Network Rail, the owner and operator of the UK’s rail infrastructure, has signed a deal for IT reseller and service provider SCC to maintain its desktop infrastructure and service its distributed computing.

The deal follows the large contract signed with CSC earlier this week for the system integrator to provide "midrange" services and Oracle ERP support.

Network Rail claimed the new deals were “fundamental” to its IT strategy and to providing best practice models “to the rest of the industry”.

Network Rail first announced its plans in March for a major shake-up of its IT department to "refocus on core activities", with plans to outsource the enterprise operations and distributed computing workstreams.

Under the latest contract, SCC will support 18,000 users in 1,200 locations. It will maintain desktop PCs and related hardware, and help with office moves and changes, local delivery of projects and asset handovers.

The contract takes effect in October and will last for five years, with an option to extend it at the end of that period. Network Rail claimed that, alongside the CSC contract, it will lead to more efficient IT operations.

Catherine Doran, director of information management at Network Rail, said: “We recognise that quality IT delivery has to be reliable and seamless for our customers from the datacentre to the desktop.”

As with the CSC deal, current Network Rail IT staff will be maintained as they transfer managers to the outsourcing firms.