Rail franchises operators & contracts

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...

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...

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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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comment

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 >