Awards, contracts & appointments

Virgin Trains proposes radical new airline-style model for fares and franchising

Virgin Trains proposes radical new airline-style model for fares and franchising

24.04.19: Virgin Trains has put forward radical new proposals to manage rail services using an airline-style model, abolishing standing on trains and forcing passengers on long-distance journeys to pre-book seats. The train operator wants to introduc...

Dawlish sea wall gets council planning approval with construction to begin in May

Dawlish sea wall gets council planning approval with construction to begin in May

17.04.19: Plans for an £80m sea wall to protect the Dawlish coastal rail line from extreme weather have been by approved by Teignbridge District Council. Construction of the new sea wall will now begin at the end of May, and once completed will...

Stagecoach and MPs demand answers in dispute over ‘staggering’ pensions fund deficit and rail franchise controversy

Stagecoach and MPs demand answers in dispute over ‘staggering’ pensions fund deficit and rail franchise controversy

16.04.19: MPs have asked The Pensions Regulator (TPR) to reveal the extent of the “substantial” deficit in the Railways Pensions Scheme and provide an “urgent solution” after Stagecoach threatened legal action over its three spurne...

First of CAF’s new Nova fleet accepted by TPE ahead of rollout across north of England

First of CAF’s new Nova fleet accepted by TPE ahead of rollout across north of England

15.04.19: The first of TransPennine Express’s (TPE) Nova 3 fleet has been officially accepted after completing testing with its manufacturer CAF. The new fleet has been hit by delays due to technical issues and was due to roll out before the en...

Renewable Welsh rail electrification project wins decarbonisation funding

Renewable Welsh rail electrification project wins decarbonisation funding

12.04.19: Plans to use renewable energy sources to electrify Welsh train lines have won a grant from the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), one of six rail decarbonisation projects to have won the funding. The ‘Green Valley Lines’ sc...

Unions and MPs protest TOC’s potential £7.5bn funding gap in ‘deadly serious’ rail pensions row

Unions and MPs protest TOC’s potential £7.5bn funding gap in ‘deadly serious’ rail pensions row

12.04.19: The Pensions Regulator has warned that train operators face a black hole of up to £7.5bn and the RMT has threatened national strike action as the row over rail pensions comes to a head after the DfT blocked Stagecoach’s franchise bid...

‘Huge challenges ahead’ as Crossrail bosses say new rolling stock coming in December

‘Huge challenges ahead’ as Crossrail bosses say new rolling stock coming in December

11.04.19: A possible opening date for Crossrail could be announced by the end of month and Class 345 Elizabeth Line trains to be introduced in December but there are “huge challenges ahead,” Crossrail bosses have warned. Crossrail chief e...

Branson says Virgin Trains could be gone by November after ‘baffling’ DfT franchise decision

Branson says Virgin Trains could be gone by November after ‘baffling’ DfT franchise decision

11.04.19: Virgin Trains could disappear from Britain’s railways by the end of the year, Sir Richard Branson has announced after the government disqualified its joint franchise bid with Stagecoach. Branson he was “devastated” by the...

‘Shocked’ Stagecoach disqualified from three rail franchise bids in row over pensions

‘Shocked’ Stagecoach disqualified from three rail franchise bids in row over pensions

10.04.19: Stagecoach has accused ministers of putting the future of the UK rail industry in doubt and said it is “extremely concerned” after the DfT has barred it from three rail franchise bids. The DfT said that Stagecoach’s bids f...

DfT awards East Midlands rail franchise to Abellio

DfT awards East Midlands rail franchise to Abellio

10.04.19: Abellio has won the next East Midlands rail franchise and will take over from Stagecoach in August 2019 until 2027. The DfT announced that the ScotRail operator has been named as the successful bidder “after they presented a strong, c...

Glasgow Airport’s tram-train link is ‘dead’ with shuttle pod system preferred

Glasgow Airport’s tram-train link is ‘dead’ with shuttle pod system preferred

09.04.19: Plans for a direct tram-train link to Glasgow airport have been branded “dead” by the leader of the city council. Local politicians have been calling for a direct rail link between Glasgow city centre and its airport “as a...

Bristol’s MetroWest scheme receives final £32m funding from DfT

Bristol’s MetroWest scheme receives final £32m funding from DfT

09.04.19: The DfT has announced its backing for the MetroWest railway line between Portishead and Bristol after confirming the final £32m funding for the “nationally-significant” project. The Portishead branch line shut in 1964, but...

Hull Trains loans another high-speed train as it waits for arrival of new £60m Hitachi fleet

Hull Trains loans another high-speed train as it waits for arrival of new £60m Hitachi fleet

08.04.19: Hull Trains has agreed to loan another high-speed train as it tries to avoid service disruption before the arrival of its new £60m fleet in November. The train operator has loaned an additional intercity 125 HST from Great Western Rai...

University buys land for ‘game-changing’ high-speed rail institute in Leeds

University buys land for ‘game-changing’ high-speed rail institute in Leeds

08.04.19: A 10-acre plot of land has been acquired by the University of Leeds in order to build a brand-new Institute for High Speed Rail and System Integration which will be co-located with HS2 eastern leg’s rolling stock depot. Aire Valley La...

Birmingham New Street becomes UK’s first 5G train station

Birmingham New Street becomes UK’s first 5G train station

08.04.19: A live trial of 5G has been launched at Birmingham New Street, making it the first train station to trial the “lightning-quick network tech” in the UK. The 5G cellular mobile communication technology will allow passengers to loa...

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£10bn rail network enhancements announced for the next five years

16/10/2019£10bn rail network enhancements announced for the next five years

The Department for Transport (DfT) has today (Oct 16) released its five-year Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline (RNEP) outlining plans that span ... more >
RAIB releases new safety recommendations following recent fatal accident

16/10/2019RAIB releases new safety recommendations following recent fatal accident

The RAIB has delivered a new set of safety recommendations after a passenger suffered fatal injuries after leaning out of a window of a moving tr... more >
Northern Rail could be renationalised, according to transport secretary Grant Shapps

16/10/2019Northern Rail could be renationalised, according to transport secretary Grant Shapps

The government is considering renationalising Northern Rail due to repeated poor performance. Transport secretary Grant Shapps has said he h... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Connecting Network Rail with the supply chain

17/09/2019Connecting Network Rail with the supply chain

Continuing our mission to connect buyers with suppliers, This year TransCityRail North is adding a new element to the event. We are introducing an incomparable opportunity for you to meet with over 11 procurement directors from Network Rail at our exclusive 'Network Rail Meet the Buyers Hub'.  Situated at the heart of the event ... more >
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The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >
Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

02/07/2019Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

Smart electrification is the way to boost clean energy resources, argues Leo Murray, director at 10:10 Climate Action. Contractors are clear... more >
Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

02/07/2019Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

The TCR Midlands conference is only days away and tickets are going fast for the sector event of the year at the Vox Conference Centre in Birming... more >

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interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he wo... more >