Latest Rail News


New Hitachi 385s to replace ScotRail’s ‘happy trains’

18.03.19: ScotRail has confirmed that it is withdrawing its Class 365 ‘happy trains’ fleet and replacing them with new Hitachi Class 385s. The train operator said the new Class 385s will be introduced on the newly electrified Central Belt... more >

£200m Edinburgh tram extension given green light despite criticism for ‘arrogant’ plans of ‘unknown financial risk’

15.03.19: Councillors have rubber-stamped £207m plans to extend Edinburgh’s tram line from the city centre to Newhaven despite major criticism over the project’s rising costs and the disruptions it could cause. Edinburgh City Counci... more >

Rail industry urges government rethink to deliver rail electrification at half the costs

15.03.19: The cost of rail electrification projects could be slashed by as much 50%, the Railway Industry Association (RIA) has revealed as it urges the government to review and renew its electrification programme. The RIA has called on ministers to... more >

Safety warning issued after runaway road-rail vehicle raises concerns over brake maintenance and ‘inadequate supervision’

15.03.19: The RAIB has issued new safety recommendations after a road rail vehicle (RRV) ran downhill and out of control along a track for 340 metres. During works at Bradford Interchange station, a mobile elevating working platform ran away whilst i... more >

Network Rail reveals winner of final track works contract worth £1.5bn

14.03.19: Network Rail has announced Balfour Beatty as the preferred bidder to carry out track upgrades across central England for the next decade in a contract worth an estimated £1.5bn. The contract covers the delivery of a wide-ranging progr... more >

New electric ‘very light rail’ vehicle planned for Coventry

14.03.19: Engineers have unveiled plans for a battery-powered, lightweight, ‘very light rail’ vehicle to operate in Coventry. A 3D simulation of the innovative light rail vehicle has been developed by engineers and researchers at WMG, Uni... more >

GTR fined record £5m for ‘persistent and prolonged failures’ in May timetable chaos

14.03.19: Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has been fined a record £5m for its role in last year’s May timetable chaos. The ORR criticised the train operator for “persistent and prolonged failures” in informing passengers as the... more >

West Midlands unveils new May rail timetable

13.03.19: More direct services, greater capacity and extra evening and weekend services have been promised as West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway launch their new timetable for May 2019. The train operators have revealed a raft of c... more >

Liverpool mayor announces commission into new high-speed city centre rail station

13.03.19: A commission to deliver a new station in Liverpool city centre to connect the region to HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) has been unveiled by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. Metro mayor Steve Rotherham announced the creation... more >

DB Cargo fined £2.7m as electrocuted boy suffers ‘life-changing injuries’

13.03.19: DB Cargo UK has been fined £2.7m after a 13-year-old boy suffered “life-changing injuries” at a Tyneside depot, with the rail firm found guilty of “systematic failings.” The boy had to have both of his legs amp... more >

Are you an apprentice or provider in the rail industry? We want to hear from you…

13.03.19: Last week was National Apprenticeship Week (NAW), celebrating the positive impact apprenticeships make not just on the individual apprentices themselves, but also the companies and wider economy and industry they serve in. The theme this ye... more >

Proposals for direct Perth to Edinburgh train link to be considered by Transport Scotland

12.03.19: Transport Scotland has confirmed it will look into proposals to introduce a direct rail link between Edinburgh and Perth. Rail bosses said it they would consider the transport links between the two Scottish cities as part of an upcoming rev... more >

Bradford launches NPR growth strategy in bid to become ‘catalyst’ for northern economy

12.03.19: Bradford’s Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) Growth Strategy has been unveiled, setting out the city’s economic, social, and inclusive growth plans across Bradford and the north. The strategy covers six main areas, and outlines how... more >

Rail Alliance and University of Birmingham announce union to ‘co-create the railway of the future’

12.03.19: The Rail Alliance and the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) have announced a formal integration between the two organisations. The combined services of the two rail organisations will “set out a powerful new... more >

Delivering innovation through collaboration with Rambus

12.03.19: Russell McCullagh, vice president and general manager of ticketing at Rambus, tells more on the company’s collaboration with Worldline to advance opportunities in the smart-ticketing sector. In January, Rambus announced the expansion... more >

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Government’s role in new passenger-centric railway ‘will have to change’, says Williams Review lead

21/03/2019Government’s role in new passenger-centric railway ‘will have to change’, says Williams Review lead

The man leading the Williams Rail Review has warned that the government’s role in the UK railways “will have to change” as the ... more >
Government promises to look ‘very carefully’ at £218m bid for second Chelmsford station

21/03/2019Government promises to look ‘very carefully’ at £218m bid for second Chelmsford station

The government will look “very carefully” at a £218m funding bid for a new railway station in Chelmsford, Theresa May has said.... more >
Carillion-bound boss appointed to lead Kier

20/03/2019Carillion-bound boss appointed to lead Kier

Kier has appointed Andrew Davies as its new chief executive, two months after the building contractor ousted Hayden Mursell on the back of debt i... 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 >

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Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

12/03/2019Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

RTM sits down with Samantha Smith, sole female member of the TransPennine Route Upgrade Alliance Leadership Team, to find out more about encourag... 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 >
Exclusive: Midlands Connect and WMRE talk collaboration and investment in the Midlands' railway

22/01/2019Exclusive: Midlands Connect and WMRE talk collaboration and investment in the Midlands' railway

In the jigsaw puzzle of regional transport decision-making, there must be collaboration and compromise. Midlands Connect media lead James Bovill ... 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. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

The West Midlands 30-year strategy

19/03/2019The West Midlands 30-year strategy

Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE), outlines the West Midlands Rail Investment Strategy 2018-2047. Th... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


26-30 Railcard: taking advantage of opportunities

19/03/201926-30 Railcard: taking advantage of opportunities

After a nine-month national trial, the rail industry launched its seventh National Railcard for 26-30-year-olds on 2 January 2019. Rail Delivery ... more >
Caledonian Sleeper: a railway icon re-imagined

19/03/2019Caledonian Sleeper: a railway icon re-imagined

The world-renowned Caledonian Sleeper, due to begin operations at the end of spring 2019, completed its first Scotland to London journey earlier ... more >
East West Rail: the next steps

19/03/2019East West Rail: the next steps

In January, five route options for the central section of East West Rail were published as part of a public consultation on the next phase of the... more >
Rail's role in transit-orientated developments

19/03/2019Rail's role in transit-orientated developments

Jonathan Bray, director at the Urban Transport Group (UTG), argues that transit-oriented developments are the future – and that rail has a ... more >