Rail service improvements and disruptions

Spanish infrastructure group looking to sell Amey

Spanish infrastructure group looking to sell Amey

05.12.18: Spanish construction giant Ferrovial is looking to sell its UK subsidiary Amey. Ferrovial is putting its global support services division, which includes the Oxford-based Amey, up on the market. Investment bank Goldman Sachs has been appoin...

First CP6 contracts awarded by Network Rail in major £645m deal

First CP6 contracts awarded by Network Rail in major £645m deal

05.12.18: The first major contracts for CP6 have been awarded by Network Rail, worth a combined £645m. Story Contracting has been announced as the winner of ‘Lot 2,’ which covers renewals and enhancement work in Scotland and is wort...

Overhaul of Tees Valley’s two biggest stations gets £45m boost, but DfT help still needed

Overhaul of Tees Valley’s two biggest stations gets £45m boost, but DfT help still needed

04.12.18: Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) has approved a £45m investment to “dramatically overhaul” Darlington and Middlesbrough stations as part of improvements which mayor Ben Houchen told RTM would be “central” to th...

May timetable crisis: GTR hit with government profit sanctions and told to spend £15m on improvements

May timetable crisis: GTR hit with government profit sanctions and told to spend £15m on improvements

04.12.18: Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has been told that it must contribute £15m towards service improvements for passengers as the government announced that the TOC will be hit with sanctions, capping its profits for the remainder of its franchi...

Grayling ‘should resign’ over ‘appalling’ timetable chaos as MPs call for fare freeze

Grayling ‘should resign’ over ‘appalling’ timetable chaos as MPs call for fare freeze

04.12.18: MPs have demanded a freeze in rail fares and called for the transport secretary to resign over the “chaotic roll-out” of the new railway timetables introduced in May, which hit nearly half of all passenger services up and down the co...

Millennial railcard nationwide sale delayed to 2 January

Millennial railcard nationwide sale delayed to 2 January

30.11.18: Millennial railcards for 26- to 30-year-olds will go on general sale on 2 January after the launch was delayed to coincide with the annual fare rise in the New Year. The railcard is being made available digitally only for all 4.5 million Br...

ORR takes formal action against Network Rail over poor performance

ORR takes formal action against Network Rail over poor performance

29.11.18: The ORR is taking formal action against Network Rail to improve its performance as figures show punctuality and reliability are at their lowest levels since the current five-year control period began. The regulator has issued a Provisional...

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...

Private sector deal ‘very close to fruition,’ industrial strategy minister says

Private sector deal ‘very close to fruition,’ industrial strategy minister says

28.11.18: The government’s private sector deal with the rail industry is “very close to fruition,” the industry strategy minister has said. Speaking at the Railway Industry Association parliamentary reception in Westminster last nig...

Shadow transport secretary McDonald considers extending control periods to 7 years

Shadow transport secretary McDonald considers extending control periods to 7 years

28.11.18: The shadow transport secretary has suggested increasing the current spending period length by an extra two years to give the supply industry greater time for planning. Andy McDonald said that increasing the control period length, which is c...

New railway technology to save track workers thousands of hours on SWR

New railway technology to save track workers thousands of hours on SWR

27.11.18:  New technology to help carry out overnight and maintenance work is set to be rolled out across the South Western Railway and will save track workers an extra 1,600 hours a year. The railway technology will allow for a more efficient...

DfT denies ‘experimenting’ with new East Coast Partnership, promises better franchise bids assessment

DfT denies ‘experimenting’ with new East Coast Partnership, promises better franchise bids assessment

27.11.18: The DfT has defended its reportedly experimental plans for the refreshed East Coast Main Line franchise, arguing that its process for assessing bids is now “more robust” after a critical report into the failings that led to the colla...

Staffordshire station gets £5m overhaul to improve accessibility

Staffordshire station gets £5m overhaul to improve accessibility

26.11.18: Network Rail has started its £5m overhaul of Kidsgrove station in Staffordshire in order to make it accessible for passengers with disabilities and mobility needs, “removing barriers to travel” across the network. The upgr...

Rail Ombudsman launch a ‘wake-up call’ to train companies over complaint services

Rail Ombudsman launch a ‘wake-up call’ to train companies over complaint services

26.11.18: The first-ever Rail Ombudsman has been launched today, giving rail passengers a free, independent service which will help them claim refunds and compensation by appealing unresolved complaints. The official body will have the power to inves...

Major overhaul of one of country’s longest tunnels sees delays fall by a fifth

Major overhaul of one of country’s longest tunnels sees delays fall by a fifth

23.11.18: A major refurbishment of Sevenoaks tunnel has seen a 20% reduction in delays and halved journey times for passengers, even as the £21m infrastructure renewal nears completion. One of the longest tunnels in southern England, Sevenoaks...

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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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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 >