Rail franchises operators & contracts

‘Heroically ambitious’ priorities outlined for Wales and Borders franchise

‘Heroically ambitious’ priorities outlined for Wales and Borders franchise

30.06.17: The National Assembly for Wales Committee has today unveiled what the 10 priorities for the new Wales and Borders franchise should be for competing operators. In a report drawn up by the Assembly, potential operators were told that deliveri...

Stagecoach 80% profit dip linked to ‘onerous’ VTEC contract losses

Stagecoach 80% profit dip linked to ‘onerous’ VTEC contract losses

28.06.17: Stagecoach Group has admitted to “disappointing” losses across its Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC) operation, which forced the parent company to take out a £84m ‘exceptional pre-tax charge’ to reflect the “one...

Four bidders officially in the running for next South Eastern contract

Four bidders officially in the running for next South Eastern contract

22.06.17: The final shortlist of bidders for the South Eastern franchise has today been revealed by the DfT. Amongst the bidders are a wholly-owned subsidiary of Govia Ltd called London and South East Passenger Rail Services, as well as a subsidiary...

DfT reveals shortlist of three JVs for West Coast Partnership franchise

DfT reveals shortlist of three JVs for West Coast Partnership franchise

22.06.17: The shortlist of companies who will compete for the West Coast Partnership Franchise have today been announced by the DfT, and includes bids from three joint ventures: First Trenitalia West Coast Ltd, MTR West Coast Partnership Ltd and West Coas...

National complaints soar in 2016-17, as passengers voice 218% more grievances on GTR

National complaints soar in 2016-17, as passengers voice 218% more grievances on GTR

15.06.17: Passenger complaints in 2016-17 shot up by 7.5% from the year before, as ongoing disputes on GTR services saw them receive 218% more complaints for poor services than in in 2015-16. In figures released by the ORR today, it was found that on...

GTR continues PPM improvement as First Hull still struggles

GTR continues PPM improvement as First Hull still struggles

07.06.17: First Hull Trains has slipped to being the worst performing operator in Network Rail’s PPM statistics for period 2 2017-18, as GTR saw a marked improvement in performance from last year. It follows news last month that in period 1 201...

First publishes ‘encouraging’ results against backdrop of Croydon tragedy

First publishes ‘encouraging’ results against backdrop of Croydon tragedy

01.06.17: FirstGroup has today published results that show a steady increase in its revenue over the past year, despite the negative effects of the Croydon tram accident. The company, who run a subsidiary that operates trams on behalf of TfL, saw rev...

Limited cash means EWR-style alliance models ‘have to work’

Limited cash means EWR-style alliance models ‘have to work’

11.05.17: There is no doubt that delivering projects using deep alliances between contractors and suppliers, similar to what will be trialled with East West Rail, produces better results, rail bosses have resoundingly argued. Chris Curtis, head of Cr...

Time to move away from ‘famine or feast’ scenario for supply chain

Time to move away from ‘famine or feast’ scenario for supply chain

09.05.17: The Industrial Strategy must enable a sustainable rail supply chain, avoiding the famine and feast scenarios of the past, according to a panel of experts at Railtex. Speaking on the first Platform session on productivity and skills, ho...

After over two years at the bottom, GTR no longer worst-performing TOC

After over two years at the bottom, GTR no longer worst-performing TOC

09.05.17: After over two years of coming at the bottom of performance tables for operator punctuality, especially since its absorption of the entire TSGN franchise, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) is finally in the clear. In the public performance mea...

Building passenger trust in the new South West franchise

Building passenger trust in the new South West franchise

08.05.17: David Sidebottom, passenger director at Transport Focus, discusses the importance of focusing on passenger wants and needs to build trust on the new South West franchise. When rail franchises come up for renewal, they provide an excellent o...

Franchising structure a barrier to sustained rail investment, report warns

Franchising structure a barrier to sustained rail investment, report warns

03.05.17: The franchising system in its current state is becoming increasingly vulnerable to economic slowdown, a report released today has argued. Produced by Credo Business Consulting for a new transport think tank established by the Campaign for B...

London Assembly calls for DfT rethink on South Eastern devolution

London Assembly calls for DfT rethink on South Eastern devolution

27.04.17: The DfT have been told to “go back to the drawing board” and return to its 2016 plan of devolving some routes for the South Eastern franchise to TfL and the mayor of London. In a letter to the transport secretary, the chair of t...

DfT to introduce new risk transfer mechanism on selected franchises

DfT to introduce new risk transfer mechanism on selected franchises

26.04.17: The government has claimed that plans to introduce a new risk transfer mechanism, the Forecast Revenue Mechanism (FRM), on selected franchises will help ensure that franchising remains attractive to bidders while securing a good deal for taxpaye...

Virgin and Stagecoach join with SNCF on HS2 WCP franchise bid

Virgin and Stagecoach join with SNCF on HS2 WCP franchise bid

25.04.17: Operators Virgin Trains and Stagecoach have today announced that they will launch a joint bid for the West Coast Partnership (WCP) HS2 franchise alongside state-owned French rail company SNCF. The franchise will run from 2019 and will inclu...

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Grayling gives green light to Network Rail ECML improvements

13/08/2018Grayling gives green light to Network Rail ECML improvements

Plans to improve the East Coast Main Line (ECML) have been given the go-ahead by the transport secretary as part of Network Rail’s Railway ... more >
Rail fare rise on the way as mayors call for cost freeze in the north

13/08/2018Rail fare rise on the way as mayors call for cost freeze in the north

Two north-west mayors have called for a freeze on rail fares in the north after national fees on networks are set to rise by 3.5% next year. ... more >
Ex-Carillion boss to take over £2.5bn Balfour Beatty Vinci HS2 contracts

10/08/2018Ex-Carillion boss to take over £2.5bn Balfour Beatty Vinci HS2 contracts

The former boss of Carillion’s UK infrastructure business is set to take over Balfour Beatty Vinci to lead its HS2 joint venture. Mark... 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

A radical solution to the employment crisis

24/07/2018A radical solution to the employment crisis

Peter Cayless, founder and creative director at Working Eye, talks about an innovative solution to employment in the rail industry that might just help transform careers advice into career discovery. At the 2012 Latitude Festival, comedian Shappi Khorsandi joked that rather than book a clown for their daughter’s birthday party, pare... more >
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Passengers at the heart of Thameslink

31/07/2018Passengers at the heart of Thameslink

As Thameslink launches a new timetable, Richard Freeston-Clough, operations and communications officer at London TravelWatch, looks back at the w... more >
Customers want more rail freight

31/07/2018Customers want more rail freight

Philippa Edmunds, Freight on Rail manager at the Campaign for Better Transport, makes a socioeconomic case for continued investment not only in t... more >
Freight for the Borderlands' untapped potential

31/07/2018Freight for the Borderlands' untapped potential

John Stevenson, MP for Carlisle and the government’s Borderlands Deal Champion, discusses the untapped potential for growth in the Borderla... more >
British manufacturing in buoyant demand for steel

31/07/2018British manufacturing in buoyant demand for steel

Roger Neary, head of logistics sales at DB Cargo UK, discusses the rail freight company’s £6m expansion of its steel warehousing faci... 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 >