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.

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...

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...

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Scrap HS2 and use its £56bn budget to fund 28 alternative projects, urges TPA

14/05/2019Scrap HS2 and use its £56bn budget to fund 28 alternative projects, urges TPA

Scrapping the £56bn HS2 project could pave the way for 28 separate local infrastructure schemes to be funded instead with the case “g... more >
DfT calls for new technology to transform transport accessibility, but union warns against ‘faceless’ railway

14/05/2019DfT calls for new technology to transform transport accessibility, but union warns against ‘faceless’ railway

The DfT has called for new technologies to revolutionise travel for older people and those with disabilities, but the RMT has “reacted with... more >
First leg of HS2 ‘passing the point of no return’ due to amount of money already invested, says NAO head

13/05/2019First leg of HS2 ‘passing the point of no return’ due to amount of money already invested, says NAO head

HS2 is on the “verge of passing the point of no return” and the amount of money spent would make scrapping the flagship project &ldqu... 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

Making the railways safer and more reliable with Ze-Power

13/05/2019Making the railways safer and more reliable with Ze-Power

Professor Meiling Zhu, chair of mechanical engineering and head of the Energy Harvesting Research Group (EHRG) at the University of Exeter, introduces us to Ze-Power (Zero Power, Large Area Rail Track Monitoring): an innovative Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded project aiming to make the railway tracks safer and... more >
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The railway franchising model is broken, and passengers are paying the price

13/05/2019The railway franchising model is broken, and passengers are paying the price

Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch and chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), gives her view on the state of the UK’s ... more >
NSAR: Tackling the digital skills shortage

13/05/2019NSAR: Tackling the digital skills shortage

The National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) chief executive Neil Robertson returns to write for RTM, this time, to assess the digital skills shor... more >
Delivering cost-effective electrification

13/05/2019Delivering cost-effective electrification

David Clarke, technical director of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), sets out the findings of a new report on how rail electrification can... more >
5G: An opportunity to revolutionise on-train connectivity

13/05/20195G: An opportunity to revolutionise on-train connectivity

Simon Holmes, group head of digital (engineering) at FirstGroup, introduces us to the 5G solution being delivered for the rail sector.  ... more >

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interviews

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 >
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 >