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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Scrap HS2 and use its £56bn budget to fund 28 alternative projects, urges TPA

14/05/2019Scrap HS2 and use its £56bn budget to fund 28 alternative projects, urges TPA

Scrapping the £56bn HS2 project could pave the way for 28 separate local infrastructure schemes to be funded instead with the case “g... more >
DfT calls for new technology to transform transport accessibility, but union warns against ‘faceless’ railway

14/05/2019DfT calls for new technology to transform transport accessibility, but union warns against ‘faceless’ railway

The DfT has called for new technologies to revolutionise travel for older people and those with disabilities, but the RMT has “reacted with... more >
First leg of HS2 ‘passing the point of no return’ due to amount of money already invested, says NAO head

13/05/2019First leg of HS2 ‘passing the point of no return’ due to amount of money already invested, says NAO head

HS2 is on the “verge of passing the point of no return” and the amount of money spent would make scrapping the flagship project &ldqu... 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

Making the railways safer and more reliable with Ze-Power

13/05/2019Making the railways safer and more reliable with Ze-Power

Professor Meiling Zhu, chair of mechanical engineering and head of the Energy Harvesting Research Group (EHRG) at the University of Exeter, introduces us to Ze-Power (Zero Power, Large Area Rail Track Monitoring): an innovative Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded project aiming to make the railway tracks safer and more reliable. In the UK, rail passengers make around 1.7 billion journeys every year, while 4... more >
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The railway franchising model is broken, and passengers are paying the price

13/05/2019The railway franchising model is broken, and passengers are paying the price

Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch and chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), gives her view on the state of the UK’s ... more >
NSAR: Tackling the digital skills shortage

13/05/2019NSAR: Tackling the digital skills shortage

The National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) chief executive Neil Robertson returns to write for RTM, this time, to assess the digital skills shor... more >
Delivering cost-effective electrification

13/05/2019Delivering cost-effective electrification

David Clarke, technical director of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), sets out the findings of a new report on how rail electrification can... more >
5G: An opportunity to revolutionise on-train connectivity

13/05/20195G: An opportunity to revolutionise on-train connectivity

Simon Holmes, group head of digital (engineering) at FirstGroup, introduces us to the 5G solution being delivered for the rail sector.  ... more >

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interviews

Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >