Network Rail has awarded contracts collectively worth £750m to companies including Siemens and Babcock to to deliver signalling and telecoms across the UK.
The contracts are for projects such as stand-alone level crossings, stand-alone major telecoms and related civil works.
Other firms to pick up the contracts include VolkerRail Special Businesses, Atkins, Linbrooke Services and Colas Rail.
Signalling is one of the most common causes of hold-ups on the railways. A signalling failure on one part of a railway line can often disrupt the rest of the line for hours.
Last month Network Rail said it would spend £42bn on the railways over the next five years after passengers endured a torrid year of delays and cancellations.The railway infrastructure owner said the funds will increase reliability and improve performance for the benefit of passengers.
Martin Robinson, Network Rail's commercial director of signalling, said: “The awards are the first awards in a three-tier approach to signalling delivery which aims to recognise the differing signalling work banks we have to deliver. The awards have gone to signalling suppliers that between them, have many years of signalling experience on our railway and will help Network Rail facilitate key signalling renewals over the coming years.
“The framework’s approach using fewer contractors will help bring them closer to Network Rail and the routes/regions and make further progress in working more collaboratively. We will continue to build on the successful relationships we already have with our suppliers and look forward to working with them all going forward.”