Rail franchises operators & contracts

Inquiry launched into third East Coast franchise failure in 10 years

Inquiry launched into third East Coast franchise failure in 10 years

12.02.18: The transport committee has today officially launched its inquiry into the “imminent failure” of the Intercity East Coast rail franchise. This will be the third collapse of a commercial franchise agreement on this part of the railwa...

Stagecoach and Virgin awarded West Coast extension despite East Coast failure

Stagecoach and Virgin awarded West Coast extension despite East Coast failure

06.02.18: The transport secretary has this week confirmed a two-year extension to the Virgin Trains West Coast contract despite admitting the East Coast franchise, run by the same two companies, is months from collapse. Chris Grayling said the decisi...

Grayling: East Coast franchise could fail within months

Grayling: East Coast franchise could fail within months

06.02.18: The Virgin Trains East Coast franchise has cost majority-owners Stagecoach £200m and could be only “a small number of months” from collapse. Appearing in parliament this week, transport secretary Chris Grayling told minist...

Weekend strikes to hit South Western over DOO row

Weekend strikes to hit South Western over DOO row

05.02.18: South Western Railway will be hit by strike action from 16 February as part of the ongoing dispute over the role of the guard and driver-only operation (DOO), the RMT has confirmed. From midnight on 16 February until midnight on 20 February, gu...

Strike action on GTR has cost taxpayers £22m to date

Strike action on GTR has cost taxpayers £22m to date

16.01.18: Industrial action on Southern, Great Northern and Thameslink services to date has cost £22.2m in losses to the farebox, the government has this week revealed. Jointly run under the GTR franchise, the loss was disclosed by rail ministe...

Govia services blasted by customers in latest survey

Govia services blasted by customers in latest survey

16.01.18: GTR’s services made up two of the bottom three in this year’s annual Which? passenger survey, with the other spot taken by South Eastern, also run by Govia. Southern Rail finished bottom of the ranking for the third year running...

GTR forks out £15m in compensation claims in 2016-17 as total payouts exceed £73m

GTR forks out £15m in compensation claims in 2016-17 as total payouts exceed £73m

08.01.18: Passenger compensation claims exceeded £73m in 2016-17, the latest figures from the DfT have revealed. The total compensation paid for delayed journeys and discretionary compensation following complaints has increased by £29m since...

Branson heaps major criticism on NR for end of East Coast franchise

Branson heaps major criticism on NR for end of East Coast franchise

05.01.18: Sir Richard Branson has hit out at Network Rail after the decision to end the Virgin Trains East Coast franchise in 2020 was heavily criticised, with some commentators referring to it as a ‘bailout.’ The Virgin founder said endi...

ScotRail to trial hydraulic tech to cut carbon emissions

ScotRail to trial hydraulic tech to cut carbon emissions

22.12.17: A new hydraulic pump could reduce Scotland’s carbon emissions by 4,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. The digital pump, which is being used by ScotRail, will initially be trialled on a standard commuter train. Most modern diesel tr...

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...

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

TfL and TfWM join forces in knowledge sharing deal

20/07/2018TfL and TfWM join forces in knowledge sharing deal

A landmark collaboration between two of the UK’s biggest regions has been signed to pave the way to improve rail transport between the area... more >
DfT pledges ‘tough action’ on GTR, contract breach review due this month

19/07/2018DfT pledges ‘tough action’ on GTR, contract breach review due this month

GTR could be at risk of losing control of its franchise as early as this month depending on the outcome of a “hard review” into wheth... more >
Higgins urges Grayling to make decision on Yorkshire HS2 parkway station

19/07/2018Higgins urges Grayling to make decision on Yorkshire HS2 parkway station

HS2 Ltd’s outgoing chairman, Sir David Higgins, has urged the government to make a decision on proposals to create a parkway station on 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

HS2: collaborate to innovate

17/07/2018HS2: collaborate to innovate

Dr Chris Goodier and Dr Steve Yeomans, of Loughborough University’s Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering (CICE), talk about four new HS2 research projects which are set to challenge how we design, build and monitor high-speed rail projects. No one doubts that HS2 must provide a platform for innovation, bu... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Elizabeth Line: a greener approach

17/07/2018Elizabeth Line: a greener approach

Howard Smith, operations director for TfL Rail and the Elizabeth Line, outlines the key features of the brand-new, eco-friendly Old Oak Common de... more >
iRail: investing in the future

17/07/2018iRail: investing in the future

The rail industry today faces many challenges, one of those being the skills gap in high- speed rail. However, events like iRail are doing their ... more >
HS2: collaborate to innovate

17/07/2018HS2: collaborate to innovate

Dr Chris Goodier and Dr Steve Yeomans, of Loughborough University’s Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering (CICE)... more >
Hydrogen trains: bringing the success story to the UK

17/07/2018Hydrogen trains: bringing the success story to the UK

Hydrogen-powered trains are already a reality in other rail networks in Europe. Now, working alongside Eversholt Rail, Alstom UK plans to bring t... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

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 >