Rail franchises operators & contracts

TfN seeking Northern improvement plan after Burnham slams TOC performance

TfN seeking Northern improvement plan after Burnham slams TOC performance

18.05.18: The chair of Transport for the North (TfN), John Cridland, has revealed that the organisation will seek to meet with Northern Rail boss David Brown to figure out an improvement plan to help mitigate the current performance problems that blight the...

Stagecoach: ‘Our plans offered good way forward, but we respect DfT decision’

Stagecoach: ‘Our plans offered good way forward, but we respect DfT decision’

16.05.18: Stagecoach’s chief executive, Martin Griffiths, argued the company’s plans to continue operating the East Coast franchise offered a “positive, value-for-money way forward for passengers” but assured that he respected the...

DfT to take over East Coast under new London North Eastern Railway brand

DfT to take over East Coast under new London North Eastern Railway brand

16.05.18: The current East Coast franchise will be scrapped on 24 June and replaced by a government team tasked with running passenger services until this can smoothly transition into the East Coast Partnership, which will bring together the public and pr...

Grayling due to pull the plug on East Coast franchise this week

Grayling due to pull the plug on East Coast franchise this week

15.05.18: Chris Grayling is due to scrap the East Coast franchise before the end of the week after operators Stagecoach and Virgin suffered heavy losses, it has been reported. Two sources told the Financial Times that the DfT is set to pull the plug...

FirstGroup shares crash as Apollo walks away from merger without deal

FirstGroup shares crash as Apollo walks away from merger without deal

09.05.18: A potential deal between US private equity firm Apollo and British rail and bus operator FirstGroup has collapsed after two approaches were turned down by the UK transport giant. FirstGroup shares fell by more than 10% on the London Stock E...

RSSB launches modernised supplier assurance system

RSSB launches modernised supplier assurance system

02.05.18: The RSSB has launched its new Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme (RISQS), allowing the UK’s rail supplier assurance to be run by the industry under the supervision of the safety board. The new software platform is configur...

Probe launched into SWR and NR performance

Probe launched into SWR and NR performance

26.04.18: An independent review into South Western Railway’s (SWR) performance has been commissioned by the government. Transport secretary, Chris Grayling, has written a letter to MPs, in which he said that he has been “very disappointed&rdq...

Grayling threatened with legal action over East Coast rail franchise failings

Grayling threatened with legal action over East Coast rail franchise failings

20.04.18: Campaigners are threatening to take transport secretary Chris Grayling to court over his failure to stop the companies behind the failed Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC) from bidding for other franchises in future. Bring Back British Rail ha...

TPE launches one of ‘biggest timetable changes the north has seen’

TPE launches one of ‘biggest timetable changes the north has seen’

10.04.18: TransPennine Express (TPE) has launched a new transformational timetable that it argues will deliver real benefits for communities across the north and into Scotland. The changes, which form part of the Great North Rail Project (GNRP), will com...

West Midlands Railway takes charge of Wolverhampton station

West Midlands Railway takes charge of Wolverhampton station

05.04.18: Wolverhampton station has officially been taken over by West Midlands Railway, replacing Virgin Trains. The changeover is part of a move towards more devolved transport services throughout the West Midlands, which Transport for West Midlands (T...

Companies invited to submit bids for West Coast Partnership

Companies invited to submit bids for West Coast Partnership

28.03.18: West Coast passengers will benefit from improved accessibility, simpler fares and improved compensation, transport secretary Chris Grayling has announced as he invited companies to bid for the brand-new franchise. Organisations have been invite...

Union to continue with controversial four-day Easter Weekend strike

Union to continue with controversial four-day Easter Weekend strike

16.03.18: Union members working for South Western Railway (SWR) are to go through with a four-day strike running across both bank holidays over the Easter Weekend. RMT general secretary Mick Cash confirmed that the action would still go ahead between...

Greater Anglia forced to put multimillion-pound depot plans on hold

Greater Anglia forced to put multimillion-pound depot plans on hold

13.03.18: Greater Anglia has been forced to look at “alternative options” for its planned depot in Brantham, Suffolk, due to problems with access and the frequency of trains on a nearby level crossing. The multimillion-pound facility was...

Grayling scolds operators for lack of communication on cancelled services

Grayling scolds operators for lack of communication on cancelled services

06.03.18: Chris Grayling has rebuked train operators for their actions last week, when freezing conditions and heavy snow brought periods of extreme disruption. In a letter to Rail Delivery Group (RDG) boss, Paul Plummer, the transport secretary said...

UK Government takes major step towards Welsh rail devolution

UK Government takes major step towards Welsh rail devolution

01.03.18: The Welsh Government has taken a huge step towards devolved control over the railways after a new bill was put in front of Whitehall ministers this week. The process would see the National Assembly given new powers to oversee the Wales and...

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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 >