Rail franchises operators & contracts

ORR report: ‘No one took charge’ in May timetable chaos, ‘everyone made mistakes’

ORR report: ‘No one took charge’ in May timetable chaos, ‘everyone made mistakes’

20.09.18: A scathing report into the May timetable chaos has blasted transport secretary Chris Grayling, Network Rail, and the DfT’s handling of the widespread crisis, claiming “no one took charge” when issues started to arise. The...

DfT quietly pulls the plug on CrossCountry franchise competition

DfT quietly pulls the plug on CrossCountry franchise competition

20.09.18: The government has decided to pull the plug on the CrossCountry franchise competition as a result of its rail review announcement today. Because of the franchise’s “unique geographic nature,” running from Aberdeen to Penza...

Major 2019 rail review led by BA boss will ‘leave no stone unturned’

Major 2019 rail review led by BA boss will ‘leave no stone unturned’

20.09.18: In response to the May timetable disruptions and longstanding concerns over what has been repeatedly branded a “broken” franchising system, the government has decided to formally launch a comprehensive review of the rail industry in...

Backlash at rail boss Richard Branson as he says lateness ‘annoys’ him

Backlash at rail boss Richard Branson as he says lateness ‘annoys’ him

13.09.18: Rail passengers took to Twitter to express anger at Virgin Trains boss Richard Branson, who tweeted: “There’s very little that annoys me in life, but people turning up late really does.” There’s very little that anno...

East Coast fiasco: MPs decide who is to blame for ‘overoptimistic’ franchise

East Coast fiasco: MPs decide who is to blame for ‘overoptimistic’ franchise

12.09.18: Virgin, Stagecoach and the DfT all share blame for the quick failure of the East Coast franchise earlier this year – with the first two drafting up a financially risky bid with very little resilience, and the latter setting unrealistic ben...

EU sets final deadline for Siemens and Alstom merger

EU sets final deadline for Siemens and Alstom merger

07.09.18: The European Commission has set a deadline of 28 January for the proposed rail merger of Siemens and Alstom. The deal was agreed last September but has been met by objections from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the O...

Go-Ahead blames timetable fiasco on ‘industry failure’ as firm set to pay out millions

Go-Ahead blames timetable fiasco on ‘industry failure’ as firm set to pay out millions

06.09.18: The operator of Southern and Thameslink has revealed it expects to pay out “millions” in compensation to passengers affected by its May timetable chaos. The Go-Ahead Group said it is contacting tens of thousands of affected cust...

Potential rail franchise shake-up in the works as PM pushes for review

Potential rail franchise shake-up in the works as PM pushes for review

05.09.18: The government is considering leading what has been described as the biggest review of the UK’s rail franchising system for two decades in efforts to prevent collapses such as that of the East Coast franchise back in May. According to...

LNER: Business as usual

LNER: Business as usual

04.09.18: On 24 June, the operation of the East Coast Main Line (ECML) service transferred from Virgin Trains East Coast to the newly-created London North Eastern Railway (LNER). David Horne, its managing director, talks about the first few months and wha...

DfT won’t split up Great Western, but calls for ‘more decentralisation’

DfT won’t split up Great Western, but calls for ‘more decentralisation’

28.08.18: There has been little public and organisational support for the idea of splitting the Great Western franchise and creating a separate operation for the West of England, a consultation has revealed – so the government has announced it will...

Public sector bidders will be allowed to compete for ScotRail franchise

Public sector bidders will be allowed to compete for ScotRail franchise

24.08.18: Public-sector bidders will be allowed to compete for the next ScotRail franchise in order to ensure the public and private sectors have a fair and equal access to contracts, ministers have confirmed. Michael Matheson, Cabinet secretary for...

Ex-minister calls for radical managerial devolution of ‘inertia-ridden behemoth’ Network Rail

Ex-minister calls for radical managerial devolution of ‘inertia-ridden behemoth’ Network Rail

22.08.18: A new report by a former transport minister has rejected the idea of renationalising Scotland’s railways and thrown support behind the current system. The report—commissioned by ScotRail operator Abellio and written by Tom Harri...

Southeastern completes £30m upgrade to a third of its trains

Southeastern completes £30m upgrade to a third of its trains

03.08.18: A £30m, three-year upgrade has been completed by Southeastern in a joint venture with Eversholt Rail and Bombardier to a third of its rolling stock. The revamp will benefit more than 600,000 passengers and comes as the Class...

Return to full timetables in September may be stalled due to infrastructure failures

Return to full timetables in September may be stalled due to infrastructure failures

01.08.18: Plans to move back to full timetables from chaos-stricken TOCs such as Northern Rail and TransPennine Express have been thrown into doubt following a recent Transport for North (TfN) meeting. Northern Rail reintroduced three-quarters of its...

Gatwick Express ad claim of trains to Victoria in 30 minutes ruled as ‘misleading’

Gatwick Express ad claim of trains to Victoria in 30 minutes ruled as ‘misleading’

01.08.18: An advert claim by Gatwick Express that its services can reach London Victoria in 30 minutes has been ruled as misleading by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). A poster and website advert titled “Glide out of Gatwick” wi...

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DfT confirms Northern Powerhouse Rail business case delayed until 2019

12/12/2018DfT confirms Northern Powerhouse Rail business case delayed until 2019

The strategic outline business case for Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR), which was due to be submitted to the government by the end of this month,... more >
TfL shelves plans for Tube upgrades as financial woes revealed

12/12/2018TfL shelves plans for Tube upgrades as financial woes revealed

Plans to upgrade major parts of London Underground will be put on hold and Crossrail 2 is now in doubt after TfL has disclosed the extent of its ... more >
Hitachi and Spencer Group join forces for £500m Tyne and Wear Metro deal bid

12/12/2018Hitachi and Spencer Group join forces for £500m Tyne and Wear Metro deal bid

Hitachi and Spencer Group have launched a joint bid to win a £500m contract to build new trains and a maintenance depot for the Tyne and We... 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

Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

27/11/2018Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

Olivia Brown, business development officer at Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), an academic department of the University of Warwick, outlines the four exciting projects currently taking place as part of the Coventry Very Light Rail (VLR)  programme. In RTM’s June/July issue, readers were introduced to the concept of VLR and th... more >
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Passenger safety: Respect the edge

27/11/2018Passenger safety: Respect the edge

Claire Coward, communications lead at the RSSB, discusses her organisation’s latest passenger safety campaign. Incidents at the platfo... more >
Night Tube: The twilight economy

27/11/2018Night Tube: The twilight economy

Dr David Lutton, executive director of economy and tax at London First, argues that the capital’s night-time economy is just starting its j... more >
Monitoring the performance of earthworks

27/11/2018Monitoring the performance of earthworks

Dr Joel Smethurst, associate professor in geotechnical engineering, and Professor William Powrie, professor of geotechnical engineering, both of ... more >
Introducing iPort

20/11/2018Introducing iPort

Steve Freeman, managing director of iPort Rail, introduces the UK’s newest inland freight terminal. The UK’s newest inland rail ... more >

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HS2 train race: making the case

20/11/2018HS2 train race: making the case

Bombardier and Hitachi’s commitment to providing the best HS2 rolling stock pitch to the government was signified with the launch of their ... more >