Rail franchises operators & contracts

RMT and TSSA cancel five days of Virgin West Coast strikes

RMT and TSSA cancel five days of Virgin West Coast strikes

22.12.17: The RMT and TSSA unions have cancelled planned strikes today and throughout January on Virgin and Virgin West Coast services after coming to an agreement with the operator. Initially the industrial action was scheduled for today, 22 Decembe...

New year to kick off with strikes across five franchises

New year to kick off with strikes across five franchises

20.12.17: RMT has confirmed strike action against five rail operators in the New Year. The strikes are part of ongoing separate disputes over what the union calls an “attack on the role of the guard” and the extension of Drive Only Operation...

Government officially launches East West Railway Company

Government officially launches East West Railway Company

14.12.17: Transport secretary Chris Grayling has officially launched the East West Railway (EWR) Company today, intended to restore the link between Oxford and Cambridge. The Varsity line, which previously connected the two cities, was shut down near...

Government could face investigation over Virgin East Coast ‘bailout’

Government could face investigation over Virgin East Coast ‘bailout’

12.12.17: The DfT could be subject to an investigation following the decision to allow Virgin Trains East Coast out of its franchise obligations three years early. Transport secretary Chris Grayling announced the move earlier this month, sparking fea...

West Midlands Trains and London Northwestern launch first services

West Midlands Trains and London Northwestern launch first services

11.12.17: The new West Midlands franchise officially launched this weekend as West Midlands Trains and London Northwestern began operations. The new operator is a joint venture between Abellio, JR East and Mitsui which won the contract from London Mi...

ScotRail puts severe weather plans in place for winter

ScotRail puts severe weather plans in place for winter

06.12.17: ScotRail has outlined its extreme winter weather plans as Scotland prepares to be hit by Storm Caroline. Winter impacts on the railway, with the effects ranging from speed restrictions to service suspension. To avoid objects which may have b...

TPE to invest £7m in new state-of-the-art Scarborough depot

TPE to invest £7m in new state-of-the-art Scarborough depot

04.12.17: TransPennine Express (TPE) is set to invest £7m into a new train servicing depot in Scarborough. The facility, which is expected to open in summer 2018, will provide light maintenance services for trains between Scarborough and Liverpool...

East Coast franchise to end early as Grayling accused of ‘misleading’

East Coast franchise to end early as Grayling accused of ‘misleading’

01.12.17: The Virgin East Coast franchise is to end three years early, in 2020, transport secretary Chris Grayling announced yesterday. The decision has sparked financial concerns across the industry as the franchise – owned jointly by Stagecoa...

Go-Ahead profits stabilise as year-long strike row draws to a close

Go-Ahead profits stabilise as year-long strike row draws to a close

30.11.17: The Go-Ahead Group’s trading has been in line with expectations across its rail business during the first four months of the year (2 July – 29 November) as the company seeks to put its year-long history of strike action behind it. ...

DfT reveals new franchising model for upcoming South Eastern contract

DfT reveals new franchising model for upcoming South Eastern contract

29.11.17: Plans revealed today by the DfT detail a 40,000-passenger capacity increase expected from the next operator of the South Eastern franchise. The new operator will also have to work under the new ‘one team’ model of franchising, w...

GTR opens third public consultation on £7bn Thameslink Programme

GTR opens third public consultation on £7bn Thameslink Programme

28.11.17: Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has opened its third consultation into proposed changes to the £7bn Thameslink Programme. The initial two phases of consultation attracted over 20,000 responses on questions surrounding extended routes a...

Nationalised ScotRail ‘could lead to instant 6% fare cut’

Nationalised ScotRail ‘could lead to instant 6% fare cut’

28.11.17: ScotRail could feasibly be nationalised by 2020, and doing so could give passengers an immediate 6% drop in fares, it has been claimed. Data provided by think tank Common Weal – commissioned by transport union TSSA – suggests th...

Rail needs to do ‘much more’ to improve assistance for disabled people

Rail needs to do ‘much more’ to improve assistance for disabled people

15.11.17: Much more needs to be done to improve the reliability, consistency and awareness of assistance available to rail passengers, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has said. Research by the regulator has found that 12% of passengers who booked assis...

Southern DOO trains comply with disabled passenger policy, ORR states

Southern DOO trains comply with disabled passenger policy, ORR states

13.11.17: Following a period of monitoring, the ORR is satisfied that Southern has continued to comply with its Disabled People’s Protection Policy following its move to driver-only operated (DOO) services. The regulator has conclude...

TSSA announces Christmas and New Year Virgin West Coast strike ballot

TSSA announces Christmas and New Year Virgin West Coast strike ballot

10.11.17: Members of the TSSA working at Virgin West Coast will be balloted on whether to strike over the Christmas and New Year period. Union members make up over 400 of the total staff on the service – which connects London with the north wes...

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Strike news: guards row brings fresh strikes to Northern, South Western called off

19/06/2018Strike news: guards row brings fresh strikes to Northern, South Western called off

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union have walked out in a fresh dispute between the union and Northern Rail over a long-runnin... more >
TOC bosses appear before MPs, blame chaos on infrastructure failures

19/06/2018TOC bosses appear before MPs, blame chaos on infrastructure failures

Bosses from Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and Northern Rail cited failures in infrastructure being completed in time and last-minute change... more >
Labour to launch no confidence challenge against Grayling

19/06/2018Labour to launch no confidence challenge against Grayling

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 us... 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

How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

20/03/2018How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE Biometric identity, time and attendance specialists Donseed looks at how biometric technology is already starting to enhance health and safety measures on railway construction projects. Advances in technology are starting to transform the way in which the rail network in the UK is managed, operated and maintained.... more >
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Apprenticeship levy: the latest picture

05/06/2018Apprenticeship levy: the latest picture

Mark Holmes, head of membership and development at NSAR, describes the current resources available to the rail industry to ensure companies of al... more >
Moving in the right direction

05/06/2018Moving in the right direction

Alex Cropper, head of projects group at Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), reports on the exciting progress so far in building the Trafford... more >
Overcoming leaves on the line

05/06/2018Overcoming leaves on the line

Paul Gray, professional lead of engineering R&D at the RSSB, explains how latest research proves using double variable rate sanders on trains... more >
Rail: A woman’s world

18/05/2018Rail: A woman’s world

RTM’s Sacha Rowlands reports from a panel debate where six of the industry’s leading figures convened to discuss the fundamental issu... 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 >