Rail franchises operators & contracts

TOCs take out newspaper ad apologising to customers, pledge new timetable in two weeks

TOCs take out newspaper ad apologising to customers, pledge new timetable in two weeks

03.07.18: Major train firms have taken out a half-page advert in a major newspaper to apologise to customers for “ongoing problems” since the chaotic introduction of new timetables on 20 May. South-eastern TOCs GTR and Great Northern, in...

Urgent clarity needed amid claims that TransPennine electrification will be scrapped

Urgent clarity needed amid claims that TransPennine electrification will be scrapped

02.07.18: The government has come under fire after claims it will reverse its decision to electrify the TransPennine rail route connecting Manchester to Leeds and York. Last summer, transport secretary Chris Grayling suggested that the government cou...

Stagecoach hit by £85.6m loss after being stripped of East Coast franchise

Stagecoach hit by £85.6m loss after being stripped of East Coast franchise

28.06.18: Stagecoach has revealed a loss of £85.6m after being stripped of the East Coast franchise, which was recently brought under government control. The DfT is now running the franchise as London North Eastern Railway (LNER). The reve...

TfGM lays bare Northern slump since 2016 franchise refresh, including many broken promises

TfGM lays bare Northern slump since 2016 franchise refresh, including many broken promises

27.06.18: A report set to be presented at a Greater Manchester Combined Authority board meeting this Friday has laid bare the staggering decline in performance across Northern since the franchise changed hands in 2016, including the many promises that wer...

Franchising: Time for change?

Franchising: Time for change?

26.06.18: The recent timetabling chaos up and down the country has underlined that the current rail franchising model is broken – and passengers are paying the price, argues Meg Hillier, chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee. The recen...

East Coast back in public hands under same leadership and staff

East Coast back in public hands under same leadership and staff

25.06.18: The East Coast franchise has been officially handed back to public control as the first branded London North Eastern Railway (LNER) train departed from London King’s Cross to Edinburgh today. The inaugural journey marks the formal ter...

New GTR boss named to lead company through ‘difficult times’

New GTR boss named to lead company through ‘difficult times’

21.06.18: Struggling rail firm Govia Thameslink Railway has named Patrick Verwer as its new chief executive. Following former chief executive Charles Horton’s resignation last week, the Go-Ahead group said the they “have full confidence&r...

Rail companies launch plan to deliver £9.2bn economic benefit to south east

Rail companies launch plan to deliver £9.2bn economic benefit to south east

20.06.18: Rail companies have come together to launch a long-term plan for the railway in south east London and Kent. The region’s rail companies, suppliers and local authorities have teamed up to launch ‘In partnership for Britain’s pr...

Anger as Northern Rail routes ‘not really valued’ by ministers and DfT

Anger as Northern Rail routes ‘not really valued’ by ministers and DfT

20.06.18: Department for Transport officials and ministers were warned about Northern Rail chaos two years ago, but saw some key routes as “not really valued,” a north west MP has shockingly announced. Wigan MP Lisa Nandy said she had bee...

TOC bosses appear before MPs, blame chaos on infrastructure failures

TOC bosses appear before MPs, blame chaos on infrastructure failures

19.06.18: Bosses from Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and Northern Rail cited failures in infrastructure being completed in time and last-minute changes to timetables as reasons for a chaotic bedding in of new timetables that led to delays and cancell...

Labour to launch no confidence challenge against Grayling

Labour to launch no confidence challenge against Grayling

19.06.18: The transport secretary is under fire in parliament today as Labour looks to draft a motion of no confidence in the Commons. The party is using one of its opposition days — one of the 20 days in a parliamentary year where the opposing...

GTR boss to resign, citing 'huge frustration' from passengers

GTR boss to resign, citing 'huge frustration' from passengers

15.06.18: The chief executive of struggling operator Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) will resign. Charles Horton, the boss of GTR which runs Thameslink, Great Northern, and Southern railways, will remain in the position for a short time to oversee the...

Renewed West Midlands partnership to work towards 100 targets, from ticketing to stations

Renewed West Midlands partnership to work towards 100 targets, from ticketing to stations

13.06.18: The Swift smart card is to be rolled out across the West Midlands through the renewal of a partnership first set up six years ago. Chiltern Railways, West Midlands Rail (WMR) and Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) have renewed their partnership...

GTR’s PRM policy remains unchanged, it tells ORR

GTR’s PRM policy remains unchanged, it tells ORR

11.06.18: Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has denied making changes to the way in which it assists passengers with reduced mobility (PRM). Following the publication of its document, ‘Pit stop: Key principles for managing station dwell times,’...

DfT publishes ITT for East Midlands franchise bidders

DfT publishes ITT for East Midlands franchise bidders

08.06.18: Bidders for the next East Midlands franchise are being urged to demonstrate how they will deliver on an “ambitious” upgrade programme as the DfT published the invitation to tender (ITT). The current franchise has been operated b...

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TfL and TfWM join forces in knowledge sharing deal

20/07/2018TfL and TfWM join forces in knowledge sharing deal

A landmark collaboration between two of the UK’s biggest regions has been signed to pave the way to improve rail transport between the area... more >
DfT pledges ‘tough action’ on GTR, contract breach review due this month

19/07/2018DfT pledges ‘tough action’ on GTR, contract breach review due this month

GTR could be at risk of losing control of its franchise as early as this month depending on the outcome of a “hard review” into wheth... more >
Higgins urges Grayling to make decision on Yorkshire HS2 parkway station

19/07/2018Higgins urges Grayling to make decision on Yorkshire HS2 parkway station

HS2 Ltd’s outgoing chairman, Sir David Higgins, has urged the government to make a decision on proposals to create a parkway station on the... 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

HS2: collaborate to innovate

17/07/2018HS2: collaborate to innovate

Dr Chris Goodier and Dr Steve Yeomans, of Loughborough University’s Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering (CICE), talk about four new HS2 research projects which are set to challenge how we design, build and monitor high-speed rail projects. No one doubts that HS2 must provide a platform for innovation, bu... more >
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Elizabeth Line: a greener approach

17/07/2018Elizabeth Line: a greener approach

Howard Smith, operations director for TfL Rail and the Elizabeth Line, outlines the key features of the brand-new, eco-friendly Old Oak Common de... more >
iRail: investing in the future

17/07/2018iRail: investing in the future

The rail industry today faces many challenges, one of those being the skills gap in high- speed rail. However, events like iRail are doing their ... more >
HS2: collaborate to innovate

17/07/2018HS2: collaborate to innovate

Dr Chris Goodier and Dr Steve Yeomans, of Loughborough University’s Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering (CICE)... more >
Hydrogen trains: bringing the success story to the UK

17/07/2018Hydrogen trains: bringing the success story to the UK

Hydrogen-powered trains are already a reality in other rail networks in Europe. Now, working alongside Eversholt Rail, Alstom UK plans to bring t... 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 >