Rail service improvements and disruptions

New TfW director appointed for north Wales

New TfW director appointed for north Wales

14.02.19: Transport for Wales (TfW) has appointed Lee Robinson as its new development director for north Wales. Robinson will lead the business unit in the north of Wales as it supports the delivery of the new franchise and several major schemes in t...

TfL awards £220m contract to Balfour Beatty for tube track renewals

TfL awards £220m contract to Balfour Beatty for tube track renewals

14.02.19: Balfour Beatty has won a £220m contract from TfL to carry out track renewals on the London Underground. The four-year contract encompasses all aspects of track renewals including track, points and crossings, and trackside drainage acr...

Select committee to decide on amendments to HS2’s northern Phase 2 plan

Select committee to decide on amendments to HS2’s northern Phase 2 plan

13.02.19: MPs are to vote on amendments to the construction of the second phase of HS2, Phase 2a, to decide whether or not to take forward major changes to layouts and designs of the proposed network. A select committee of MPs will rule on the change...

New Forest railway line proposed despite criticism for ‘pie in the sky’ idea

New Forest railway line proposed despite criticism for ‘pie in the sky’ idea

13.02.19: The construction of a New Forest railway line and the reopening of stations closed in the ‘Beeching cuts’ has been recommended, but a local MP has dismissed plans as “pie in the sky.” A detailed costing for a raft of...

ScotRail issued second formal warning over performance in two months by Scottish Government

ScotRail issued second formal warning over performance in two months by Scottish Government

13.02.19: Minister have issued ScotRail with its second improvement notice in less than two months after failing to meet contractual targets. Transport Scotland has issued a ‘remedial plan notice’ in recognition that it will be “ext...

‘Radical change is needed’: Network Rail reveals major reorganisation centred around devolution

‘Radical change is needed’: Network Rail reveals major reorganisation centred around devolution

12.02.19: Network Rail has announced a major structural reorganisation with devolution and regional responsibility at the front of its new operation model in recognition that “radical change is needed.” The new operating model will be for...

Decision due on Edinburgh tram extension as cost rises to £207m

Decision due on Edinburgh tram extension as cost rises to £207m

12.02.19: The business case for extending Edinburgh’s tram network in a £196m project has entered its final stage, with councillors in the Scottish capital scrutinising the case ahead of a decision next month. Originally estimated to cost...

Proposals for £39bn investment in Northern Powerhouse Rail to be submitted to government

Proposals for £39bn investment in Northern Powerhouse Rail to be submitted to government

08.02.19: A business case for up to £39bn of investment in Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) are to be submitted to the government, marking “the region’s single biggest transport intervention” since the industrial revolution. The...

HS2 land acquisition costs could spiral five times higher than projected

HS2 land acquisition costs could spiral five times higher than projected

07.02.19: The cost of acquiring land and property for Phase 1 of HS2 could be almost five times the original estimation. Forecasts based on freedom of information requests from an anti-HS2 campaign group have revealed that the total land costs could...

DfT consulting on plans to expand pay-as-you-go rail travel nationwide

DfT consulting on plans to expand pay-as-you-go rail travel nationwide

07.02.19: The DfT has launched a consultation into expanding the pay-as-you-go (PAYG) ticketing model currently used in London. Rail minister Andrew Jones had announced a renewed government drive to expand ‘smart ticketing’ nationwide, an...

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...

Siemens-Alstom merger blocked by EU Commission in landmark decision

Siemens-Alstom merger blocked by EU Commission in landmark decision

06.02.19: The EU Commission has officially blocked a merger between Siemens and Alstom, stating that the companies “were not willing to address our serious competition concerns.” Despite months of negotiations and both the French and Germ...

Northumberland unveils £3.5m rail project to bring back passenger services

Northumberland unveils £3.5m rail project to bring back passenger services

05.02.19: A county council has unveiled a new plan to reintroduce direct trains between Newcastle and south-east Northumberland, bringing back passenger services to a current freight line in a £3.5m investment. Northumberland County Council sai...

Old Oak Common to be UK’s best-connected rail interchange as HS2 reveals new station designs

Old Oak Common to be UK’s best-connected rail interchange as HS2 reveals new station designs

05.02.19: HS2 Ltd has unveiled its plans for the Old Oak Common station, releasing designs for the new “landmark piece of architecture” including high-speed platforms located underground. The design plans say that Old Oak Common will be t...

Vivarail unveils plans to build new hydrogen trains

Vivarail unveils plans to build new hydrogen trains

05.02.19: Train manufacturer Vivarail has unveiled their new plans for hydrogen trains, revealing new designs and visuals for their emissions-free rolling stock. The modular hydrogen train is currently in production, with two motor cars powered by ba...

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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 transpor... 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 even... 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 ... 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 >