Rail franchises operators & contracts

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...

Caledonian Sleeper unveil first look inside new £150m fleet

Caledonian Sleeper unveil first look inside new £150m fleet

03.04.19: Caledonian Sleeper has revealed the design and interiors of its new £150m fleet of trains as the service nears its launch at the end of May. The first images from inside the new trains built by CAF have been released, showing the inte...

Wales and Border rail franchise in £200m deal for new metro fleet

Wales and Border rail franchise in £200m deal for new metro fleet

02.04.19: The Wales and Borders rail franchise has received £200m from the financial services giant Legal & General to provide new rolling stock on the south Wales Metro. The funding will see a new Wales and Borders rail fleet replace the c...

Deutsche Bahn to offload rail and bus operator Arriva

Deutsche Bahn to offload rail and bus operator Arriva

29.03.19: Arriva, which runs UK rail franchises including Northern and the London Overground, is to be put up for sale by its owner Deutsche Bahn (DB). The German state rail operator, which has debts of more than €20bn, has begun exploring a sal...

Five Caledonian Sleeper staff quit after reporting for work following drinking sessions

Five Caledonian Sleeper staff quit after reporting for work following drinking sessions

29.03.19: Five Caledonian Sleeper staff have left the operator after they were caught turning up to work after drinking in two separate incidents. The staff, who worked on-board the new sleeper services between London and Scotland, were suspended fol...

‘Unacceptable’: Northern’s extra half-hourly trains from Cheshire to Manchester delayed for second time

‘Unacceptable’: Northern’s extra half-hourly trains from Cheshire to Manchester delayed for second time

27.03.19: The introduction of two additional train services between Cheshire and Manchester every hour has been postponed for the second time, according to the DfT. Northern promised half-hourly train services on the Mid-Cheshire Line in its bid for...

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£10bn rail network enhancements announced for the next five years

16/10/2019£10bn rail network enhancements announced for the next five years

The Department for Transport (DfT) has today (Oct 16) released its five-year Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline (RNEP) outlining plans that span ... more >
RAIB releases new safety recommendations following recent fatal accident

16/10/2019RAIB releases new safety recommendations following recent fatal accident

The RAIB has delivered a new set of safety recommendations after a passenger suffered fatal injuries after leaning out of a window of a moving tr... more >
Northern Rail could be renationalised, according to transport secretary Grant Shapps

16/10/2019Northern Rail could be renationalised, according to transport secretary Grant Shapps

The government is considering renationalising Northern Rail due to repeated poor performance. Transport secretary Grant Shapps has said he h... 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

Connecting Network Rail with the supply chain

17/09/2019Connecting Network Rail with the supply chain

Continuing our mission to connect buyers with suppliers, This year TransCityRail North is adding a new element to the event. We are introducing an incomparable opportunity for you to meet with over 11 procurement directors from Network Rail at our exclusive 'Network Rail Meet the Buyers Hub'.  Situated at the heart of the event ... 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

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he wo... more >