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.

Network Rail chooses Barnardo’s as charity partner

Network Rail chooses Barnardo’s as charity partner

26 October 2016Barnardo’s will be Network Rail’s Charity of Choice until March 2019, it was announced today. Network Rail will support the charity through fundraising, volunteering, gifts in kind and payroll giving. There’s no doubt that Barn...

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 October 2016Maria 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 phase of...

Virgin receives more than 15,000 applications for Azuma drivers

Virgin receives more than 15,000 applications for Azuma drivers

21 October 2016More 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 on th...

Rail industry honours Olympic heroes

Rail industry honours Olympic heroes

18 October 2016Star 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, after B...

Breaking down mental health barriers

Breaking down mental health barriers

12 October 2016Chris 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 underpin...

Rail academy construction progressing at pace

Rail academy construction progressing at pace

07 October 2016Industry 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 Birmin...

Could this be the station of the future?

Could this be the station of the future?

30 September 2016New 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 based...

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 September 2016The 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 upgrad...

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 September 2016David 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 to work...

Skills swap: GWR and Amey apprentices trade places

Skills swap: GWR and Amey apprentices trade places

13 September 2016Apprentices 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 employed...

Sell Network Rail and scrap HS2?

Sell Network Rail and scrap HS2?

09 September 2016Controversial 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 increasingl...

TfL introduces new badges to help disabled passengers find seats

TfL introduces new badges to help disabled passengers find seats

02 September 2016Disabled 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 effectiveness of t...

Carne promises more improvements ahead of London Bridge opening

Carne promises more improvements ahead of London Bridge opening

26 August 2016The 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’s w...

Hate crime increase on the railways following Brexit

Hate crime increase on the railways following Brexit

23 August 2016Worrying 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 Freedom...

Corbyn’s ambitious Transport Tuesday

Corbyn’s ambitious Transport Tuesday

16 August 2016Just 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 of...

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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 >