The deal will see the small rail suppliers receive arrears from Christmas through to 15 January, which was the date that Carillion’s went into liquidation.

The arrears payments have already begun and are expected to take several working days to process.

PwC’s latest agreement follows last week’s announcement, where it was declared that all certified rail project work after 15 January will be paid to all suppliers until further notice.

It was also announced that all Carillion rail employees will be paid until at least mid-April.

Network Rail commercial director Matthew Steele said: “We recognise how challenging this period has been for our small suppliers.

“We hope that this will be some positive news to the hundreds of smaller companies up and down the country who have been worried about the impact on their business. These small organisations are a critical part of our supply chain both now and in the future.

“PwC, together with our in-house task force and the Carillion teams, are carefully managing this difficult period to keep all our rail projects going, and are working hand-in-glove to find ways to support staff and suppliers alike.”

Network Rail and PwC are expected to continue identifying additional arrears owed to other bigger rail suppliers and explore different avenues to deal with the situation accordingly.