Awards, contracts & appointments

‘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...

DfT’s £300m scheme to see disabled access at 73 railway stations improved

DfT’s £300m scheme to see disabled access at 73 railway stations improved

04.04.19: The DfT has announced a £300m investment to see disabled access improved at 73 UK rail stations. Lifts, adjustable ticket counters, and footbridges will be among the new measures announced by transport accessibility minister Nusrat Gh...

Wales and Border rail franchise in £200m deal for new metro fleet

Wales and Border rail franchise in £200m deal for new metro fleet

02.04.19: The Wales and Borders rail franchise has received £200m from the financial services giant Legal & General to provide new rolling stock on the south Wales Metro. The funding will see a new Wales and Borders rail fleet replace the c...

Network Rail buys up old Croydon sites in plans to fix Britain’s busiest railway bottleneck

Network Rail buys up old Croydon sites in plans to fix Britain’s busiest railway bottleneck

02.04.19: Network Rail has bought two old Royal Mail depots and Volkswagen sites next to East Croydon Station as part of its plans to “unblock the London-Brighton railway bottleneck at Croydon.” The purchase of the old Royal Mail building...

HS2 workers win £1m in back pay after ‘underpayment scandal’

HS2 workers win £1m in back pay after ‘underpayment scandal’

02.04.19: A HS2 contractor has agreed to back pay over £1m to hundreds of its construction workers after Unite claimed they were being “systematically denied” their entitled holiday and agreed overtime pay. Last week it was reported...

Network Rail unveils £2bn CP6 investment for Wales and Borders railway

Network Rail unveils £2bn CP6 investment for Wales and Borders railway

01.04.19: Plans for a £2bn investment over the next five years across the Wales and Borders have been published by Network Rail. This includes investing £176m on track renewals and refurbishments, £135m to improve signalling in west...

Funding sign-off for first half of HS2 construction delayed by ministers

Funding sign-off for first half of HS2 construction delayed by ministers

01.04.19: Ministers have delayed signing off on the first half of funding for HS2 over concerns about the flagship rail project’s spiralling costs. A formal ‘notice to proceed’ on the major construction works for the first phase of...

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North of England leaders demand ‘Northern Budget’ to boost region

16/08/2019North of England leaders demand ‘Northern Budget’ to boost region

Key leaders from across the North of England have called for Government commitment to a ‘Northern Budget’ which could be used to deli... more >
Metrolink customers complete 170k trips using contactless system

16/08/2019Metrolink customers complete 170k trips using contactless system

Since its launch four weeks ago, more than 170,000 journeys have been made using the new contactless payment system on the Metrolink network... more >
Government announces £25m Brexit high-speed medicines train

15/08/2019Government announces £25m Brexit high-speed medicines train

In the event of a No Deal Brexit, the Government has announced the setting up of a high-speed train service to ferry medicine to the UK from Fran... 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

Network Rail’s Anna-Jane Hunter on, NPR, TRU, HS2 and supply chain opportunities

12/08/2019Network Rail’s Anna-Jane Hunter on, NPR, TRU, HS2 and supply chain opportunities

Anna- Jane Hunter, is a ‘proud northerner’ and is passionate about continuing the investment and success story of rail across the North.  She plays a key role in working with government and northern leaders to enable the network to carry on thriving. We caught up with Anna-Jane, for her expertise and insight into connecti... 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 >