Rail franchises operators & contracts

ScotRail submits £18m improvement plan in response to government improvement notice

ScotRail submits £18m improvement plan in response to government improvement notice

25.03.19: Under-fire train operator ScotRail has unveiled an £18m remedial plan to recruit more staff and bring in additional high-speed trains in response to the government’s improvement demands last month. Transport Scotland issued Scot...

Failings found as passengers on stranded train walk on live track in ‘potentially lethal’ incident, RAIB says

Failings found as passengers on stranded train walk on live track in ‘potentially lethal’ incident, RAIB says

25.03.19: Dozens of passengers left “increasingly uncomfortable” on a stranded train at Lewisham left their train and walked along icy tracks still open to traffic, a “shocking” RAIB report has revealed. The RMT stated it was...

FirstGroup finalises £100m order for Hitachi trains as plans for London-Edinburgh rail link move forward

FirstGroup finalises £100m order for Hitachi trains as plans for London-Edinburgh rail link move forward

22.03.19: FirstGroup has finalised a £100m order for Hitachi AT300 electric trainsets in a partnership between the two companies to create a new London-to-Edinburgh rail link. FirstGroup said it had secured the rights to a new “open-acces...

Fast-charging technology for battery trains launched by Vivarail

Fast-charging technology for battery trains launched by Vivarail

19.03.19: Vivarail has launched a new fast-charge system which can fully charge one of its Class 230 battery trains in seven minutes with a range of 60 miles between charges. The British rolling stock manager announced that it has successfully demons...

New Hitachi 385s to replace ScotRail’s ‘happy trains’

New Hitachi 385s to replace ScotRail’s ‘happy trains’

18.03.19: ScotRail has confirmed that it is withdrawing its Class 365 ‘happy trains’ fleet and replacing them with new Hitachi Class 385s. The train operator said the new Class 385s will be introduced on the newly electrified Central Belt...

GTR fined record £5m for ‘persistent and prolonged failures’ in May timetable chaos

GTR fined record £5m for ‘persistent and prolonged failures’ in May timetable chaos

14.03.19: Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has been fined a record £5m for its role in last year’s May timetable chaos. The ORR criticised the train operator for “persistent and prolonged failures” in informing passengers as the...

West Midlands unveils new May rail timetable

West Midlands unveils new May rail timetable

13.03.19: More direct services, greater capacity and extra evening and weekend services have been promised as West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway launch their new timetable for May 2019. The train operators have revealed a raft of c...

LNER trains for ECML given approval to enter passenger services

LNER trains for ECML given approval to enter passenger services

11.03.19: New LNER rolling stock for the East Coast Main Line (ECML) has received approval for its Class 800 Azuma trains to enter passenger service. The ORR has authorised the operation of the Class 800/1 nine-car trainsets and the Class 800/2 five...

SWR and Porterbrook trial new emission-slashing rail technology

SWR and Porterbrook trial new emission-slashing rail technology

08.03.19: Groundbreaking emission-reducing technology is to be fitted to South Western Railway (SWR) train units as part of a new trial aiming to cut down harmful emissions from diesel trains by 80%. Porterbrook is working in partnership with exhaust...

New May timetable announced as rail bosses insist ‘lessons learned’ following last year’s chaos

New May timetable announced as rail bosses insist ‘lessons learned’ following last year’s chaos

08.03.19: The rail industry has confirmed the new summer 2019 timetable, with 1,000 extra services added to relieve overcrowding as rail bosses say they “learned the lessons” of last year’s chaos. A host of timetable adjustments are...

New six-carriage Northern trains pushed back two years due to delayed upgrade works

New six-carriage Northern trains pushed back two years due to delayed upgrade works

07.03.19: The delivery of Northern’s new six-carriage trains at Leeds station has been delayed by two years due to separate delays to Network Rail upgrades. The longer trains were due to be introduced at the end of this year, but due to delays...

MP slams ‘appalling’ Southeastern rail delays amid reports that passengers were forced to ‘pay double’

MP slams ‘appalling’ Southeastern rail delays amid reports that passengers were forced to ‘pay double’

06.03.19: A Conservative MP has slammed “appalling” Southeastern rail services ahead of talks in Parliament following reports that the train operator faces a £100m legal claim over “making passengers pay double.” Sir Dav...

DfT must improve governance over rail industry or passengers face another year of ‘hell’, warn MPs

DfT must improve governance over rail industry or passengers face another year of ‘hell’, warn MPs

01.03.19: Rail passengers are facing another year of “hell” with major timetable changes and engineering works unless the government improves its governance of the rail sector, MPs have warned. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has publ...

South Western Railway to become UK’s first 5G railway as FirstGroup announces deal for superfast Wi-Fi on trains

South Western Railway to become UK’s first 5G railway as FirstGroup announces deal for superfast Wi-Fi on trains

26.02.19: FirstGroup has announced a deal to become the first UK’s first 5G railway network, bringing superfast Wi-Fi to the Southern Western Railway franchise. In partnership with Blu Wireless, Network Rail and the DfT, FirstGroup’s rail...

CAF commences design and engineering on DMUs for Wales and Borders franchise

CAF commences design and engineering on DMUs for Wales and Borders franchise

21.02.19: Spanish rail manufacturer CAF has announced it is beginning the design and engineering work for the highly-anticipated Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs) for the Wales and Borders franchise. Being built at the company’s facility in Newport...

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North of England leaders demand ‘Northern Budget’ to boost region

16/08/2019North of England leaders demand ‘Northern Budget’ to boost region

Key leaders from across the North of England have called for Government commitment to a ‘Northern Budget’ which could be used to deli... more >
Metrolink customers complete 170k trips using contactless system

16/08/2019Metrolink customers complete 170k trips using contactless system

Since its launch four weeks ago, more than 170,000 journeys have been made using the new contactless payment system on the Metrolink network... more >
Government announces £25m Brexit high-speed medicines train

15/08/2019Government announces £25m Brexit high-speed medicines train

In the event of a No Deal Brexit, the Government has announced the setting up of a high-speed train service to ferry medicine to the UK from Fran... 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

Network Rail’s Anna-Jane Hunter on, NPR, TRU, HS2 and supply chain opportunities

12/08/2019Network Rail’s Anna-Jane Hunter on, NPR, TRU, HS2 and supply chain opportunities

Anna- Jane Hunter, is a ‘proud northerner’ and is passionate about continuing the investment and success story of rail across the North.  She plays a key role in working with government and northern leaders to enable the network to carry on thriving. We caught up with Anna-Jane, for her expertise and insight into connecti... 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 >