Fares, rail policy and DfT news

DfT refuses to revisit scrapped electrification: ‘We will remain agnostic on solutions’

DfT refuses to revisit scrapped electrification: ‘We will remain agnostic on solutions’

19.09.18: Lilian Greenwood, chair of the Transport Committee, has urged Chris Grayling to take her work seriously after receiving what she considered to be a thoroughly disappointing response from the government to an in-depth infrastructure investigation...

DfT launches second round of £3.5m rail innovations competition

DfT launches second round of £3.5m rail innovations competition

19.09.18: Innovative ideas that transform experiences for rail passengers could receive a slice from a new £3.5m funding pot as part of a new government announcement made today. Rail minister Jo Johnson announced the First of a Kind competition...

TfN appoints single leader to oversee both infrastructure and operations in the north

TfN appoints single leader to oversee both infrastructure and operations in the north

18.09.18: Transport for the North (TfN) has announced that Richard George has been appointed by government to oversee both infrastructure and train operations in the region. George, who has extensive rail industry experience, will liaise with TfN in...

£700,000 spent with consultancy firm over Police Scotland and BTP merger

£700,000 spent with consultancy firm over Police Scotland and BTP merger

11.09.18: Nearly £700,000 has been spent by Police Scotland with a private consultancy firm as part of the controversial plans to merge the British Transport Police (BTP) in Scotland with its national force. However, the proposed plans— w...

Go-Ahead blames timetable fiasco on ‘industry failure’ as firm set to pay out millions

Go-Ahead blames timetable fiasco on ‘industry failure’ as firm set to pay out millions

06.09.18: The operator of Southern and Thameslink has revealed it expects to pay out “millions” in compensation to passengers affected by its May timetable chaos. The Go-Ahead Group said it is contacting tens of thousands of affected cust...

Rail fares set to rise by 3.2%, Grayling angers unions with calls for lower inflation

Rail fares set to rise by 3.2%, Grayling angers unions with calls for lower inflation

15.08.18: Train fares in the UK will rise 3.2% in January 2019, the government has confirmed – marginally below the expected 3.5%. This increase is less than the 3.6% rise introduced this January, which was the steepest in five years, but has s...

Deliver NPR by 2032 and invest £100bn in northern transport by 2050, MPs demand

Deliver NPR by 2032 and invest £100bn in northern transport by 2050, MPs demand

02.08.18: A cross-party group of MPs have written to the chancellor calling for £100bn of investment to transform the north of England’s transport by 2050. The letter welcomed the Treasury’s “ongoing commitment to deal with th...

Most overcrowded services revealed as passenger numbers plummet

Most overcrowded services revealed as passenger numbers plummet

24.07.18: The most overcrowded train services in England and Wales have been revealed by the DfT today. Services running to and from London were by far the most crowded in the country: nine out of 10 of the most overcrowded services in spring 2017 we...

Transforming the Welsh railway

Transforming the Welsh railway

24.07.18: Colin Lea, mobilisation director of rail services at Transport for Wales (TfW), takes a look at the promising future of the refreshed Wales and Borders franchise. TfW, a not-for-profit company owned by the Welsh Government, has developed wh...

Higgins urges Grayling to make decision on Yorkshire HS2 parkway station

Higgins urges Grayling to make decision on Yorkshire HS2 parkway station

19.07.18: HS2 Ltd’s outgoing chairman, Sir David Higgins, has urged the government to make a decision on proposals to create a parkway station on the high-speed line to serve the South Yorkshire areas as a whole. In a major report released toda...

Rail fares must be simplified if HS2 is to ‘raise the bar’ as promised

Rail fares must be simplified if HS2 is to ‘raise the bar’ as promised

19.07.18: Railway fares must be simplified if HS2 is to bring a step change to the way passengers travel on the network, argued Sir David Higgins. Writing in a major new report, HS2 Ltd’s outgoing chairman said fares must become simpler and eas...

HS2 will be on par with Japan’s punctual bullet train, with issues ‘designed out of the system’

HS2 will be on par with Japan’s punctual bullet train, with issues ‘designed out of the system’

19.07.18: HS2 Ltd has promised that the mammoth project connecting London to the Midlands and the north will transform the country’s travel in the same way that the world’s first-ever high-speed rail line – Japan’s Tōkaidō Shinkans...

DfT said East Coast bid was ‘low-risk’ despite very ambitious growth targets

DfT said East Coast bid was ‘low-risk’ despite very ambitious growth targets

17.07.18: Stagecoach and Virgin’s original bid for the failed Intercity East Coast franchise was “ambitious” and not fully believed by the DfT to succeed, MPs have been told. Speaking to the Commons Transport Select Committee yester...

Up north: a long-term strategy

Up north: a long-term strategy

17.07.18: Until April, David Hoggarth was director of Rail North. Now, after the amalgamation of Rail North with subnational body Transport for the North (TfN), he is the latter’s strategic rail director. Here, he talks about the importance of a lon...

Timetable chaos: Rail industry ‘lacks courage’ to say no to impossible demands

Timetable chaos: Rail industry ‘lacks courage’ to say no to impossible demands

13.07.18: The rail industry needs to pluck up the courage to say no to others instead of trying to accommodate every single stakeholder demand – and then failing to deliver on these expectations, rail veteran Chris Gibb has said. Gibb, who chai...

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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 >