Rail franchises operators & contracts

Fast-charging technology for battery trains launched by Vivarail

Fast-charging technology for battery trains launched by Vivarail

19.03.19: Vivarail has launched a new fast-charge system which can fully charge one of its Class 230 battery trains in seven minutes with a range of 60 miles between charges. The British rolling stock manager announced that it has successfully demons...

New Hitachi 385s to replace ScotRail’s ‘happy trains’

New Hitachi 385s to replace ScotRail’s ‘happy trains’

18.03.19: ScotRail has confirmed that it is withdrawing its Class 365 ‘happy trains’ fleet and replacing them with new Hitachi Class 385s. The train operator said the new Class 385s will be introduced on the newly electrified Central Belt...

GTR fined record £5m for ‘persistent and prolonged failures’ in May timetable chaos

GTR fined record £5m for ‘persistent and prolonged failures’ in May timetable chaos

14.03.19: Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has been fined a record £5m for its role in last year’s May timetable chaos. The ORR criticised the train operator for “persistent and prolonged failures” in informing passengers as the...

West Midlands unveils new May rail timetable

West Midlands unveils new May rail timetable

13.03.19: More direct services, greater capacity and extra evening and weekend services have been promised as West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway launch their new timetable for May 2019. The train operators have revealed a raft of c...

LNER trains for ECML given approval to enter passenger services

LNER trains for ECML given approval to enter passenger services

11.03.19: New LNER rolling stock for the East Coast Main Line (ECML) has received approval for its Class 800 Azuma trains to enter passenger service. The ORR has authorised the operation of the Class 800/1 nine-car trainsets and the Class 800/2 five...

SWR and Porterbrook trial new emission-slashing rail technology

SWR and Porterbrook trial new emission-slashing rail technology

08.03.19: Groundbreaking emission-reducing technology is to be fitted to South Western Railway (SWR) train units as part of a new trial aiming to cut down harmful emissions from diesel trains by 80%. Porterbrook is working in partnership with exhaust...

New May timetable announced as rail bosses insist ‘lessons learned’ following last year’s chaos

New May timetable announced as rail bosses insist ‘lessons learned’ following last year’s chaos

08.03.19: The rail industry has confirmed the new summer 2019 timetable, with 1,000 extra services added to relieve overcrowding as rail bosses say they “learned the lessons” of last year’s chaos. A host of timetable adjustments are...

New six-carriage Northern trains pushed back two years due to delayed upgrade works

New six-carriage Northern trains pushed back two years due to delayed upgrade works

07.03.19: The delivery of Northern’s new six-carriage trains at Leeds station has been delayed by two years due to separate delays to Network Rail upgrades. The longer trains were due to be introduced at the end of this year, but due to delays...

MP slams ‘appalling’ Southeastern rail delays amid reports that passengers were forced to ‘pay double’

MP slams ‘appalling’ Southeastern rail delays amid reports that passengers were forced to ‘pay double’

06.03.19: A Conservative MP has slammed “appalling” Southeastern rail services ahead of talks in Parliament following reports that the train operator faces a £100m legal claim over “making passengers pay double.” Sir Dav...

DfT must improve governance over rail industry or passengers face another year of ‘hell’, warn MPs

DfT must improve governance over rail industry or passengers face another year of ‘hell’, warn MPs

01.03.19: Rail passengers are facing another year of “hell” with major timetable changes and engineering works unless the government improves its governance of the rail sector, MPs have warned. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has publ...

South Western Railway to become UK’s first 5G railway as FirstGroup announces deal for superfast Wi-Fi on trains

South Western Railway to become UK’s first 5G railway as FirstGroup announces deal for superfast Wi-Fi on trains

26.02.19: FirstGroup has announced a deal to become the first UK’s first 5G railway network, bringing superfast Wi-Fi to the Southern Western Railway franchise. In partnership with Blu Wireless, Network Rail and the DfT, FirstGroup’s rail...

CAF commences design and engineering on DMUs for Wales and Borders franchise

CAF commences design and engineering on DMUs for Wales and Borders franchise

21.02.19: Spanish rail manufacturer CAF has announced it is beginning the design and engineering work for the highly-anticipated Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs) for the Wales and Borders franchise. Being built at the company’s facility in Newport...

South Western Railway strikes suspended after ‘significant breakthrough’ in guard dispute

South Western Railway strikes suspended after ‘significant breakthrough’ in guard dispute

19.02.19: Strike action by workers on the South Western Railway (SWR) have been suspended after a “significant breakthrough” was made in the long-running dispute over guards on trains. RMT members were due to walk out this Friday and agai...

ScotRail expands new Hitachi electric trains to Glasgow routes

ScotRail expands new Hitachi electric trains to Glasgow routes

18.02.19: ScotRail’s new Hitachi electric trains are to be rolled out across Glasgow as the operator extends its £475m investment into rolling stock in the wake of its second improvement notice in two months from the government. The new c...

40-year-old Pacer trains in East Lancashire gone by end of the year, assures Northern

40-year-old Pacer trains in East Lancashire gone by end of the year, assures Northern

18.02.19: Northern has assured passengers that it will replace all of its 40-year-old Pacer trains on the East Lancashire line by the end of year. Concerns were raised at a meeting of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) and passengers have e...

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High-speed rail promised for the North by HS2 Minister

27/02/2020High-speed rail promised for the North by HS2 Minister

At the beginning of February, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that HS2 will go ahead and the London-Birmingham phase will commence immedia... more >
New research partnership announced between University of Birmingham and Siemens Mobility Ltd

26/02/2020New research partnership announced between University of Birmingham and Siemens Mobility Ltd

Siemens Mobility Limited and the University of Birmingham have announced a new, academic framework research partnership, strengthening the relati... more >
Hull Trains are the only UK operator with an entirely new fleet

26/02/2020Hull Trains are the only UK operator with an entirely new fleet

The UK’s smallest rail operator, Hull Trains, is the only company which can promise every journey will be on a brand new, world-class train... 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

Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

14/11/2019Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

Rail Technology Magazine’s Matt Roberts explains the significant role data can play within the future development of the rail industry. Standing as a cornerstone of the UK transport network, the rail industry is forever striving to innovate and maximise efficiency in all aspects of its work. Data is just one such way of achievi... more >
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The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >
Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

02/07/2019Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

Smart electrification is the way to boost clean energy resources, argues Leo Murray, director at 10:10 Climate Action. Contractors are clear... more >
Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

02/07/2019Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

The TCR Midlands conference is only days away and tickets are going fast for the sector event of the year at the Vox Conference Centre in Birming... more >

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interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he wo... more >