The Sleeper's Blog

Across Rail Technology Magazine’s The Sleeper Blog, you’ll find insightful analysis, opinions, and news from a collection of RTM’s guest bloggers, editorial board members, in-house reporters, and regular contributors.

Interested in becoming a guest blogger? Email the editorial team.

Making the railways safer and more reliable with Ze-Power

Making the railways safer and more reliable with Ze-Power

13.05.19: 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 P...

The £41bn industry that’s cutting cold calling

The £41bn industry that’s cutting cold calling

09.05.19: According to studies it was found that buyers who interact with a brand at exhibitions and events are more likely to go on to invest in the brand and become a loyal customer. In fact, exhibiting or any type of face-to-face interaction with a bra...

Network Rail's Julia Territt on working with the supply chain

Network Rail's Julia Territt on working with the supply chain

08.05.19: Ahead of TransCityRail Midlands this July, Julia Territt, Network Rail’s Regional Delivery Director for Route Services Supply Chain Operations joins us to discuss ‘putting the passenger first’ and working with the supply chain....

Siemens’ Rob Morris on the Rail Sector deal and Digital Railway

Siemens’ Rob Morris on the Rail Sector deal and Digital Railway

08.05.19: Rob Morris, Managing Director at Siemens Rail Automation and Digital Railway Industry Champion for the Rail Supply Group Rail Sector Deal joins us to discuss how Digital Railway is developing a ‘transformative’ Rail Sector Deal...

Toufic Machnouk, Network Rail’s LNE & EM Route Programme Director, on rethinking digital technology

Toufic Machnouk, Network Rail’s LNE & EM Route Programme Director, on rethinking digital technology

08.05.19: Toufic Machnouk, LNE & EM Route Programme Director for Network Rail, joins us to discuss Digital Railway and rethinking Network Rail’s digital approach ahead of TransCityRail Midlands 2019. What does your role as LNE & EM...

Empower your reader, choose print

Empower your reader, choose print

07.05.19: We are on digital rollercoaster, swirling and twirling through a variety of different online advertising platforms- have we forgotten about traditional marketing platforms such as print? The UK is currently the global leader in advertising...

Maria Machancoses on the Midlands Rail Hub plans and futureproofing the Midlands network

Maria Machancoses on the Midlands Rail Hub plans and futureproofing the Midlands network

03.05.19: Maria Machancoses Director of Midlands Connect joins us to discuss the Midlands Rail Hub plans and futureproofing the Midlands network ahead of TransCityRail Midlands 2019. What does your role as Director of Midlands Connect involve? ...

A strengthened rail supply chain

A strengthened rail supply chain

26.04.19: Ahead of TransCityRail Midlands, We caught up with strategic partner PTS Training academy to find out more about how they are plugging the skills gap building a well-equipped workforce across the industry.  Where do you think the main...

West Midlands Rail Executive’s Malcolm Holmes on the 30 year Rail Investment Strategy and working with Midlands Connect

West Midlands Rail Executive’s Malcolm Holmes on the 30 year Rail Investment Strategy and working with Midlands Connect

08.04.19: Malcolm Holmes, Chief Executive of the West Midlands Rail Executive, joins us to discuss the 30-year Rail Investment Strategy, and how he and his team are working closely with Midlands Connect to deliver on uplifting capacity and bettering servi...

Elaine Clark, Chief Executive of the Rail Forum Midlands on supporting the Rail Sector Deal

Elaine Clark, Chief Executive of the Rail Forum Midlands on supporting the Rail Sector Deal

02.04.19: The Rail Forum Midlands are playing a huge part in the delivery of the Rail Sector Deal. Chief Executive Elaine Clark explains how she and her team are working to support SME's in the rail sector grow their business through collaboration and bui...

The vision of England's Economic Heartland's Strategic Transport Forum

The vision of England's Economic Heartland's Strategic Transport Forum

26.03.19: Dave Hodgson, elected mayor of Bedford Borough Council and chair of England’s Economic Heartland’s Strategic Transport Forum, sets out his vision for the future of rail in light of the Rail Review, whilst highlighting the economic si...

The West Midlands 30-year strategy

The West Midlands 30-year strategy

19.03.19: Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE), outlines the West Midlands Rail Investment Strategy 2018-2047. The West Midlands Rail Executive was formed three years ago to give local authorities a direct influen...

Manchester's masterplan with Transport for Greater Manchester

Manchester's masterplan with Transport for Greater Manchester

12.03.19: Simon Warburton, transport strategy director at Transport for Greater Manchester, outlines the region’s ambitious vision for the future. First things first – the good news: Greater Manchester is a success. Over the past 20 years...

Blog: Jane Fisher, Transitions and Projects Director on new trains, station enhancements and £1bn investment

Blog: Jane Fisher, Transitions and Projects Director on new trains, station enhancements and £1bn investment

11.03.19: Ahead of the upcoming TCR Midlands event 18-07-2019, we caught up with Jane Fisher, Transitions and Projects Director for West Midlands Trains. As Transitions and Projects Director, Jane explains her role and the key issues West Midlands Trains...

Lord Berkeley: TransPennine freight is being sidelined

Lord Berkeley: TransPennine freight is being sidelined

05.03.19: Lord Berkeley, former chairman of the Rail Freight Group, makes the case for extra freight capacity across the proposed TransPennine route upgrades. Freight has suffered from the lack of capacity across the Pennines, especially for containe...

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latest rail news

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 TOC, gives RTM an update on the innovative scheme. Recognising that young people are more likely to take a risk trespassing on railway tracks, CrossCountry and the Scouts have come together to encourage Britain’s younger generations to be... more > more last word articles >
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'the sleepers' 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 >
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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 >

rail industry focus

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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 >
Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

12/03/2019Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

RTM sits down with Samantha Smith, sole female member of the TransPennine Route Upgrade Alliance Leadership Team, to find out more about encourag... more >
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 >