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.

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

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

30 June 2017On 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 the rai...

RTM joins industry to take part in Big Rail Diversity Challenge 2017

RTM joins industry to take part in Big Rail Diversity Challenge 2017

16 June 2017Last week, a team from Rail Technology Magazine competed in the second annual Big Rail Diversity Challenge which took place on 7 June. Held at the East of England Arena in Peterborough, the event aims to promote diversity in the rail industry by...

RTM team joins rail industry in action-packed Big Rail Diversity Challenge

RTM team joins rail industry in action-packed Big Rail Diversity Challenge

09 June 2017For the second year running, members of the rail industry workforce will converge at Peterborough Arena today to participate in the innovative and action-packed Big Rail Diversity Challenge. And this year, RTM will be present not only as the even...

TOC marks anniversary of railway safety education programme

TOC marks anniversary of railway safety education programme

06 June 2017Learning to travel independently on the railway and how to be safe around trains is an essential life lesson for any young person. And today, one operator has announced that its programme aimed at teaching children about the railway has reached t...

New play makes a song and dance of Southern rail crisis

New play makes a song and dance of Southern rail crisis

02 June 2017A new play satirising the ongoing Southern Rail crisis is set to debut in Brighton this weekend. Written by Simon Levenson and directed by Mark Brailsford, ‘Southern Fail: The Musical’ centres around a romance between two commuters &n...

Steam locomotion returns to Borders Railway for summer

Steam locomotion returns to Borders Railway for summer

30 May 2017History buffs and train enthusiasts will be delighted to hear that this summer they will once again be given the chance to hop on a steam train and travel through some of Scotland’s tranquil countryside. That’s because this week, Visi...

Opinion poll: HS3 must take priority over Crossrail 2

Opinion poll: HS3 must take priority over Crossrail 2

19 May 2017Fresh from their victories in the metro mayor elections earlier this month, new leaders of Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram were quick to make transport a top priority for their cities last week. In a p...

Vivarail: D-Trains now ready for sale

Vivarail: D-Trains now ready for sale

18 May 2017Vivarail has announced that its first two production D-Trains are ready for sale, with delivery likely to be completed in early 2018. The trains can be built and delivered ahead of the forecast schedule due to increased production capacity as Viv...

Virgin begins hunt for innovating rail start-ups

Virgin begins hunt for innovating rail start-ups

16 May 2017Virgin Trains has this week called on the next generation of innovative start-up businesses to pitch original ideas to solve a set of rail industry challenges. The company has partnered with PlatformX – a business accelerator programme to d...

60 seconds with… Adeline Ginn, founder of Women in Rail

60 seconds with… Adeline Ginn, founder of Women in Rail

09 May 2017We catch up with Adeline Ginn, founder of Women in Rail (WR), about the rail industry's outlook and the importance of investing in people. What are the biggest challenges facing the rail industry in the next 12 months? Over the last two dec...

Royal Assent: a huge step forward

Royal Assent: a huge step forward

28 April 2017Jim Steer, director of Greengauge 21, reflects on the first phase of HS2 receiving Royal Assent and what challenges lie ahead.  The powers to build the first phase of HS2 – linking Euston with Birmingham Curzon Street and with the West...

Digital service to reunite passengers with lost valuables trialled in Wales

Digital service to reunite passengers with lost valuables trialled in Wales

11 April 2017Customers pulling their hair out at constantly leaving their valuables on the train may be in luck, as an innovative new system may help them track down their possessions. The system, FindMyLost, is a digital service which allows passengers and r...

Vivarail unveil new images of D-Train DMU

Vivarail unveil new images of D-Train DMU

29 March 2017People excited about Vivarail’s new battery powered train will be pleased to know that the company has today released new images of its D-train – including a first peek at the interior of its carriage. Last week, RTM reported that the...

Raising wall work at Linlithgow heritage railway site completed

Raising wall work at Linlithgow heritage railway site completed

24 March 2017Work has been completed to raise the height of walls bordering the railway heritage site at Royal Terrace and Union Road in Linlithgow, as part of the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP). A total of £650k has been put into the pr...

Business as usual: Vivarail begins testing of new battery train

Business as usual: Vivarail begins testing of new battery train

21 March 2017If you were one of the many left saddened and disappointed when Vivarail’s test train caught fire over the festive period due to a fuel leak on one of the gensets, the company has some good news: its new test car, operated as a battery train...

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TfN: New Director for Integrated and Smart Travel programme

10/07/2020TfN: New Director for Integrated and Smart Travel programme

Transport for the North have today (July 10th) announced the appointment of Jeremy Acklam as the new Director for its Integrated and Smart Travel... more >
New TfL Commissioner inspects cleaning efforts

10/07/2020New TfL Commissioner inspects cleaning efforts

Today (July 10th), Transport for London’s (TfL’s) new Commissioner, Andy Byford, saw some of the new measures underway to make the tr... more >
Network Rail seeking contractor for Forth Bridge walk

09/07/2020Network Rail seeking contractor for Forth Bridge walk

Network Rail are currently looking to appoint a main contractor to design and build the new Forth Bridge Experience. Budding partners are be... 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 >