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.

If the Midlands makes the most of HS2, the UK will get most out of the Midlands

If the Midlands makes the most of HS2, the UK will get most out of the Midlands

25.10.16: Maria Machancoses, programme director at Midlands Connect and director at Midlands Engine, writes for RTM about the opportunities HS2 will create for the region and the country. According to transport secretary Chris Grayling, the first pha...

Virgin receives more than 15,000 applications for Azuma drivers

Virgin receives more than 15,000 applications for Azuma drivers

21.10.16: More than 15,000 potential train drivers have applied to drive Virgin’s new fleet of Azuma trains. Virgin said the applications, which closed on 14 October, equated to nearly 200 for each of the 78 posts, the biggest recruitment drive...

Rail industry honours Olympic heroes

Rail industry honours Olympic heroes

18.10.16: Star Olympic and Paralympic athletes travelled from Manchester to London for victory celebrations thanks to free transport from the rail industry. The athletes took part in a parade in Manchester yesterday to celebrate their achievements, a...

Breaking down mental health barriers

Breaking down mental health barriers

12.10.16: Chris Langer, scheme intelligence manager at CIRAS, on the link between mental health, safety and confidential reporting. When the CIRAS hotline rings, and we speak to a reporter with a safety concern, very often much of what they say is un...

Rail academy construction progressing at pace

Rail academy construction progressing at pace

07.10.16: Industry efforts to deliver world-class training facilities for the next generation of rail workers are progressing at apace, as government ministers visited two sites this week. On Wednesday, transport secretary Chris Grayling visited the...

Could this be the station of the future?

Could this be the station of the future?

30.09.16: New images have brought to life a future where stations will be places to shop and socialise and not simply catch a train. The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has released the images from bpr architects, which illustrate Station Place, a concept...

Leeds rail bridge to get rainbow repaint in celebration of LGBT community

Leeds rail bridge to get rainbow repaint in celebration of LGBT community

23.09.16: The Lower Briggate bridge in Leeds city centre will be repainted with the traditional LGBT rainbow colours after enough funds were raised by Leeds City Council and the local LGBT community. The bridge will be redecorated during engineering...

Two jobs, one stone: transferring the skills from a career in rail

Two jobs, one stone: transferring the skills from a career in rail

20.09.16: David Stinton, graduate civil engineer at AECOM and sapper in the Royal Engineers, had no idea that working in rail would give him the opportunity to pursue two fulfilling careers with crucial transferrable skills. I decided that I wanted t...

Skills swap: GWR and Amey apprentices trade places

Skills swap: GWR and Amey apprentices trade places

13.09.16: Apprentices from Great Western Railway (GWR) and Amey will be swapping places throughout this month as part of a “rare” cross-organisational skills exchange between the operator and the engineering consultancy company. Those emp...

Sell Network Rail and scrap HS2?

Sell Network Rail and scrap HS2?

09.09.16: Controversial reforms are needed to Britain’s rail network, including selling nearly half of Network Rail and an end to the HS2 project, according to a right-wing think-tank. The new paper from the Adam Smith Institute shows the incre...

TfL introduces new badges to help disabled passengers find seats

TfL introduces new badges to help disabled passengers find seats

02.09.16: Disabled passengers will have an easier time finding a seat in the capital as Transport for London (TfL) unveils new ‘please offer me a seat’ badges. Up to 1,000 people can volunteer for a six-week trial to test the effectivenes...

Carne promises more improvements ahead of London Bridge opening

Carne promises more improvements ahead of London Bridge opening

26.08.16: The Bank Holiday opening of London Bridge’s new concourse marks a turnaround for the capital’s beleaguered rail services, the chief executive of Network Rail has promised. Writing for the Evening Standard and on Network Rail&rsq...

Hate crime increase on the railways following Brexit

Hate crime increase on the railways following Brexit

23.08.16: Worrying new figures indicate that British railways are an increasingly dangerous place for ethnic minority groups following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union. According to figures obtained by the Press Association through a F...

Corbyn’s ambitious Transport Tuesday

Corbyn’s ambitious Transport Tuesday

16.08.16: Just as the Office of National Statistics sparked national outrage as it revealed the RPI figure will hike regulated rail fares by 1.9% next year, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn joined unions outside London Bridge to call for the renationalisation...

Majority rules: We must build HS3 first

Majority rules: We must build HS3 first

12.08.16: The UK’s recent vote to leave the EU has cast doubt on what most industries once perceived as ‘business as usual’. Across rail, there were many questions around the viability of major infrastructure projects that rely on Europe...

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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 >