Rail franchises operators & contracts

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...

Transport for the North launches the first phase of smart ticketing across Yorkshire

Transport for the North launches the first phase of smart ticketing across Yorkshire

23.11.18: Transport for the North (TfN) is set to launch the first phase of its Smart on Rail project, rolling out the smartcard scheme across Yorkshire lines. The initial phase of the project, a result of a partnership between Northern, TransPennine...

Talgo names Fife as the chosen site of its first UK train factory

Talgo names Fife as the chosen site of its first UK train factory

14.11.18: Spanish train manufacturer Talgo has revealed that is new train-building factory will be built at Longannet in Fife, bringing more than 1,000 jobs to Scotland. Talgo will build its first UK manufacturing base at the site of a decommissioned...

‘Broken’ rail complaints system failing to deal with passengers effectively or even with ‘basic courtesy’

‘Broken’ rail complaints system failing to deal with passengers effectively or even with ‘basic courtesy’

14.11.18: The rail complaints system is “broken” and train companies are failing to deal with passenger complaints effectively or even with “basic courtesy,” new analysis has revealed. An investigation by Which? found that les...

GWR and SWR owner FirstGroup appoints new CEO as it announces fall in rail profits

GWR and SWR owner FirstGroup appoints new CEO as it announces fall in rail profits

13.11.18: FirstGroup has named Matthew Gregory as its new chief executive as it revealed widening half-year losses and warned about the profitability of its rail franchises. Gregory has been the interim chief operating officer at the bus and rail pro...

Labour call for renationalisation ahead of Scottish Parliament vote on ScotRail contract

Labour call for renationalisation ahead of Scottish Parliament vote on ScotRail contract

12.11.18: Scotland’s government is set to vote on the future of ScotRail’s train services amidst calls from Labour to renationalise the franchise. MSPs are due to vote on Wednesday on whether the government should enforce a break clause i...

Porterbrook secures £250m financing to sustain investment in passenger trains

Porterbrook secures £250m financing to sustain investment in passenger trains

09.11.18: Porterbrook, the UK’s largest owner of passenger trains, has announced the refinancing of a £250m public bond to support and sustain its investment in its rolling stock. The Derby-based company has refinanced the bond in the pri...

Siemens CEO says it is ‘willing to make concessions’ to secure EU approval for Alstom merger

Siemens CEO says it is ‘willing to make concessions’ to secure EU approval for Alstom merger

09.11.18: The chief executive of Siemens has said he is “willing to make concessions” if necessary in order to gain EU approval for its proposed rail merger with Alstom. Joe Kaeser, head of the German rail giant speaking at Siemens’...

20 May: What really happened

20 May: What really happened

06.11.18: Dan Brown, director of strategy and policy at the ORR, walks us through the first part of the regulator’s inquiry into the timetable chaos that ensued earlier this year. On 20 May 2018, a new timetable was introduced which plunged rai...

The future of rail investment

The future of rail investment

06.11.18: Paul Sheffield, vice president of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and ICE State of the Nation steering group chair, discusses his organisation’s report on the future of investment in the rail sector. Rail continues to be a ke...

Northern Rail and German owner in crisis talks with government over risk of £282m bailout

Northern Rail and German owner in crisis talks with government over risk of £282m bailout

05.11.18: Northern Rail are locked in crisis talks with the government along with its owner, Germany’s nationalised train operator Deutsche Bahn, as massive levels of disruption cripple the rail franchise’s finances. The Telegraph reveale...

EU Commission sends out antitrust warning over Siemens-Alstom merger

EU Commission sends out antitrust warning over Siemens-Alstom merger

01.11.18: The EU Commission has sent a series of objections to Siemens and Alstom over their plans for a European railway merger, increasing the possibility of substantial asset sales needed to secure EU approval. The move by the European Union&rsquo...

Budget promises not enough to unlock rail and housing in Oxford-Cambridge Arc

Budget promises not enough to unlock rail and housing in Oxford-Cambridge Arc

30.10.18: Philip Hammond’s Budget promises will not be enough to deliver the new transport links and homes needed in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc without intensive government efforts, warns the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC). The chancell...

Rate of complaints hit six-year high for UK railway

Rate of complaints hit six-year high for UK railway

26.10.18: The rate of rail complaints for the quarter has hit a six-year high due to frustrations over punctuality and reliability during the May timetable chaos, according to the ORR. There were 29.9 complaints per 100,000 journeys in 2018-19 Q1, wh...

Grayling won’t confirm halt to January fare rise, says TfL are in ‘deep financial difficulties’ due to Khan’s fare freeze

Grayling won’t confirm halt to January fare rise, says TfL are in ‘deep financial difficulties’ due to Khan’s fare freeze

23.10.18: The transport secretary has failed to confirm whether rail passengers struck by disruption will not have their train fares increased, arguing that TfL are now in “deep financial difficulties” as a result of mayor Sadiq Khan’s f...

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North of England leaders demand ‘Northern Budget’ to boost region

16/08/2019North of England leaders demand ‘Northern Budget’ to boost region

Key leaders from across the North of England have called for Government commitment to a ‘Northern Budget’ which could be used to deli... more >
Metrolink customers complete 170k trips using contactless system

16/08/2019Metrolink customers complete 170k trips using contactless system

Since its launch four weeks ago, more than 170,000 journeys have been made using the new contactless payment system on the Metrolink network... more >
Government announces £25m Brexit high-speed medicines train

15/08/2019Government announces £25m Brexit high-speed medicines train

In the event of a No Deal Brexit, the Government has announced the setting up of a high-speed train service to ferry medicine to the UK from Fran... 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

Network Rail’s Anna-Jane Hunter on, NPR, TRU, HS2 and supply chain opportunities

12/08/2019Network Rail’s Anna-Jane Hunter on, NPR, TRU, HS2 and supply chain opportunities

Anna- Jane Hunter, is a ‘proud northerner’ and is passionate about continuing the investment and success story of rail across the North.  She plays a key role in working with government and northern leaders to enable the network to carry on thriving. We caught up with Anna-Jane, for her expertise and insight into connecti... 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 >