Project brief

Multi-site racking installation for Network Rail

We provided giant public sector organisation Network Rail with a tailored solution, supplying and installing racking at seven of its nine new regional distribution centres (RDCs). This followed a competitive tendering process, which included the UK’s largest pallet racking manufacturer.

The background

This installation, for Network Rail, was complex due to the evolving programme timescales and the need to fit out multiple sites simultaneously. This was compounded by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, which affected the movement of people to sites and demanded adherence to government guidelines. Network Rail acknowledged our performance, including our knowledge, approachability and understanding of its complex needs.

Network Rail said we were very knowledgeable, approachable and understood their needs.

Network Rail owns, operates and develops Britain’s railway infrastructure. That’s:
20,000 miles of track
30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts
1000's of stations, signals & level crossings
The organisation’s mission is running a safe, reliable, and efficient railway, in the interests of groups such as train operators, passengers and freight users, plus the communities along its 14 routes.

The project

Network Rail aims to be ever-more responsive to those key stakeholders’ needs, by bringing its own people and resources closer to them.

During 2018, the organisation thus began moving from operating a single UK distribution centre, at Ryton-on-Dunsmore, near Coventry, to a network of nine RDCs. The process took about two-and-a-half years, effectively ending when the national site closed on 31 December 2020.

Before installation

We became an approved Network Rail supplier in 2018, after gaining all relevant accreditations, and had worked for the organisation on various projects before the RDC rollout. Andy Dowson, operations logistics manager for Network Rail, says:
Stamina were recommended by one of our internal delivery units, following a number of small installations they completed in the east of the country, and by other areas of our business. They’d also delivered and performed successfully for us on our pilot RDC at Taff’s Well, near Cardiff, a forerunner to the overall programme, which opened in 2018.The full rollout of the RDCs was on a much larger scale and, due to the anticipated value for the supply of goods and services, the racking provision at each site was conducted through our transparent tendering process. Stamina were already on our approved suppliers list and so were invited to tender.
For each site, we and up to three rivals were sent a specification and design and asked to submit proposals within two-to-three weeks. Network Rail then evaluated these tenders, under a point scoring system, covering criteria such as:
  • Price
  • Lead times
  • Sustainability
  • Evidence of operational safety
Each category carried a weighting, based on its importance for the project, with price accounting for 60 per cent, for example. Network Rail then appointed us to supply and install racking for RDCs in:
  • Bristol, which has replaced the Taff’s Well pilot centre
  • Cambridge
  • Coventry, where we supplied the two new buildings
  • Glasgow
  • Leeds
  • Newcastle
  • Warrington


At each centre, our specialist teams - each containing up to eight experts - installed the Link 51 high bay, heavy duty pallet racking with long span and steel small parts shelving we had recommended. We also provided some drive-in racking for the Warrington premises. Our work at each site typically took about two weeks.

These centres contain, on average, 45,000 square feet of space and we supplied 2,500 pallet racks overall.


In the RDC rollout, Stamina showed themselves to be very knowledgeable and approachable but also, crucially, flexible in aligning with the programme’s changing timelines. Sometimes, we had to alter arrangements at the last minute, if the date on which we’d agreed to get on site wasn’t achievable, for example, and in these circumstances, they showed a real sense of collaboration.

Stamina understood our requirements and what we needed to achieve. Their work at three of the sites was also done during lockdown, due to Covid-19. This disrupted their own plans, as installation teams weren’t allowed to stay in hotels, for example, but they showed great commitment to overcome these problems.
Andy Dowson, Operations Logistics Manager, Network Rail