Editor's Comment

01.06.16

Leading the agenda in the uncertain times ahead

Source: RTM Jun/Jul 16

As RTM went to press, the result of the EU referendum had just been announced, with 52% voting to leave against 48% voting to remain, on a 72.16% turnout. 

Although the full consequences of a Brexit still remain unknown, with Article 50 unlikely to be triggered before a new prime minister is elected, there could, potentially, be a knock-on effect to the UK’s rail supply chain. 

Shortly after the EU referendum result was announced, we asked members of the supply chain for their thoughts and opinions. 

Those that replied tried to put out a reassuring message that investment would remain, but added that major rail projects would become ‘more crucial than ever’ to the UK’s global success post-Brexit. 

It felt quite timely, then, that this particular issue does just that: focuses on a range of major rail projects. For instance, we take an in-depth look at the developments of the Digital Railway programme, with contributions from the DfT’s Peter Wilkinson and Ben Dunlop from Atkins. 

We also interviewed Martin Arter, the Digital Railway development director, who says that the 25-year transformation programme is underway and plans to demonstrate its potential are gathering apace. 

A key aspect of transforming the UK’s railway is the push towards electrifying more of the network. While the DfT will probably be a little red in the face, after having to announce that the new Class 801 units for GWML will be bi-mode instead of an all-electric fleet, RTM has been assured that the new target dates for the Great Western Route Modernisation will be met. We were told that the Hendy Review, which effectively reset the GWML programme’s timetable, provided the team with “one opportunity” to get the work right. However, as you’ll read in our interview on page 44 with Andrew Haynes, there are ambitions to try and beat the revised target dates. 

As well as looking at electrification work across the country, RTM took a ride on the new Thameslink Class 700, which aims to transform the future of commuting in the capital. We also look at how major station upgrade works at Huddersfield and Glasgow Queen Street look to significantly improve the customer’s experience before they board a train. 

And although the Shaw Report was only launched in March, at the same time as the chancellor’s Budget, it feels like a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then. While it is not yet known if Network Rail will create a new Northern route [Michael Holden is currently carrying out a review], as recommended by Nicola, it is likely that it will happen as the infrastructure owner has developed the new virtual freight route she proposed. We get an update on this from Network Rail’s Paul McMahon on page 84. 

All that is left for me to say is I hope you enjoy this edition of RTM.

David Stevenson

Editor

 

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Workers who narrowly avoided death had no one in charge and ‘ineffective’ safety arrangements

18/12/2018Workers who narrowly avoided death had no one in charge and ‘ineffective’ safety arrangements

“Ineffective” safety arrangements and a number of unofficial working practices contributed to a group of track workers narrowly avoid... more >
Structural steelwork begins on Glasgow Queen Street transformation

18/12/2018Structural steelwork begins on Glasgow Queen Street transformation

The transformation of Glasgow Queen Street has been revealed as engineers have finished the installation of the west truss and have begun buildin... more >
Rival operators to run on same rail routes in bid to drive up competition

18/12/2018Rival operators to run on same rail routes in bid to drive up competition

Passengers will have the choice of choosing which train operators they travel with under new plans to allow rival TOCs to operate on the same rou... more >
Siemens and Alstom offer to sell high-speed train technology to address EU antitrust concerns

18/12/2018Siemens and Alstom offer to sell high-speed train technology to address EU antitrust concerns

Engineering giants Siemens and Alstom have offered to sell their high-speed train technology as part of a concession package to address EU antitr... more >

comment

Passenger safety: Respect the edge

27/11/2018Passenger safety: Respect the edge

Claire Coward, communications lead at the RSSB, discusses her organisation’s latest passenger safety campaign. Incidents at the platfo... more >
Night Tube: The twilight economy

27/11/2018Night Tube: The twilight economy

Dr David Lutton, executive director of economy and tax at London First, argues that the capital’s night-time economy is just starting its j... more >
Monitoring the performance of earthworks

27/11/2018Monitoring the performance of earthworks

Dr Joel Smethurst, associate professor in geotechnical engineering, and Professor William Powrie, professor of geotechnical engineering, both of ... more >
Introducing iPort

20/11/2018Introducing iPort

Steve Freeman, managing director of iPort Rail, introduces the UK’s newest inland freight terminal. The UK’s newest inland rail ... 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. ... more > more last word articles >

interviews

HS2 train race: making the case

20/11/2018HS2 train race: making the case

Bombardier and Hitachi’s commitment to providing the best HS2 rolling stock pitch to the government was signified with the launch of their ... more >
Finding positives in negative short-circuiting devices

09/11/2018Finding positives in negative short-circuiting devices

Sponsored interview  Anything that brings about safety and time-saving benefits is a valued improvement for the rail industry, which is w... more >
Taking to the skies

30/10/2018Taking to the skies

Network Rail’s commitment to driving innovation is best encapsulated by its latest scheme involving high-definition imagery drones, or UAVs... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

'the sleepers' daily blog

Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

27/11/2018Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

Olivia Brown, business development officer at Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), an academic department of the University of Warwick, outlines th... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >