Rail franchises operators & contracts

Northern calls for formal ACAS inquiry over bitter RMT dispute

Northern calls for formal ACAS inquiry over bitter RMT dispute

19.12.18: Northern Rail has formally written to ACAS seeking an independent inquiry into its ongoing dispute with the RMT, with the union calling the move a “nothing more than a publicity stunt.” The train operator says it wants an inquir...

Rival operators to run on same rail routes in bid to drive up competition

Rival operators to run on same rail routes in bid to drive up competition

18.12.18: Passengers will have the choice of choosing which train operators they travel with under new plans to allow rival TOCs to operate on the same routes to drive up competition. The new competitive system will be introduced to the rail network...

Siemens and Alstom offer to sell high-speed train technology to address EU antitrust concerns

Siemens and Alstom offer to sell high-speed train technology to address EU antitrust concerns

18.12.18: Engineering giants Siemens and Alstom have offered to sell their high-speed train technology as part of a concession package to address EU antitrust objections over the proposed merger. The German and French train companies submitted their...

Infrastructure giant Amey to be sold to private equity firm in new year

Infrastructure giant Amey to be sold to private equity firm in new year

14.12.18:  Infrastructure giant Amey is expected to be sold to a private equity firm in the new year, according to reports. The Financial Times believes that Amey’s Spanish parent company, Ferrovial, is in talks with PAI Partners and Greyb...

Siemens and Alstom submit concessions to EU to secure merger deal

Siemens and Alstom submit concessions to EU to secure merger deal

13.12.18: Engineering giants Siemens and Alstom have submitted concessions to the European Commission in a bid to quell raised concerns that the merger between the two would negatively impact competition in the industry. The announcement by the two c...

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...

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ORBIS: Turning track data into intelligence

22/01/2019ORBIS: Turning track data into intelligence

Track engineer Dan Collins explains how an app and an iPad are transforming track maintenance in Network Rail’s Western route. Carryin... more >
TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... more >
Trashing the 'ticket' train of thought

22/01/2019Trashing the 'ticket' train of thought

techUK recently published its Future Mobility Services report in which it presented its vision of a multimodal, digitally-enabled, and customer-f... 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

Trashing the 'ticket' train of thought

22/01/2019Trashing the 'ticket' train of thought

techUK recently published its Future Mobility Services report in which it presented its vision of a multimodal, digitally-enabled, and customer-focused transport ecosystem – with the rail sector forming a major part of this. Jessica Russell, techUK’s programme manager for the Transport and Smart Cities groups under SmarterUK, repor... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

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ORBIS: Turning track data into intelligence

22/01/2019ORBIS: Turning track data into intelligence

Track engineer Dan Collins explains how an app and an iPad are transforming track maintenance in Network Rail’s Western route. Carryin... more >
Siemens Deep Tube: Keeping London moving

22/01/2019Siemens Deep Tube: Keeping London moving

Paul Baines, sales director for rolling stock at Siemens Mobility Ltd, expands on the many benefits of the £1.5bn Deep Tube rolling stock c... more >
Guarding against the theft of survey equipment

22/01/2019Guarding against the theft of survey equipment

The high value of survey equipment used to collect geospatial data on the railways is increasingly attractive to opportunistic criminals. The Sur... more >
Repoint: revolutionising track switch

15/01/2019Repoint: revolutionising track switch

Sam Bemment, senior R&D engineer at Loughborough University, brings us an update on the Repoint project – a scheme which has transforme... more >

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interviews

TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... more >