The Sleeper's Blog

A collection of opinions on the events in the rail industry from Rail Technology Magazine's most feared reporter, ‘The Sleeper’.

Blending irreverence with a much-needed dose of reality, these morsels of spite keep passengers’ best interests at heart and prove the old adage that 'the truth hurts'.

Interested in becoming a guest blogger? Email the editor.

How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

20.03.18: ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE Biometric identity, time and attendance specialists Donseed looks at how biometric technology is already starting to enhance health and safety measures on railway construction projects. Advances in technology are st...

How can UK rail become a global leader?

How can UK rail become a global leader?

06.03.18: Alison Dervis, EY director, explains why more diverse thinking, innovation and industry collaboration will help deliver transformative change to the railway industry. From late Georgian steam engines, to the multibillion-pound civil enginee...

High-tech tablets and jars of honey: The assortment of gifts sent to Network Rail employees

High-tech tablets and jars of honey: The assortment of gifts sent to Network Rail employees

27.02.18: Network Rail employees receive, on average, a gift every week from residents, rail organisations, and private companies, with items varying from jars of honey to brand new tablets. Freedom of Information requests submitted by RTM reveal the...

Big Rail Diversity Challenge 2018: Exciting details announced

Big Rail Diversity Challenge 2018: Exciting details announced

09.02.18: The first details of this year’s Big Rail Diversity Challenge have been revealed and it’s safe to say the 2018 edition is set to be more thrilling than ever. Last year saw the RTM team attend the second edition in what is quickl...

#UKRIA2018 update: Packages going fast for the industry’s biggest rail awards show

#UKRIA2018 update: Packages going fast for the industry’s biggest rail awards show

23.01.18: Packages for this year’s UKRIA are selling out quick, and those hoping to attend are advised to act fast to avoid disapointment at the rail industry’s biggest opportunity to network. Excitement was crank...

Colossal rail event continues to break records

Colossal rail event continues to break records

09.01.18: Category sponsorships for UKRIA 2018 are selling quick following last week’s big announcement of comedian and actor Rufus Hound as host. This year’s event is headlined by HS2 chief executive Mark Thurston, who was revealed as ke...

#UKRIA2018 host revealed

#UKRIA2018 host revealed

03.01.18: The UK’s most prestigious rail industry awards has ramped up the excitement for this year’s event as popular comedian Rufus Hound has been confirmed as host. A veteran of TV panels shows such as 8 Out of 10 Cats, Never Mind the...

#UKRIA2018 is coming to town

#UKRIA2018 is coming to town

12.12.17: Abnormally freezing-cold temperatures, brightly lit town centres packed with a frenzy of shoppers, and busy markets cooking up endless servings of German sausages could only mean one thing: Christmas is now just around the corner! And what...

#UKRIA2018 picks up HS2 chief executive for keynote speech

#UKRIA2018 picks up HS2 chief executive for keynote speech

08.12.17: Mark Thurston, chief executive of HS2, has been announced as the keynote speaker for this year’s prestigious UK Rail Industry Awards (UKRIA). Thurston, who took over at the country’s biggest rail project in March, is expected to...

#UKRIA2018: The results are in...

#UKRIA2018: The results are in...

28.11.17: The time you were all waiting for has finally arrived: UKRIA’s cross-industry panel of senior-level judges have had their final say on which companies, joint ventures and individuals should be in the running to receive a prestigious accola...

Eurotunnel rebrand: a more ‘Anglo-Saxon’ name?

Eurotunnel rebrand: a more ‘Anglo-Saxon’ name?

21.11.17: The owners of Eurotunnel have decided to change its name to Getlink, a move which the company described as “very Anglo-Saxon.” Despite the company operating across both England and France it has decided to change its name as it...

Looking back over HS1, 10 years on

Looking back over HS1, 10 years on

14.11.17: While the HS2 project continues to gain ground and press ahead with major contracts despite recent staffing controversies, today sees its older, considerably smaller sibling turn 10 years old. HS1, the line running between St Pancras Intern...

Rising complaints, changing priorities?

Rising complaints, changing priorities?

27.10.17: On average this year, more people in the UK are complaining about the quality of the rail service. Yesterday, the ORR released its quarterly analysis of complaints received about train punctuality, ticket-buying and onboard facilities and c...

What makes a truly outstanding project?

What makes a truly outstanding project?

20.10.17: With the rail industry currently in a state of continuous change, there are plenty of well-run and innovative new projects being delivered across the country. From the construction of the Ordsall Chord in the north to the completion of Cros...

TCR’s Top 10: Our picks from a brilliant event

TCR’s Top 10: Our picks from a brilliant event

06.10.17: TransCityRail North (TCR) 2017 was a day (and night) filled with lively debate, inspiring speeches and plenty of opportunities to network and meet new and familiar faces. For those who attended the conference in the day, business cards were...

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latest rail news

‘Major milestone’ in Northamptonshire railway upgrade reached

21/06/2018‘Major milestone’ in Northamptonshire railway upgrade reached

Network Rail has completed 12 weeks of major improvement works in Northamptonshire. The work, which forms part of the Midland Main Line upgrade,... more >
New GTR boss named to lead company through ‘difficult times’

21/06/2018New GTR boss named to lead company through ‘difficult times’

Struggling rail firm Govia Thameslink Railway has named Patrick Verwer as its new chief executive. Following former chief executive Charles ... more >
Thousands of small-medium enterprises to benefit from rail contract changes

21/06/2018Thousands of small-medium enterprises to benefit from rail contract changes

Network Rail will be changing contract terms between subcontractors and suppliers in an effort to benefit thousands of small medium enterprises a... 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

How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

20/03/2018How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE Biometric identity, time and attendance specialists Donseed looks at how biometric technology is already starting to enhance health and safety measures on railway construction projects. Advances in technology are starting to transform the way in which the rail network in the UK is managed, operated and maintained.... more >
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Apprenticeship levy: the latest picture

05/06/2018Apprenticeship levy: the latest picture

Mark Holmes, head of membership and development at NSAR, describes the current resources available to the rail industry to ensure companies of al... more >
Moving in the right direction

05/06/2018Moving in the right direction

Alex Cropper, head of projects group at Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), reports on the exciting progress so far in building the Trafford... more >
Overcoming leaves on the line

05/06/2018Overcoming leaves on the line

Paul Gray, professional lead of engineering R&D at the RSSB, explains how latest research proves using double variable rate sanders on trains... more >
Rail: A woman’s world

18/05/2018Rail: A woman’s world

RTM’s Sacha Rowlands reports from a panel debate where six of the industry’s leading figures convened to discuss the fundamental issu... more >

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interviews

Transforming travel in the north west

06/02/2018Transforming travel in the north west

RTM’s Josh Mines talks to Robin Davis, head of new trains at TransPennine Express (TPE), about the huge rolling stock change journey the co... more >
Thameslink: Nearing the end of the line

23/01/2018Thameslink: Nearing the end of the line

RTM’s Josh Mines catches up with Mark Somers, project director for Thameslink, on how the final stages of the programme are progressing and... more >
Modernising journeys in north east England

09/11/2017Modernising journeys in north east England

First Hull Trains is about to embark on the biggest fleet overhaul it has delivered since being set up in 2000. Managing director Will Dunnett te... more >