Rail franchises operators & contracts

Rail needs to do ‘much more’ to improve assistance for disabled people

Rail needs to do ‘much more’ to improve assistance for disabled people

15.11.17: Much more needs to be done to improve the reliability, consistency and awareness of assistance available to rail passengers, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has said. Research by the regulator has found that 12% of passengers who booked assis...

Southern DOO trains comply with disabled passenger policy, ORR states

Southern DOO trains comply with disabled passenger policy, ORR states

13.11.17: Following a period of monitoring, the ORR is satisfied that Southern has continued to comply with its Disabled People’s Protection Policy following its move to driver-only operated (DOO) services. The regulator has conclude...

TSSA announces Christmas and New Year Virgin West Coast strike ballot

TSSA announces Christmas and New Year Virgin West Coast strike ballot

10.11.17: Members of the TSSA working at Virgin West Coast will be balloted on whether to strike over the Christmas and New Year period. Union members make up over 400 of the total staff on the service – which connects London with the north wes...

GTR could be broken up by DfT to combat repeated strike action

GTR could be broken up by DfT to combat repeated strike action

06.11.17: The Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) franchise could be broken up in 2021 when its contract comes up for renewal, the government has said today. The move may help to reduce strike action across Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern (TSGN) n...

Arriva out of running for Wales and Border franchise

Arriva out of running for Wales and Border franchise

31.10.17: Arriva Trains Wales are no longer competing to run the next Wales and Border Franchise, after the company withdrew their bid today. The company – along with Abellio Rail Cymru, KeolisAmey and MTR Corporation – were invited to su...

RDG launches ‘single plan’ for railway with unions, operators and businesses

RDG launches ‘single plan’ for railway with unions, operators and businesses

30.10.17: Almost £85bn of additional economic benefits are hoped to be secured by a landmark collaboration between unions, TOCs and freight operators, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has today stated. The figure is on top of the £31bn of econo...

London Midland’s West Coast services to be renamed London Northwestern

London Midland’s West Coast services to be renamed London Northwestern

27.10.17: The group behind the new West Midlands franchise have today announced that the west coast service will be called London Northwestern. Abellio, JR East and Mitsui have chosen the name as a tribute to the London and North Western Railway &nda...

RMT announces nationwide series of strikes across six franchises

RMT announces nationwide series of strikes across six franchises

25.10.17: The RMT have announced further strike action across six operators over separate disputes. In protest over what it deems as an attack on the role of the guard and the extension of Driver Only Operation, the union has confirmed strikes across th...

Forres station to ‘transform’ Scottish rail travel

Forres station to ‘transform’ Scottish rail travel

23.10.17: Scotland’s newest station has been officially opened as part of the Aberdeen-Inverness Improvement Project. It is hoped that the project, funded by the Scottish Government, will transform rail travel between the two cities and slash journ...

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...

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Network Rail Thameslink programme harnesses innovation with its latest aerial project

22/10/2018Network Rail Thameslink programme harnesses innovation with its latest aerial project

The Thameslink programme at Network Rail’s latest project pledges to drive innovation and make commuters’ lives easier with cutting-e... more >
FCA probe: TfL could be fined for not telling LSE about Crossrail delay

19/10/2018FCA probe: TfL could be fined for not telling LSE about Crossrail delay

The UK’s financial watchdog is considering whether to launch a formal investigation into TfL over its reported failure to tell the London S... more >
Urgent government talks after Dutch company plugs £80m funding hole in Greater Anglia

19/10/2018Urgent government talks after Dutch company plugs £80m funding hole in Greater Anglia

Greater Anglia has received an £80m rescue package led by the Netherlands, leading to reports of urgent talks between the UK and Dutch gove... 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

The East Coast franchise report tells us what we already knew: it was a bid set up to fail

18/09/2018The East Coast franchise report tells us what we already knew: it was a bid set up to fail

RTM's Jack Donnelly assesses what the Transport Committee's latest report on the VTEC franchise means for the industry as a whole “Even now, there is no concrete plan, nor timescales, for the interim operator of this franchise. From our inquiry, we cannot be sure, and cannot reassure passengers or public, that the arrangements ... more >
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Northern Powerhouse Rail: The need for change

18/09/2018Northern Powerhouse Rail: The need for change

Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) will be transformational for the north – it will change the way people live, work, and play. It will rebalan... more >
Innovation through people and technology

18/09/2018Innovation through people and technology

Ian Prosser, HM chief inspector of railways and director of railway safety at the ORR, picks out the key industry challenges to focus on based on... more >
Why we all must mind the gap

18/09/2018Why we all must mind the gap

Clair Mowbray, chief executive of the National College for High Speed Rail (NCHSR), explains how we can all ensure the UK’s next generation... more >
3D printing: from virtual to real

11/09/20183D printing: from virtual to real

Like so many other technological advancements, 3D printing has moved from being the stuff of science fiction, through niche industrial applicatio... more >

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interviews

Going global: an interview with Network Rail’s Leevan Finney

29/08/2018Going global: an interview with Network Rail’s Leevan Finney

RTM’s Jack Donnelly sat down with one of the leading minds behind Network Rail’s most advanced and innovative rail maintenance techno... more >