Awards, contracts & appointments

Budget: Hammond announces £37m for NPR and £20m for EWR

Budget: Hammond announces £37m for NPR and £20m for EWR

29.10.18: The Chancellor Phillip Hammond has today announced additional funding for the Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) and East-West Rail (EWR) projects. NPR, which will connect cities across the north of England, will receive £37m; and the EWR...

Planning Inspectorate reject plans for giant rail freight interchange in Northamptonshire

Planning Inspectorate reject plans for giant rail freight interchange in Northamptonshire

23.10.18: Plans for a massive strategic rail freight interchange (SRFI) in Northamptonshire has been rejected by the government’s Planning Inspectorate (PINS) because of “inconsistencies” in the proposals. The 600-acre proposal, sub...

Electrification of railways sees CO2 emissions fall

Electrification of railways sees CO2 emissions fall

22.10.18: CO2 emissions from passenger rail has fallen in the last year as a result of the use of greener energy sources as part of electrifying the UK railway, new statistics from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) have shown. Overall CO2 emissions h...

Urgent government talks after Dutch company plugs £80m funding hole in Greater Anglia

Urgent government talks after Dutch company plugs £80m funding hole in Greater Anglia

19.10.18: Greater Anglia has received an £80m rescue package led by the Netherlands, leading to reports of urgent talks between the UK and Dutch governments to fix the “flawed” funding formula in place. Dutch company Abellio jointly...

Study to explore plans for direct London-Bordeaux high-speed rail route

Study to explore plans for direct London-Bordeaux high-speed rail route

16.10.18: Work is to start on a study looking into the changes needed to create a direct, high-speed rail route between London and Bordeaux. Four infrastructure managers along the route – HS1 Ltd, Lisea, Eurotunnel and SNCF Réseau &ndash...

KeolisAmey £5bn Wales and Borders Rail service launches today

KeolisAmey £5bn Wales and Borders Rail service launches today

15.10.18: KeolisAmey has begun operations taking over the Wales and Borders franchise today, with “transformed” services on the way for passengers according to the Welsh transport secretary Ken Skates. Following the decision to award the...

West Yorkshire to receive share of £840m funding to upgrade key rail connections

West Yorkshire to receive share of £840m funding to upgrade key rail connections

28.09.18: West Yorkshire Combined Authority has secured funding for upgrading connections to eight of its rail stations after Theresa May announced that the authority will receive a share of a £840m transport fund. The Department for Transport...

DfT quietly pulls the plug on CrossCountry franchise competition

DfT quietly pulls the plug on CrossCountry franchise competition

20.09.18: The government has decided to pull the plug on the CrossCountry franchise competition as a result of its rail review announcement today. Because of the franchise’s “unique geographic nature,” running from Aberdeen to Penza...

Network Rail extends two-year £200m British Steel contract

Network Rail extends two-year £200m British Steel contract

19.09.18: Network Rail has announced a £200m two-year contract extension with British Steel. The owner and infrastructure manager of Britain’s tracks said that today’s agreement is “continuing a close partnership” betwee...

Shortlisted bidders revealed for £360m Tyne and Wear rolling stock deal

Shortlisted bidders revealed for £360m Tyne and Wear rolling stock deal

17.09.18: Nexus, which runs the Tyne and Wear Metro, has announced a shortlist of bidders in the running for the £360m contract to build and maintain the network’s new rolling stock. Nexus has now begun detailed negotiations with all bidd...

Network Rail to pilot private financing with several ‘contestable’ renewals schemes

Network Rail to pilot private financing with several ‘contestable’ renewals schemes

12.09.18: Network Rail has published a list of projects for which it is seeking third-party funding as part of plans to open the organisation up to outsiders – including two private financing opportunities and a series of small-scale ‘contesta...

£700,000 spent with consultancy firm over Police Scotland and BTP merger

£700,000 spent with consultancy firm over Police Scotland and BTP merger

11.09.18: Nearly £700,000 has been spent by Police Scotland with a private consultancy firm as part of the controversial plans to merge the British Transport Police (BTP) in Scotland with its national force. However, the proposed plans— w...

EU sets final deadline for Siemens and Alstom merger

EU sets final deadline for Siemens and Alstom merger

07.09.18: The European Commission has set a deadline of 28 January for the proposed rail merger of Siemens and Alstom. The deal was agreed last September but has been met by objections from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the O...

NR seeks ‘true long-term partner’ for ECML digital railway roll-out

NR seeks ‘true long-term partner’ for ECML digital railway roll-out

06.09.18: Network Rail has launched the first stage of its procurement process to find a partner to deliver the first inter-city digital railway on the East Coast Main Line (ECML). In what has been described as “an entirely new way of working,&...

Sir Terry Morgan drops London City Airport job to focus on HS2

Sir Terry Morgan drops London City Airport job to focus on HS2

31.08.18: Sir Terry Morgan CBE has decided to step down from his role as chairman of London City Airport to focus solely on HS2. The former Crossrail boss joined HS2 Ltd last month as chairman, taking over from Sir David Higgins after being appointed...

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‘Time is running out’: MSP and union leaders call for government intervention into Springburn depot

19/02/2019‘Time is running out’: MSP and union leaders call for government intervention into Springburn depot

Scottish Labour and union leaders have called on the government to take the Springburn depot under public control as ministers debate the depot&r... more >
South Western Railway strikes suspended after ‘significant breakthrough’ in guard dispute

19/02/2019South Western Railway strikes suspended after ‘significant breakthrough’ in guard dispute

Strike action by workers on the South Western Railway (SWR) have been suspended after a “significant breakthrough” was made in the lo... more >
MPs make joint-pledge to back rail investment in Liverpool Manchester corridor in Parliament

19/02/2019MPs make joint-pledge to back rail investment in Liverpool Manchester corridor in Parliament

More than 20 MPs from Liverpool and Manchester have signed a commitment to support rail investment in the north west. The pledge, which was ... 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

Williams Rail Review: The end of saying sorry?

05/02/2019Williams Rail Review: The end of saying sorry?

Keith Williams’ ongoing Rail Review presents a golden opportunity to rebuild the industry’s weakened relationship with its users and set it on a better track for the future, argues David Sidebottom, passenger director at Transport Focus. Passengers waiting at stations today are not peering down the line looking for a strategy ... more >
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TrackWater: Embracing data in flood prevention

05/02/2019TrackWater: Embracing data in flood prevention

Mike Harding, from Lancaster University’s Data Science Institute, introduces us to TrackWater: an innovative project between Lancaster Univ... more >
High-speed rail cannot stand in isolation

05/02/2019High-speed rail cannot stand in isolation

Last year, the Scottish Government announced two feasibility studies to better understand the economic and environmental implications of options ... more >
Flying Banana reaps the fruit of its labour

05/02/2019Flying Banana reaps the fruit of its labour

Steve Quinby, Network Rail’s head of data collection, gives us the rundown on the state-of-the-art ‘Flying Banana’ train. ... more >
Introducing the new Passenger Assist app

05/02/2019Introducing the new Passenger Assist app

Jacqueline Starr, managing director of customer experience at the Rail Delivery Group, explains how a new app developed for the rail industry wil... more >

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TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... more >