Rail franchises operators & contracts

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...

Branson heaps major criticism on NR for end of East Coast franchise

Branson heaps major criticism on NR for end of East Coast franchise

05.01.18: Sir Richard Branson has hit out at Network Rail after the decision to end the Virgin Trains East Coast franchise in 2020 was heavily criticised, with some commentators referring to it as a ‘bailout.’ The Virgin founder said endi...

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...

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Network Rail’s subsidiary secures systems integrator contract in Australia

14/12/2018Network Rail’s subsidiary secures systems integrator contract in Australia

The Australian subsidiary of Network Rail Consulting has been named as the systems integrator for the Digital Systems Program in Sydney by Transp... more >
Infrastructure giant Amey to be sold to private equity firm in new year

14/12/2018Infrastructure giant Amey to be sold to private equity firm in new year

 Infrastructure giant Amey is expected to be sold to a private equity firm in the new year, according to reports. The Financial Times b... more >
HS2 and Crossrail suppliers admit to running ‘illegal cartel’ for 7 years

14/12/2018HS2 and Crossrail suppliers admit to running ‘illegal cartel’ for 7 years

Two UK rail suppliers to major projects such as HS1, HS2, and Crossrail have admitted to operating an illegal cartel for almost seven years with ... 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

Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

27/11/2018Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

Olivia Brown, business development officer at Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), an academic department of the University of Warwick, outlines the four exciting projects currently taking place as part of the Coventry Very Light Rail (VLR)  programme. In RTM’s June/July issue, readers were introduced to the concept of VLR and th... more >
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Passenger safety: Respect the edge

27/11/2018Passenger safety: Respect the edge

Claire Coward, communications lead at the RSSB, discusses her organisation’s latest passenger safety campaign. Incidents at the platfo... more >
Night Tube: The twilight economy

27/11/2018Night Tube: The twilight economy

Dr David Lutton, executive director of economy and tax at London First, argues that the capital’s night-time economy is just starting its j... more >
Monitoring the performance of earthworks

27/11/2018Monitoring the performance of earthworks

Dr Joel Smethurst, associate professor in geotechnical engineering, and Professor William Powrie, professor of geotechnical engineering, both of ... more >
Introducing iPort

20/11/2018Introducing iPort

Steve Freeman, managing director of iPort Rail, introduces the UK’s newest inland freight terminal. The UK’s newest inland rail ... more >

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HS2 train race: making the case

20/11/2018HS2 train race: making the case

Bombardier and Hitachi’s commitment to providing the best HS2 rolling stock pitch to the government was signified with the launch of their ... more >