Rail franchises operators & contracts

National competition regulators write to oppose Siemens-Alstom merger

National competition regulators write to oppose Siemens-Alstom merger

21.12.18: The UK’s competition watchdog has written to the EU Commission with the backing of several European regulators in a bid to halt the Siemens-Alstom merger unless the two companies make much bigger concessions. The Competition and Marke...

Greater Anglia to ditch First Class travel from 2020

Greater Anglia to ditch First Class travel from 2020

19.12.18: Greater Anglia is to scrap First Class travel on most of its services from January 2020 in order to create more room for Standard Class passengers. The train operator will also be bringing in new and longer trains from the end of next year...

Northern calls for formal ACAS inquiry over bitter RMT dispute

Northern calls for formal ACAS inquiry over bitter RMT dispute

19.12.18: Northern Rail has formally written to ACAS seeking an independent inquiry into its ongoing dispute with the RMT, with the union calling the move a “nothing more than a publicity stunt.” The train operator says it wants an inquir...

Rival operators to run on same rail routes in bid to drive up competition

Rival operators to run on same rail routes in bid to drive up competition

18.12.18: Passengers will have the choice of choosing which train operators they travel with under new plans to allow rival TOCs to operate on the same routes to drive up competition. The new competitive system will be introduced to the rail network...

Siemens and Alstom offer to sell high-speed train technology to address EU antitrust concerns

Siemens and Alstom offer to sell high-speed train technology to address EU antitrust concerns

18.12.18: Engineering giants Siemens and Alstom have offered to sell their high-speed train technology as part of a concession package to address EU antitrust objections over the proposed merger. The German and French train companies submitted their...

Infrastructure giant Amey to be sold to private equity firm in new year

Infrastructure giant Amey to be sold to private equity firm in new year

14.12.18:  Infrastructure giant Amey is expected to be sold to a private equity firm in the new year, according to reports. The Financial Times believes that Amey’s Spanish parent company, Ferrovial, is in talks with PAI Partners and Greyb...

Siemens and Alstom submit concessions to EU to secure merger deal

Siemens and Alstom submit concessions to EU to secure merger deal

13.12.18: Engineering giants Siemens and Alstom have submitted concessions to the European Commission in a bid to quell raised concerns that the merger between the two would negatively impact competition in the industry. The announcement by the two c...

Five new platforms for Waterloo station as old Eurostar terminal reopens

Five new platforms for Waterloo station as old Eurostar terminal reopens

11.12.18: The former Eurostar terminal at Waterloo station has been reopened for the first time in 12 years, bringing five new platforms to the Britain’s busiest railway station. Platforms 20 to 22 at Waterloo have been opened to the public, an...

May timetable crisis: GTR hit with government profit sanctions and told to spend £15m on improvements

May timetable crisis: GTR hit with government profit sanctions and told to spend £15m on improvements

04.12.18: Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has been told that it must contribute £15m towards service improvements for passengers as the government announced that the TOC will be hit with sanctions, capping its profits for the remainder of its franchi...

Grayling ‘should resign’ over ‘appalling’ timetable chaos as MPs call for fare freeze

Grayling ‘should resign’ over ‘appalling’ timetable chaos as MPs call for fare freeze

04.12.18: MPs have demanded a freeze in rail fares and called for the transport secretary to resign over the “chaotic roll-out” of the new railway timetables introduced in May, which hit nearly half of all passenger services up and down the co...

After almost a year of strikes, DfT commits to keeping second person on-board Northern trains

After almost a year of strikes, DfT commits to keeping second person on-board Northern trains

29.11.18: The DfT and Transport for the North (TfN) have committed to keep a second person on-board Northern trains in a momentous decision that could bring an end to strike action and settle the long-running dispute between the TOC and the RMT union. ...

New railway technology to save track workers thousands of hours on SWR

New railway technology to save track workers thousands of hours on SWR

27.11.18:  New technology to help carry out overnight and maintenance work is set to be rolled out across the South Western Railway and will save track workers an extra 1,600 hours a year. The railway technology will allow for a more efficient...

DfT denies ‘experimenting’ with new East Coast Partnership, promises better franchise bids assessment

DfT denies ‘experimenting’ with new East Coast Partnership, promises better franchise bids assessment

27.11.18: The DfT has defended its reportedly experimental plans for the refreshed East Coast Main Line franchise, arguing that its process for assessing bids is now “more robust” after a critical report into the failings that led to the colla...

Thameslink director appointed as East West Rail’s first CEO

Thameslink director appointed as East West Rail’s first CEO

23.11.18: East West Rail has announced its first chief executive as Simon Blanchflower, the programme director for Thameslink. Blanchflower will lead the East West Railway Company through its next phase of development, delivering a new railway l...

Major overhaul of one of country’s longest tunnels sees delays fall by a fifth

Major overhaul of one of country’s longest tunnels sees delays fall by a fifth

23.11.18: A major refurbishment of Sevenoaks tunnel has seen a 20% reduction in delays and halved journey times for passengers, even as the £21m infrastructure renewal nears completion. One of the longest tunnels in southern England, Sevenoaks...

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Record number of passenger journeys as UK rail revenue rises to four-year high

18/06/2019Record number of passenger journeys as UK rail revenue rises to four-year high

Record figures of rail passenger journeys have been recorded in England, Scotland and Wales, according to the most recent quarterly report by the... more >
Rail union Aslef launches 'On Track with Diversity' report at Houses of Parliament

18/06/2019Rail union Aslef launches 'On Track with Diversity' report at Houses of Parliament

Train drivers’ union Aslef launched its On Track with Diversity report at the Houses of Parliament on Monday, as it looks to increase ... more >
Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

13/06/2019Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

The storm-battered Dawlish rail line could be “moved out to sea” and away from the “hazard” of the cliffs under new plans... 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

Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

05/06/2019Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

In a series of Q&A’s with key speakers on the run up to TransCityRail Midlands, we caught up with TransCityRail panellist and Amey’s commercial account director, Anna Delvecchio, for her insight into what the Rail Sector Deal means for the rail industry and its supply chain. Anna started her career as an apprentice at the age o... more >
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Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >
Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

10/06/2019Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

Malcolm Holmes, executive director of the West Midlands Rail Executive, described the new stations set to be built for the Black Country region o... more >
The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

10/06/2019The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

Richard Turner, head of apprenticeships at Network Rail, details the reasons for growing apprenticeship demand in the rail sector over the coming... more >
A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

10/06/2019A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

Chris Hobson, director of policy and external affairs at the East Midlands Chamber, talks in detail about what travelling through the region will... more >

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interviews

Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >