Rail franchises operators & contracts

DfT told to stop ‘ducking’ Southern contract issue and make up its mind

DfT told to stop ‘ducking’ Southern contract issue and make up its mind

26.01.17: The Transport Select Committee has urged the DfT to hurry up in deciding whether Southern is failing to run adequate services, arguing that ministers cannot “duck” the issue further and should come to a conclusion urgently. But...

Virgin Trains completes £40m East Coast fleet refurbishment

Virgin Trains completes £40m East Coast fleet refurbishment

25.01.17: Virgin Trains has completed its £40m programme of refurbishing its entire East Coast fleet. The TOC has spent the last two years refurbishing its current fleet of 45 High Speed and Intercity 225 trains to improve passenger experience....

FirstGroup and Trenitalia join forces for East Midlands and WCP franchises

FirstGroup and Trenitalia join forces for East Midlands and WCP franchises

25.01.17: FirstGroup and Trenitalia UK have announced that they will be submitting joint bids for the new East Midlands and West Coast Partnership (WCP) franchises due to be awarded next year. The companies have submitted an expression of interest to...

Green light given to Merseyrail’s new Maghull North station

Green light given to Merseyrail’s new Maghull North station

23.01.17: ​The development of Merseyrail’s new station in Maghull North has moved a step closer after Sefton Council granted planning permission for the scheme. The council’s planning committee approved plans for the new Maghull North sta...

‘Transformational change’ in Wales franchise hinges on new trains and electrification

‘Transformational change’ in Wales franchise hinges on new trains and electrification

20.01.17: A committee of MPs has urged the Welsh and UK governments to end underdevelopment of the Welsh rail network, pointing to the new Wales and Borders franchise as an opportunity for “transformational change” to the network. In a ne...

DfT outlines need for WCP bids to meet ‘creative and ambitious’ plans

DfT outlines need for WCP bids to meet ‘creative and ambitious’ plans

19.01.17: The government has revealed further details about its new West Coast Partnership (WCP) franchise which is scheduled to start in 2019, including more specific timescales about when the franchise integration will take place. The WCP would com...

Abellio sells 40% of Greater Anglia to Mitsui

Abellio sells 40% of Greater Anglia to Mitsui

18.01.17: Train operator Abellio UK has agreed to sell 40% of its Greater Anglia rail franchise to the Japanese firm Mitsui, opening the way for further foreign rail franchise investment. Abellio has been running the Greater Anglia since 2012 and was...

ScotRail’s improvement plan spurs PPM turnaround after recent crisis

ScotRail’s improvement plan spurs PPM turnaround after recent crisis

13.01.17: ScotRail has announced a third consecutive increase in its public performance measure (PPM) figures in a stark improvement over its summer and autumn troubles. The franchise’s PPM performance for period 10 – the four weeks from...

National PPM drops below 80%, with GTR still at the bottom of the table

National PPM drops below 80%, with GTR still at the bottom of the table

19.12.16: The public performance measure (PPM) of Britain’s rail companies dropped to an unprecedented low of 79.1% in the most recent period, new figures show. PPM traditionally falls during winter as a consequence of bad weather, but the rate...

Scottish transport minister unveils £3m ScotRail fare discounts

Scottish transport minister unveils £3m ScotRail fare discounts

16.12.16: ScotRail passengers will get a free week of travel next year as part of a £3m fare discount scheme, the country’s transport minister Humza Yousaf has announced. The package for discounted travel was offered as part of the Scotti...

ORR opens consultation on changes to TOC charges

ORR opens consultation on changes to TOC charges

16.12.16: Rail operators will be required to pay fixed charges from 2018 as part of new proposals from the ORR. The ORR has previously said it supports a greater role for open access operators, who are at risk of being deterred by the cost of franchi...

Doncaster Sheffield Airport seeks ECML rail terminal to boost capacity

Doncaster Sheffield Airport seeks ECML rail terminal to boost capacity

13.12.16: Doncaster Sheffield Airport has announced its hopes to boost the Northern Powerhouse by opening a new train station, allowing the airport to relieve pressure from the south east. The airport’s vision plan – ‘The Vision for...

HS1 could be sold off as owners reveal third-party interest

HS1 could be sold off as owners reveal third-party interest

09.12.16: HS1 could be up for sale after the company that holds the franchise announced a review of its ownership. In 2010, Borealis Infrastructure and Canadian pension fund Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan acquired the 30-year contract from the...

Stagecoach reports half-year profit dip due to ‘subdued’ ECML passenger travel

Stagecoach reports half-year profit dip due to ‘subdued’ ECML passenger travel

07.12.16: Stagecoach has reported that it continues to expect a slight dip in its earnings this financial year, saying that improving demand for rail travel might help counter-balance its falling bus revenues. The transport company’s revenue fo...

Khan frustrated as Grayling halts London rail devolution plans

Khan frustrated as Grayling halts London rail devolution plans

06.12.16: The government has announced that suburban rail services may not be devolved to London after all, frustrating the city’s mayor Sadiq Khan. Earlier this year, the government signed a prospectus which stated suburban services operated b...

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Strike news: guards row brings fresh strikes to Northern, South Western called off

19/06/2018Strike news: guards row brings fresh strikes to Northern, South Western called off

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union have walked out in a fresh dispute between the union and Northern Rail over a long-runnin... more >
TOC bosses appear before MPs, blame chaos on infrastructure failures

19/06/2018TOC bosses appear before MPs, blame chaos on infrastructure failures

Bosses from Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and Northern Rail cited failures in infrastructure being completed in time and last-minute change... more >
Labour to launch no confidence challenge against Grayling

19/06/2018Labour to launch no confidence challenge against Grayling

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 us... 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

How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

20/03/2018How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE Biometric identity, time and attendance specialists Donseed looks at how biometric technology is already starting to enhance health and safety measures on railway construction projects. Advances in technology are starting to transform the way in which the rail network in the UK is managed, operated and maintained.... more >
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Apprenticeship levy: the latest picture

05/06/2018Apprenticeship levy: the latest picture

Mark Holmes, head of membership and development at NSAR, describes the current resources available to the rail industry to ensure companies of al... more >
Moving in the right direction

05/06/2018Moving in the right direction

Alex Cropper, head of projects group at Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), reports on the exciting progress so far in building the Trafford... more >
Overcoming leaves on the line

05/06/2018Overcoming leaves on the line

Paul Gray, professional lead of engineering R&D at the RSSB, explains how latest research proves using double variable rate sanders on trains... more >
Rail: A woman’s world

18/05/2018Rail: A woman’s world

RTM’s Sacha Rowlands reports from a panel debate where six of the industry’s leading figures convened to discuss the fundamental issu... more >

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interviews

Transforming travel in the north west

06/02/2018Transforming travel in the north west

RTM’s Josh Mines talks to Robin Davis, head of new trains at TransPennine Express (TPE), about the huge rolling stock change journey the co... more >