Awards, contracts & appointments

FirstGroup finalises £100m order for Hitachi trains as plans for London-Edinburgh rail link move forward

FirstGroup finalises £100m order for Hitachi trains as plans for London-Edinburgh rail link move forward

22.03.19: FirstGroup has finalised a £100m order for Hitachi AT300 electric trainsets in a partnership between the two companies to create a new London-to-Edinburgh rail link. FirstGroup said it had secured the rights to a new “open-acces...

Government promises to look ‘very carefully’ at £218m bid for second Chelmsford station

Government promises to look ‘very carefully’ at £218m bid for second Chelmsford station

21.03.19: The government will look “very carefully” at a £218m funding bid for a new railway station in Chelmsford, Theresa May has said. Essex County Council has bid for £218m from the government’s Housing Infrastructur...

New plans for major improvements to York station submitted in ‘long-overdue masterplan’

New plans for major improvements to York station submitted in ‘long-overdue masterplan’

21.03.19: Plans to make major changes to York railway station have been submitted in a “long-overdue” masterplan. The £23.5m proposals will see the layout and chaotic entrance of York Central completely reorganised, and the removal...

Carillion-bound boss appointed to lead Kier

Carillion-bound boss appointed to lead Kier

20.03.19: Kier has appointed Andrew Davies as its new chief executive, two months after the building contractor ousted Hayden Mursell on the back of debt issues. Davies had been appointed to lead the British outsourcing giant Carillion, but it became...

‘Compelling case’ put forward for £4bn metro network for Cambridgeshire

‘Compelling case’ put forward for £4bn metro network for Cambridgeshire

20.03.19: There is a “compelling case” for a metro scheme for Greater Cambridge after a feasibility report has claimed it could create 100,000 jobs and 60,000 new homes, but could cost £4bn. The feasibility study was commissioned by...

RDG calls for new regulator to stop railway ‘being used as a political football’

RDG calls for new regulator to stop railway ‘being used as a political football’

19.03.19: The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has called for a new organisation to regulate the railway and replace the ORR in order to stop the railway “being used as a political football.” Responding to the government’s call for submiss...

Plans revealed for major redevelopment of Birmingham Moor Street station

Plans revealed for major redevelopment of Birmingham Moor Street station

19.03.19: Birmingham Moor Street station it set to undergo a major transformation to prepare it for HS2 services at Curzon Street and growing passenger demand as new designs are unveiled. Moor Street could be expanded to double its current size and s...

Ashington Blyth and Tyne line reopening mulled over in six ‘quick win’ rail projects for northern transport

Ashington Blyth and Tyne line reopening mulled over in six ‘quick win’ rail projects for northern transport

18.03.19: A series of ‘quick wins’ have been identified to fix the “current crisis” in the north’s transport network in a report by the IPPR. Following the publication of Transport for the North’s (TfN) Strategic T...

New Hitachi 385s to replace ScotRail’s ‘happy trains’

New Hitachi 385s to replace ScotRail’s ‘happy trains’

18.03.19: ScotRail has confirmed that it is withdrawing its Class 365 ‘happy trains’ fleet and replacing them with new Hitachi Class 385s. The train operator said the new Class 385s will be introduced on the newly electrified Central Belt...

£200m Edinburgh tram extension given green light despite criticism for ‘arrogant’ plans of ‘unknown financial risk’

£200m Edinburgh tram extension given green light despite criticism for ‘arrogant’ plans of ‘unknown financial risk’

15.03.19: Councillors have rubber-stamped £207m plans to extend Edinburgh’s tram line from the city centre to Newhaven despite major criticism over the project’s rising costs and the disruptions it could cause. Edinburgh City Counci...

Network Rail reveals winner of final track works contract worth £1.5bn

Network Rail reveals winner of final track works contract worth £1.5bn

14.03.19: Network Rail has announced Balfour Beatty as the preferred bidder to carry out track upgrades across central England for the next decade in a contract worth an estimated £1.5bn. The contract covers the delivery of a wide-ranging progr...

New electric ‘very light rail’ vehicle planned for Coventry

New electric ‘very light rail’ vehicle planned for Coventry

14.03.19: Engineers have unveiled plans for a battery-powered, lightweight, ‘very light rail’ vehicle to operate in Coventry. A 3D simulation of the innovative light rail vehicle has been developed by engineers and researchers at WMG, Uni...

Liverpool mayor announces commission into new high-speed city centre rail station

Liverpool mayor announces commission into new high-speed city centre rail station

13.03.19: A commission to deliver a new station in Liverpool city centre to connect the region to HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) has been unveiled by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. Metro mayor Steve Rotherham announced the creation...

Rail Alliance and University of Birmingham announce union to ‘co-create the railway of the future’

Rail Alliance and University of Birmingham announce union to ‘co-create the railway of the future’

12.03.19: The Rail Alliance and the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) have announced a formal integration between the two organisations. The combined services of the two rail organisations will “set out a powerful new...

Mace and Dragados sign £1.3bn HS2 contract to construct Euston station

Mace and Dragados sign £1.3bn HS2 contract to construct Euston station

11.03.19: Mace and Dragados has signed a £1.3bn contract with HS2 over the construction of Euston station, ending speculation of a legal challenge from rival bidders who lost out on the contract. The announcement comes just over a month after H...

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Network Rail reveals detailed £2.9bn upgrade plans for TransPennine route

23/08/2019Network Rail reveals detailed £2.9bn upgrade plans for TransPennine route

Major station upgrades and plans to rebuild and electrify an 8-mile stretch of track have been put forward by Network Rail as part of a public co... more >
Aldershot railway line to be directly powered by solar farm in ‘world first’

23/08/2019Aldershot railway line to be directly powered by solar farm in ‘world first’

A Network Rail pilot scheme will see the world’s first solar farm to power a railway line directly in Aldershot, in Hampshire. Ar... more >
Transport Scotland announces £817k Local Rail Development Fund

23/08/2019Transport Scotland announces £817k Local Rail Development Fund

Cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity, Michael Matheson, has announced eight communities across Scotland are set to be... 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 >