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.

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...

Alliance claims HS2 compensation unfair for Londoners

Alliance claims HS2 compensation unfair for Londoners

04.11.14: A cross-party group of London MPs and council leaders have called on the government to provide ‘A fair deal for London’ on HS2 compensation – signalling further trouble for the controversial high speed line.  The Alli...

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Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

13/06/2019Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

The storm-battered Dawlish rail line could be “moved out to sea” and away from the “hazard” of the cliffs under new plans... more >
TfL awards contract for new DLR fleet to replace 30-year-old trains

12/06/2019TfL awards contract for new DLR fleet to replace 30-year-old trains

TfL has awarded a contract for 43 new trains to replace the oldest rolling stock on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), with the first scheduled t... more >
Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... 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

Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

05/06/2019Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

In a series of Q&A’s with key speakers on the run up to TransCityRail Midlands, we caught up with TransCityRail panellist and Amey’s commercial account director, Anna Delvecchio, for her insight into what the Rail Sector Deal means for the rail industry and its supply chain. Anna started her career as an apprentice at the age o... more >
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Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >
Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

10/06/2019Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

Malcolm Holmes, executive director of the West Midlands Rail Executive, described the new stations set to be built for the Black Country region o... more >
The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

10/06/2019The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

Richard Turner, head of apprenticeships at Network Rail, details the reasons for growing apprenticeship demand in the rail sector over the coming... more >
A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

10/06/2019A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

Chris Hobson, director of policy and external affairs at the East Midlands Chamber, talks in detail about what travelling through the region will... more >

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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 >