Rail jobs, staff issues and training

Strikes suspended as Northern and RMT reach an agreement in bitter guards dispute

Strikes suspended as Northern and RMT reach an agreement in bitter guards dispute

06.02.19: Northern Rail and the RMT have reached a “major breakthrough” in their long-running dispute over guards on trains, bringing an end to nearly two years of industrial action and 47 separate days of strikes. The union confirmed it...

RAIB issues warning over brakes and wheel safety following derailment incident

RAIB issues warning over brakes and wheel safety following derailment incident

01.02.19: The RAIB has published a warning about the maintenance of freight vehicles and the safety of wheel and braking systems on trains which can lead to derailment. In a safety digest published following an investigation into the derailment of a...

Unite and Hitachi urge government for immediate investment in UK train manufacturers

Unite and Hitachi urge government for immediate investment in UK train manufacturers

30.01.19: The Unite union has written to Chris Grayling, with Hitachi’s backing, warning the government to support UK manufacturing, jobs and skills by investing in rail infrastructure or risk “shunting the UK’s rail manufacturing renais...

Operator revealed for flagship rail freight interchange in the East Midlands

Operator revealed for flagship rail freight interchange in the East Midlands

29.01.19: Maritime Transport has been named by Sergo as the operator of a new flagship rail freight interchange in the East Midlands ahead of its construction by the end of 2019. The company has signed a 25-year lease with Maritime Transport to...

GTR: Training the next generation

GTR: Training the next generation

29.01.19: Top image: John Tomlin and Tim Wells in the simulator suite In December, RTM’s Jack Donnelly paid a visit to Govia Thameslink Railway’s (GTR’s) training facilities across London. Here, he reports on the state-of...

A quick backwards glance, then looking forwards

A quick backwards glance, then looking forwards

29.01.19: Neil Robertson, chief executive of NSAR, takes a shot at making some predictions for rail’s fate in 2019. I was asked to make some rail predictions in the first week in January 2018. They were: Prediction 1: Rail infrastructure b...

RAIB to launch class investigation following front-line worker incidents

RAIB to launch class investigation following front-line worker incidents

24.01.19:   Image credit - viole The RAIB has announced it will launch a class investigation into a number of life-threatening incidents in which safety systems on the railway were entirely dependent on the decisions of front-line trac...

Train derailment between Sheffield and Doncaster prompts RAIB investigation

Train derailment between Sheffield and Doncaster prompts RAIB investigation

17.01.19: The RAIB have launched an investigation into a train derailment after a freight train came off the tracks between Sheffield and Doncaster, causing major disruption. The freight locomotive had just left Roberts Road depot at around 5.17pm on...

RSSB appoints Barbara Moorhouse as new chair

RSSB appoints Barbara Moorhouse as new chair

16.01.19: The Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) has appointed Barbara Moorhouse as its new chair. Moorhouse reportedly took over the role from 1 January and currently holds the position of non-executive director at Balfour Beatty, Microgen and A...

Investigation launched after track worker forced to dodge train with two seconds to spare

Investigation launched after track worker forced to dodge train with two seconds to spare

10.01.19: An investigation has been launched after a track worker removing cables from a rail line was forced to dodge a train less than two seconds before the vehicle passed him at 51mph. According to the RAIB, the employee was removing cables which...

Network Rail Digital Railway boss David Waboso to retire

Network Rail Digital Railway boss David Waboso to retire

08.01.19: The managing director of Network Rail’s Digital Railway, David Waboso, will retire in March. An internal memo from chief executive Andrew Haines said that Waboso was leaving with a “fantastic legacy” and a “clear dir...

Northern under fire over £31m government subsidy ‘secret payments’

Northern under fire over £31m government subsidy ‘secret payments’

04.01.19: The RMT union has criticised “secret extra payments” funded by taxpayers given to Northern Rail after it was found that the government paid the train operator a total of £31m more than previously announced since the franchise b...

Track workers in near-miss with 101mph East Midlands train

Track workers in near-miss with 101mph East Midlands train

04.01.19: Two track workers were nearly hit by a train travelling over 100mph in Bedfordshire, an investigation has revealed. The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said two workers “had to jump out of the way” of the approaching E...

Rail Ombudsman interview: RTM sits down with CEO Kevin Grix

Rail Ombudsman interview: RTM sits down with CEO Kevin Grix

20.12.18: In November, the first ever Rail Ombudsman was established in a bid to give passengers a free independent service to allow passengers to claim compensation by appealing unresolved complaints. But how will one of the driving forces behind the new...

Northern calls for formal ACAS inquiry over bitter RMT dispute

Northern calls for formal ACAS inquiry over bitter RMT dispute

19.12.18: Northern Rail has formally written to ACAS seeking an independent inquiry into its ongoing dispute with the RMT, with the union calling the move a “nothing more than a publicity stunt.” The train operator says it wants an inquir...

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ScotRail expands new Hitachi electric trains to Glasgow routes

18/02/2019ScotRail expands new Hitachi electric trains to Glasgow routes

ScotRail’s new Hitachi electric trains are to be rolled out across Glasgow as the operator extends its £475m investment into rolling ... more >
40-year-old Pacer trains in East Lancashire gone by end of the year, assures Northern

18/02/201940-year-old Pacer trains in East Lancashire gone by end of the year, assures Northern

Northern has assured passengers that it will replace all of its 40-year-old Pacer trains on the East Lancashire line by the end of year. Con... more >
Rail industry proposes ending peak-tickets in ‘radical’ overhaul of rail fares

18/02/2019Rail industry proposes ending peak-tickets in ‘radical’ overhaul of rail fares

Train operators have called for a major reform of the rail fare system which would scrap peak and off-peak ticket pricing and support the rollout... 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 sleeper's' 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 or review; they just want the train to arrive as promised. But significant change is in the air, and... 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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interviews

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 >