Rail franchises operators & contracts

Five new platforms for Waterloo station as old Eurostar terminal reopens

Five new platforms for Waterloo station as old Eurostar terminal reopens

11.12.18: The former Eurostar terminal at Waterloo station has been reopened for the first time in 12 years, bringing five new platforms to the Britain’s busiest railway station. Platforms 20 to 22 at Waterloo have been opened to the public, an...

May timetable crisis: GTR hit with government profit sanctions and told to spend £15m on improvements

May timetable crisis: GTR hit with government profit sanctions and told to spend £15m on improvements

04.12.18: Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has been told that it must contribute £15m towards service improvements for passengers as the government announced that the TOC will be hit with sanctions, capping its profits for the remainder of its franchi...

Grayling ‘should resign’ over ‘appalling’ timetable chaos as MPs call for fare freeze

Grayling ‘should resign’ over ‘appalling’ timetable chaos as MPs call for fare freeze

04.12.18: MPs have demanded a freeze in rail fares and called for the transport secretary to resign over the “chaotic roll-out” of the new railway timetables introduced in May, which hit nearly half of all passenger services up and down the co...

After almost a year of strikes, DfT commits to keeping second person on-board Northern trains

After almost a year of strikes, DfT commits to keeping second person on-board Northern trains

29.11.18: The DfT and Transport for the North (TfN) have committed to keep a second person on-board Northern trains in a momentous decision that could bring an end to strike action and settle the long-running dispute between the TOC and the RMT union. ...

New railway technology to save track workers thousands of hours on SWR

New railway technology to save track workers thousands of hours on SWR

27.11.18:  New technology to help carry out overnight and maintenance work is set to be rolled out across the South Western Railway and will save track workers an extra 1,600 hours a year. The railway technology will allow for a more efficient...

DfT denies ‘experimenting’ with new East Coast Partnership, promises better franchise bids assessment

DfT denies ‘experimenting’ with new East Coast Partnership, promises better franchise bids assessment

27.11.18: The DfT has defended its reportedly experimental plans for the refreshed East Coast Main Line franchise, arguing that its process for assessing bids is now “more robust” after a critical report into the failings that led to the colla...

Thameslink director appointed as East West Rail’s first CEO

Thameslink director appointed as East West Rail’s first CEO

23.11.18: East West Rail has announced its first chief executive as Simon Blanchflower, the programme director for Thameslink. Blanchflower will lead the East West Railway Company through its next phase of development, delivering a new railway l...

Major overhaul of one of country’s longest tunnels sees delays fall by a fifth

Major overhaul of one of country’s longest tunnels sees delays fall by a fifth

23.11.18: A major refurbishment of Sevenoaks tunnel has seen a 20% reduction in delays and halved journey times for passengers, even as the £21m infrastructure renewal nears completion. One of the longest tunnels in southern England, Sevenoaks...

Transport for the North launches the first phase of smart ticketing across Yorkshire

Transport for the North launches the first phase of smart ticketing across Yorkshire

23.11.18: Transport for the North (TfN) is set to launch the first phase of its Smart on Rail project, rolling out the smartcard scheme across Yorkshire lines. The initial phase of the project, a result of a partnership between Northern, TransPennine...

Talgo names Fife as the chosen site of its first UK train factory

Talgo names Fife as the chosen site of its first UK train factory

14.11.18: Spanish train manufacturer Talgo has revealed that is new train-building factory will be built at Longannet in Fife, bringing more than 1,000 jobs to Scotland. Talgo will build its first UK manufacturing base at the site of a decommissioned...

‘Broken’ rail complaints system failing to deal with passengers effectively or even with ‘basic courtesy’

‘Broken’ rail complaints system failing to deal with passengers effectively or even with ‘basic courtesy’

14.11.18: The rail complaints system is “broken” and train companies are failing to deal with passenger complaints effectively or even with “basic courtesy,” new analysis has revealed. An investigation by Which? found that les...

GWR and SWR owner FirstGroup appoints new CEO as it announces fall in rail profits

GWR and SWR owner FirstGroup appoints new CEO as it announces fall in rail profits

13.11.18: FirstGroup has named Matthew Gregory as its new chief executive as it revealed widening half-year losses and warned about the profitability of its rail franchises. Gregory has been the interim chief operating officer at the bus and rail pro...

Labour call for renationalisation ahead of Scottish Parliament vote on ScotRail contract

Labour call for renationalisation ahead of Scottish Parliament vote on ScotRail contract

12.11.18: Scotland’s government is set to vote on the future of ScotRail’s train services amidst calls from Labour to renationalise the franchise. MSPs are due to vote on Wednesday on whether the government should enforce a break clause i...

Porterbrook secures £250m financing to sustain investment in passenger trains

Porterbrook secures £250m financing to sustain investment in passenger trains

09.11.18: Porterbrook, the UK’s largest owner of passenger trains, has announced the refinancing of a £250m public bond to support and sustain its investment in its rolling stock. The Derby-based company has refinanced the bond in the pri...

Siemens CEO says it is ‘willing to make concessions’ to secure EU approval for Alstom merger

Siemens CEO says it is ‘willing to make concessions’ to secure EU approval for Alstom merger

09.11.18: The chief executive of Siemens has said he is “willing to make concessions” if necessary in order to gain EU approval for its proposed rail merger with Alstom. Joe Kaeser, head of the German rail giant speaking at Siemens’...

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DfT confirms Northern Powerhouse Rail business case delayed until 2019

12/12/2018DfT confirms Northern Powerhouse Rail business case delayed until 2019

The strategic outline business case for Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR), which was due to be submitted to the government by the end of this month,... more >
TfL shelves plans for Tube upgrades as financial woes revealed

12/12/2018TfL shelves plans for Tube upgrades as financial woes revealed

Plans to upgrade major parts of London Underground will be put on hold and Crossrail 2 is now in doubt after TfL has disclosed the extent of its ... more >
Hitachi and Spencer Group join forces for £500m Tyne and Wear Metro deal bid

12/12/2018Hitachi and Spencer Group join forces for £500m Tyne and Wear Metro deal bid

Hitachi and Spencer Group have launched a joint bid to win a £500m contract to build new trains and a maintenance depot for the Tyne and We... 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

Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

27/11/2018Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

Olivia Brown, business development officer at Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), an academic department of the University of Warwick, outlines the four exciting projects currently taking place as part of the Coventry Very Light Rail (VLR)  programme. In RTM’s June/July issue, readers were introduced to the concept of VLR and th... more >
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Passenger safety: Respect the edge

27/11/2018Passenger safety: Respect the edge

Claire Coward, communications lead at the RSSB, discusses her organisation’s latest passenger safety campaign. Incidents at the platfo... more >
Night Tube: The twilight economy

27/11/2018Night Tube: The twilight economy

Dr David Lutton, executive director of economy and tax at London First, argues that the capital’s night-time economy is just starting its j... more >
Monitoring the performance of earthworks

27/11/2018Monitoring the performance of earthworks

Dr Joel Smethurst, associate professor in geotechnical engineering, and Professor William Powrie, professor of geotechnical engineering, both of ... more >
Introducing iPort

20/11/2018Introducing iPort

Steve Freeman, managing director of iPort Rail, introduces the UK’s newest inland freight terminal. The UK’s newest inland rail ... more >

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HS2 train race: making the case

20/11/2018HS2 train race: making the case

Bombardier and Hitachi’s commitment to providing the best HS2 rolling stock pitch to the government was signified with the launch of their ... more >