Rail franchises operators & contracts

Abellio withdraws from Wales and Borders after Carillion collapse

Abellio withdraws from Wales and Borders after Carillion collapse

26.02.18: Abellio has announced today that it will withdraw its bid for the upcoming Wales and Borders franchise following the liquidation of its construction partner Carillion. The move leaves just two groups left in the running for the franchise af...

RMT announces further 24-hour strike on Northern and Merseyrail

RMT announces further 24-hour strike on Northern and Merseyrail

16.02.18: Further strike action on Merseyrail and Northern has been confirmed by RMT, whose members will strike for 24 hours on 3 March as part of a long-running dispute over driver-only operation (DOO). RMT general secretary, Mick Cash, claimed that eve...

SWR plans to run full service despite weekend-long RMT strike

SWR plans to run full service despite weekend-long RMT strike

15.02.18: South Western Railway (SWR) says it plans to run a full service over the upcoming weekend despite the RMT’s planned four-day strike. The union has confirmed that action will go ahead amid ongoing disputes about the safety of trains ru...

Government releases £3.6m fund for ‘new ideas and high value innovations’

Government releases £3.6m fund for ‘new ideas and high value innovations’

15.02.18: The government has revealed details of 10 projects which will receive a share of £3.6m as part of plans to support new innovations in the rail sector. Among the winning bids are projects aimed at improving the design of carriages to i...

SWR facing ORR investigation for providing passengers with incorrect service info

SWR facing ORR investigation for providing passengers with incorrect service info

14.02.18: The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has written to South Western Railway (SWR) to outline “serious concerns” over its compliance with the conditions of its passenger licence. In a letter to the TOC’s managing director, Andy Mell...

Union calls for government intervention after near-£1bn TfL deficit revealed

Union calls for government intervention after near-£1bn TfL deficit revealed

13.02.18: The RMT has urged the government to reverse plans to cut grant funding for TfL after it was discovered that the company could suffer from a budget deficit of nearly £1bn in 2018-19. The news comes after the Financial Times revealed de...

Inquiry launched into third East Coast franchise failure in 10 years

Inquiry launched into third East Coast franchise failure in 10 years

12.02.18: The transport committee has today officially launched its inquiry into the “imminent failure” of the Intercity East Coast rail franchise. This will be the third collapse of a commercial franchise agreement on this part of the railwa...

Stagecoach and Virgin awarded West Coast extension despite East Coast failure

Stagecoach and Virgin awarded West Coast extension despite East Coast failure

06.02.18: The transport secretary has this week confirmed a two-year extension to the Virgin Trains West Coast contract despite admitting the East Coast franchise, run by the same two companies, is months from collapse. Chris Grayling said the decisi...

Grayling: East Coast franchise could fail within months

Grayling: East Coast franchise could fail within months

06.02.18: The Virgin Trains East Coast franchise has cost majority-owners Stagecoach £200m and could be only “a small number of months” from collapse. Appearing in parliament this week, transport secretary Chris Grayling told minist...

Weekend strikes to hit South Western over DOO row

Weekend strikes to hit South Western over DOO row

05.02.18: South Western Railway will be hit by strike action from 16 February as part of the ongoing dispute over the role of the guard and driver-only operation (DOO), the RMT has confirmed. From midnight on 16 February until midnight on 20 February, gu...

Strike action on GTR has cost taxpayers £22m to date

Strike action on GTR has cost taxpayers £22m to date

16.01.18: Industrial action on Southern, Great Northern and Thameslink services to date has cost £22.2m in losses to the farebox, the government has this week revealed. Jointly run under the GTR franchise, the loss was disclosed by rail ministe...

Govia services blasted by customers in latest survey

Govia services blasted by customers in latest survey

16.01.18: GTR’s services made up two of the bottom three in this year’s annual Which? passenger survey, with the other spot taken by South Eastern, also run by Govia. Southern Rail finished bottom of the ranking for the third year running...

GTR forks out £15m in compensation claims in 2016-17 as total payouts exceed £73m

GTR forks out £15m in compensation claims in 2016-17 as total payouts exceed £73m

08.01.18: Passenger compensation claims exceeded £73m in 2016-17, the latest figures from the DfT have revealed. The total compensation paid for delayed journeys and discretionary compensation following complaints has increased by £29m since...

Branson heaps major criticism on NR for end of East Coast franchise

Branson heaps major criticism on NR for end of East Coast franchise

05.01.18: Sir Richard Branson has hit out at Network Rail after the decision to end the Virgin Trains East Coast franchise in 2020 was heavily criticised, with some commentators referring to it as a ‘bailout.’ The Virgin founder said endi...

ScotRail to trial hydraulic tech to cut carbon emissions

ScotRail to trial hydraulic tech to cut carbon emissions

22.12.17: A new hydraulic pump could reduce Scotland’s carbon emissions by 4,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. The digital pump, which is being used by ScotRail, will initially be trialled on a standard commuter train. Most modern diesel tr...

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Strike news: guards row brings fresh strikes to Northern, South Western called off

19/06/2018Strike news: guards row brings fresh strikes to Northern, South Western called off

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union have walked out in a fresh dispute between the union and Northern Rail over a long-runnin... more >
TOC bosses appear before MPs, blame chaos on infrastructure failures

19/06/2018TOC bosses appear before MPs, blame chaos on infrastructure failures

Bosses from Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and Northern Rail cited failures in infrastructure being completed in time and last-minute change... more >
Labour to launch no confidence challenge against Grayling

19/06/2018Labour to launch no confidence challenge against Grayling

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 us... 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

How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

20/03/2018How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE Biometric identity, time and attendance specialists Donseed looks at how biometric technology is already starting to enhance health and safety measures on railway construction projects. Advances in technology are starting to transform the way in which the rail network in the UK is managed, operated and maintained.... more >
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Apprenticeship levy: the latest picture

05/06/2018Apprenticeship levy: the latest picture

Mark Holmes, head of membership and development at NSAR, describes the current resources available to the rail industry to ensure companies of al... more >
Moving in the right direction

05/06/2018Moving in the right direction

Alex Cropper, head of projects group at Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), reports on the exciting progress so far in building the Trafford... more >
Overcoming leaves on the line

05/06/2018Overcoming leaves on the line

Paul Gray, professional lead of engineering R&D at the RSSB, explains how latest research proves using double variable rate sanders on trains... more >
Rail: A woman’s world

18/05/2018Rail: A woman’s world

RTM’s Sacha Rowlands reports from a panel debate where six of the industry’s leading figures convened to discuss the fundamental issu... 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 >