Fares, rail policy and DfT news

DfT consulting on plans to expand pay-as-you-go rail travel nationwide

DfT consulting on plans to expand pay-as-you-go rail travel nationwide

07.02.19: The DfT has launched a consultation into expanding the pay-as-you-go (PAYG) ticketing model currently used in London. Rail minister Andrew Jones had announced a renewed government drive to expand ‘smart ticketing’ nationwide, an...

HS2 unveils construction teams for major Euston and Old Oak Common station builds

HS2 unveils construction teams for major Euston and Old Oak Common station builds

06.02.19: HS2 has revealed the construction teams awarded contracts to deliver the London Euston terminus and the super-hub Old Oak Common station. In deals worth £2.56bn that are expected to bring up to 4,000 jobs to the UK, the construction p...

Siemens-Alstom merger blocked by EU Commission in landmark decision

Siemens-Alstom merger blocked by EU Commission in landmark decision

06.02.19: The EU Commission has officially blocked a merger between Siemens and Alstom, stating that the companies “were not willing to address our serious competition concerns.” Despite months of negotiations and both the French and Germ...

Old Oak Common to be UK’s best-connected rail interchange as HS2 reveals new station designs

Old Oak Common to be UK’s best-connected rail interchange as HS2 reveals new station designs

05.02.19: HS2 Ltd has unveiled its plans for the Old Oak Common station, releasing designs for the new “landmark piece of architecture” including high-speed platforms located underground. The design plans say that Old Oak Common will be t...

Williams Rail Review: The end of saying sorry?

Williams Rail Review: The end of saying sorry?

05.02.19: 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 Fo...

Vivarail unveils plans to build new hydrogen trains

Vivarail unveils plans to build new hydrogen trains

05.02.19: Train manufacturer Vivarail has unveiled their new plans for hydrogen trains, revealing new designs and visuals for their emissions-free rolling stock. The modular hydrogen train is currently in production, with two motor cars powered by ba...

Long-awaited plans to build a sea wall to protect Dawlish rail line unveiled by Network Rail

Long-awaited plans to build a sea wall to protect Dawlish rail line unveiled by Network Rail

04.02.19: Plans to build a new sea wall in the first phase of work to protect the costal railway which connects Devon and Cornwall with the rest of the UK have been unveiled by Network Rail. High waves and strong winds have wreaked havoc on the Dawli...

‘I’m a lightning rod’: Grayling dismisses criticism from rail unions and ‘anti-Brexit brigade’

‘I’m a lightning rod’: Grayling dismisses criticism from rail unions and ‘anti-Brexit brigade’

01.02.19: Chris Grayling has said he believes he is subject to personal criticism and “missiles fired” based on major decisions he makes because of unions such as the RMT and because he is “lightning rod for the anti-Brexit brigade.&rdqu...

Glasgow Airport rail link plans could be ditched for rapid shuttle pod system

Glasgow Airport rail link plans could be ditched for rapid shuttle pod system

31.01.19: A long-awaited rail link to Glasgow Airport could be ditched in favour of a shuttle pod system between the airport and Paisley. Instead of a full tram-train rail link, a ‘personal rapid transit’ shuttle pod system such as the on...

TfN unveils £70bn transport masterplan for the north

TfN unveils £70bn transport masterplan for the north

31.01.19: Transport for the North (TfN) has launched its £70bn blueprints to overhaul northern transport infrastructure over the next 30 years, connecting the major cities and moving forward with its flagship project Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR). ...

Franchise payments to government slump by 40% as falling passenger numbers, strikes and delays hit rail industry’s income

Franchise payments to government slump by 40% as falling passenger numbers, strikes and delays hit rail industry’s income

30.01.19: Falling passenger numbers has seen the rail industry suffer a fall in income in last the year, resulting in a 40% drop in franchise payments to the government, the rail regulator has revealed. The ORR’s annual report shows that the ra...

Network Rail unveils winners of 10-year contracts for £5bn rail system upgrades

Network Rail unveils winners of 10-year contracts for £5bn rail system upgrades

30.01.19: Network Rail has announced its preferred bidders to deliver track and rail system upgrades over the next 10 years in the south of England and in Scotland, worth an estimated £5bn. The contracts, initially five years with the option to...

Five route options for East West Rail project unveiled

Five route options for East West Rail project unveiled

29.01.19: The East West Railway Company (EWRC) has unveiled five proposed routes for the new rail line between Bedford and Cambridge as a public consultation on the next phase of the scheme gets underway. The major East West Rail project will run fro...

Alstom and Siemens backtrack and submit new concessions for rail merger ahead of European Commission vote

Alstom and Siemens backtrack and submit new concessions for rail merger ahead of European Commission vote

28.01.19: Alstom and Siemens have offered new concessions to try to satisfy antitrust demands from the European Commission over their plans to merge and create a European rail champion, forcing Margrethe Vestager to reassess the merger at the last minute....

Plans for tram-trains in Manchester unveiled as Grayling and Burnham mull expansion of Metrolink

Plans for tram-trains in Manchester unveiled as Grayling and Burnham mull expansion of Metrolink

25.01.19: Proposals for an expansion of Greater Manchester’s (GM) tram network are in the works, Chris Grayling and Andy Burnham have announced, with plans for greater devolved control for the region and the introduction of tram-trains being conside...

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Potential Leicester to Coventry rail link mulled over in updated Leicestershire transport vision

22/02/2019Potential Leicester to Coventry rail link mulled over in updated Leicestershire transport vision

The potential of a Leicester to Coventry rail link has been revived again as one of the key highlights of a new transport masterplan outlined by ... more >
Queues of 15,000 and Eurostar chaos at St Pancras in no-deal Brexit

22/02/2019Queues of 15,000 and Eurostar chaos at St Pancras in no-deal Brexit

Eurostar queues of up to 15,000 passengers could mount up at London’s St Pancras International station in the event of a no-deal Brexit, ac... more >
New head of safety and environment for Hull Trains announced

21/02/2019New head of safety and environment for Hull Trains announced

A new head of safety and environment has been announced by Hull Trains, with Mark Shepherd due to replace Phil Green in the role. Bringing m... 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 >