Rail franchises operators & contracts

The rail franchise model ‘is bust’ says former Network Rail chief

The rail franchise model ‘is bust’ says former Network Rail chief

12.07.18: Article by Callum Wood of Rail Technology Magazine. Former Network Rail chief, John Armitt, has said to the BBC that rail operators have taken a "very significant revenue risk" which has "got them into trouble." This is because the gov...

GTR manager takes up two seats on packed train, tells passengers they can’t share empty carriage

GTR manager takes up two seats on packed train, tells passengers they can’t share empty carriage

11.07.18: A high-ranking manager at Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has been criticised after taking up two first class seats on a full train and preventing economy passengers using the carriage. Passenger Emma Fitzpatrick photographed Mark Boon, head...

'Disappointed' rail industry reacts to scrapped December timetable changes

'Disappointed' rail industry reacts to scrapped December timetable changes

10.07.18: The rail industry has reacted to news yesterday that some major TOCs will not be introducing new timetables in December, in an effort to prevent another rail schedule fiasco like the chaotic implementation of new timetables in May. Released...

Network Rail accepts role in ‘unacceptable SWR disruption’ linked to poor recovery plans

Network Rail accepts role in ‘unacceptable SWR disruption’ linked to poor recovery plans

05.07.18: Outdated contingency plans, poor incident responses, and incomplete ‘lessons learned’ review were amongst the key culprits behind Network Rail’s major role in contributing to delays across South Western Railway (SWR). ...

ATW pays out £2.4m in penalties for delayed and cancelled services

ATW pays out £2.4m in penalties for delayed and cancelled services

05.07.18: Arriva Trains Wales has paid out over £2.4m in financial penalties for delayed or cancelled services, a North Wales Assembly Member (AM) has announced.  Speaking to the Welsh Assembly on Tuesday, Aberconwy AM Janet Finch-Saunders...

Timetable chaos: Strong and stable?

Timetable chaos: Strong and stable?

03.07.18: David Sidebottom, director at Transport Focus, paints a stark picture of the considerable human impact of delays across London and the north – even before the full extent of the crisis becomes known. The current timetable chaos on Tha...

Welsh rail: Left in the dark

Welsh rail: Left in the dark

03.07.18: Chair of the Welsh Affairs Committee, David Davies, argues that, in light of cancelled electrification plans, Welsh rail has been left in the dark and has seen little investment compared to the rest of the UK. The cancellation of plans to e...

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...

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latest rail news

Rail review: Grayling confirms no major changes until 2020

12/10/2018Rail review: Grayling confirms no major changes until 2020

Rail commuters could continue to face disruption until major changes are made to the rail franchising system in 2020, following the transport sec... more >
£15m Network Rail freight upgrade between Doncaster and Lincolnshire kicks off

12/10/2018£15m Network Rail freight upgrade between Doncaster and Lincolnshire kicks off

Work to upgrade the route between Doncaster and northern Lincolnshire has begun as Network Rail invests more than £15m in rail freight in t... more >
How will Crossrail 2 be paid for? Boss backs tax hike, says ‘we must make scheme more affordable’

12/10/2018How will Crossrail 2 be paid for? Boss backs tax hike, says ‘we must make scheme more affordable’

The managing director for Crossrail 2 has outlined the plans for cutting costs for Crossrail 2, stating that TfL “need to make it more affo... 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

The East Coast franchise report tells us what we already knew: it was a bid set up to fail

18/09/2018The East Coast franchise report tells us what we already knew: it was a bid set up to fail

RTM's Jack Donnelly assesses what the Transport Committee's latest report on the VTEC franchise means for the industry as a whole “Even now, there is no concrete plan, nor timescales, for the interim operator of this franchise. From our inquiry, we cannot be sure, and cannot reassure passengers or public, that the arrangements ... more >
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Northern Powerhouse Rail: The need for change

18/09/2018Northern Powerhouse Rail: The need for change

Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) will be transformational for the north – it will change the way people live, work, and play. It will rebalan... more >
Innovation through people and technology

18/09/2018Innovation through people and technology

Ian Prosser, HM chief inspector of railways and director of railway safety at the ORR, picks out the key industry challenges to focus on based on... more >
Why we all must mind the gap

18/09/2018Why we all must mind the gap

Clair Mowbray, chief executive of the National College for High Speed Rail (NCHSR), explains how we can all ensure the UK’s next generation... more >
3D printing: from virtual to real

11/09/20183D printing: from virtual to real

Like so many other technological advancements, 3D printing has moved from being the stuff of science fiction, through niche industrial applicatio... more >

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interviews

Going global: an interview with Network Rail’s Leevan Finney

29/08/2018Going global: an interview with Network Rail’s Leevan Finney

RTM’s Jack Donnelly sat down with one of the leading minds behind Network Rail’s most advanced and innovative rail maintenance techno... more >