to need investment of around pounds 2.5bn, so by the end of the contracts, their entire asset bases will have been replaced.
Other bidders include TubeRail, a consortium of Alstom, Brown & Root and Tarmac, Metronet, (Adtranz, Balfour Beatty, Seeboard, Thames Water and W S Atkins), Linc (Alcatal, Bombardier, Fluor Daniel and John Mowlem) and Capital Lines (Babcock & Brown and John Laing). Another UK construction group Amey is in a consortium with Bechtel of the US, Hyder, Jarvis and Halcrow. Alfred McAlpine has teamed up with Trackwork, Westinghouse and Drake & Scull while Nomura is teamed with Serco Rail.Reuse content