Rail franchises operators & contracts

RIA: Rail finance figures for 2016-17 represent ‘big opportunity’

RIA: Rail finance figures for 2016-17 represent ‘big opportunity’

11.10.17: The RIA have today stated that the latest ORR annual statistical report indicates a “big opportunity” for suppliers. The report shows that while government funding was down 12.6% compared to 2015-16, private investment had a rea...

UTG: Rail investment ‘high value for money’

UTG: Rail investment ‘high value for money’

11.10.17: Investment in the regional rail network can represent “high value for money” as well as providing “transformative benefits” to surrounding areas, a report from the Urban Transport Group (UTG) has concluded. The new s...

Sheffield business leaders voice key concerns for East Midlands franchise

Sheffield business leaders voice key concerns for East Midlands franchise

10.10.17: A group of Sheffield organisations has sent a letter to the government listing 10 priorities to focus on ahead of the upcoming rail franchise bid. The group consists of Sheffield City Region (SCR) LEP, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Ex...

RMT prepares to strike against fifth TOC, South Western

RMT prepares to strike against fifth TOC, South Western

04.10.17: The RMT has this week extended its dispute with TOCs over driver-only operated trains to a fifth operator, South Western Railway (SWR). The news comes a day after union leaders accused the government of “sabotaging” a deal being...

ORR invites views on TOC access charges reform

ORR invites views on TOC access charges reform

29.09.17: The Office of Road and Rail (ORR) has released details about the consultation into the charges that operators pay to access the rail network as part of Network Rail’s 2018 periodic review. Access charges play an important role in infl...

TOCs invited to submit late franchise tenders as Wales promises more staff

TOCs invited to submit late franchise tenders as Wales promises more staff

29.09.17: The Welsh Government has today invited final tenders for the next Wales and Borders franchise, which is expected to include more staff and a safety critical guard on all services. This comes despite the fact that it has failed to reach an a...

First Hull performance drops while Caledonian takes the lead in period 5

First Hull performance drops while Caledonian takes the lead in period 5

12.09.17: First Hull Trains had a poor month for punctuality over August and September, as Network Rail’s PPM figures for period 5 showed that it has slipped to become the worst-performing operator. Less than three-quarters (74.9%) of its train...

Go-Ahead profits slump under poor Southern performance

Go-Ahead profits slump under poor Southern performance

07.09.17: The company behind Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), the Go-Ahead Group, has today reported a slowdown in its operating profits partially due to strike action on Southern services. Operating profits for the company slipped by 12%, from 162.6m...

East Midlands Trains passengers raise concern about ‘rickety’ rolling stock

East Midlands Trains passengers raise concern about ‘rickety’ rolling stock

06.09.17: Passengers have revealed that their main area of concern ahead of the new East Midlands franchise being awarded is that of the age and quality of the rolling stock, new research has shown. The East Midlands Trains (EMT) passenger research...

First MTR takes charge of new South Western franchise

First MTR takes charge of new South Western franchise

22.08.17: South Western Railway (SWR) has this week started work operating services in London and the south of England on the new South Western franchise. Earlier this year, the franchise was awarded to the joint venture between First Group and Hong...

CMA accepts fare caps on Exeter-London route due to ‘lack of competition’

CMA accepts fare caps on Exeter-London route due to ‘lack of competition’

18.08.17: Price caps will be imposed on unregulated fares between London and Exeter after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) raised concern about a lack of competition on services. Last month, the CMA found problems with a lack of compe...

ORR reveals first-ever ‘to the minute’ performance across TOCs

ORR reveals first-ever ‘to the minute’ performance across TOCs

11.08.17: The ORR has today released performance statistics for period 4 measuring train punctuality ‘to the minute’ for the first time ever at an operator level. Trains for every operator are recorded as ‘on time’ when the la...

Abellio JV named winner of West Midlands rail franchise

Abellio JV named winner of West Midlands rail franchise

10.08.17: The DfT has announced that West Midlands Trains Ltd, a joint venture between Abellio, East Japan Railway Company and Mitsui & Co Ltd, has won the contract to operate the next West Midlands rail franchise. Two train companies had be...

Merseyrail records performance dip in period 4

Merseyrail records performance dip in period 4

01.08.17: Merseyrail saw a surprising dip in performance during period 4, as Network Rail PPM measures showed that the operator fell to some way below its usual high-performing standards. Though Merseyrail’s PPM – the percentage of trains...

RSG partners with RDG to give supply chain clearer and more independent voice

RSG partners with RDG to give supply chain clearer and more independent voice

24.07.17: A new partnership between the Rail Supply Group (RSG) and the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has today been announced with the aim of co-ordinating shared objectives and giving the supply chain a stronger voice. The move will strengthen relation...

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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 >
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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 >

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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 >