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.

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...

Trashing the 'ticket' train of thought

Trashing the 'ticket' train of thought

22.01.19: techUK recently published its Future Mobility Services report in which it presented its vision of a multimodal, digitally-enabled, and customer-focused transport ecosystem – with the rail sector forming a major part of this. Jessica Russel...

5 reasons why you should be involved with TransCityRail

5 reasons why you should be involved with TransCityRail

18.01.19: 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 networkin...

Surveying our past along the HS2 route

Surveying our past along the HS2 route

15.01.19: Surveyor Richard Bath and principal archaeologist and works package manager Caroline Raynor, both of the Costain-Skanska Joint Venture (CSJV), talk us through some of the tech being used on the archaeological digs along the planned HS2 route. ...

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latest rail news

New railway station between Hinckley and Nuneaton receives backing

12/09/2019New railway station between Hinckley and Nuneaton receives backing

Plans for a new railway station between Hinckley and Nuneaton looks set to go ahead following backing from councillors. Nuneaton Parkway Sta... more >
New fleet on the horizon for Hull Trains

09/09/2019New fleet on the horizon for Hull Trains

Louise Cheeseman, managing director of Hull Trains, describes how a new fleet of rolling stock looks set to revolutionise the operator and their ... more >
Investing in the country’s future workforce

05/09/2019Investing in the country’s future workforce

Clair Mowbray, chief executive of the National College for High Speed Rail, talks about addressing the skills gap and investing in new talent acr... 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 HS2, NPR, and supply chain opportunities

29/08/2019Network Rail’s, Anna-Jane Hunter on HS2, NPR, and supply chain opportunities

Anna- Jane Hunter, is a ‘proud northerner’ and is passionate about continuing the investment and the 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 conn... 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 >

rail industry focus

  • 11/09/2019The next generation of rail infrastructure

    How the rail industry delivers the next generation of complex infrastructure will rely heavily on the people tasked with leading the projects, and the...
  • 11/09/2019Putting passengers first

    How does the rail industry design the railways for the next 40 years, and when it does, how do we make sure it’s all done with the passenger in mind?...
  • 10/09/2019Cleaning up the railways

    Jim Knox, director of Gard Chemicals, explains how the company is helping the rail industry ensure they have the best cleaning and maintenance...
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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 >