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.

Your chance to live in a railway station… complete with its own train

Your chance to live in a railway station… complete with its own train

20 May 2016A former 19th century railway station, featuring its own track and steam train, is for sale for any rail enthusiast who has £600,000 to spare. The former Great Northern Railway Station in Rippingale, Lincolnshire, was built in 1872 and clos...

Free station wi-fi: shouldn’t we all have it by now?

Free station wi-fi: shouldn’t we all have it by now?

13 May 2016Passengers on Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) can now browse the internet on free wi-fi at 105 of the operator’s stations. The service, provided by O2, is available on Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and Gatwick Express routes, all of w...

Putting accessible and inclusive transport at the heart of HS2

Putting accessible and inclusive transport at the heart of HS2

05 May 2016Charlotte Hughes, director of external relations at the Community Transport Association, invites HS2 to work together with communities in order to put accessibility and inclusivity at the heart of the infrastructure project. It is hard not to be...

The cost of recommending Network Rail change

The cost of recommending Network Rail change

29 April 2016The DfT has revealed that the estimated incremental cost of preparing and publishing the long-awaited Shaw Report was £875,919. The report, which rejected Network Rail privatisation for the ‘foreseeable future’, has been widely...

Partnership offers Samaritans’ number on train tickets

Partnership offers Samaritans’ number on train tickets

26 April 2016People in need of someone to talk to about their problems will have a reminder of someone to talk to printed on their train tickets under a new partnership between the Samaritans and Network Rail. The new campaign, ‘We Listen’, will p...

Scheme to offer internships to engineers after a career break could benefit rail industry

Scheme to offer internships to engineers after a career break could benefit rail industry

22 April 2016A new scheme to offer internships to civil engineers coming back to work in the industry after a career break could help remedy some of the rail industry’s staffing shortage and gender discrimination problems. The Civil Comebacks programme...

Disabled passenger numbers hit record levels

Disabled passenger numbers hit record levels

15 April 2016More disabled people than ever are using Britain’s railways, figures released yesterday by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) suggest. In 2012-15, the number of disabled person’s railcards in circulation increased from 144,829 to 175,5...

Changing of the guard: Roy Freeland to speak on behalf of RSG at Infrarail

Changing of the guard: Roy Freeland to speak on behalf of RSG at Infrarail

08 April 2016Infrarail 2016 have announced the new speaker for the Rail Supply Group (RSG) at next week’s event, with Perpetuum’s Roy Freeland replacing Alstom’s former UK president. Roy Freeland, SME lead for the RSG Council, will appear at...

Search is launched to uncover origins of WW2 era plans to reconstruct Forth Bridge

Search is launched to uncover origins of WW2 era plans to reconstruct Forth Bridge

05 April 2016Mysterious 71-year-old plans for a Forth Bridge reconstruction that was never built have been discovered in an archive, leading to a hunt to find out more about them. The drawings, found in a microfiche file among a box of historical documents, s...

Mental health at the heart of rail travel

Mental health at the heart of rail travel

01 April 2016It’s a momentous day for West Coast staff and commuters alike: Virgin Trains has kicked off a partnership with the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) to increase awareness of mental health and wellbeing amongst customers and employees, including...

BTP deploy extra resources following Brussels terrorist attacks

BTP deploy extra resources following Brussels terrorist attacks

23 March 2016Following the terrorist attacks in Brussels yesterday morning, British Transport Police (BTP) announced they are deploying extra resources on Britain’s transport networks. The attacks in Brussels began at 7.00am GMT yesterday with two explo...

Virgin unveils Azumas for East Coast

Virgin unveils Azumas for East Coast

18 March 2016Virgin have unveiled a new fleet of their fastest ever trains to increase capacity on their East Coast route. The 65 VirginAzuma trains are capable of reaching 125mph in around four-and-a-half minutes, compared to around five minutes ten seconds...

Sussex trains slow to 5mph as latest landslip hits

Sussex trains slow to 5mph as latest landslip hits

14 March 2016Another landslip has hit the rail network, this time in Sussex, forcing Southern rail services on the line between Eastbourne and Lewes to slow to 5mph. Network Rail staff are currently digging bore holes into the rail to look deeper at the emban...

Anything but splitting franchises

Anything but splitting franchises

11 March 2016It’s a turbulent time for the rail industry at the moment, what with the upcoming Shaw Report, early signs of potential asset privatisation across Network Rail, and even a looming shake-up of how operators run services in the UK. A short po...

Row over Network Rail’s future worsens as campaign launched to stop station sales

Row over Network Rail’s future worsens as campaign launched to stop station sales

04 March 2016Activists are joining the debate over Network Rail’s future as anti-privatisation group ‘We Own It’ has launched a week of protests against proposals to sell off 18 major stations. The protests began at King’s Cross statio...

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Alstom set to purchase Bombardier Transportation

18/09/2020Alstom set to purchase Bombardier Transportation

Alstom’s move to takeover Bombardier Transportation has progressed following the announcement that Alstom has signed the sale and purchase ... more >
Flood-damaged Edinburgh-Glasgow line to reopen

18/09/2020Flood-damaged Edinburgh-Glasgow line to reopen

The Edinburgh-Glasgow, via Falkirk High, railway line will reopen for passengers on Monday (21st Sept.) Network Rail engineers have worked t... more >
East Coast Main Line: £216.2m contract to increase power supply

18/09/2020East Coast Main Line: £216.2m contract to increase power supply

Following a £216.2m contract awarded by the Rail Electrification Alliance, The East Coast Main Line Power Supply Upgrade can move forward i... 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

On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

29/06/2020On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

Following an independent audit, Sulzer’s Nottingham Service Centre has been accepted as part of the rail industry supplier approval scheme (RISAS). The accreditation reinforces the high-quality standards that are maintained by Sulzer’s network of independent repair facilities across the UK and further afield in its global network. ... more >
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The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >
Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

02/07/2019Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

Smart electrification is the way to boost clean energy resources, argues Leo Murray, director at 10:10 Climate Action. Contractors are clear... more >
Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

02/07/2019Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

The TCR Midlands conference is only days away and tickets are going fast for the sector event of the year at the Vox Conference Centre in Birming... more >

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interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he wo... more >
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 >