Rail franchises operators & contracts

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...

Consultation launched for next CrossCountry franchise

Consultation launched for next CrossCountry franchise

08.06.18: The DfT has kicked off a public consultation to seek views on various aspects of the next CrossCountry franchise to inform what the department will ask from potential operators when the franchise is renewed next year. T...

Greater Anglia speeds up delay repay compensation

Greater Anglia speeds up delay repay compensation

06.06.18: Greater Anglia has updated its compensation process to make it faster to make a claim after listening to customer feedback. Rail passengers in the region told the train operating company that its online Delay Repay claim form, which is used to...

Network Rail chair says ‘maybe he should’ resign over rail crisis

Network Rail chair says ‘maybe he should’ resign over rail crisis

05.06.18: The chair of Network Rail has said maybe he should resign over mounting pressure from MPs and the public after chaos caused by unprecedented delays and cancellations on the nation’s railways. Sir Peter Hendy has said his company was &...

KeolisAmey unveils £1.9bn Wales and Borders upgrade plans

KeolisAmey unveils £1.9bn Wales and Borders upgrade plans

04.06.18: KeolisAmey has unveiled its plans for a £1.9bn investment in the Wales and Borders rail network and the South Wales Metro in partnership with Transport for Wales (TfW). The announcement comes as the Welsh Government confirmed that KeolisA...

FirstGroup boss resigns after £327m loss

FirstGroup boss resigns after £327m loss

31.05.18: FirstGroup boss, Tim O’Toole, has stepped down with immediate effect, following the announcement of the train operator’s financial loss. In the year ending March 2018, the company reported a full-year loss of £327m – a v...

Grayling must ‘immediately intervene’ on Northern performance

Grayling must ‘immediately intervene’ on Northern performance

31.05.18: The government must escalate its response to the Northern rail “fiasco”, according to the mayor of Greater Manchester. Andy Burnham is calling on the transport secretary today to intervene after new figures showed that the franchise...

KeolisAmey JV awarded Wales and Borders franchise deal

KeolisAmey JV awarded Wales and Borders franchise deal

23.05.18: The Welsh Government is to award the contract to operate the new Wales and Borders franchise and the South Wales Metro to KeolisAmey, it has announced. Following the completion of a 10-day standstill period, the contract will run from 4 June th...

Every single service affected by major GTR timetable shakeup

Every single service affected by major GTR timetable shakeup

18.05.18: Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) will change the times of every single service as part of its Rail Plan 20/20 programme. In order to run an additional 400 trains every day, the TOC will transform its entire timetable, starting from this Sunday, 2...

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Grayling gives green light to Network Rail ECML improvements

13/08/2018Grayling gives green light to Network Rail ECML improvements

Plans to improve the East Coast Main Line (ECML) have been given the go-ahead by the transport secretary as part of Network Rail’s Railway ... more >
Rail fare rise on the way as mayors call for cost freeze in the north

13/08/2018Rail fare rise on the way as mayors call for cost freeze in the north

Two north-west mayors have called for a freeze on rail fares in the north after national fees on networks are set to rise by 3.5% next year. ... more >
Ex-Carillion boss to take over £2.5bn Balfour Beatty Vinci HS2 contracts

10/08/2018Ex-Carillion boss to take over £2.5bn Balfour Beatty Vinci HS2 contracts

The former boss of Carillion’s UK infrastructure business is set to take over Balfour Beatty Vinci to lead its HS2 joint venture. Mark... 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

A radical solution to the employment crisis

24/07/2018A radical solution to the employment crisis

Peter Cayless, founder and creative director at Working Eye, talks about an innovative solution to employment in the rail industry that might just help transform careers advice into career discovery. At the 2012 Latitude Festival, comedian Shappi Khorsandi joked that rather than book a clown for their daughter’s birthday party, pare... more >
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Passengers at the heart of Thameslink

31/07/2018Passengers at the heart of Thameslink

As Thameslink launches a new timetable, Richard Freeston-Clough, operations and communications officer at London TravelWatch, looks back at the w... more >
Customers want more rail freight

31/07/2018Customers want more rail freight

Philippa Edmunds, Freight on Rail manager at the Campaign for Better Transport, makes a socioeconomic case for continued investment not only in t... more >
Freight for the Borderlands' untapped potential

31/07/2018Freight for the Borderlands' untapped potential

John Stevenson, MP for Carlisle and the government’s Borderlands Deal Champion, discusses the untapped potential for growth in the Borderla... more >
British manufacturing in buoyant demand for steel

31/07/2018British manufacturing in buoyant demand for steel

Roger Neary, head of logistics sales at DB Cargo UK, discusses the rail freight company’s £6m expansion of its steel warehousing faci... 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 >