Rail franchises operators & contracts

CMA raises competition concerns over SW franchise award to First MTR

CMA raises competition concerns over SW franchise award to First MTR

11.07.17: The government market regulator has today raised concern about the award of the South Western franchise to First MTR. In March, the franchise was awarded to the company, which is a joint venture between First Group and Hong Kong based firm...

Operators roll out on-the-day advanced tickets for passengers

Operators roll out on-the-day advanced tickets for passengers

05.07.17: Passengers who book tickets at short notice will soon benefit from cheaper fares, as the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has announced that millions of advanced tickets will now be available up to 10 minutes before departure. Customers of Grand C...

‘Heroically ambitious’ priorities outlined for Wales and Borders franchise

‘Heroically ambitious’ priorities outlined for Wales and Borders franchise

30.06.17: The National Assembly for Wales Committee has today unveiled what the 10 priorities for the new Wales and Borders franchise should be for competing operators. In a report drawn up by the Assembly, potential operators were told that deliveri...

Stagecoach 80% profit dip linked to ‘onerous’ VTEC contract losses

Stagecoach 80% profit dip linked to ‘onerous’ VTEC contract losses

28.06.17: Stagecoach Group has admitted to “disappointing” losses across its Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC) operation, which forced the parent company to take out a £84m ‘exceptional pre-tax charge’ to reflect the “one...

Four bidders officially in the running for next South Eastern contract

Four bidders officially in the running for next South Eastern contract

22.06.17: The final shortlist of bidders for the South Eastern franchise has today been revealed by the DfT. Amongst the bidders are a wholly-owned subsidiary of Govia Ltd called London and South East Passenger Rail Services, as well as a subsidiary...

DfT reveals shortlist of three JVs for West Coast Partnership franchise

DfT reveals shortlist of three JVs for West Coast Partnership franchise

22.06.17: The shortlist of companies who will compete for the West Coast Partnership Franchise have today been announced by the DfT, and includes bids from three joint ventures: First Trenitalia West Coast Ltd, MTR West Coast Partnership Ltd and West Coas...

National complaints soar in 2016-17, as passengers voice 218% more grievances on GTR

National complaints soar in 2016-17, as passengers voice 218% more grievances on GTR

15.06.17: Passenger complaints in 2016-17 shot up by 7.5% from the year before, as ongoing disputes on GTR services saw them receive 218% more complaints for poor services than in in 2015-16. In figures released by the ORR today, it was found that on...

GTR continues PPM improvement as First Hull still struggles

GTR continues PPM improvement as First Hull still struggles

07.06.17: First Hull Trains has slipped to being the worst performing operator in Network Rail’s PPM statistics for period 2 2017-18, as GTR saw a marked improvement in performance from last year. It follows news last month that in period 1 201...

First publishes ‘encouraging’ results against backdrop of Croydon tragedy

First publishes ‘encouraging’ results against backdrop of Croydon tragedy

01.06.17: FirstGroup has today published results that show a steady increase in its revenue over the past year, despite the negative effects of the Croydon tram accident. The company, who run a subsidiary that operates trams on behalf of TfL, saw rev...

Limited cash means EWR-style alliance models ‘have to work’

Limited cash means EWR-style alliance models ‘have to work’

11.05.17: There is no doubt that delivering projects using deep alliances between contractors and suppliers, similar to what will be trialled with East West Rail, produces better results, rail bosses have resoundingly argued. Chris Curtis, head of Cr...

Time to move away from ‘famine or feast’ scenario for supply chain

Time to move away from ‘famine or feast’ scenario for supply chain

09.05.17: The Industrial Strategy must enable a sustainable rail supply chain, avoiding the famine and feast scenarios of the past, according to a panel of experts at Railtex. Speaking on the first Platform session on productivity and skills, ho...

After over two years at the bottom, GTR no longer worst-performing TOC

After over two years at the bottom, GTR no longer worst-performing TOC

09.05.17: After over two years of coming at the bottom of performance tables for operator punctuality, especially since its absorption of the entire TSGN franchise, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) is finally in the clear. In the public performance mea...

Building passenger trust in the new South West franchise

Building passenger trust in the new South West franchise

08.05.17: David Sidebottom, passenger director at Transport Focus, discusses the importance of focusing on passenger wants and needs to build trust on the new South West franchise. When rail franchises come up for renewal, they provide an excellent o...

Franchising structure a barrier to sustained rail investment, report warns

Franchising structure a barrier to sustained rail investment, report warns

03.05.17: The franchising system in its current state is becoming increasingly vulnerable to economic slowdown, a report released today has argued. Produced by Credo Business Consulting for a new transport think tank established by the Campaign for B...

London Assembly calls for DfT rethink on South Eastern devolution

London Assembly calls for DfT rethink on South Eastern devolution

27.04.17: The DfT have been told to “go back to the drawing board” and return to its 2016 plan of devolving some routes for the South Eastern franchise to TfL and the mayor of London. In a letter to the transport secretary, the chair of t...

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Network Rail Thameslink programme harnesses innovation with its latest aerial project

22/10/2018Network Rail Thameslink programme harnesses innovation with its latest aerial project

The Thameslink programme at Network Rail’s latest project pledges to drive innovation and make commuters’ lives easier with cutting-e... more >
FCA probe: TfL could be fined for not telling LSE about Crossrail delay

19/10/2018FCA probe: TfL could be fined for not telling LSE about Crossrail delay

The UK’s financial watchdog is considering whether to launch a formal investigation into TfL over its reported failure to tell the London S... more >
Urgent government talks after Dutch company plugs £80m funding hole in Greater Anglia

19/10/2018Urgent government talks after Dutch company plugs £80m funding hole in Greater Anglia

Greater Anglia has received an £80m rescue package led by the Netherlands, leading to reports of urgent talks between the UK and Dutch gove... 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

The East Coast franchise report tells us what we already knew: it was a bid set up to fail

18/09/2018The East Coast franchise report tells us what we already knew: it was a bid set up to fail

RTM's Jack Donnelly assesses what the Transport Committee's latest report on the VTEC franchise means for the industry as a whole “Even now, there is no concrete plan, nor timescales, for the interim operator of this franchise. From our inquiry, we cannot be sure, and cannot reassure passengers or public, that the arrangements ... more >
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Northern Powerhouse Rail: The need for change

18/09/2018Northern Powerhouse Rail: The need for change

Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) will be transformational for the north – it will change the way people live, work, and play. It will rebalan... more >
Innovation through people and technology

18/09/2018Innovation through people and technology

Ian Prosser, HM chief inspector of railways and director of railway safety at the ORR, picks out the key industry challenges to focus on based on... more >
Why we all must mind the gap

18/09/2018Why we all must mind the gap

Clair Mowbray, chief executive of the National College for High Speed Rail (NCHSR), explains how we can all ensure the UK’s next generation... more >
3D printing: from virtual to real

11/09/20183D printing: from virtual to real

Like so many other technological advancements, 3D printing has moved from being the stuff of science fiction, through niche industrial applicatio... more >

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interviews

Going global: an interview with Network Rail’s Leevan Finney

29/08/2018Going global: an interview with Network Rail’s Leevan Finney

RTM’s Jack Donnelly sat down with one of the leading minds behind Network Rail’s most advanced and innovative rail maintenance techno... more >