Rail freight

More rail freight needed for sustainable connectivity in Scotland

More rail freight needed for sustainable connectivity in Scotland

03.03.16: More rail freight is vital for allowing the Scottish government to promote long-term sustainable connectivity, the government’s transport minister has said. Speaking at the Rail Freight Group (RFG) conference in Stirling, Derek Mackay...

DB Schenker Rail to change name to DB Cargo UK

DB Schenker Rail to change name to DB Cargo UK

02.03.16: Freight company DB Schenker Rail UK, which operates Royal Mail services, will become DB Cargo UK from today. The company has operated all Royal Mail services since 2010 and it recently won a five-year contract with building materials compan...

North franchises ‘will not deliver transformational infrastructure’

North franchises ‘will not deliver transformational infrastructure’

26.02.16: The railway across the north needs a “bigger, more expensive, and transformational” solution to fix its historical lack of investment, because what is committed now simply is not enough, rail bosses have said. The leaders of Tra...

Last GB Railfreight Class 66 locomotives arrive in UK

Last GB Railfreight Class 66 locomotives arrive in UK

15.02.16: The last diesel-powered Class 66 locomotives to be operated by GB Railfreight (GBRf) are due to be transported to Doncaster today after arriving in the UK last week. The seven Class 66s (66773-6679), from Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) in the...

Four major freight operators awarded five-year Tarmac deals

Four major freight operators awarded five-year Tarmac deals

14.01.16: British building materials company Tarmac has awarded four major companies to deliver rail freight services around its new hubs and rail supply routes. Colas Rail, GB Railfreight, Freightliner and DB Schenker have all bagged five-year contr...

East Midlands freight interchange gets green light

East Midlands freight interchange gets green light

14.01.16: The East Midlands Gateway Rail Freight Interchange, planned for a site north of East Midlands Airport in Leicestershire, has been granted development consent by transport minister Robert Goodwill MP. The strategic rail freight interchange (...

Shaw Review must not throw freight baby out with Network Rail bath water

Shaw Review must not throw freight baby out with Network Rail bath water

03.12.15: Philippa Edmunds, manager of Freight on Rail and a member of the Campaign for Better Transport, says a continued centralised ‘system operation’ function within Network Rail is crucial for the freight sector. The industry should...

Amount of rail freight lifted in Q2 slips 18.4%

Amount of rail freight lifted in Q2 slips 18.4%

27.11.15: There was an 18.4% decrease in the amount of freight lifted on the rail network in Q2 of 2015-16, compared to the same quarter last year, according to new figures from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).  The regulator said the decrease...

Freight derailments: a complex and cross-industry system risk

Freight derailments: a complex and cross-industry system risk

01.11.15: David Stevenson talks to the organisations responsible for managing the UK’s freight derailment risk, to find out what is being done. He spoke to the ORR’s chief inspector, Ian Prosser, and deputy chief inspector, David Keay; acting...

VTG Rail and Mendip Rail sign 130 freight aggregate wagons deal

VTG Rail and Mendip Rail sign 130 freight aggregate wagons deal

23.10.15: Wagon hire and rail logistics firm VTG Rail UK has signed an agreement with independent freight operator Mendip Rail to hire out 130 new aggregate wagons. A mixture of hoppers and boxes, they will be used to move stone from the Aggregate In...

Scotland pledges to bring down the barriers to rail freight growth

Scotland pledges to bring down the barriers to rail freight growth

22.10.15: The Scottish transport minister has called on businesses across the country and the UK to support Scotland’s government in expanding its rail freight sector. As he launched the Scottish Government’s consultation document, &lsquo...

Three revamped locos sent into service following 10-year Network Rail lease

Three revamped locos sent into service following 10-year Network Rail lease

25.09.15: The first three of a new freight fleet of refurbished 73/9s have entered service following a 10-year lease agreement between GB Railfreight and Network Rail. The new fleet will be used for infrastructure monitoring (hauling trains that moni...

Network Rail halts Ely to Soham freight line plans

Network Rail halts Ely to Soham freight line plans

16.09.15: Network Rail has shelved plans to double a section of track between Ely and Soham until sufficient funding can be identified. The plans are part of the Felixstowe and Nuneaton freight capacity enhancement scheme called F2N. Designers a...

GBRf runs first waste train from new North London Railfreight Terminal

GBRf runs first waste train from new North London Railfreight Terminal

11.09.15: GB Railfreight (GBRf) has run its first train transporting waste from its new North London Railfreight Terminal in Cricklewood this week. The new three-year contract is for one train a day (Monday to Friday) in partnership with FCC Environm...

Freight demand grows by 80 weekly trains

Freight demand grows by 80 weekly trains

09.09.15: Britain is filling 80 more freight trains per week compared to this time last year as a result of a steadily increasing demand in the last decade, Network Rail research shows. There has been a 75% uplift in the volume of consumer goods trav...

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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 >