Fares, rail policy and DfT news

Stagecoach and MPs demand answers in dispute over ‘staggering’ pensions fund deficit and rail franchise controversy

Stagecoach and MPs demand answers in dispute over ‘staggering’ pensions fund deficit and rail franchise controversy

16.04.19: MPs have asked The Pensions Regulator (TPR) to reveal the extent of the “substantial” deficit in the Railways Pensions Scheme and provide an “urgent solution” after Stagecoach threatened legal action over its three spurne...

Renewable Welsh rail electrification project wins decarbonisation funding

Renewable Welsh rail electrification project wins decarbonisation funding

12.04.19: Plans to use renewable energy sources to electrify Welsh train lines have won a grant from the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), one of six rail decarbonisation projects to have won the funding. The ‘Green Valley Lines’ sc...

Unions and MPs protest TOC’s potential £7.5bn funding gap in ‘deadly serious’ rail pensions row

Unions and MPs protest TOC’s potential £7.5bn funding gap in ‘deadly serious’ rail pensions row

12.04.19: The Pensions Regulator has warned that train operators face a black hole of up to £7.5bn and the RMT has threatened national strike action as the row over rail pensions comes to a head after the DfT blocked Stagecoach’s franchise bid...

‘Huge challenges ahead’ as Crossrail bosses say new rolling stock coming in December

‘Huge challenges ahead’ as Crossrail bosses say new rolling stock coming in December

11.04.19: A possible opening date for Crossrail could be announced by the end of month and Class 345 Elizabeth Line trains to be introduced in December but there are “huge challenges ahead,” Crossrail bosses have warned. Crossrail chief e...

Branson says Virgin Trains could be gone by November after ‘baffling’ DfT franchise decision

Branson says Virgin Trains could be gone by November after ‘baffling’ DfT franchise decision

11.04.19: Virgin Trains could disappear from Britain’s railways by the end of the year, Sir Richard Branson has announced after the government disqualified its joint franchise bid with Stagecoach. Branson he was “devastated” by the...

Rail industry heralds smart-ticketing rollout to all major UK stations

Rail industry heralds smart-ticketing rollout to all major UK stations

10.04.19: Train companies are set to rollout smart tickets to thousands more passengers this month, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has announced, meaning nine out of 10 tickets will now be available as smart tickets. Major stations such as Waterloo, B...

‘Shocked’ Stagecoach disqualified from three rail franchise bids in row over pensions

‘Shocked’ Stagecoach disqualified from three rail franchise bids in row over pensions

10.04.19: Stagecoach has accused ministers of putting the future of the UK rail industry in doubt and said it is “extremely concerned” after the DfT has barred it from three rail franchise bids. The DfT said that Stagecoach’s bids f...

DfT awards East Midlands rail franchise to Abellio

DfT awards East Midlands rail franchise to Abellio

10.04.19: Abellio has won the next East Midlands rail franchise and will take over from Stagecoach in August 2019 until 2027. The DfT announced that the ScotRail operator has been named as the successful bidder “after they presented a strong, c...

Corbyn calls for new electrified West Country rail line bypassing Dawlish

Corbyn calls for new electrified West Country rail line bypassing Dawlish

09.04.19: The Labour Party leader has called for a new electrified rail line connecting the West Country with London which will bypass Dawlish. The inland rail line would avoid Dawlish, where the current railway clings to the coast between Plymouth a...

Glasgow Airport’s tram-train link is ‘dead’ with shuttle pod system preferred

Glasgow Airport’s tram-train link is ‘dead’ with shuttle pod system preferred

09.04.19: Plans for a direct tram-train link to Glasgow airport have been branded “dead” by the leader of the city council. Local politicians have been calling for a direct rail link between Glasgow city centre and its airport “as a...

Bristol’s MetroWest scheme receives final £32m funding from DfT

Bristol’s MetroWest scheme receives final £32m funding from DfT

09.04.19: The DfT has announced its backing for the MetroWest railway line between Portishead and Bristol after confirming the final £32m funding for the “nationally-significant” project. The Portishead branch line shut in 1964, but...

DfT’s £300m scheme to see disabled access at 73 railway stations improved

DfT’s £300m scheme to see disabled access at 73 railway stations improved

04.04.19: The DfT has announced a £300m investment to see disabled access improved at 73 UK rail stations. Lifts, adjustable ticket counters, and footbridges will be among the new measures announced by transport accessibility minister Nusrat Gh...

MPs ‘not convinced’ two-year delay and £3bn overspend will be enough as committee slams Crossrail’s ‘disastrous’ governance

MPs ‘not convinced’ two-year delay and £3bn overspend will be enough as committee slams Crossrail’s ‘disastrous’ governance

04.04.19: MPs have said they are “increasingly alarmed at the continual shortcomings” of Crossrail and the DfT as its nearly £3bn overspend and substantial delays still “may not be enough.” The Public Accounts Committee...

ORR approves action improvement plan from Network Rail

ORR approves action improvement plan from Network Rail

03.04.19: An action plan from Network Rail to improve its performance in response to enforcement action taken against it in November last year has been given approval by the ORR. Network Rail has set out how it intends to improve its poor performance...

Wales and Border rail franchise in £200m deal for new metro fleet

Wales and Border rail franchise in £200m deal for new metro fleet

02.04.19: The Wales and Borders rail franchise has received £200m from the financial services giant Legal & General to provide new rolling stock on the south Wales Metro. The funding will see a new Wales and Borders rail fleet replace the c...

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Government announces HS2 review, 'go or no-go' decision by year-end

21/08/2019Government announces HS2 review, 'go or no-go' decision by year-end

The government is set to launch a review into the HS2 project, transport secretary Grant Shapps has announced. The review into the high-spee... more >
New train station part of £218m Chelmsford regeneration

20/08/2019New train station part of £218m Chelmsford regeneration

As part of a major £218m regeneration of Chelmsford, a new train station is set to be constructed to improve transport infrastructure in th... more >
Mid-Cheshire Line speed increase after £800k rail upgrade

19/08/2019Mid-Cheshire Line speed increase after £800k rail upgrade

Following the completion of an £800,000 investment into new railway tracks, passenger trains operating on the Mid-Cheshire Line betwee... 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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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 >