Fares, rail policy and DfT news

Rail Ombudsman launch a ‘wake-up call’ to train companies over complaint services

Rail Ombudsman launch a ‘wake-up call’ to train companies over complaint services

26.11.18: The first-ever Rail Ombudsman has been launched today, giving rail passengers a free, independent service which will help them claim refunds and compensation by appealing unresolved complaints. The official body will have the power to inves...

Rail parliamentary roundup: Grayling denies ‘tin ear’ jibes on northern investment, investigation launched into SWR’s ‘Mayhem Monday’

Rail parliamentary roundup: Grayling denies ‘tin ear’ jibes on northern investment, investigation launched into SWR’s ‘Mayhem Monday’

23.11.18: ‘Not a question of having a tin ear’ The transport secretary has hit back against claims that the government has underinvested in transport in the north following new analysis from the IPPR this week. Speaking in the House of C...

Transport for the North launches the first phase of smart ticketing across Yorkshire

Transport for the North launches the first phase of smart ticketing across Yorkshire

23.11.18: Transport for the North (TfN) is set to launch the first phase of its Smart on Rail project, rolling out the smartcard scheme across Yorkshire lines. The initial phase of the project, a result of a partnership between Northern, TransPennine...

ORR launches review into Delay Repay claims companies

ORR launches review into Delay Repay claims companies

20.11.18: The ORR has today launched a review into the role of Delay Repay claims companies in assisting customers with compensation claims when their rail journeys have been delayed, and TOCs in helping them deal with claims more efficiently. More t...

Rail passenger boom down to economic and housing restructuring of last 20 years

Rail passenger boom down to economic and housing restructuring of last 20 years

20.11.18: New research has found that major changes to the UK’s economic structure and housing locations have driven the growth in rail passenger numbers since 1995. A report, ‘Wider factors affecting the long-term growth in rail travel,&...

A transport network ‘on its knees’ is slowly catching up in the north, says Grayling

A transport network ‘on its knees’ is slowly catching up in the north, says Grayling

16.11.18: Chris Grayling has said that rail in the north is playing catch-up from “decades of economic neglect” and that whilst improvements in May did not work the way it should have, he will deliver “the transport system the north dese...

‘Broken’ rail complaints system failing to deal with passengers effectively or even with ‘basic courtesy’

‘Broken’ rail complaints system failing to deal with passengers effectively or even with ‘basic courtesy’

14.11.18: The rail complaints system is “broken” and train companies are failing to deal with passenger complaints effectively or even with “basic courtesy,” new analysis has revealed. An investigation by Which? found that les...

Andrew Jones returns as rail minister following Jo Johnson’s resignation

Andrew Jones returns as rail minister following Jo Johnson’s resignation

13.11.18: Andrew Jones, MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough, has been appointed as transport minister with responsibility for rail following the resignation of transport minister Jo Johnson last week. Jones has previously held the role of transport mi...

Looking ahead to the Williams Review

Looking ahead to the Williams Review

13.11.18: Darren Shirley, chief executive of the Campaign for Better Transport, takes a look at the government’s root and branch review of the rail sector. The secretary of state announced in September his intention to launch a review of the ra...

Transport minister Jo Johnson resigns over Brexit

Transport minister Jo Johnson resigns over Brexit

09.11.18: The transport minister Jo Johnson has resigned from the government over Brexit. In a video on Twitter, Johnson said the UK was “barrelling” towards an incoherent Brexit, leaving the nation “trapped” in an subordinate...

Crystal balls for Brexit

Crystal balls for Brexit

06.11.18: Neil Robertson, chief executive of NSAR, starts a frank conversation about Brexit. Have you noticed how it is almost impossible to have a sensible debate on the impacts of Brexit? The rules seem to be: take a firm, preferably dogmatic, posi...

Northern Rail and German owner in crisis talks with government over risk of £282m bailout

Northern Rail and German owner in crisis talks with government over risk of £282m bailout

05.11.18: Northern Rail are locked in crisis talks with the government along with its owner, Germany’s nationalised train operator Deutsche Bahn, as massive levels of disruption cripple the rail franchise’s finances. The Telegraph reveale...

Virgin Trains abandons Friday afternoon peak restrictions to reduce mass overcrowding

Virgin Trains abandons Friday afternoon peak restrictions to reduce mass overcrowding

01.11.18: Virgin Trains has scrapped Friday afternoon peak-hour restrictions after the company found it reduced congestion on key services during a 13-week trial. It said restrictions on train travel leaving London after 15:00 and before 18:45 will b...

Refurbishing rolling stock into bi-modes could unlock disused railway lines

Refurbishing rolling stock into bi-modes could unlock disused railway lines

31.10.18: The DfT has said that innovative refurbishment of old rolling stock into modern bi-mode trains could offer the opportunity to reopen disused railway lines. In the department’s ‘Rolling Stock Perspective Fourth Edition,’ th...

ORR approves Network Rail’s £35bn CP6 spending plans

ORR approves Network Rail’s £35bn CP6 spending plans

31.10.18: The ORR has today set outs its final determination on Network Rail’s £35bn plans for CP6, the five-year period from 1 April next year. The rail regulator has approved £7.7bn of spending for the maintenance of existing rail...

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ORBIS: Turning track data into intelligence

22/01/2019ORBIS: Turning track data into intelligence

Track engineer Dan Collins explains how an app and an iPad are transforming track maintenance in Network Rail’s Western route. Carryin... more >
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 >
Trashing the 'ticket' train of thought

22/01/2019Trashing the 'ticket' train of thought

techUK recently published its Future Mobility Services report in which it presented its vision of a multimodal, digitally-enabled, and customer-f... 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

Trashing the 'ticket' train of thought

22/01/2019Trashing the 'ticket' train of thought

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 Russell, techUK’s programme manager for the Transport and Smart Cities groups under SmarterUK, repor... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

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ORBIS: Turning track data into intelligence

22/01/2019ORBIS: Turning track data into intelligence

Track engineer Dan Collins explains how an app and an iPad are transforming track maintenance in Network Rail’s Western route. Carryin... more >
Siemens Deep Tube: Keeping London moving

22/01/2019Siemens Deep Tube: Keeping London moving

Paul Baines, sales director for rolling stock at Siemens Mobility Ltd, expands on the many benefits of the £1.5bn Deep Tube rolling stock c... more >
Guarding against the theft of survey equipment

22/01/2019Guarding against the theft of survey equipment

The high value of survey equipment used to collect geospatial data on the railways is increasingly attractive to opportunistic criminals. The Sur... more >
Repoint: revolutionising track switch

15/01/2019Repoint: revolutionising track switch

Sam Bemment, senior R&D engineer at Loughborough University, brings us an update on the Repoint project – a scheme which has transforme... more >

rail industry focus

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interviews

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 >