Rail franchises operators & contracts

HS1 could be sold off as owners reveal third-party interest

HS1 could be sold off as owners reveal third-party interest

09.12.16: HS1 could be up for sale after the company that holds the franchise announced a review of its ownership. In 2010, Borealis Infrastructure and Canadian pension fund Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan acquired the 30-year contract from the...

Stagecoach reports half-year profit dip due to ‘subdued’ ECML passenger travel

Stagecoach reports half-year profit dip due to ‘subdued’ ECML passenger travel

07.12.16: Stagecoach has reported that it continues to expect a slight dip in its earnings this financial year, saying that improving demand for rail travel might help counter-balance its falling bus revenues. The transport company’s revenue fo...

Khan frustrated as Grayling halts London rail devolution plans

Khan frustrated as Grayling halts London rail devolution plans

06.12.16: The government has announced that suburban rail services may not be devolved to London after all, frustrating the city’s mayor Sadiq Khan. Earlier this year, the government signed a prospectus which stated suburban services operated b...

DfT to extend West Coast franchise until 2019 ahead of new WCP

DfT to extend West Coast franchise until 2019 ahead of new WCP

06.12.16: A short-term contract will be needed to deliver services on the West Coast Main Line (WCML) for a year after the current franchise ends, prior to the delivery of the new West Coast Partnership (WCP), the DfT has confirmed. From 1 April 2019...

Chris Burchell appointed as new RDG chairman

Chris Burchell appointed as new RDG chairman

05.12.16: Chris Burchell, UK trains managing director at Arriva, has been appointed as chairman of the Rail Delivery Group (RDG). His appointment was ratified by RDG directors at a meeting held on Tuesday 29 November, and he will commence his new rol...

FirstGroup ‘keen to bid on’ next ScotRail franchise, as Labour raises cancellation concerns

FirstGroup ‘keen to bid on’ next ScotRail franchise, as Labour raises cancellation concerns

28.11.16: FirstGroup has indicated it is interested in taking back the ScotRail franchise after Scottish Labour claimed that the current operator, Abellio, is cancelling up to 50 trains a day. Abellio took over the franchise from FirstGroup last year...

Transport minister:  ScotRail has learned lessons after recent chaos

Transport minister:  ScotRail has learned lessons after recent chaos

24.11.16: Scottish transport minister Humza Yousaf sought to reassure MSPs that “ScotRail has learned lessons” after receiving severe criticism for problems on Scotland’s railways. In an emergency statement at Holyrood yesterday, Yo...

Abellio accepts ScotRail failings but apportions blame to government contract

Abellio accepts ScotRail failings but apportions blame to government contract

21.11.16: Abellio has insisted it has “no problem” with competing for a public sector body for the ScotRail franchise, but emphasised that regardless of what type of operator runs the franchise, they still do it to a “tightly specified&r...

c2c reveals 2017 timetable as new Class 387 enters service

c2c reveals 2017 timetable as new Class 387 enters service

18.11.16: Operator c2c has now published its timetable for next year, on the same day that the first of its six brand-new Class 387 EMU trains entered passenger service. The company, which is known for consistently topping performance tables, has pro...

First Rail passenger growth slows in the first half of 2016

First Rail passenger growth slows in the first half of 2016

15.11.16: First Rail’s year-on-year passenger growth has slowed to 0.7%, reflecting a slowdown seen across the UK rail industry, FirstGroup announced in its half-yearly results. First Rail revenues declined to £595.8m in the first half of...

City-regions ready to embrace rail devolution

City-regions ready to embrace rail devolution

10.11.16: Jon Lamonte, chief executive of Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and chair of the Urban Transport Group, discusses the opportunities and challenges for rail devolution in the city-regions. One of the most significant trends for rail...

Just how connected are we?

Just how connected are we?

10.11.16: After InnoTrans 2016 Justin Southcombe, commercial director of Perpetuum, examines why the rail industry needs to up its game if it is to meet the future demands of train operators and create a truly connected supply chain. InnoTrans 2016 p...

DfT promises to publish franchise performance data every four weeks

DfT promises to publish franchise performance data every four weeks

08.11.16: Rail minister Paul Maynard has promised that the DfT will publish information about each rail franchise’s performance against its contractual benchmarks every four weeks. Maynard made the commitment in a letter to Louise Ellman MP, he...

Wilkinson: DfT ‘would not embark upon’ a franchise similar to TSGN again

Wilkinson: DfT ‘would not embark upon’ a franchise similar to TSGN again

08.11.16: The DfT has admitted it would not design a single franchise the size of Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern (TSGN) again in the future, the managing director of passenger services admitted to MPs yesterday. Peter Wilkinson was asked abo...

Arriva to cap fares on three Northern routes due to ‘lessened competition’

Arriva to cap fares on three Northern routes due to ‘lessened competition’

03.11.16: The Competition and Market Authority (CMA) has found that the award of the Northern Rail franchise to Arriva will not lead to competition concerns except on three services, ending an investigation that began in January of this year. The CMA...

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Up to 200 jobs at risk in Alstom Pendolino cuts

22/06/2018Up to 200 jobs at risk in Alstom Pendolino cuts

As many as 200 staff members could lose their jobs as one of the UK’s major train manufacturers looks to cut costs in its maintenance of th... more >
New Hitachi Azuma parked by Stephenson’s Rocket in rare sneak peek

22/06/2018New Hitachi Azuma parked by Stephenson’s Rocket in rare sneak peek

Those visiting the Great Exhibition of the North in Newcastle will have the rare chance to see Hitachi’s brand-new Azuma train from up clos... more >
Expansion of rail ‘only viable option’ to grow UK cities

22/06/2018Expansion of rail ‘only viable option’ to grow UK cities

The expansion of rail is the “only viable option” to grow UK cities and allow them to achieve their economic potential, a new report ... 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

How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

20/03/2018How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE Biometric identity, time and attendance specialists Donseed looks at how biometric technology is already starting to enhance health and safety measures on railway construction projects. Advances in technology are starting to transform the way in which the rail network in the UK is managed, operated and maintained.... more >
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Why the rail industry needs more women

22/06/2018Why the rail industry needs more women

Anesha Rachel Malhan, one of the learners at the National College for High Speed Rail (NCHSR), discusses her experience as the only woman at her ... more >
Apprenticeship levy: the latest picture

05/06/2018Apprenticeship levy: the latest picture

Mark Holmes, head of membership and development at NSAR, describes the current resources available to the rail industry to ensure companies of al... more >
Moving in the right direction

05/06/2018Moving in the right direction

Alex Cropper, head of projects group at Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), reports on the exciting progress so far in building the Trafford... more >
Overcoming leaves on the line

05/06/2018Overcoming leaves on the line

Paul Gray, professional lead of engineering R&D at the RSSB, explains how latest research proves using double variable rate sanders on trains... more >

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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 >