Rail franchises operators & contracts

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...

RIA: Government underestimating UK rail value by whopping £25bn

RIA: Government underestimating UK rail value by whopping £25bn

27.02.18: The government could be underestimating the value of the rail industry in Britain by £25bn, figures released today by the Rail Industry Association (RIA) indicate. In total, the industry generates around £36bn for the UK annuall...

Abellio withdraws from Wales and Borders after Carillion collapse

Abellio withdraws from Wales and Borders after Carillion collapse

26.02.18: Abellio has announced today that it will withdraw its bid for the upcoming Wales and Borders franchise following the liquidation of its construction partner Carillion. The move leaves just two groups left in the running for the franchise af...

RMT announces further 24-hour strike on Northern and Merseyrail

RMT announces further 24-hour strike on Northern and Merseyrail

16.02.18: Further strike action on Merseyrail and Northern has been confirmed by RMT, whose members will strike for 24 hours on 3 March as part of a long-running dispute over driver-only operation (DOO). RMT general secretary, Mick Cash, claimed that eve...

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Former Aston Villa chair announced as WMCA HS2 growth delivery chair

21/09/2018Former Aston Villa chair announced as WMCA HS2 growth delivery chair

Steve Hollis has been announced as the new chair of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) HS2 growth delivery board. A former chairman... more >
Major northern station upgrade reaches phase two of redevelopment

21/09/2018Major northern station upgrade reaches phase two of redevelopment

Plans to improve the Doncaster Railway Station have reached phase two of the redevelopment process. Work has begun on the plans, developed b... more >
Northern unveils new digital train for roll-out at end of year

21/09/2018Northern unveils new digital train for roll-out at end of year

Northern has unveiled its refurbished Class 158 digital train for passengers, ahead of the new fleet’s complete roll-out by the end of the ... 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 >