14 April 2015

Infrastructure consultancy, WSP Opus International Consultants (WSP Opus), has recently been awarded £3.5m in long-term rail contracts in the UK. 

The UK contract wins further strengthen WSP Opus’ rail portfolio, adding bridge design commissions to strategic asset management, geotechnical investigation, and buildings asset support with Network Rail. 

WSP Opus’ performance in the UK had been impacted by the GFC over the past few years but prudent business decisions and increased economic certainty has seen it recover well. In 2014 the business had its best performance ever with revenue up 26%. 

“Two years ago we set a strategy which focussed on rail as a growth area and we are delighted that this is now bearing fruit. These appointments recognise our global expertise in transport asset management and design and show that we continue to deliver on Network Rail’s vision of providing a safer, more reliable and efficient railway,” says Dr David Prentice, WSP Opus Chief Executive. 

According to Network Rail, more people travel by rail today than at any point since the 1920s, when the rail network was around twice its current size. It is estimated that over the next 30 years, passenger demand for rail will more than double, and freight demand is expected to go up by 140%. 

And it’s not just the UK that is seeing an increased demand for rail. WSP Opus is also targeting a number of rail transportation projects in Australia through its specialist rail business which provides services to the public and freight transport sectors. 

“During the past 12 months we have gained significant ground and enhanced our reputation in this key market. We are now ranked in the top 20 consultants providing services to the rail sector in the UK and we are working on some of the most prestigious rail projects in Australia. This is a fantastic achievement for all of our staff and makes us an even more attractive employer for new talent,” adds Dr Prentice.

The contract awards have led to an increase in rail engineer recruitment throughout the UK for WSP Opus.