Mapping railways maintenance contracts: the case of Netherlands, Finland and UK

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In 1988, Sweden was the first country in Europe to separate the ownership of railway infrastructure from traffic operations. Starting in 2002, maintenance has gradually been contracted out. Sweden, Finland and Holland – and previously England – have been in the European forefront regarding the use of competitive tendering of railway maintenance. The description of the situation in the countries indicate important similarities. All clients are trying to attract more contractors to place bids. At the same time, and very outspoken in Finland, the profitability on the market for rail maintenance is not high, making it different to attract new companies to enter the market. Another common aspect concerns the allocation of risk between the parties, indicating different emphasis on fixed price and unit price contracts. A related dimension is the tradeoff between tendering input or output.

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