Rail franchises operators & contracts

Transport for Wales awards first ECI contracts for £700m South Wales Metro

Transport for Wales awards first ECI contracts for £700m South Wales Metro

25.06.19: Transport for Wales (TfW) has awarded three companies to begin preparatory works on the £738m South Wales Metro, the organisation announced today. Balfour Beatty, Alun Griffiths and Siemens are being tasked with building the Metro&rsq...

Record number of passenger journeys as UK rail revenue rises to four-year high

Record number of passenger journeys as UK rail revenue rises to four-year high

18.06.19: Record figures of rail passenger journeys have been recorded in England, Scotland and Wales, according to the most recent quarterly report by the Office of Rail and Road. A total of 1.76bn journeys were completed on Britain’s rai...

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...

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Ground-breaking rail collaboration launched to improve services for passengers

20/09/2019Ground-breaking rail collaboration launched to improve services for passengers

  A ground-breaking deal has been agreed today among rail bosses to deliver higher standards for rail users in the West Midlands.  ... more >
Manchester Metrolink’s greener future

19/09/2019Manchester Metrolink’s greener future

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) are to renew and upgrade Manchester Metrolink’s electrical infrastructure in a bid to support and m... more >
Plans for new £362m North East metro train fleet

19/09/2019Plans for new £362m North East metro train fleet

A £362m train fleet for the Tyne and Wear Metro was ordered yesterday by public transport body Nexus. A company for the designing and ... 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

Connecting Network Rail with the supply chain

17/09/2019Connecting Network Rail with the supply chain

Continuing our mission to connect buyers with suppliers, This year TransCityRail North is adding a new element to the event. We are introducing an incomparable opportunity for you to meet with over 11 procurement directors from Network Rail at our exclusive 'Network Rail Meet the Buyers Hub'.  Situated at the heart of the event ... more >
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comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >
Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

02/07/2019Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

Smart electrification is the way to boost clean energy resources, argues Leo Murray, director at 10:10 Climate Action. Contractors are clear... more >
Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

02/07/2019Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

The TCR Midlands conference is only days away and tickets are going fast for the sector event of the year at the Vox Conference Centre in Birming... more >

rail industry focus

  • 11/09/2019The next generation of rail infrastructure

    How the rail industry delivers the next generation of complex infrastructure will rely heavily on the people tasked with leading the projects, and the...
  • 11/09/2019Putting passengers first

    How does the rail industry design the railways for the next 40 years, and when it does, how do we make sure it’s all done with the passenger in mind?...
  • 10/09/2019Cleaning up the railways

    Jim Knox, director of Gard Chemicals, explains how the company is helping the rail industry ensure they have the best cleaning and maintenance...
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interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he wo... more >