Rail jobs, staff issues and training

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...

Workers who narrowly avoided death had no one in charge and ‘ineffective’ safety arrangements

Workers who narrowly avoided death had no one in charge and ‘ineffective’ safety arrangements

18.12.18: “Ineffective” safety arrangements and a number of unofficial working practices contributed to a group of track workers narrowly avoiding being hit by a train, an RAIB investigation has found. A train service travelling towards L...

Up to 180 jobs at risk following closure of Scottish rail maintenance site

Up to 180 jobs at risk following closure of Scottish rail maintenance site

13.12.18: As many as 180 highly-skilled jobs are at risk at a Glasgow rail maintenance company following news that the site will close. Management of Gemini Rail Services based in Springburn made the announcement on Wednesday that the proposed closur...

Khan told in July of ‘high risk’ to Crossrail launch date as TfL reveals project’s ‘failed governance’

Khan told in July of ‘high risk’ to Crossrail launch date as TfL reveals project’s ‘failed governance’

11.12.18: Documents released by TfL show that the former Crossrail chairman Sir Terry Morgan warned Sadiq Khan in July that schedule plans were at “high risk” and have been called a “serious indictment of Crossrail’s failed governa...

Bombardier and Hitachi commit to high-speed rail learning programme if HS2 bid is successful

Bombardier and Hitachi commit to high-speed rail learning programme if HS2 bid is successful

30.11.18: Hitachi and Bombardier are to work closely together in developing a high-speed rail learning programme as part of their joint bid to build trains for HS2. The companies, meeting in Doncaster, say they’re discussing the development of...

After almost a year of strikes, DfT commits to keeping second person on-board Northern trains

After almost a year of strikes, DfT commits to keeping second person on-board Northern trains

29.11.18: The DfT and Transport for the North (TfN) have committed to keep a second person on-board Northern trains in a momentous decision that could bring an end to strike action and settle the long-running dispute between the TOC and the RMT union. ...

RAIB to investigate LNER train which broke speed limit by 100mph

RAIB to investigate LNER train which broke speed limit by 100mph

28.11.18: A LNER train travelling at 120mph on a section of track with an emergency speed restriction of 20mph is being investigated by the RAIB. The Aberdeen to London King’s Cross service went through the Sandy South Junction in Bedfordshire...

RAIB, ORR and BTP all launch investigations after rail worker is killed by train

RAIB, ORR and BTP all launch investigations after rail worker is killed by train

22.11.18: The ORR, RAIB and the BTP have all launched investigations after a railway worker died when he was struck by a train at Stoats Nest Junction, Surrey, in the early hours of 6 November. The RAIB said it is trying to discover why the worker wa...

Rail minister launches strategy for grassroots community rail projects

Rail minister launches strategy for grassroots community rail projects

16.11.18: Rail minister Andrew Jones has urged train operators to commit resources into new and existing community rail projects as he launched the 2018 Community Rail Strategy. Jones, who returned to the role of transport minister on Tuesday followi...

Talgo names Fife as the chosen site of its first UK train factory

Talgo names Fife as the chosen site of its first UK train factory

14.11.18: Spanish train manufacturer Talgo has revealed that is new train-building factory will be built at Longannet in Fife, bringing more than 1,000 jobs to Scotland. Talgo will build its first UK manufacturing base at the site of a decommissioned...

Crossrail contractors in row over overtime pay

Crossrail contractors in row over overtime pay

14.11.18: A pay row has broken out over overtime payments for contractors working on the Elizabeth Line as it raced to get the project finished on time. TfL and Crossrail are said to be questioning bills from contracts after workers undertook overnig...

‘Broken’ rail complaints system failing to deal with passengers effectively or even with ‘basic courtesy’

‘Broken’ rail complaints system failing to deal with passengers effectively or even with ‘basic courtesy’

14.11.18: The rail complaints system is “broken” and train companies are failing to deal with passenger complaints effectively or even with “basic courtesy,” new analysis has revealed. An investigation by Which? found that les...

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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 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 >