Rail franchises operators & contracts

Passengers ‘deserve better’ as ScotRail fined £2.2m for failing to meet performance targets

Passengers ‘deserve better’ as ScotRail fined £2.2m for failing to meet performance targets

22.10.18: ScotRail has been fined £2.2m across the first six months of the year after failing to meet a succession of targets. The train operator missed 15 out of 38 targets between April and June, according to a service quality report, and fai...

Urgent government talks after Dutch company plugs £80m funding hole in Greater Anglia

Urgent government talks after Dutch company plugs £80m funding hole in Greater Anglia

19.10.18: Greater Anglia has received an £80m rescue package led by the Netherlands, leading to reports of urgent talks between the UK and Dutch governments to fix the “flawed” funding formula in place. Dutch company Abellio jointly...

Paddington: New GWR Hitachi train takes down rail network whilst on its test run

Paddington: New GWR Hitachi train takes down rail network whilst on its test run

17.10.18: A brand-new test train has “severely damaged” overhead electric wires, causing massive disruption to all trains going into and out of London Paddington. One of Great Western Railway’s (GWR’s) new fleet of Hitachi tra...

May 2018 timetable: ORR launches probe into potential GTR and Northern licence breach

May 2018 timetable: ORR launches probe into potential GTR and Northern licence breach

05.10.18: The ORR has opened an investigation into whether GTR and Northern breached their requirements to do everything reasonably practice to provide accurate and timely information to passengers in the run-up to, and during, the May 2018 timetable fias...

New Caledonian Sleeper carriages delayed until next spring

New Caledonian Sleeper carriages delayed until next spring

02.10.18: The introduction of the new Caledonian Sleeper carriages, which were expected to be in operation by the end of this month, has been further delayed until May 2019. The carriages are to include en-suite bathrooms and double beds and will ope...

Exclusive: Shutting door to nationalisation ‘fetters’ rail review and constrains expert advice, says Burnham

Exclusive: Shutting door to nationalisation ‘fetters’ rail review and constrains expert advice, says Burnham

28.09.18: The Greater Manchester mayor has revealed he was disappointed in transport secretary Chris Grayling’s rail review, arguing that the government is limiting the review leaders by ruling out the possibility of renationalisation. In an ex...

ORR report: ‘No one took charge’ in May timetable chaos, ‘everyone made mistakes’

ORR report: ‘No one took charge’ in May timetable chaos, ‘everyone made mistakes’

20.09.18: A scathing report into the May timetable chaos has blasted transport secretary Chris Grayling, Network Rail, and the DfT’s handling of the widespread crisis, claiming “no one took charge” when issues started to arise. The...

DfT quietly pulls the plug on CrossCountry franchise competition

DfT quietly pulls the plug on CrossCountry franchise competition

20.09.18: The government has decided to pull the plug on the CrossCountry franchise competition as a result of its rail review announcement today. Because of the franchise’s “unique geographic nature,” running from Aberdeen to Penza...

Major 2019 rail review led by BA boss will ‘leave no stone unturned’

Major 2019 rail review led by BA boss will ‘leave no stone unturned’

20.09.18: In response to the May timetable disruptions and longstanding concerns over what has been repeatedly branded a “broken” franchising system, the government has decided to formally launch a comprehensive review of the rail industry in...

Backlash at rail boss Richard Branson as he says lateness ‘annoys’ him

Backlash at rail boss Richard Branson as he says lateness ‘annoys’ him

13.09.18: Rail passengers took to Twitter to express anger at Virgin Trains boss Richard Branson, who tweeted: “There’s very little that annoys me in life, but people turning up late really does.” There’s very little that anno...

East Coast fiasco: MPs decide who is to blame for ‘overoptimistic’ franchise

East Coast fiasco: MPs decide who is to blame for ‘overoptimistic’ franchise

12.09.18: Virgin, Stagecoach and the DfT all share blame for the quick failure of the East Coast franchise earlier this year – with the first two drafting up a financially risky bid with very little resilience, and the latter setting unrealistic ben...

EU sets final deadline for Siemens and Alstom merger

EU sets final deadline for Siemens and Alstom merger

07.09.18: The European Commission has set a deadline of 28 January for the proposed rail merger of Siemens and Alstom. The deal was agreed last September but has been met by objections from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the O...

Go-Ahead blames timetable fiasco on ‘industry failure’ as firm set to pay out millions

Go-Ahead blames timetable fiasco on ‘industry failure’ as firm set to pay out millions

06.09.18: The operator of Southern and Thameslink has revealed it expects to pay out “millions” in compensation to passengers affected by its May timetable chaos. The Go-Ahead Group said it is contacting tens of thousands of affected cust...

Potential rail franchise shake-up in the works as PM pushes for review

Potential rail franchise shake-up in the works as PM pushes for review

05.09.18: The government is considering leading what has been described as the biggest review of the UK’s rail franchising system for two decades in efforts to prevent collapses such as that of the East Coast franchise back in May. According to...

LNER: Business as usual

LNER: Business as usual

04.09.18: On 24 June, the operation of the East Coast Main Line (ECML) service transferred from Virgin Trains East Coast to the newly-created London North Eastern Railway (LNER). David Horne, its managing director, talks about the first few months and wha...

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Network Rail seeks £45m integration partner for ECML digital railway

20/11/2018Network Rail seeks £45m integration partner for ECML digital railway

Network Rail has today launched the search for a private-sector partner to deliver a major digital railway transformation across the East Coast M... more >
ORR launches review into Delay Repay claims companies

20/11/2018ORR launches review into Delay Repay claims companies

The ORR has today launched a review into the role of Delay Repay claims companies in assisting customers with compensation claims when their rail... more >
Greater Anglia installs innovative WSP braking system across rural services

20/11/2018Greater Anglia installs innovative WSP braking system across rural services

Greater Anglia has fitted an innovative new braking system known as Wheel Slide Protection (WSP) to more of the rural trains across its network. ... 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

Crossrail and Crossrail 2: in the public eye

20/11/2018Crossrail and Crossrail 2: in the public eye

Since the shock announcement of the delay to Crossrail in September, taxpayers and decision-makers alike have been anxious to find out the latest updates to the two projects. RTM’s Jack Donnelly headed to Whitehall to report on what their bosses have to say about the schemes. Despite noting the “great frustration” of Lon... more >
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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 >
Maintaining light rail

20/11/2018Maintaining light rail

Dr Adam Bevan, Professor Paul Allen and Professor Jay Jaiswal, of the Institute of Railway Research, take a look at new rail asset management tec... more >
dessan Design in the digital railway

20/11/2018dessan Design in the digital railway

Denise Watkins, business development manager at Hitachi Information Control Systems Europe (HICSE), discusses her organisation’s exciting n... more >
Challenging the perceptions of rail

13/11/2018Challenging the perceptions of rail

Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Rail Industry Association (RIA) explains how the RIA Rail Fellowship Programme is challenging people’... more >

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interviews

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 >