Rail franchises operators & contracts

RMT announces further 24-hour strike on Northern and Merseyrail

RMT announces further 24-hour strike on Northern and Merseyrail

16.02.18: Further strike action on Merseyrail and Northern has been confirmed by RMT, whose members will strike for 24 hours on 3 March as part of a long-running dispute over driver-only operation (DOO). RMT general secretary, Mick Cash, claimed that eve...

SWR plans to run full service despite weekend-long RMT strike

SWR plans to run full service despite weekend-long RMT strike

15.02.18: South Western Railway (SWR) says it plans to run a full service over the upcoming weekend despite the RMT’s planned four-day strike. The union has confirmed that action will go ahead amid ongoing disputes about the safety of trains ru...

Government releases £3.6m fund for ‘new ideas and high value innovations’

Government releases £3.6m fund for ‘new ideas and high value innovations’

15.02.18: The government has revealed details of 10 projects which will receive a share of £3.6m as part of plans to support new innovations in the rail sector. Among the winning bids are projects aimed at improving the design of carriages to i...

SWR facing ORR investigation for providing passengers with incorrect service info

SWR facing ORR investigation for providing passengers with incorrect service info

14.02.18: The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has written to South Western Railway (SWR) to outline “serious concerns” over its compliance with the conditions of its passenger licence. In a letter to the TOC’s managing director, Andy Mell...

Union calls for government intervention after near-£1bn TfL deficit revealed

Union calls for government intervention after near-£1bn TfL deficit revealed

13.02.18: The RMT has urged the government to reverse plans to cut grant funding for TfL after it was discovered that the company could suffer from a budget deficit of nearly £1bn in 2018-19. The news comes after the Financial Times revealed de...

Inquiry launched into third East Coast franchise failure in 10 years

Inquiry launched into third East Coast franchise failure in 10 years

12.02.18: The transport committee has today officially launched its inquiry into the “imminent failure” of the Intercity East Coast rail franchise. This will be the third collapse of a commercial franchise agreement on this part of the railwa...

Stagecoach and Virgin awarded West Coast extension despite East Coast failure

Stagecoach and Virgin awarded West Coast extension despite East Coast failure

06.02.18: The transport secretary has this week confirmed a two-year extension to the Virgin Trains West Coast contract despite admitting the East Coast franchise, run by the same two companies, is months from collapse. Chris Grayling said the decisi...

Grayling: East Coast franchise could fail within months

Grayling: East Coast franchise could fail within months

06.02.18: The Virgin Trains East Coast franchise has cost majority-owners Stagecoach £200m and could be only “a small number of months” from collapse. Appearing in parliament this week, transport secretary Chris Grayling told minist...

Weekend strikes to hit South Western over DOO row

Weekend strikes to hit South Western over DOO row

05.02.18: South Western Railway will be hit by strike action from 16 February as part of the ongoing dispute over the role of the guard and driver-only operation (DOO), the RMT has confirmed. From midnight on 16 February until midnight on 20 February, gu...

Strike action on GTR has cost taxpayers £22m to date

Strike action on GTR has cost taxpayers £22m to date

16.01.18: Industrial action on Southern, Great Northern and Thameslink services to date has cost £22.2m in losses to the farebox, the government has this week revealed. Jointly run under the GTR franchise, the loss was disclosed by rail ministe...

Govia services blasted by customers in latest survey

Govia services blasted by customers in latest survey

16.01.18: GTR’s services made up two of the bottom three in this year’s annual Which? passenger survey, with the other spot taken by South Eastern, also run by Govia. Southern Rail finished bottom of the ranking for the third year running...

GTR forks out £15m in compensation claims in 2016-17 as total payouts exceed £73m

GTR forks out £15m in compensation claims in 2016-17 as total payouts exceed £73m

08.01.18: Passenger compensation claims exceeded £73m in 2016-17, the latest figures from the DfT have revealed. The total compensation paid for delayed journeys and discretionary compensation following complaints has increased by £29m since...

Branson heaps major criticism on NR for end of East Coast franchise

Branson heaps major criticism on NR for end of East Coast franchise

05.01.18: Sir Richard Branson has hit out at Network Rail after the decision to end the Virgin Trains East Coast franchise in 2020 was heavily criticised, with some commentators referring to it as a ‘bailout.’ The Virgin founder said endi...

ScotRail to trial hydraulic tech to cut carbon emissions

ScotRail to trial hydraulic tech to cut carbon emissions

22.12.17: A new hydraulic pump could reduce Scotland’s carbon emissions by 4,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. The digital pump, which is being used by ScotRail, will initially be trialled on a standard commuter train. Most modern diesel tr...

RMT and TSSA cancel five days of Virgin West Coast strikes

RMT and TSSA cancel five days of Virgin West Coast strikes

22.12.17: The RMT and TSSA unions have cancelled planned strikes today and throughout January on Virgin and Virgin West Coast services after coming to an agreement with the operator. Initially the industrial action was scheduled for today, 22 Decembe...

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latest rail news

First Vivarail production train enters final build stage

23/02/2018First Vivarail production train enters final build stage

After a period of radio silence, Vivarail has announced that its long-awaited battery D-Train is in its final build stage and will be in passenger ... more >
Amey manager appointed as TfN’s permanent NPR director

23/02/2018Amey manager appointed as TfN’s permanent NPR director

Transport for the North (TfN) has announced the appointment of its new Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) director. Tim Wood has already successfull... more >
Array of Thameslink failures mean there are ‘critical tests looming’ for HS2

23/02/2018Array of Thameslink failures mean there are ‘critical tests looming’ for HS2

Despite its progress, the Thameslink Programme still faces substantial challenges that must be addressed to ensure successful delivery – an... 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

Big Rail Diversity Challenge 2018: Exciting details announced

09/02/2018Big Rail Diversity Challenge 2018: Exciting details announced

The first details of this year’s Big Rail Diversity Challenge have been revealed and it’s safe to say the 2018 edition is set to be more thrilling than ever. Last year saw the RTM team attend the second edition in what is quickly becoming Women in Rail’s flagship event, where teams with a 50/50 gender split compete in a ... more >
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comment

NCHSR: The possibilities are limitless

06/02/2018NCHSR: The possibilities are limitless

The National College for High Speed Rail (NCHSR) has been gifted with a brand-new lab dedicated to surveying and scanning technologies designed t... more >
Keeping Britain's railway on track

06/02/2018Keeping Britain's railway on track

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, argues investment in track maintenance and rail infrastructure is fundam... more >
The Intelligent Infrastructure approach

06/02/2018The Intelligent Infrastructure approach

Network Rail is seeking to improve asset management whilst cutting down on expenditure by implementing a new Intelligent Infrastructure programme... more >
Project Aura: Changing the game

02/02/2018Project Aura: Changing the game

Paul Boyle, head of ERTMS at Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC), describes how Project Aura has been revolutionising training across the organisatio... more >

rail industry focus

  • 08/12/2017A game changer for Midland Metro

    The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) updates RTM’s Luana Salles on the latest projects taking place across the growing Midland Metro...
  • 09/11/2017Testing tomorrow's technology today

    David Brazier, site manager and area sales manager for the UK & Ireland at OMICRON electronics, tells RTM’s Luana Salles about the major...
  • 09/11/2017What next for safety?

    As rail businesses edge towards their target of zero injuries, improving safety performance can plateau. Amey’s sector director for rail, Lee...
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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 >