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.

Toufic Machnouk, Network Rail’s LNE & EM Route Programme Director, on rethinking digital technology

Toufic Machnouk, Network Rail’s LNE & EM Route Programme Director, on rethinking digital technology

08.05.19: Toufic Machnouk, LNE & EM Route Programme Director for Network Rail, joins us to discuss Digital Railway and rethinking Network Rail’s digital approach ahead of TransCityRail Midlands 2019. What does your role as LNE & EM...

Empower your reader, choose print

Empower your reader, choose print

07.05.19: We are on a digital rollercoaster, swirling and twirling through a variety of different online advertising platforms- have we forgotten about traditional marketing platforms such as print? The UK is currently the global leader in advertisin...

Maria Machancoses on the Midlands Rail Hub plans and futureproofing the Midlands network

Maria Machancoses on the Midlands Rail Hub plans and futureproofing the Midlands network

03.05.19: Maria Machancoses Director of Midlands Connect joins us to discuss the Midlands Rail Hub plans and futureproofing the Midlands network ahead of TransCityRail Midlands 2019. What does your role as Director of Midlands Connect involve? ...

A strengthened rail supply chain

A strengthened rail supply chain

26.04.19: Ahead of TransCityRail Midlands, We caught up with strategic partner PTS Training academy to find out more about how they are plugging the skills gap building a well-equipped workforce across the industry.  Where do you think the main...

West Midlands Rail Executive’s Malcolm Holmes on the 30 year Rail Investment Strategy and working with Midlands Connect

West Midlands Rail Executive’s Malcolm Holmes on the 30 year Rail Investment Strategy and working with Midlands Connect

08.04.19: Malcolm Holmes, Chief Director of the West Midlands Rail Executive, joins us to discuss the 30-year Rail Investment Strategy, and how he and his team are working closely with Midlands Connect to deliver on uplifting capacity and bettering servic...

Elaine Clark, Chief Executive of the Rail Forum Midlands on supporting the Rail Sector Deal

Elaine Clark, Chief Executive of the Rail Forum Midlands on supporting the Rail Sector Deal

02.04.19: The Rail Forum Midlands are playing a huge part in the delivery of the Rail Sector Deal. Chief Executive Elaine Clark explains how she and her team are working to support SME's in the rail sector grow their business through collaboration and bui...

The vision of England's Economic Heartland's Strategic Transport Forum

The vision of England's Economic Heartland's Strategic Transport Forum

26.03.19: Dave Hodgson, elected mayor of Bedford Borough Council and chair of England’s Economic Heartland’s Strategic Transport Forum, sets out his vision for the future of rail in light of the Rail Review, whilst highlighting the economic si...

The West Midlands 30-year strategy

The West Midlands 30-year strategy

19.03.19: 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 influen...

Manchester's masterplan with Transport for Greater Manchester

Manchester's masterplan with Transport for Greater Manchester

12.03.19: Simon Warburton, transport strategy director at Transport for Greater Manchester, outlines the region’s ambitious vision for the future. First things first – the good news: Greater Manchester is a success. Over the past 20 years...

Blog: Jane Fisher, Transitions and Projects Director on new trains, station enhancements and £1bn investment

Blog: Jane Fisher, Transitions and Projects Director on new trains, station enhancements and £1bn investment

11.03.19: Ahead of the upcoming TCR Midlands event 18-07-2019, we caught up with Jane Fisher, Transitions and Projects Director for West Midlands Trains. As Transitions and Projects Director, Jane explains her role and the key issues West Midlands Trains...

Lord Berkeley: TransPennine freight is being sidelined

Lord Berkeley: TransPennine freight is being sidelined

05.03.19: Lord Berkeley, former chairman of the Rail Freight Group, makes the case for extra freight capacity across the proposed TransPennine route upgrades. Freight has suffered from the lack of capacity across the Pennines, especially for containe...

Building the North's new railways

Building the North's new railways

26.02.19: Mike Hulme and Justin Moss, co-chairs of Northern Rail Industry Leaders, look at how the supply chain is working with Transport for the North (TfN) to deliver benefits for the region in light of its recent White Paper. These are exciting ti...

Williams Rail Review: The end of saying sorry?

Williams Rail Review: The end of saying sorry?

05.02.19: Keith Williams’ ongoing Rail Review presents a golden opportunity to rebuild the industry’s weakened relationship with its users and set it on a better track for the future, argues David Sidebottom, passenger director at Transport Fo...

Anna-Jane Hunter: A blossoming north

Anna-Jane Hunter: A blossoming north

29.01.19: Much has been achieved across the north in the past few years, but there’s still a lot of work left to do. As the third generation in her family to work on the railways, Anna-Jane Hunter, director of north of England rail at Network Rail...

A quick backwards glance, then looking forwards

A quick backwards glance, then looking forwards

29.01.19: Neil Robertson, chief executive of NSAR, takes a shot at making some predictions for rail’s fate in 2019. I was asked to make some rail predictions in the first week in January 2018. They were: Prediction 1: Rail infrastructure b...

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Network Rail: Committed to keeping Britain moving

27/03/2020Network Rail: Committed to keeping Britain moving

As retired signallers are called out of retirement to help keep our country’s railways moving during this pandemic, members of the rail ind... more >
RIA: We are confident that the rail supply sector will continue to operate

26/03/2020RIA: We are confident that the rail supply sector will continue to operate

As the UK comes to an end of its first week under lockdown to tackle this pandemic, members of the rail industry have voiced their support for th... more >
GB Railfreight back the country's response to COVID-19

25/03/2020GB Railfreight back the country's response to COVID-19

As the UK and the world comes under lockdown of varying degrees to tackle this pandemic, rail services must continue, and perhaps more than ever.... 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

Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

14/11/2019Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

Rail Technology Magazine’s Matt Roberts explains the significant role data can play within the future development of the rail industry. Standing as a cornerstone of the UK transport network, the rail industry is forever striving to innovate and maximise efficiency in all aspects of its work. Data is just one such way of achievi... 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 >