Fares, rail policy and DfT news

ORR invites views on TOC access charges reform

ORR invites views on TOC access charges reform

29.09.17: The Office of Road and Rail (ORR) has released details about the consultation into the charges that operators pay to access the rail network as part of Network Rail’s 2018 periodic review. Access charges play an important role in infl...

De-politicise rail control period funding, Labour tells RIA

De-politicise rail control period funding, Labour tells RIA

27.09.17: Andy McDonald, the shadow transport secretary, has told the Railway Industry Association (RIA) that rail project funding should be ‘de-politicised’. Speaking in an interview at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton, he said th...

Strategy developed to drive forward rail devolution agenda

Strategy developed to drive forward rail devolution agenda

21.09.17: A strategy has been set out by urban transport authorities that explains how government and transport bodies should work together to deliver integrated transport networks for passengers. Publishing its report ‘Policy futures for urban...

Virgin launches app to allow customers to bid for cheap First Class upgrades

Virgin launches app to allow customers to bid for cheap First Class upgrades

20.09.17: Virgin Trains has launched a world first app that allows passengers to bid for First Class upgrades for as low as £5. The app, Seatfrog, will let passengers bid for First Class upgrades up to 30 minutes before departure, and could ope...

DfT invites entries for second round of rail innovation funding

DfT invites entries for second round of rail innovation funding

08.09.17: Another tranche of funding worth £7.9m has been made available by DfT this week to help develop modern and innovative approaches to improve the passenger experience across the UK. The next round of cash in the Accelerating Innovation...

Developing a unique export proposition

Developing a unique export proposition

07.09.17: Britain has always been at the forefront of rail engineering and it is important that we maintain this reputation, writes Andy Milner, CEO of Amey and chair of the Exports Leadership Group (ELG). The UK rail industry is a catalyst of innova...

DfT launches consultation to improve transport for disabled passengers

DfT launches consultation to improve transport for disabled passengers

24.08.17: A plan to remove barriers for disabled people to use transport in the UK has today been launched for consultation by the DfT. Among some of the ideas in the draft accessibility action plan are ambitions to improve accessibility toilets on t...

GTR rolls out automatic delay compensation to Southern and Gatwick Express

GTR rolls out automatic delay compensation to Southern and Gatwick Express

24.08.17: Automatic delay repay compensation has now be rolled out to Southern and Gatwick Express passengers, GTR has today stated. Passengers with a Key smartcard will now receive compensation automatically for services that are delayed by 15 minut...

Passengers facing 3.6% rail fare hike from next year

Passengers facing 3.6% rail fare hike from next year

15.08.17: Passengers are set to see an unprecedented rise of 3.6% on regulated rail fares from January 2018, government statistics have today revealed – the largest hike since 2011 and significantly over this year’s 2.3% figure. The Offic...

Passengers paying more for cost of the railway than five years ago

Passengers paying more for cost of the railway than five years ago

14.08.17: Train companies operating margins as a proportion of revenue are now lower than they were when franchising began, statistics released by the Rail Delivery Group have shown. The organisation stated that around 97p of every pound collected fr...

RDG to start roll-out of digital railcards

RDG to start roll-out of digital railcards

08.08.17: A new innovation by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) is set to ensure that passengers will never miss out on a discount from a railcard again, as they will soon be able to store it digitally on their phones. For the first time, passengers will...

Industry leaders commit to creation of complaints Ombudsman

Industry leaders commit to creation of complaints Ombudsman

07.08.17: Industry leading companies have this week voiced their commitment to introducing an independent Ombudsman to investigate and rule on unresolved customer complaints on the UK’s rail network. In a statement, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG...

London passengers left fuming at news of increasing fares

London passengers left fuming at news of increasing fares

19.07.17: An influential transport watchdog has said that commuters in and around London will be left frustrated by the news that national rail fares will rise 2.6% in line with inflation. It follows transport secretary Chris Grayling revealing that...

Lilian Greenwood named new Transport Select Committee chair

Lilian Greenwood named new Transport Select Committee chair

13.07.17: Lilian Greenwood has been narrowly elected as the new chair of the Transport Select Committee in the House of Commons. The MP for Nottingham South fought off competition from four Labour party colleagues – Geraint Davies, Clive Efford...

DfT considers measures to reduce ‘safeguarding’ controls around HS1

DfT considers measures to reduce ‘safeguarding’ controls around HS1

06.07.17: A public consultation to look into lifting development restrictions around the site of HS1 will be opened by the DfT on Monday. The route, which was completed in 2007, runs between London St Pancras and the Channel Tunnel and is protected u...

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Commute times surge by five minutes in past 10 years, with Wales and North East suffering most

13/11/2018Commute times surge by five minutes in past 10 years, with Wales and North East suffering most

Travel times to and from work now take an extra five minutes longer, with rail commuters facing the longest journeys, new analysis shows. In... more >
GWR and SWR owner FirstGroup appoints new CEO as it announces fall in rail profits

13/11/2018GWR and SWR owner FirstGroup appoints new CEO as it announces fall in rail profits

FirstGroup has named Matthew Gregory as its new chief executive as it revealed widening half-year losses and warned about the profitability of it... more >
Andrew Jones returns as rail minister following Jo Johnson’s resignation

13/11/2018Andrew Jones returns as rail minister following Jo Johnson’s resignation

Andrew Jones, MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough, has been appointed as transport minister with responsibility for rail following the resignation... 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

Elizabeth Line: short-term pain for long-term gain?

13/11/2018Elizabeth Line: short-term pain for long-term gain?

Tim Bellenger, director of policy and investigation at London TravelWatch, discusses the deferred opening of the central section of the Elizabeth Line. The announcement on 31 August that the central core section of the Elizabeth Line would not be opening on 9 December was a cause for major dismay and disappointment amongst politicians and... more >
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comment

Challenging the perceptions of rail

13/11/2018Challenging the perceptions of rail

Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Rail Industry Association (RIA) explains how the RIA Rail Fellowship Programme is challenging people’... more >
Data-driven rail

13/11/2018Data-driven rail

Andy Cross, director of Elastacloud, and Lucy Bealing, from the Elastacloud Rail Centre of Excellence, discuss their innovative collaboration wit... more >
Looking ahead to the Williams Review

13/11/2018Looking ahead to the Williams Review

Darren Shirley, chief executive of the Campaign for Better Transport, takes a look at the government’s root and branch review of the rail s... more >
Digital Railway: All change on the ECML

06/11/2018Digital Railway: All change on the ECML

Network Rail route programme director, Toufic Machnouk, explains why only a radically new approach to contracting will deliver a better service f... more >

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interviews

Finding positives in negative short-circuiting devices

09/11/2018Finding positives in negative short-circuiting devices

Sponsored interview  Anything that brings about safety and time-saving benefits is a valued improvement for the rail industry, which is w... more >