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.

Balfour Beatty hails successful use of digital evidence platform on GWR programme

Balfour Beatty hails successful use of digital evidence platform on GWR programme

30.10.18: Balfour Beatty has praised a new secure data collection platform as an ‘amazing development’ which has created seven-figure cost savings over 12 months on its Greater West electrification programme. Called eviFile, the software...

Understanding the sale of the arches

Understanding the sale of the arches

30.10.18: David Biggs, managing director of Network Rail Property, sheds some light on the sale of the infrastructure owner’s commercial estate. We announced last month that we’d agreed terms with a joint venture of Telereal Trillium and...

The East Coast franchise report tells us what we already knew: it was a bid set up to fail

The East Coast franchise report tells us what we already knew: it was a bid set up to fail

18.09.18: RTM's Jack Donnelly assesses what the Transport Committee's latest report on the VTEC franchise means for the industry as a whole “Even now, there is no concrete plan, nor timescales, for the interim operator of this franchise. F...

The cost that counts is the price of doing nothing

The cost that counts is the price of doing nothing

18.09.18: When it comes to investing in connectivity in the Midlands, what matters most is not whether we can afford to finance our ambitions but whether we can afford not to, writes Maria Machancoses, director of Midlands Connect. At the start of Ju...

Sandilands: Lessons for the mainline

Sandilands: Lessons for the mainline

11.09.18: The tragic Croydon crash of 2016 provided many lessons for the UK tramways. But the mainline railway would be wrong to assume many of these lessons don’t apply to them too, says Simon French, chief inspector of rail accidents at the RAIB. ...

Building resilience on the Brighton Main Line

Building resilience on the Brighton Main Line

30.08.18: SPONSORED INTERVIEW Andrew Swanson, head of signal engineering at Kier Rail, talks about a key rail signalling project for his team. The Brighton Main Line (BML) is one of the most congested commuter lines on the UK railway network. It con...

A radical solution to the employment crisis

A radical solution to the employment crisis

24.07.18: Peter Cayless, founder and creative director at Working Eye, talks about an innovative solution to employment in the rail industry that might just help transform careers advice into career discovery. At the 2012 Latitude Festival, comedian...

HS2: collaborate to innovate

HS2: collaborate to innovate

17.07.18: Dr Chris Goodier and Dr Steve Yeomans, of Loughborough University’s Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering (CICE), talk about four new HS2 research projects which are set to challenge how we design, build and moni...

What about Brexit?

What about Brexit?

10.07.18: Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), dares to investigate the potential impact of Brexit on the UK rail supply sector. Everyone’s talking about Brexit – except the rail supply sector, it seem...

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...

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Government gives ‘hugely important’ £208m Belfast Transport Hub the green light

22/03/2019Government gives ‘hugely important’ £208m Belfast Transport Hub the green light

A new £208m Belfast Transport Hub with major rail and bus connections has been granted planning permission by the Department of Infrastruct... more >
New to-the-minute measures for train punctuality introduced to tackle delays

22/03/2019New to-the-minute measures for train punctuality introduced to tackle delays

New measures of train punctuality are to be released by train operators and Network Rail next month in a bid to improve performance. The Rai... more >
FirstGroup finalises £100m order for Hitachi trains as plans for London-Edinburgh rail link move forward

22/03/2019FirstGroup finalises £100m order for Hitachi trains as plans for London-Edinburgh rail link move forward

FirstGroup has finalised a £100m order for Hitachi AT300 electric trainsets in a partnership between the two companies to create a new Lond... 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

The West Midlands 30-year strategy

19/03/2019The West Midlands 30-year strategy

Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE), outlines the West Midlands Rail Investment Strategy 2018-2047. The West Midlands Rail Executive was formed three years ago to give local authorities a direct influence over the award of the region’s main rail franchise. Working with the Department for Transpo... more >
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26-30 Railcard: taking advantage of opportunities

19/03/201926-30 Railcard: taking advantage of opportunities

After a nine-month national trial, the rail industry launched its seventh National Railcard for 26-30-year-olds on 2 January 2019. Rail Delivery ... more >
Caledonian Sleeper: a railway icon re-imagined

19/03/2019Caledonian Sleeper: a railway icon re-imagined

The world-renowned Caledonian Sleeper, due to begin operations at the end of spring 2019, completed its first Scotland to London journey earlier ... more >
East West Rail: the next steps

19/03/2019East West Rail: the next steps

In January, five route options for the central section of East West Rail were published as part of a public consultation on the next phase of the... more >
Rail's role in transit-orientated developments

19/03/2019Rail's role in transit-orientated developments

Jonathan Bray, director at the Urban Transport Group (UTG), argues that transit-oriented developments are the future – and that rail has a ... more >

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interviews

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 >
Exclusive: Midlands Connect and WMRE talk collaboration and investment in the Midlands' railway

22/01/2019Exclusive: Midlands Connect and WMRE talk collaboration and investment in the Midlands' railway

In the jigsaw puzzle of regional transport decision-making, there must be collaboration and compromise. Midlands Connect media lead James Bovill ... more >