Rail franchises operators & contracts

Virgin Trains proposes radical new airline-style model for fare and franchising

Virgin Trains proposes radical new airline-style model for fare and franchising

24.04.19: Virgin Trains has put forward radical new proposals to manage rail services using an airline-style model, abolishing standing on trains and forcing passengers on long-distance journeys to pre-book seats. The train operator wants to introduc...

Rail industry launches new interactive accessibly map for UK rail stations

Rail industry launches new interactive accessibly map for UK rail stations

17.04.19: A new interactive map which lets passengers find out about accessibility at stations has been launched by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) to help boost their confidence in train travel. The ‘Access Map’ has information about all s...

Stagecoach and MPs demand answers in dispute over ‘staggering’ pensions fund deficit and rail franchise controversy

Stagecoach and MPs demand answers in dispute over ‘staggering’ pensions fund deficit and rail franchise controversy

16.04.19: MPs have asked The Pensions Regulator (TPR) to reveal the extent of the “substantial” deficit in the Railways Pensions Scheme and provide an “urgent solution” after Stagecoach threatened legal action over its three spurne...

First of CAF’s new Nova fleet accepted by TPE ahead of rollout across north of England

First of CAF’s new Nova fleet accepted by TPE ahead of rollout across north of England

15.04.19: The first of TransPennine Express’s (TPE) Nova 3 fleet has been officially accepted after completing testing with its manufacturer CAF. The new fleet has been hit by delays due to technical issues and was due to roll out before the en...

Unions and MPs protest TOC’s potential £7.5bn funding gap in ‘deadly serious’ rail pensions row

Unions and MPs protest TOC’s potential £7.5bn funding gap in ‘deadly serious’ rail pensions row

12.04.19: The Pensions Regulator has warned that train operators face a black hole of up to £7.5bn and the RMT has threatened national strike action as the row over rail pensions comes to a head after the DfT blocked Stagecoach’s franchise bid...

Branson says Virgin Trains could be gone by November after ‘baffling’ DfT franchise decision

Branson says Virgin Trains could be gone by November after ‘baffling’ DfT franchise decision

11.04.19: Virgin Trains could disappear from Britain’s railways by the end of the year, Sir Richard Branson has announced after the government disqualified its joint franchise bid with Stagecoach. Branson he was “devastated” by the...

‘Shocked’ Stagecoach disqualified from three rail franchise bids in row over pensions

‘Shocked’ Stagecoach disqualified from three rail franchise bids in row over pensions

10.04.19: Stagecoach has accused ministers of putting the future of the UK rail industry in doubt and said it is “extremely concerned” after the DfT has barred it from three rail franchise bids. The DfT said that Stagecoach’s bids f...

DfT awards East Midlands rail franchise to Abellio

DfT awards East Midlands rail franchise to Abellio

10.04.19: Abellio has won the next East Midlands rail franchise and will take over from Stagecoach in August 2019 until 2027. The DfT announced that the ScotRail operator has been named as the successful bidder “after they presented a strong, c...

Caledonian Sleeper unveil first look inside new £150m fleet

Caledonian Sleeper unveil first look inside new £150m fleet

03.04.19: Caledonian Sleeper has revealed the design and interiors of its new £150m fleet of trains as the service nears its launch at the end of May. The first images from inside the new trains built by CAF have been released, showing the inte...

Wales and Border rail franchise in £200m deal for new metro fleet

Wales and Border rail franchise in £200m deal for new metro fleet

02.04.19: The Wales and Borders rail franchise has received £200m from the financial services giant Legal & General to provide new rolling stock on the south Wales Metro. The funding will see a new Wales and Borders rail fleet replace the c...

Deutsche Bahn to offload rail and bus operator Arriva

Deutsche Bahn to offload rail and bus operator Arriva

29.03.19: Arriva, which runs UK rail franchises including Northern and the London Overground, is to be put up for sale by its owner Deutsche Bahn (DB). The German state rail operator, which has debts of more than €20bn, has begun exploring a sal...

Five Caledonian Sleeper staff quit after reporting for work following drinking sessions

Five Caledonian Sleeper staff quit after reporting for work following drinking sessions

29.03.19: Five Caledonian Sleeper staff have left the operator after they were caught turning up to work after drinking in two separate incidents. The staff, who worked on-board the new sleeper services between London and Scotland, were suspended fol...

‘Unacceptable’: Northern’s extra half-hourly trains from Cheshire to Manchester delayed for second time

‘Unacceptable’: Northern’s extra half-hourly trains from Cheshire to Manchester delayed for second time

27.03.19: The introduction of two additional train services between Cheshire and Manchester every hour has been postponed for the second time, according to the DfT. Northern promised half-hourly train services on the Mid-Cheshire Line in its bid for...

Transport secretary threatens ScotRail with franchise termination if it misses improvement targets

Transport secretary threatens ScotRail with franchise termination if it misses improvement targets

27.03.19: The Scottish transport secretary has warned ScotRail could be stripped of its franchise if it fails to meet the targets of its remedial plan as the operator’s managing director tells MSPs that services could get worse. Under-fire trai...

The vision of England's Economic Heartland's Strategic Transport Forum

The vision of England's Economic Heartland's Strategic Transport Forum

26.03.19: Dave Hodgson, elected mayor of Bedford Borough Council and chair of England’s Economic Heartland’s Strategic Transport Forum, sets out his vision for the future of rail in light of the Rail Review, whilst highlighting the economic si...

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Siemens submits plans to build £200m train manufacturing site in East Yorkshire

24/04/2019Siemens submits plans to build £200m train manufacturing site in East Yorkshire

Planning applications for a £200m rail manufacturing site in Goole, East Yorkshire have been submitted by Siemens. The ‘train fa... more >
Virgin Trains proposes radical new airline-style model for fare and franchising

24/04/2019Virgin Trains proposes radical new airline-style model for fare and franchising

Virgin Trains has put forward radical new proposals to manage rail services using an airline-style model, abolishing standing on trains and forci... more >
TfL commissioner urged to quit after downplaying Crossrail ‘tragedy’

24/04/2019TfL commissioner urged to quit after downplaying Crossrail ‘tragedy’

Transport for London’s (TfL) chief commissioner has been told to consider resigning after he “watered down” key messages betwee... 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

West Midlands Rail Executive’s Malcolm Holmes on the 30 year Rail Investment Strategy and working with Midlands Connect

08/04/2019West Midlands Rail Executive’s Malcolm Holmes on the 30 year Rail Investment Strategy and working with Midlands Connect

Malcolm Holmes, Chief Executive of the West Midlands Rail Executive, joins us to discuss the 30-year Rail Investment Strategy, and how he and his team are working closely with Midlands Connect to deliver on uplifting capacity and bettering services for people across the region ahead of TCR Midlands 2019. What do your roles as Ex... more >
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Changing the London skyline with HS2

26/03/2019Changing the London skyline with HS2

Lisa Hogben, HS2 programme delivery manager for area south enabling works, explains how the arrival of HS2’s first tower cranes shows chang... more >
Picking up the pace with high-speed track handovers

26/03/2019Picking up the pace with high-speed track handovers

In 2018 Steve Featherstone, programme director of track at Network Rail, set his team a challenge to secure 100 high-speed track handovers in a y... more >
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 >

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interviews

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 >