Rail franchises operators & contracts

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...

Rail industry launches new interactive accessibly map for UK rail stations

Rail industry launches new interactive accessibly map for UK rail stations

17.04.19: A new interactive map which lets passengers find out about accessibility at stations has been launched by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) to help boost their confidence in train travel. The ‘Access Map’ has information about all s...

Stagecoach and MPs demand answers in dispute over ‘staggering’ pensions fund deficit and rail franchise controversy

Stagecoach and MPs demand answers in dispute over ‘staggering’ pensions fund deficit and rail franchise controversy

16.04.19: MPs have asked The Pensions Regulator (TPR) to reveal the extent of the “substantial” deficit in the Railways Pensions Scheme and provide an “urgent solution” after Stagecoach threatened legal action over its three spurne...

First of CAF’s new Nova fleet accepted by TPE ahead of rollout across north of England

First of CAF’s new Nova fleet accepted by TPE ahead of rollout across north of England

15.04.19: The first of TransPennine Express’s (TPE) Nova 3 fleet has been officially accepted after completing testing with its manufacturer CAF. The new fleet has been hit by delays due to technical issues and was due to roll out before the en...

Unions and MPs protest TOC’s potential £7.5bn funding gap in ‘deadly serious’ rail pensions row

Unions and MPs protest TOC’s potential £7.5bn funding gap in ‘deadly serious’ rail pensions row

12.04.19: The Pensions Regulator has warned that train operators face a black hole of up to £7.5bn and the RMT has threatened national strike action as the row over rail pensions comes to a head after the DfT blocked Stagecoach’s franchise bid...

Branson says Virgin Trains could be gone by November after ‘baffling’ DfT franchise decision

Branson says Virgin Trains could be gone by November after ‘baffling’ DfT franchise decision

11.04.19: Virgin Trains could disappear from Britain’s railways by the end of the year, Sir Richard Branson has announced after the government disqualified its joint franchise bid with Stagecoach. Branson he was “devastated” by the...

‘Shocked’ Stagecoach disqualified from three rail franchise bids in row over pensions

‘Shocked’ Stagecoach disqualified from three rail franchise bids in row over pensions

10.04.19: Stagecoach has accused ministers of putting the future of the UK rail industry in doubt and said it is “extremely concerned” after the DfT has barred it from three rail franchise bids. The DfT said that Stagecoach’s bids f...

DfT awards East Midlands rail franchise to Abellio

DfT awards East Midlands rail franchise to Abellio

10.04.19: Abellio has won the next East Midlands rail franchise and will take over from Stagecoach in August 2019 until 2027. The DfT announced that the ScotRail operator has been named as the successful bidder “after they presented a strong, c...

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TfW reveal new long-distance Class 175 trains

16/07/2019TfW reveal new long-distance Class 175 trains

Transport for Wales (TfW) has revealed their new fleet of Class 175 trains as part of a major investment in Transport for Wales' long-distance tr... more >
60 new jobs at TfW Rail Services announced

16/07/201960 new jobs at TfW Rail Services announced

60 new jobs at Transport for Wales (TfW) have been announced as part of the rail body’s £5bn investment programme in the country. ... more >
Keith Williams on the Rail Review: an update on progress

16/07/2019Keith Williams on the Rail Review: an update on progress

Keith Williams, independent Chair of the Rail Review, provided an update at a Northern Powerhouse Partnership event in Bradford today.  ... 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

Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

05/06/2019Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

In a series of Q&A’s with key speakers on the run up to TransCityRail Midlands, we caught up with TransCityRail panellist and Amey’s commercial account director, Anna Delvecchio, for her insight into what the Rail Sector Deal means for the rail industry and its supply chain. Anna started her career as an apprentice at the age o... more >
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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 >

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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

By Ewan Quayle, Rail Technology Magazine Reporter Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on R... more >