Fares, rail policy and DfT news

MPs launch Rail Ombudsman Bill following Southern disruption

MPs launch Rail Ombudsman Bill following Southern disruption

21.12.16: MPs have called for an Ombudsman to oversee the rail industry following the chaos on Southern Rail. Southern services have been severely delayed throughout the year, ultimately forcing it to cancel all trains last week because of an Aslef d...

ORR pushes for ‘next level’ compensation focus as some TOCs making minimal changes

ORR pushes for ‘next level’ compensation focus as some TOCs making minimal changes

20.12.16: Some TOCs have displayed more progress than others in making it easier for passengers to claim compensation for delays, the ORR has said – and all companies should now “move to the next level” by boosting the number of channels...

Plan to tackle complex ticketing system unveiled, but ‘wider reforms still needed’

Plan to tackle complex ticketing system unveiled, but ‘wider reforms still needed’

14.12.16: Buying train tickets will be made easier under a set of reforms promised today by the DfT, in partnership with the Rail Delivery Group (RDG). The action plan, developed in partnership with Transport Focus and consumer group Which?, commits...

Councils publish plans for Transport for the South East statutory body

Councils publish plans for Transport for the South East statutory body

13.12.16: The South East is seeking to gain its own executive transport body, newly released board papers reveal. Papers from an East Sussex County Council board meeting say that plans for Transport for the South East (TfSE) are developing “in...

Innocent fare-dodgers will be able to appeal to new independent body

Innocent fare-dodgers will be able to appeal to new independent body

12.12.16: Passengers fined for fare-dodging will be able to make an appeal to an independent body, rail minister Paul Maynard has announced. The DfT promised the new body would be independent of train operating companies and their financial owners. ...

Grayling admits DfT did not evaluate East West Rail privatisation benefits

Grayling admits DfT did not evaluate East West Rail privatisation benefits

08.12.16: Transport secretary Chris Grayling has admitted that the DfT did not carry out a thorough evaluation of the time and cost benefits of privatising the new route between Oxford and Cambridge, despite the major decision marking the first time since...

Grayling to reveal plans for fully privatised railway line

Grayling to reveal plans for fully privatised railway line

06.12.16: Under proposals drawn up by transport secretary Chris Grayling, the new route between Oxford and Cambridge will not be developed by Network Rail but instead by a new East West Rail organisation, who will also operate train services on the line. ...

Maynard outlines plans to move rail investment to Innovate UK

Maynard outlines plans to move rail investment to Innovate UK

06.12.16: Investment in innovation across rail development could be transferred from the DfT to Innovate UK, the government’s innovation agency. Speaking at the Future of Rail conference on Friday, rail minister Paul Maynard said he was looking...

Network Rail set to lose monopoly over rail tracks

Network Rail set to lose monopoly over rail tracks

05.12.16: Network Rail’s sole control over Britain’s railway infrastructure will be stripped and shared with train operators in an attempt to cut down on delays and lower fares, the government is set to announce. Transport secretary Chris...

DfT reveals Southern passengers to be paid a month’s compensation

DfT reveals Southern passengers to be paid a month’s compensation

02.12.16: Passengers on Southern Rail will be repaid the equivalent of a month’s worth of fares after a year of unprecedented disruption, the DfT has revealed. Passengers who hold a season ticket will be eligible to claim against it and will re...

Train fares set to rise by average of 2.3% next year

Train fares set to rise by average of 2.3% next year

02.12.16: Train fares in Britain will go up by an average of 2.3% from 2 January next year, the rail industry has announced. The increase covers both regulated fares such as season tickets, which account for 40% of all train journeys, and unregulated...

Northern leaders call for clarity on NPR in Autumn Statement

Northern leaders call for clarity on NPR in Autumn Statement

22.11.16: Chancellor Philip Hammond has been urged to make Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) a top priority and clarify when it will be delivered in tomorrow’s Autumn Statement. Mayoral candidates and council leaders representing the north’s...

GTR to produce report on feasibility of flexible ticketing

GTR to produce report on feasibility of flexible ticketing

21.11.16: Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) will produce a report on the feasibility of “innovative flexible ticket types” throughout the franchise, the transport minister said today. Answering a written question from Baroness Randerson, the...

Chancellor urged to focus on small rail improvements in Autumn Statement

Chancellor urged to focus on small rail improvements in Autumn Statement

18.11.16: Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) has urged the chancellor to use the Autumn Statement to invest in small and local rail projects. The pressure group’s submission to the statement, which will be made on 23 November, was focused on t...

TOCs will now have to monitor passenger compensation awareness

TOCs will now have to monitor passenger compensation awareness

17.11.16: Four months after the ORR promised to continue its drive to improve compensation, the DfT has revealed it will monitor rail franchisees to check that they are keeping passengers informed of their right to compensation. The department publis...

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Grayling gives green light to Network Rail ECML improvements

13/08/2018Grayling gives green light to Network Rail ECML improvements

Plans to improve the East Coast Main Line (ECML) have been given the go-ahead by the transport secretary as part of Network Rail’s Railway ... more >
Rail fare rise on the way as mayors call for cost freeze in the north

13/08/2018Rail fare rise on the way as mayors call for cost freeze in the north

Two north-west mayors have called for a freeze on rail fares in the north after national fees on networks are set to rise by 3.5% next year. ... more >
Ex-Carillion boss to take over £2.5bn Balfour Beatty Vinci HS2 contracts

10/08/2018Ex-Carillion boss to take over £2.5bn Balfour Beatty Vinci HS2 contracts

The former boss of Carillion’s UK infrastructure business is set to take over Balfour Beatty Vinci to lead its HS2 joint venture. Mark... 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

A radical solution to the employment crisis

24/07/2018A radical solution to the employment crisis

Peter Cayless, founder and creative director at Working Eye, talks about an innovative solution to employment in the rail industry that might just help transform careers advice into career discovery. At the 2012 Latitude Festival, comedian Shappi Khorsandi joked that rather than book a clown for their daughter’s birthday party, pare... more >
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Passengers at the heart of Thameslink

31/07/2018Passengers at the heart of Thameslink

As Thameslink launches a new timetable, Richard Freeston-Clough, operations and communications officer at London TravelWatch, looks back at the w... more >
Customers want more rail freight

31/07/2018Customers want more rail freight

Philippa Edmunds, Freight on Rail manager at the Campaign for Better Transport, makes a socioeconomic case for continued investment not only in t... more >
Freight for the Borderlands' untapped potential

31/07/2018Freight for the Borderlands' untapped potential

John Stevenson, MP for Carlisle and the government’s Borderlands Deal Champion, discusses the untapped potential for growth in the Borderla... more >
British manufacturing in buoyant demand for steel

31/07/2018British manufacturing in buoyant demand for steel

Roger Neary, head of logistics sales at DB Cargo UK, discusses the rail freight company’s £6m expansion of its steel warehousing faci... more >

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interviews

Transforming travel in the north west

06/02/2018Transforming travel in the north west

RTM’s Josh Mines talks to Robin Davis, head of new trains at TransPennine Express (TPE), about the huge rolling stock change journey the co... more >