Rail franchises operators & contracts

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...

SWR plans to run full service despite weekend-long RMT strike

SWR plans to run full service despite weekend-long RMT strike

15.02.18: South Western Railway (SWR) says it plans to run a full service over the upcoming weekend despite the RMT’s planned four-day strike. The union has confirmed that action will go ahead amid ongoing disputes about the safety of trains ru...

Government releases £3.6m fund for ‘new ideas and high value innovations’

Government releases £3.6m fund for ‘new ideas and high value innovations’

15.02.18: The government has revealed details of 10 projects which will receive a share of £3.6m as part of plans to support new innovations in the rail sector. Among the winning bids are projects aimed at improving the design of carriages to i...

SWR facing ORR investigation for providing passengers with incorrect service info

SWR facing ORR investigation for providing passengers with incorrect service info

14.02.18: The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has written to South Western Railway (SWR) to outline “serious concerns” over its compliance with the conditions of its passenger licence. In a letter to the TOC’s managing director, Andy Mell...

Union calls for government intervention after near-£1bn TfL deficit revealed

Union calls for government intervention after near-£1bn TfL deficit revealed

13.02.18: The RMT has urged the government to reverse plans to cut grant funding for TfL after it was discovered that the company could suffer from a budget deficit of nearly £1bn in 2018-19. The news comes after the Financial Times revealed de...

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...

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Commute times surge by five minutes in past 10 years, with Wales and North East suffering most

13/11/2018Commute times surge by five minutes in past 10 years, with Wales and North East suffering most

Travel times to and from work now take an extra five minutes longer, with rail commuters facing the longest journeys, new analysis shows. In... more >
GWR and SWR owner FirstGroup appoints new CEO as it announces fall in rail profits

13/11/2018GWR and SWR owner FirstGroup appoints new CEO as it announces fall in rail profits

FirstGroup has named Matthew Gregory as its new chief executive as it revealed widening half-year losses and warned about the profitability of it... more >
Andrew Jones returns as rail minister following Jo Johnson’s resignation

13/11/2018Andrew Jones returns as rail minister following Jo Johnson’s resignation

Andrew Jones, MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough, has been appointed as transport minister with responsibility for rail following the resignation... 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

Elizabeth Line: short-term pain for long-term gain?

13/11/2018Elizabeth Line: short-term pain for long-term gain?

Tim Bellenger, director of policy and investigation at London TravelWatch, discusses the deferred opening of the central section of the Elizabeth Line. The announcement on 31 August that the central core section of the Elizabeth Line would not be opening on 9 December was a cause for major dismay and disappointment amongst politicians and... more >
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comment

Challenging the perceptions of rail

13/11/2018Challenging the perceptions of rail

Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Rail Industry Association (RIA) explains how the RIA Rail Fellowship Programme is challenging people’... more >
Data-driven rail

13/11/2018Data-driven rail

Andy Cross, director of Elastacloud, and Lucy Bealing, from the Elastacloud Rail Centre of Excellence, discuss their innovative collaboration wit... more >
Looking ahead to the Williams Review

13/11/2018Looking ahead to the Williams Review

Darren Shirley, chief executive of the Campaign for Better Transport, takes a look at the government’s root and branch review of the rail s... more >
Digital Railway: All change on the ECML

06/11/2018Digital Railway: All change on the ECML

Network Rail route programme director, Toufic Machnouk, explains why only a radically new approach to contracting will deliver a better service f... more >

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interviews

Finding positives in negative short-circuiting devices

09/11/2018Finding positives in negative short-circuiting devices

Sponsored interview  Anything that brings about safety and time-saving benefits is a valued improvement for the rail industry, which is w... more >