Fares, rail policy and DfT news

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...

Budget update: £291m for London’s DLR and boost for Transforming Cities Fund

Budget update: £291m for London’s DLR and boost for Transforming Cities Fund

30.10.18: The chancellor Phillip Hammond yesterday announced a boost in funding for London’s Docklands Light Railway and the Transforming Cities Fund. The DLR will receive £291m from the Housing Infrastructure Fund for support of essentia...

Grayling's review can get rail devolution back on track

Grayling's review can get rail devolution back on track

30.10.18: Jonathan Bray, director of the Urban Transport Group, states that the government rail sector review offers the opportunity to put control of the railways back where it belongs. Last month, the government launched what it called a ‘roo...

Budget: Hammond announces £37m for NPR and £20m for EWR

Budget: Hammond announces £37m for NPR and £20m for EWR

29.10.18: The Chancellor Phillip Hammond has today announced additional funding for the Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) and East-West Rail (EWR) projects. NPR, which will connect cities across the north of England, will receive £37m; and the EWR...

Rail industry leaders reveal the extent of damage of ‘boom and bust’ funding

Rail industry leaders reveal the extent of damage of ‘boom and bust’ funding

23.10.18: Industry leaders have revealed the damage caused by ‘boom and bust’ rail funding, hitting business’s recruitment, investment and SME’s. Ninety-nine per cent of the 120 senior executives questioned in a survey, carrie...

Grayling agrees ‘hybrid approach’ for December timetable shake-up to avoid more chaos

Grayling agrees ‘hybrid approach’ for December timetable shake-up to avoid more chaos

19.10.18: Transport secretary Chris Grayling has agreed to proceed with a proposed ‘hybrid option’ for timetable changes this December, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has revealed. In a written submission to the Transport Committee’s...

Burnham: The north needs to move to ‘front of the queue’ for transport investment

Burnham: The north needs to move to ‘front of the queue’ for transport investment

08.10.18: The mayor of Greater Manchester has said that the north of England needs to move to “the front of the queue” for prioritisation of transport investment in order to take advantage of investment in the region. Speaking exclusively...

Progress on East West Rail project will allow building to begin next year

Progress on East West Rail project will allow building to begin next year

08.10.18: Progress on enabling works for the East West Rail (EWR) line are near completion, with the transport secretary arguing the new rail line between Oxford and Cambridge will “transform” travel for passengers. Transport secretary Ch...

Rail standards to stay even in case of ‘no-deal’ Brexit, RSSB confirms

Rail standards to stay even in case of ‘no-deal’ Brexit, RSSB confirms

05.10.18: Regardless of whether the government strikes a Brexit deal or not, the standards and protocols designed to promote safety across all EU railways will remain in place after the UK leaves the European Union, the RSSB has confirmed. The standa...

West Yorkshire to receive share of £840m funding to upgrade key rail connections

West Yorkshire to receive share of £840m funding to upgrade key rail connections

28.09.18: West Yorkshire Combined Authority has secured funding for upgrading connections to eight of its rail stations after Theresa May announced that the authority will receive a share of a £840m transport fund. The Department for Transport...

Northern to launch extended compensation scheme for regular travellers

Northern to launch extended compensation scheme for regular travellers

24.09.18: Northern has launched an extended compensation scheme to include regular travellers who don’t hold season tickets following the major disruption passengers had to endure in the summer. Transport for the North (TfN) has been working wi...

Government rejects claims of transport spending ‘regional imbalance’

Government rejects claims of transport spending ‘regional imbalance’

20.09.18: The Transport Committee has urged the DfT to “be more specific about the economic rebalancing effects it intends to achieve” in regards to regions of the UK – such as the north east and south west ...

Major 2019 rail review led by BA boss will ‘leave no stone unturned’

Major 2019 rail review led by BA boss will ‘leave no stone unturned’

20.09.18: In response to the May timetable disruptions and longstanding concerns over what has been repeatedly branded a “broken” franchising system, the government has decided to formally launch a comprehensive review of the rail industry in...

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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 >