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.

Controversial rail fare data

Controversial rail fare data

28.01.15: Data on rail fares is, and always will be, controversial – no matter who produces it. And today is no different.  New ‘independent’ research, carried out on behalf of the union TSSA, reveals that walk-on rail fares ha...

Manchester Victoria Metrolink stop will open in February – NR

Manchester Victoria Metrolink stop will open in February – NR

23.01.15: Much to the delight of many, including RTM, tram services will be restored to Manchester Victoria’s Metrolink stop next month, Network Rail has confirmed.  The tram stop, which has been upgraded as part of the redevelopment of Ma...

TfGM boss to chair pteg

TfGM boss to chair pteg

16.01.15: Dr Jon Lamonte, chief executive of Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), has been named the new chair of pteg (Passenger Transport Executive Group). Pteg brings together and promotes the interests of the six strategic transport bodies &n...

NR to publish report into Christmas over-runs on 12 January

NR to publish report into Christmas over-runs on 12 January

09.01.15: Network Rail has stated that it will publish the findings of its ‘detailed’ investigation into the King’ Cross and Paddington engineering over-runs at Christmas at 2pm Monday 12 January. The report, which has been compiled...

Media knives out for Robin Gisby

Media knives out for Robin Gisby

02.01.15: Network Rail has been forced to clarify the position of Robin Gisby after inaccurate reporting about his job and bonus following the Christmas engineering over-runs. Some media outlets incorrectly described him as the managing director of N...

Devolving functions of the BTP to Scotland?

Devolving functions of the BTP to Scotland?

19.12.14: During the final day’s business of Parliament before the Christmas recess, Labour’s Jim Fitzpatrick asked the leader of the House, William Hague, about proposals to “break up” the British Transport Police (BTP) as part of...

Wiring money

Wiring money

12.12.14: We have long backed industry calls for a rolling programme of electrification, which in recent years has become an unexpected reality. Just seven years ago, the idea was virtually written off in DfT policy documents, but electrification has...

Rail North electrification taskforce report due in the new year

Rail North electrification taskforce report due in the new year

05.12.14: A taskforce of  northern MPs and council leaders will provide the government with an interim report in the new year, setting out its recommended priorities for electrification development from 2019 and onwards.  The transport secr...

London most expensive city in Europe for airport transfers

London most expensive city in Europe for airport transfers

28.11.14: To everyone’s complete lack of surprise London has been named the most expensive city in Europe in yet another category. This time it’s airport transfers. According to research by flightright.co.uk that looked at transfer s...

IET innovation award for Network Rail’s ORBIS scheme

IET innovation award for Network Rail’s ORBIS scheme

21.11.14: We always like to highlight innovation here at RTM. And this week Network Rail’s multi-million pound saving ORBIS scheme was awarded the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET’s) Asset Management 2014 Innovation Award...

Lord Heseltine backs call for HS2 to run direct to Liverpool

Lord Heseltine backs call for HS2 to run direct to Liverpool

17.11.14: There has been, and is still, much debate on the highly controversial route of HS2. And now one former Conservative heavyweight has called for the high-speed line to run directly to Liverpool.  Lord Heseltine, the former deputy prime m...

Northern Rail drivers set for strike action

Northern Rail drivers set for strike action

14.11.14: Northern Rail train drivers have voted ‘overwhelmingly’ in favour of strike action in a dispute over pay.  Trade union Aslef stated that 82.2% of drivers voted for industrial action with 17.8% against. Overall turnout for t...

Railway Surveys Guidance Note highlights importance of safety

Railway Surveys Guidance Note highlights importance of safety

13.11.14: The Survey Association (TSA), working in conjunction with Network Rail, has produced a new, free guidance document for professionals carrying out survey work on Britain’s railways.    Endorsed by the Royal Institute of Chart...

‘The statement on punctuality cannot be substantiated’

‘The statement on punctuality cannot be substantiated’

11.11.14: Sometimes the DfT’s claims get the better of it. Rail minister Claire Perry MP has been forced to give a correction to Parliament after she said in a debate at the end of October: “We have the safest and most punctual railways i...

HS2 route to Crewe safeguarding consultation launched

HS2 route to Crewe safeguarding consultation launched

05.11.14: Although a final decision has not yet been made on the Phase 2 route of HS2, the DfT has launched a nine-week safeguarding consultation on the corridor between Fradley and Crewe.  Residents on the Fradley to Crewe section of the provis...

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Government announces HS2 review, 'go or no-go' decision by year-end

21/08/2019Government announces HS2 review, 'go or no-go' decision by year-end

The government is set to launch a review into the HS2 project, transport secretary Grant Shapps has announced. The review into the high-spee... more >
New train station part of £218m Chelmsford regeneration

20/08/2019New train station part of £218m Chelmsford regeneration

As part of a major £218m regeneration of Chelmsford, a new train station is set to be constructed to improve transport infrastructure in th... more >
Mid-Cheshire Line speed increase after £800k rail upgrade

19/08/2019Mid-Cheshire Line speed increase after £800k rail upgrade

Following the completion of an £800,000 investment into new railway tracks, passenger trains operating on the Mid-Cheshire Line betwee... 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

Network Rail’s Anna-Jane Hunter on, NPR, TRU, HS2 and supply chain opportunities

12/08/2019Network Rail’s Anna-Jane Hunter on, NPR, TRU, HS2 and supply chain opportunities

Anna- Jane Hunter, is a ‘proud northerner’ and is passionate about continuing the investment and success story of rail across the North.  She plays a key role in working with government and northern leaders to enable the network to carry on thriving. We caught up with Anna-Jane, for her expertise and insight into connecti... 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 >
Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

24/06/2019Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

Ahead of his appearance, Malcolm Holmes spoke with Rail Technology Magazine about what key leaders in the industry were doing to improve rail in ... 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 >