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Regional leaders urge major parties to publicly back building HS2 Phase 2 route

Regional leaders urge major parties to publicly back building HS2 Phase 2 route

24.01.19: Bodies from the Midlands and the north of England have written an open letter to the leaders of the four major parties calling for them to publicly commit to building Phase 2 of the £56bn HS2 route. The letter penned by the Northern P...

Siemens-Alstom merger on the brink as French and German officials rally support

Siemens-Alstom merger on the brink as French and German officials rally support

23.01.19: Officials from the French and German governments are frantically lobbying to try and save the Siemens-Alstom merger after the EU’s top competition official has said she isn’t swayed by the seemingly final antitrust concessions made b...

Cross-party calls for Glasgow airport rail link to be delivered ‘as matter of urgency’

Cross-party calls for Glasgow airport rail link to be delivered ‘as matter of urgency’

22.01.19: The proposed rail link between Glasgow Airport and the city centre must be built “as a matter of urgency,” according to opposition parties making a cross-party plea at Holyrood. Plans to connect the city centre to the airport in...

Trashing the 'ticket' train of thought

Trashing the 'ticket' train of thought

22.01.19: techUK recently published its Future Mobility Services report in which it presented its vision of a multimodal, digitally-enabled, and customer-focused transport ecosystem – with the rail sector forming a major part of this. Jessica Russel...

Crossrail restarts dynamic testing on Elizabeth Line after series of delays

Crossrail restarts dynamic testing on Elizabeth Line after series of delays

18.01.19: Crossrail has begun operating test trains on the Elizabeth Line, restarting a crucial part of testing after months of setbacks and delays. Two test trains will operate on the line during the first week of the main dynamic testing phase whic...

Siemens and Alstom prepared to walk away from merger if EU Commission rejects concessions

Siemens and Alstom prepared to walk away from merger if EU Commission rejects concessions

17.01.19: Siemens and Alstom will reportedly offer no further concessions to European regulators in their bid to merge their operations and form a European rail champion. The controversial Franco-German rail merger has been heavily criticised and the...

West Midlands promises rail revolution in new detailed 30-year strategy

West Midlands promises rail revolution in new detailed 30-year strategy

16.01.19: The West Midlands has set out its short- and long-term plan for rail in the region, promising new passenger services and stations and to build on the benefits of high-speed rail. Launched by the West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE), the &lsq...

Council and business leaders issue warning over investment in HS2 plans for the north east

Council and business leaders issue warning over investment in HS2 plans for the north east

15.01.19: Business leaders and local councils have written to the HS2 chairman calling for urgent investment in the East Coast Main Line (ECML), warning that without money for high-speed rail in the north east, HS2 risks harming the region. In a join...

German watchdog raises ‘serious doubts’ over Siemens-Alstom merger in latest blow

German watchdog raises ‘serious doubts’ over Siemens-Alstom merger in latest blow

15.01.19: Germany’s competition watchdog has raised “serious doubts” over the proposed Siemens-Alstom merger and said its objections still stand despite the concessions offered by the French and German rail companies. A letter seen...

Huddersfield rail electrification to be included in £2.9bn TransPennine upgrade in revealed ‘confidential’ information

Huddersfield rail electrification to be included in £2.9bn TransPennine upgrade in revealed ‘confidential’ information

15.01.19: The long-awaited £2.9bn upgrade to the TransPennine rail route may also include the partial electrification of the line between Huddersfield and Leeds and Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge after a councillor revealed “confidential&...

ORR: Defining an 'efficient' railway

ORR: Defining an 'efficient' railway

15.01.19: Ahead of CP6, Howard Taylor, cost manager of railway planning and performance at the ORR, dives deep into the regulator’s assessment of what an ‘efficient’ Network Rail means in practice. For most of 2018, a great many peo...

CP6: Room for improvement

CP6: Room for improvement

15.01.19: Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), assesses Network Rail’s confirmed spending plans for CP6. The 31 October may be more popularly known as Halloween, but in the rail industry all eyes were on the...

London trams to be fitted with automatic braking system in response to Sandilands recommendations

London trams to be fitted with automatic braking system in response to Sandilands recommendations

14.01.19: London’s tram network is to be fitted with an automatic braking system in response to safety recommendations following the fatal Croydon tram crash. The new safety measures will automatically apply brakes and bring a tram to a control...

Deutsche Bahn may sell Arriva to plug multi-billion gap in finances

Deutsche Bahn may sell Arriva to plug multi-billion gap in finances

14.01.19: Deutsche Bahn (DB) reportedly wants to sell Arriva in order to plug a £3.6bn gap in its finances, although reports from Berlin say Brexit is making it hard to value the rail business. The German rail operator is holding crisis talks w...

HS2 could run fewer and slower trains to keep within budget and schedule, warns chief executive

HS2 could run fewer and slower trains to keep within budget and schedule, warns chief executive

14.01.19: HS2 could be forced to run fewer trains and at slower speeds in order to keep the high-speed rail project within its £56m budget, its chief executive has said. The flagship project will establish a high-speed rail link between London...

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‘Time is running out’: MSP and union leaders call for government intervention into Springburn depot

19/02/2019‘Time is running out’: MSP and union leaders call for government intervention into Springburn depot

Scottish Labour and union leaders have called on the government to take the Springburn depot under public control as ministers debate the depot&r... more >
South Western Railway strikes suspended after ‘significant breakthrough’ in guard dispute

19/02/2019South Western Railway strikes suspended after ‘significant breakthrough’ in guard dispute

Strike action by workers on the South Western Railway (SWR) have been suspended after a “significant breakthrough” was made in the lo... more >
MPs make joint-pledge to back rail investment in Liverpool Manchester corridor in Parliament

19/02/2019MPs make joint-pledge to back rail investment in Liverpool Manchester corridor in Parliament

More than 20 MPs from Liverpool and Manchester have signed a commitment to support rail investment in the north west. The pledge, which was ... 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 >