Turner and Townsend, a professional services company known as the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm, has been selected to assist in improving the telecommunications infrastructure of the National Rail network across the UK. The company will be working on Network Rail’s telecoms professional services framework, with an aim to transform legacy systems into a simpler, more resilient, and affordable set of technologies that offer reliable digital connectivity across Britain’s transport network.

The firm will provide project, program, and portfolio management services to Network Rail, in addition to strategic business change support. The framework, expected to run for two years with a potential two-year extension, is designed to streamline the process of acquiring necessary skills and capabilities to support telecoms infrastructure plans.

James Corrigan, UK Infrastructure Managing Director, highlights the rapid evolution of the UK telecoms market over the last decade and the government’s commitment to providing fast, reliable connectivity across the country by 2027. He views the strategic appointment of Turner and Townsend as an opportunity to drive change through a collaborative approach with Network Rail.

Turner and Townsend’s long-standing relationship with Network Rail spans over twenty years. The company aims to continue investing in local communities by nurturing homegrown talent and drawing on global program management knowledge for the benefit of Network Rail’s telecoms services and stakeholders.

Earlier this year, Network Rail announced plans to upgrade its telecoms infrastructure and entered exclusive talks with Neos Networks in February to construct a new fiber network along train tracks, which would deliver ubiquitous connectivity nationwide. Assuming those talks are ongoing, it is anticipated that there will be some overlap in the strategic plans developed by both Turner and Townsend and Neos Networks.