Network Rail has signed a five-year IT services contract with CSC to provide "midrange" services and Oracle ERP support.

The agreement has a five-year base period plus one three-year option, and coincides with a significant infrastructure investment by Network Rail, which owns and operates the UK’s railway infrastructure.

Under the contract, CSC will provide server maintenance and management, datacentre hosting, security, disaster recovery planning and storage area network management.

About 70 members of Network Rail’s current IT support team will transition across to CSC, including employees from previous contract incumbents.

“This is a key contract award for both organisations and was arrived at following exhaustive evaluations by my team in Network Rail,” said Catherine Doran, director of information management at Network Rail.

"We have always been clear that our preferred supplier in this area must engage in our NR development and change programme as well as keep the critical systems running,” she added.

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

It said then that its infrastructure support services department would manage and support applications and equipment across the organisation, while the IT helpdesk, incident management and operations bridge units would be amalgamated into a new service centre to support Network Rail’s 20,000 IT users.

Network Rail is the “not for dividend” owner and operator of Britain’s railway infrastructure, which includes the tracks, signals, tunnels, bridges, viaducts, level crossings and stations – the largest of which it also manages.