In 2007 the Department for Transport (DfT) issued an invitation to tender under the Intercity Express Programme (IEP) for the design, build and daily provision for service of a fleet of new high speed trains.
Hitachi Rail Europe (HRE) is the main shareholder, along with John Laing, in the Agility Trains consortium (Agility), which was awarded the £5.7bn contract. Agility is required to manufacture and introduce into service 866 new rail vehicles and to overhaul, maintain, clean and present them for daily service over a 27.5 year term. Since April 2008 IPEX has provided a supporting role to Agility and HRE in the bid preparation, contractualisation and mobilisation activities, particularly in helping to ensure that the commercial mechanisms in the contract truly support the real-life practical depot and maintenance operations.
Our client's challenge
The performance obligations under the contract are especially stringent and require the practical working arrangements and the depot capabilities to be particularly carefully defined.
Challenging obligations placed upon Agility and passed through to HRE required corresponding counter obligations upon the Operator to be determined and defined and, accordingly, the operational interfacing regime between Agility (and hence HRE) and the Operator was highly constrained contractually, to a degree not normally seen in train service provision contracts. As the detailed practical working arrangements became linked more strictly to the commercial terms within the contract Agility and HRE needed some help to determine and manage the appropriate linkage and ensure that the commercial mechanisms in the contract truly supported the real-life practical depot and maintenance operations, whilst protecting the flexibility that the Operator required as well as HRE’s vital access to the fleet for delivering cleaning and maintenance.