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.

TCR’s Top 10: Our picks from a brilliant event

TCR’s Top 10: Our picks from a brilliant event

06.10.17: TransCityRail North (TCR) 2017 was a day (and night) filled with lively debate, inspiring speeches and plenty of opportunities to network and meet new and familiar faces. For those who attended the conference in the day, business cards were...

Deadline for UKRIA 2018 entries extended by two weeks

Deadline for UKRIA 2018 entries extended by two weeks

26.09.17: UKIRA, the rail industry’s biggest and most prestigious awards event hosted by RTM, has officially extended the deadline for entries by an extra two weeks. Due to unprecedented high levels of demand, the cut-off has been moved from to...

Investing in rail in the north

Investing in rail in the north

22.09.17: Rob Morris, director of operation at Siemens Rail Automation UK, runs through his organisation’s impressive track record across the north. With the Northern Powerhouse and Transport for the North programmes both firmly established as...

UKRIA 2018: Meet the judging panel

UKRIA 2018: Meet the judging panel

19.09.17: With just under a week left to get your applications in for the rail industry’s biggest awards event, UKRIA, it seems like the perfect time to introduce the huge names that are making up our judging panel this year. The most exciting...

What are you doing to prepare for the digital revolution?

What are you doing to prepare for the digital revolution?

08.09.17: Digital technology is enhancing and transforming the way the rail network in the UK is run. Increasingly, tickets and rail cards are available instantly on the smartphones of passengers rather than in paper form. Modern forms of traffic man...

How are you improving passenger safety?

How are you improving passenger safety?

05.09.17: Recent figures from the RSSB revealed that Britain’s railways are continuing the trend of recent years and becoming even safer. In its ‘Annual Safety Performance Report 2016-17’ report, the safety body showed further reduc...

Easing the capital’s cramped carriages

Easing the capital’s cramped carriages

22.08.17: We’ve all been there – you’re standing on the platform on the way to work, hoping to board the next train that pulls up, before seeing the crowd of packed passengers in front of you, crammed into the carriage like sardines. ...

UKRIA: Time to shine with your mobile tech innovations

UKRIA: Time to shine with your mobile tech innovations

15.08.17: Using innovative mobile technology to improve the passenger experience on trains and make the railway run more efficiently is increasingly important for companies across the industry. This month, the Rail Delivery Group announced the schedu...

The railway is not a playground

The railway is not a playground

11.08.17: Respecting and understanding the dangers of the railway is an essential lesson for young people. Trespassing on the railway is a hazard that Network Rail has to deal with every day, as many people, especially children and young adults, underesti...

New UKRIA category to recognise outstanding research achievements in rail

New UKRIA category to recognise outstanding research achievements in rail

01.08.17: A new category has been added to the rail industry’s biggest awards ceremony UKRIA for its 2018 ceremony which recognises organisations for their outstanding research achievements. For the latest instalment of the awards, held on 22 M...

Londoners given peek at abandoned Mail Rail Underground line

Londoners given peek at abandoned Mail Rail Underground line

28.07.17: Londoners will soon be able to enjoy a unique rail experience – by riding a train going along the disused Mail Rail line. The 6.5-mile track runs deep under the capital, criss-crossing Tube lines and formerly linking six sorting offic...

Triple electrification cancellation – a misstep from Grayling?

Triple electrification cancellation – a misstep from Grayling?

25.07.17: Following last week’s comprehensive set of announcements about HS2 and the closure of Parliament for recess, you’d be forgiven for thinking that there wouldn’t be any more news about major rail projects on the horizon anytime s...

Was the HS2 route decision for Sheffield correct?

Was the HS2 route decision for Sheffield correct?

21.07.17: This week has been a busy one for HS2. A number of important announcements were made by Chris Grayling, who will surely be glad to head off on holiday for some rest and relaxation as Parliament heads into its summer recess. Major details of...

Calling all women: have your say on the barriers of the rail industry

Calling all women: have your say on the barriers of the rail industry

18.07.17: Women have been instrumental in delivering large-scale projects in the rail industry, such as the Northern Powerhouse, and organisations like Network Rail have recently been relentlessly vocal about their commitments to diversifying the workforc...

Increased staff training having ‘real impact’ on reducing railway suicides

Increased staff training having ‘real impact’ on reducing railway suicides

30.06.17: On the railway, the prevention of suicides is a sad necessity that all staff increasingly need to be trained and prepared to deal with. But today, information released by the Samaritans has showed how a growing number of people working on t...

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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 >