Fares, rail policy and DfT news

Council backs plans for £100m global centre of rail excellence in Wales

Council backs plans for £100m global centre of rail excellence in Wales

10.05.19: A £100m train testing site on the border of Neath Port Talbot and Powys has taken a major step forward after the local council voted to approve the joint venture. Neath Port Talbot Council leader Rob Jones called it an “importan...

Network Rail reveals winner of Dawlish sea wall construction contract

Network Rail reveals winner of Dawlish sea wall construction contract

10.05.19: Network Rail has awarded the contract for the construction of the first phase of the Dawlish sea wall to BAM Nuttall ahead of work starting at the end of this month. The £80m sea wall was announced in February to protect the coastal r...

Stagecoach launches legal action against government over rail franchise disqualification

Stagecoach launches legal action against government over rail franchise disqualification

09.05.19: Stagecoach has taken legal action against the DfT over its decision to disqualify the operator from the East Midlands rail franchise. The railway operator claims the government has “breached its statutory duties” in its decision...

Bond Street a year behind other Crossrail stations due to tunnelling problems

Bond Street a year behind other Crossrail stations due to tunnelling problems

07.05.19: Crossrail’s Bond Street station is a year behind schedule compared to the rest of the project’s stations because of extensive tunnelling delays, Mark Wild has revealed. Speaking to the London Assembly, Crossrail’s chief ex...

Stagecoach says it was disqualified because it rejected £1.6bn rail pensions risk

Stagecoach says it was disqualified because it rejected £1.6bn rail pensions risk

03.05.19: Stagecoach has said it was disqualified from three rail franchise competitions because it refused to accept a pensions risk “well in excess of £1bn.” The transport group has said projections offered by the DfT were “...

Crossrail clung to ‘unrealistic’ timeline as contract renegotiations cost an extra £2.5bn, NAO reports

Crossrail clung to ‘unrealistic’ timeline as contract renegotiations cost an extra £2.5bn, NAO reports

03.05.19: Crossrail “clung to an unrealistic view” throughout its delivery and has damaged public value, but is now “past the point of no return” and must focus on meeting its new target, a report from the National Audit Office (NA...

Ditch franchising model and put organising body in charge, says rail industry

Ditch franchising model and put organising body in charge, says rail industry

30.04.19: The rail industry has called for an end to the current franchising model in favour of multiple operators on mass-commuter routes and for a new independent body to be put in charge of the sector. In its submission to the Williams review, the...

Caledonian Sleeper launches new £150m train fleet, first service over three hours late

Caledonian Sleeper launches new £150m train fleet, first service over three hours late

29.04.19: Caledonian Sleeper has officially launched its new £150m fleet of trains, with the new carriages making their debut overnight on Sunday between London and Glasgow/Edinburgh, but the first service arrived three hours and 20 minutes late. ...

MPs demand £39bn NPR commitment from government

MPs demand £39bn NPR commitment from government

29.04.19: A group of 80 MPs have written to chancellor Philip Hammond urging the government to commit to a £39bn down payment for Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR), and deliver the flagship project alongside HS2. Hammond last week said that the in...

‘No justification’: Buckinghamshire councils demand government halt HS2 prep work until Notice to Proceed given

‘No justification’: Buckinghamshire councils demand government halt HS2 prep work until Notice to Proceed given

26.04.19: Councils across Buckinghamshire have agreed to pass a special motion calling on the government and HS2 to halt all current site work in the county. Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern district councils and Buckinghamshire County Council said they w...

Crossrail to open by March 2021 as bosses confirm new timetable

Crossrail to open by March 2021 as bosses confirm new timetable

26.04.19: The Elizabeth Line will open by March 2021 at the latest as a new six-month delivery window for the Crossrail’s crisis-hit central section is revealed by the project’s bosses. The announcement confirms that Crossrail, already he...

HS2 ignored serious concerns with winning bid for £1.3bn Old Oak Common contract, claims Bechtel

HS2 ignored serious concerns with winning bid for £1.3bn Old Oak Common contract, claims Bechtel

25.04.19: HS2 Ltd accepted an “abnormally low” bid and ignored serious concerns over the chosen contractors to build a key station, the losing bidders for the £1.3bn Old Oak Common contract Bechtel claimed in a High Court claim. &nb...

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...

TfL commissioner urged to quit after downplaying Crossrail ‘tragedy’

TfL commissioner urged to quit after downplaying Crossrail ‘tragedy’

24.04.19: Transport for London’s (TfL) chief commissioner has been told to consider resigning after he “watered down” key messages between Crossrail and TfL over the project’s extensive delays and £3bn overspend, according to...

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...

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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 >