UK railways are experiencing a gradual revival. Recognition for the criticality of this infrastructure, and an increased willingness to invest in developing it, are creating excellent opportunities for suppliers. 


Our Rail Bidding Experience

Our support for clients in the rail industry over the last six years has brought real value and success, with a number of high value contract wins.

Examples include:

  • Operation of the West Coast Main Line and High Speed 2 (Phase 1)
  • Construction of new stations, for example, for High Speed 2 at Euston
  • Refurbishment of stations, from improved waiting rooms and ticket offices through to platform extensions
  • Construction and installation of green tunnels
  • Maintenance of bridges, substations, and other structures
  • Maintenance of track drainage
  • Pest control on the London Underground network
  • Security and revenue protection for train operating companies.

Organisations we have bid into with clients include:

  • Department for Transport
  • Network Rail
  • Transport for London
  • High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd
  • Crossrail Ltd
  • Southeastern Trains
  • East West Rail Company
  • Office of Rail and Road.

Bids have included both membership of frameworks and single-supplier contracts.

Common bid questions we, therefore, answer for clients include:

  • Experience, expertise, and capacity
  • Compliance with rail legislations and regulations
  • Project and programme management
  • Health and safety management
  • Compliance with Buyer policies and procedures
  • Customer service
  • Risk management
  • Methodologies
  • Quality management
  • Environmental management
  • Staffing, recruitment, and training
  • Logistics
  • Information security and assurance
  • Supply chain management
  • Collaborative working across integrated client teams
  • Stakeholder management
  • Social Value.
Rail inspection

Our Experience in Writing Rail Bids

Case study 1 - West Coast Main Line

Kittle Group supported a multi-national rail operator with preparation of its tender to the Department for Transport for the franchise to operate the West Coast Main Line. Our involvement was to support work on the preparation of the Shadow Operator Plan (ShOP) setting out the client’s strategy for operating the line, including rolling stock, ticketing, assets, and station management.

We co-located our team with the client and their Joint Venture partners at their offices in London, working alongside their bid teams and consultants preparing the plan. We agreed a writing plan with the client’s bid management team with clear deliverables and milestones we had to meet. Drafting involved a combination of reviewing material created by the client’s team, research, and interviewing subject matter experts. Our drafts then went through a process of review by the client’s executives and were updated accordingly. The outcome was a high-quality contribution to the ShOP and resulted in further commissions from the client.

The outcome was a high-quality contribution to the ShOP and resulted in further commissions from the client.

Fast Train

This tender provided another opportunity for us to showcase our ability to guide multiple stakeholders, in the form of a joint venture, to a timely and compelling bid submission.


This bid was an example of how every infrastructure and construction bid is now, to varying degrees, also an environmental bid.

Case study 2 - Manufacture and installation of green tunnels

Kittle Group supported a joint venture between a major manufacturer of precast concrete and a specialist installer of road and rail tunnels. Our role was to prepare their bid to a Tier 1 construction company for the design, manufacture, and installation of tunnels as part of the new new High Speed 2 rail line between London and Birmingham.

This entire bid was prepared remotely, working with the clients in Lincolnshire and Paris to collate information of their solution, evidence to support their proposal, and details of added value. Our team then prepared draft responses, refining them with the clients as part of a review process. Responses included case study examples of comparable projects delivered by the clients, manufacturing and installation processes, transport logistics to the construction site, and environmental management.

This was a successful project for the client that led to them being awarded the contract.

Case study 3 - Minor works and hard FM for Transport for London

A national PLC sought Kittle Group’s support with preparation of five tenders for:

  • Project works
  • Maintenance of structures
  • Removal of asbestos and other hazardous substances
  • Maintenance of track drainage systems
  • Maintenance of HVAC, lifts and escalators, and mechanical and electrical systems
  • Management of vegetation, arborology, and treating non-native invasive species.

Our staff had total responsibility for the project, both managing and writing the bid. We, therefore, established a project plan, worked with the client’s team and their 6 major subcontractors to understand their solution, and prepare the tenders, which ran into hundreds of pages. We also provided the client with bi-weekly updates to give confidence in the progress of the project.

This was a most successful project for the client, winning all five contracts.

Electrical Engineer test

We support suppliers all the way along the supply chain. From Tier 1's through to support services for niche requirements.

Train graffiti

For small regional suppliers, winning a major contract can transform their business.

Case study 4 - Cleaning and graffiti removal for Southeastern Trains

Kittle Group prepared three bids for a client delivering cleaning and graffiti removal from trains, stations, and other infrastructure. Preparing three large bids with relatively short deadlines set by the Buyer brought particular challenges to ensure sufficient time was given to the drafting and review processes.

We organised our team using a simple project management methodology, including a writing plan agreed with the client to track progress daily, the allocation of responses between our writers, the coordination by a senior writer, and a process of internal review.

The responses covered: meeting regulations governing work on the railway; the competence of the client’s team; logistics to respond to the train operator’s requirements; recruitment, training and retention of staff; use of equipment and chemicals; management of health and safety, quality and environmental systems; and mobilisation.

This was a highly successful project for the client, winning two of three contracts.

Case study 5 - Review of Network Rail's procurement strategy

Our client commissioned Kittle Group to support the preparation of a bid to the Office of Rail and Road (the rail network regulator) to undertake a review of Network Rail’s procurement strategy.

Our client, a strategic consultancy, had significant experience working in the rail environment and so our writing team worked closely with their subject matter experts to understand their proposed approach to the review, their resources, their identification and management of stakeholders, and management of quality outcomes.

Having drafted the responses, the narrative went through a series of reviews to confirm its factual accuracy and identify additional material to evidence the proposed approach and added value. We also worked alongside the client’s branding manager to ensure the final submission reflected the client’s strong identity both visually and in how the information was presented.

This project had a positive outcome with a bid win and our client being awarded the contract.

By learning from our diverse range of clients, we are able to bring well rounded perspectives, and constructive challenge to every new bid.

Kings Cross Station

Public expenditure on railways in the UK in 2019/20 was £17.8bn.

Case study 6 - Major infrastructure works for Rail for London

Kittle Group supported a multinational client with preparation of its bid to Rail for London for major infrastructure projects across the London network. This framework had a total contract value of over £200m and included construction of new stations through to upgrades and refurbishments of the existing structures, such as platforms, canopies, and ticket halls. Our team of four writers supported the client with both its qualification questionnaire and main tender over a six-month period.

While our client was the prime contractor, our team also worked with six significant subcontractors and their teams, based in the UK, Hong Kong, and Australia to prepare the tender. This included leading storyboard sessions to gather information to support the solution; creating case studies to evidence capability and expertise; and cross-referencing information to assure its factual accuracy.

This was a successful project for the client, winning first place on the Rail for London framework.

Why choose Kittle Group

Why clients use us time and time again as their go-to bid consultancy

Soft FM

Read about our experience supporting clients bid for soft FM bids

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