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.

Surviving the heatwave: are we truly the laughing stock of the world?

Surviving the heatwave: are we truly the laughing stock of the world?

29.06.18: It’s safe to say the internet has not been kind to the rail industry for the widespread disruptions that took place this week as a result of soaring temperatures up and down the country. Passengers have taken to Twitter to call the UK rail...

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...

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latest rail news

Crossrail restarts dynamic testing on Elizabeth Line after series of delays

18/01/2019Crossrail restarts dynamic testing on Elizabeth Line after series of delays

Crossrail has begun operating test trains on the Elizabeth Line, restarting a crucial part of testing after months of setbacks and delays. T... more >
Unions launch campaign after closure notice served on 200-job Glasgow rail depot

18/01/2019Unions launch campaign after closure notice served on 200-job Glasgow rail depot

Rail maintenance company Gemini Rail has served a closure notice on its Springburn depot and served workers with redundancy notices, sparking uni... more >
Former Highways England manager to join Transport for the North in new director role

18/01/2019Former Highways England manager to join Transport for the North in new director role

A former Highways England manager is set to join Transport for the North (TfN) to operate as the body’s new strategy and programme director... 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

5 reasons why you should be involved with TransCityRail

18/01/20195 reasons why you should be involved with TransCityRail

TransCityRail brings a unique opportunity to gain invaluable insight into what’s happening in the rail industry across the Midlands, exhibit, and place your brand in front of budget-holders whilst taking advantage of the hours of networking with senior decision-makers. 5 reasons why you should be involved with TransCityRail Midlands ... more >
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Repoint: revolutionising track switch

15/01/2019Repoint: revolutionising track switch

Sam Bemment, senior R&D engineer at Loughborough University, brings us an update on the Repoint project – a scheme which has transforme... more >
ORR: Defining an 'efficient' railway

15/01/2019ORR: Defining an 'efficient' railway

Ahead of CP6, Howard Taylor, cost manager of railway planning and performance at the ORR, dives deep into the regulator’s assessment of wha... more >
Network Rail & Innovate UK: Ready for the future

15/01/2019Network Rail & Innovate UK: Ready for the future

As part of its Open for Business programme, Network Rail recently teamed up with Innovate UK to give businesses a chance to win a share of £... more >
CP6: Room for improvement

15/01/2019CP6: Room for improvement

Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), assesses Network Rail’s confirmed spending plans for CP6. Th... more >

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interviews

Rail Ombudsman interview: RTM sits down with CEO Kevin Grix

20/12/2018Rail Ombudsman interview: RTM sits down with CEO Kevin Grix

In November, the first ever Rail Ombudsman was established in a bid to give passengers a free independent service to allow passengers to claim co... more >
HS2 train race: making the case

20/11/2018HS2 train race: making the case

Bombardier and Hitachi’s commitment to providing the best HS2 rolling stock pitch to the government was signified with the launch of their ... more >
Finding positives in negative short-circuiting devices

09/11/2018Finding positives in negative short-circuiting devices

Sponsored interview  Anything that brings about safety and time-saving benefits is a valued improvement for the rail industry, which is w... more >