Rail franchises operators & contracts

TfGM lays bare Northern slump since 2016 franchise refresh, including many broken promises

TfGM lays bare Northern slump since 2016 franchise refresh, including many broken promises

27.06.18: A report set to be presented at a Greater Manchester Combined Authority board meeting this Friday has laid bare the staggering decline in performance across Northern since the franchise changed hands in 2016, including the many promises that wer...

Franchising: Time for change?

Franchising: Time for change?

26.06.18: The recent timetabling chaos up and down the country has underlined that the current rail franchising model is broken – and passengers are paying the price, argues Meg Hillier, chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee. The recen...

East Coast back in public hands under same leadership and staff

East Coast back in public hands under same leadership and staff

25.06.18: The East Coast franchise has been officially handed back to public control as the first branded London North Eastern Railway (LNER) train departed from London King’s Cross to Edinburgh today. The inaugural journey marks the formal ter...

New GTR boss named to lead company through ‘difficult times’

New GTR boss named to lead company through ‘difficult times’

21.06.18: Struggling rail firm Govia Thameslink Railway has named Patrick Verwer as its new chief executive. Following former chief executive Charles Horton’s resignation last week, the Go-Ahead group said the they “have full confidence&r...

Rail companies launch plan to deliver £9.2bn economic benefit to south east

Rail companies launch plan to deliver £9.2bn economic benefit to south east

20.06.18: Rail companies have come together to launch a long-term plan for the railway in south east London and Kent. The region’s rail companies, suppliers and local authorities have teamed up to launch ‘In partnership for Britain’s pr...

Anger as Northern Rail routes ‘not really valued’ by ministers and DfT

Anger as Northern Rail routes ‘not really valued’ by ministers and DfT

20.06.18: Department for Transport officials and ministers were warned about Northern Rail chaos two years ago, but saw some key routes as “not really valued,” a north west MP has shockingly announced. Wigan MP Lisa Nandy said she had bee...

TOC bosses appear before MPs, blame chaos on infrastructure failures

TOC bosses appear before MPs, blame chaos on infrastructure failures

19.06.18: Bosses from Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and Northern Rail cited failures in infrastructure being completed in time and last-minute changes to timetables as reasons for a chaotic bedding in of new timetables that led to delays and cancell...

Labour to launch no confidence challenge against Grayling

Labour to launch no confidence challenge against Grayling

19.06.18: The transport secretary is under fire in parliament today as Labour looks to draft a motion of no confidence in the Commons. The party is using one of its opposition days — one of the 20 days in a parliamentary year where the opposing...

GTR boss to resign, citing 'huge frustration' from passengers

GTR boss to resign, citing 'huge frustration' from passengers

15.06.18: The chief executive of struggling operator Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) will resign. Charles Horton, the boss of GTR which runs Thameslink, Great Northern, and Southern railways, will remain in the position for a short time to oversee the...

Renewed West Midlands partnership to work towards 100 targets, from ticketing to stations

Renewed West Midlands partnership to work towards 100 targets, from ticketing to stations

13.06.18: The Swift smart card is to be rolled out across the West Midlands through the renewal of a partnership first set up six years ago. Chiltern Railways, West Midlands Rail (WMR) and Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) have renewed their partnership...

GTR’s PRM policy remains unchanged, it tells ORR

GTR’s PRM policy remains unchanged, it tells ORR

11.06.18: Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has denied making changes to the way in which it assists passengers with reduced mobility (PRM). Following the publication of its document, ‘Pit stop: Key principles for managing station dwell times,’...

DfT publishes ITT for East Midlands franchise bidders

DfT publishes ITT for East Midlands franchise bidders

08.06.18: Bidders for the next East Midlands franchise are being urged to demonstrate how they will deliver on an “ambitious” upgrade programme as the DfT published the invitation to tender (ITT). The current franchise has been operated b...

Consultation launched for next CrossCountry franchise

Consultation launched for next CrossCountry franchise

08.06.18: The DfT has kicked off a public consultation to seek views on various aspects of the next CrossCountry franchise to inform what the department will ask from potential operators when the franchise is renewed next year. T...

Greater Anglia speeds up delay repay compensation

Greater Anglia speeds up delay repay compensation

06.06.18: Greater Anglia has updated its compensation process to make it faster to make a claim after listening to customer feedback. Rail passengers in the region told the train operating company that its online Delay Repay claim form, which is used to...

Network Rail chair says ‘maybe he should’ resign over rail crisis

Network Rail chair says ‘maybe he should’ resign over rail crisis

05.06.18: The chair of Network Rail has said maybe he should resign over mounting pressure from MPs and the public after chaos caused by unprecedented delays and cancellations on the nation’s railways. Sir Peter Hendy has said his company was &...

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Potential Leicester to Coventry rail link mulled over in updated Leicestershire transport vision

22/02/2019Potential Leicester to Coventry rail link mulled over in updated Leicestershire transport vision

The potential of a Leicester to Coventry rail link has been revived again as one of the key highlights of a new transport masterplan outlined by ... more >
Queues of 15,000 and Eurostar chaos at St Pancras in no-deal Brexit

22/02/2019Queues of 15,000 and Eurostar chaos at St Pancras in no-deal Brexit

Eurostar queues of up to 15,000 passengers could mount up at London’s St Pancras International station in the event of a no-deal Brexit, ac... more >
New head of safety and environment for Hull Trains announced

21/02/2019New head of safety and environment for Hull Trains announced

A new head of safety and environment has been announced by Hull Trains, with Mark Shepherd due to replace Phil Green in the role. Bringing m... 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

Williams Rail Review: The end of saying sorry?

05/02/2019Williams Rail Review: The end of saying sorry?

Keith Williams’ ongoing Rail Review presents a golden opportunity to rebuild the industry’s weakened relationship with its users and set it on a better track for the future, argues David Sidebottom, passenger director at Transport Focus. Passengers waiting at stations today are not peering down the line looking for a strategy ... more >
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TrackWater: Embracing data in flood prevention

05/02/2019TrackWater: Embracing data in flood prevention

Mike Harding, from Lancaster University’s Data Science Institute, introduces us to TrackWater: an innovative project between Lancaster Univ... more >
High-speed rail cannot stand in isolation

05/02/2019High-speed rail cannot stand in isolation

Last year, the Scottish Government announced two feasibility studies to better understand the economic and environmental implications of options ... more >
Flying Banana reaps the fruit of its labour

05/02/2019Flying Banana reaps the fruit of its labour

Steve Quinby, Network Rail’s head of data collection, gives us the rundown on the state-of-the-art ‘Flying Banana’ train. ... more >
Introducing the new Passenger Assist app

05/02/2019Introducing the new Passenger Assist app

Jacqueline Starr, managing director of customer experience at the Rail Delivery Group, explains how a new app developed for the rail industry wil... more >

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TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... more >