Rail franchises operators & contracts

Our responsibility to shape a more diverse rail industry

Our responsibility to shape a more diverse rail industry

04.06.19: Angie Doll, passenger services director for Southern and Gatwick Express, outlines Govia Thameslink Railway’s (GTR) role in diversifying and inspiring the next generation of the rail sector’s workforce. At GTR, we have embarked...

Arriva Rail becomes second operator to sue DfT over East Midlands franchise

Arriva Rail becomes second operator to sue DfT over East Midlands franchise

13.05.19: Arriva Rail has launched legal action against the DfT over its handling of the East Midlands rail franchise, the second operator in a week to sue the government. Arriva, owned by Germany’s state-backed Deutsche Bahn, is suing the gove...

The railway franchising model is broken, and passengers are paying the price

The railway franchising model is broken, and passengers are paying the price

13.05.19: Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch and chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), gives her view on the state of the UK’s rail franchising structure. The PAC has repeatedly raised concerns about the current franchisin...

5G: An opportunity to revolutionise on-train connectivity

5G: An opportunity to revolutionise on-train connectivity

13.05.19: Simon Holmes, group head of digital (engineering) at FirstGroup, introduces us to the 5G solution being delivered for the rail sector.  FirstGroup and its partners are excited to be close to delivering a viable 5G millimetre Wave (mmWa...

Council backs plans for £100m global centre of rail excellence in Wales

Council backs plans for £100m global centre of rail excellence in Wales

10.05.19: A £100m train testing site on the border of Neath Port Talbot and Powys has taken a major step forward after the local council voted to approve the joint venture. Neath Port Talbot Council leader Rob Jones called it an “importan...

Stagecoach launches legal action against government over rail franchise disqualification

Stagecoach launches legal action against government over rail franchise disqualification

09.05.19: Stagecoach has taken legal action against the DfT over its decision to disqualify the operator from the East Midlands rail franchise. The railway operator claims the government has “breached its statutory duties” in its decision...

First new driverless Subway trains arrive in Glasgow for testing

First new driverless Subway trains arrive in Glasgow for testing

07.05.19: The first of Glasgow’s new subway fleet has arrived in Scotland and begun an intensive testing programme in preparation for their launch as the first driverless trains in the UK. Operator Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) ca...

Stagecoach says it was disqualified because it rejected £1.6bn rail pensions risk

Stagecoach says it was disqualified because it rejected £1.6bn rail pensions risk

03.05.19: Stagecoach has said it was disqualified from three rail franchise competitions because it refused to accept a pensions risk “well in excess of £1bn.” The transport group has said projections offered by the DfT were “...

RAIB releases safety report after dog killed in train dispatch accident

RAIB releases safety report after dog killed in train dispatch accident

01.05.19: The RAIB has made safety recommendations to a train operator and the Rail Delivery Group after a train dispatch accident resulted in the death of a dog. A passenger and her dog were exiting a train at Elstree and Borehamwood station in Sept...

Ditch franchising model and put organising body in charge, says rail industry

Ditch franchising model and put organising body in charge, says rail industry

30.04.19: The rail industry has called for an end to the current franchising model in favour of multiple operators on mass-commuter routes and for a new independent body to be put in charge of the sector. In its submission to the Williams review, the...

Caledonian Sleeper launches new £150m train fleet, first service over three hours late

Caledonian Sleeper launches new £150m train fleet, first service over three hours late

29.04.19: Caledonian Sleeper has officially launched its new £150m fleet of trains, with the new carriages making their debut overnight on Sunday between London and Glasgow/Edinburgh, but the first service arrived three hours and 20 minutes late. ...

ScotRail’s new Hitachi Class 385 trains launched into service on Shotts line

ScotRail’s new Hitachi Class 385 trains launched into service on Shotts line

25.04.19: ScotRail has introduced its new Hitachi Class 385 trains onto the Edinburgh to Glasgow via Shotts line, meaning the electric trains are now running on all five routes between the two cities. Following the completion of Network Rail’s...

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

Virgin Trains proposes radical new airline-style model for fares 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...

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Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

13/06/2019Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

The storm-battered Dawlish rail line could be “moved out to sea” and away from the “hazard” of the cliffs under new plans... more >
TfL awards contract for new DLR fleet to replace 30-year-old trains

12/06/2019TfL awards contract for new DLR fleet to replace 30-year-old trains

TfL has awarded a contract for 43 new trains to replace the oldest rolling stock on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), with the first scheduled t... more >
Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... 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

Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

05/06/2019Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

In a series of Q&A’s with key speakers on the run up to TransCityRail Midlands, we caught up with TransCityRail panellist and Amey’s commercial account director, Anna Delvecchio, for her insight into what the Rail Sector Deal means for the rail industry and its supply chain. Anna started her career as an apprentice at the age o... more >
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Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >
Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

10/06/2019Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

Malcolm Holmes, executive director of the West Midlands Rail Executive, described the new stations set to be built for the Black Country region o... more >
The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

10/06/2019The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

Richard Turner, head of apprenticeships at Network Rail, details the reasons for growing apprenticeship demand in the rail sector over the coming... more >
A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

10/06/2019A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

Chris Hobson, director of policy and external affairs at the East Midlands Chamber, talks in detail about what travelling through the region will... more >

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interviews

Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >