A top-tier line of rail track used on the west coast main line has been re-let by Network Rail to Hitachi for £350 million. The contract, which covers operations for the 2018-2022 period, will secure the site at Tata Steel’s Teesside facility for engineering work on the track. That work has been put on hold since the Freight Limited Company moved to Armagh in Northern Ireland at the end of last year. The decision to re-let the line at a higher price than is currently being paid to the Freight Limited Company is a change from previous incumbents, who had discounted deals for more value-added work by offering that to track operators to keep the lucrative contract but not goods transport operators. Freight Limited Company’s chief executive Dave Barnes has accused Network Rail of “‘callous behaviour’” after claiming he was “blindsided” by the decision. He said: “It’s very clear that there were major elements of this bidding process that are no longer publicly available or accessible, or haven’t been transparent enough to disclose publicly.” He added that the Freight Limited Company submitted a tender offer valued at nearly £700 million for the £350 million contract, compared to Hitachi’s £350 million bid for the job. Hitachi’s rail track division is to become the largest-scale business from the Tata Steel plant at Redcar and Teesside. The news follows on from plans announced this week that Hitachi is investing in the RCA War Memorial Museum in Teesside.