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.

Rail is rising

Rail is rising

29.09.09: The high-speed rail debate has probably been one of the best things to happen to the rail industry in a very long time. This debate has sparked the media’s imagination over what the country could achieve if it had the infrastructure to pr...

Get on yer bike

Get on yer bike

28.09.09: There was great news for rail job seekers today with the This is today’s rather ironic message from our government, considering that this will probably be our instruction to them next spring. Sarcasm aside, a new initiative to get mor...

More choice equals more rail jobs

More choice equals more rail jobs

25.09.09: There was great news for rail job seekers today with the announcement that Great North Eastern Rail are set to make a comeback, along with a sister company, Great North Western Railway. The story broke alongside the announcement that many...

Future jobs in rail

Future jobs in rail

24.09.09: There was good news for rail job seekers this week; Network Rail is planning to train up 1200 young people over the next five years. Those who make it on to Network Rail’s apprenticeship programme are lucky on two counts; one to get a...

No time to be playing politics

No time to be playing politics

23.09.09: With a general election looming, I am sure that we will hear many statements of good intent being made towards the rail industry. But will anything actually come of them? Will any rail jobs be created by Lembit Opik’s attempt at...

The future is green

The future is green

22.09.09: There was good news for Welsh rail jobs yesterday as the Liberal Democrats announced that they would move funding from roads to rail in an effort to make Wales transport more green. Even though all political announcements should be taken wi...

Some rail jobs are safe and some are not

Some rail jobs are safe and some are not

21.09.09: There has been a double edged sword of news delivered to those seeking rail jobs in Scotland this week. There was jubilation at the news that plans to reopen the Edinburgh to Borders line have not been dropped, while feelings of recrimina...

Recycled rail jobs

Recycled rail jobs

18.09.09: Despite recently announcing the loss of around 1800 rail jobs, Network Rail changed its tune yesterday, announcing that it is now creating rail jobs. The news came as they announced the construction of a recycling centre in Cambridgeshire...

High-speed rail equals future rail jobs

High-speed rail equals future rail jobs

17.09.09: The high-speed debate turned another corner yesterday with the publication of Greengauge 21’s report, Fast Forward, which calls for a far more comprehensive high-speed rail network than the one outlined in Network Rail’s plans. ...

Let’s ignore the bad news and get on with the rail job in hand!

Let’s ignore the bad news and get on with the rail job in hand!

16.09.09: Things are tough for those looking for rail jobs at the moment; but as one of the only growth industries left in Britain, rail offers a variety of rail jobs for those with the right attitude. There are literally hundreds of rail jobs availa...

TV show mocks rail industry

TV show mocks rail industry

15.09.09: The rail industry, which has been criticised in the past for taking itself a little too seriously, took a light hearted battering on a recent episode of the hit TV comedy panel show Mock The Week. The jokes began to fly after the show&rsquo...

London Midland set to bring a fresh approach to rail services

15.11.07: London Midland, operator of the West Midlands rail franchise, became one of the Uk’s newest rail companies with the promise of a fresh approach to running the railway. The franchise combines the former Silverlink County business and t...

Is high speed Labour’s last chance?

Is high speed Labour’s last chance?

23.11.03: Gordon Brown has come out saying that Labour will have a fully costed plan for high speed rail in their election manifesto. Apparently their plans will include a precise route and timetable for when work is to be begin. Of course this...

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TfL and TfWM join forces in knowledge sharing deal

20/07/2018TfL and TfWM join forces in knowledge sharing deal

A landmark collaboration between two of the UK’s biggest regions has been signed to pave the way to improve rail transport between the area... more >
DfT pledges ‘tough action’ on GTR, contract breach review due this month

19/07/2018DfT pledges ‘tough action’ on GTR, contract breach review due this month

GTR could be at risk of losing control of its franchise as early as this month depending on the outcome of a “hard review” into wheth... more >
Higgins urges Grayling to make decision on Yorkshire HS2 parkway station

19/07/2018Higgins urges Grayling to make decision on Yorkshire HS2 parkway station

HS2 Ltd’s outgoing chairman, Sir David Higgins, has urged the government to make a decision on proposals to create a parkway station on the... 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

HS2: collaborate to innovate

17/07/2018HS2: collaborate to innovate

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 monitor high-speed rail projects. No one doubts that HS2 must provide a platform for innovation, bu... more >
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Elizabeth Line: a greener approach

17/07/2018Elizabeth Line: a greener approach

Howard Smith, operations director for TfL Rail and the Elizabeth Line, outlines the key features of the brand-new, eco-friendly Old Oak Common de... more >
iRail: investing in the future

17/07/2018iRail: investing in the future

The rail industry today faces many challenges, one of those being the skills gap in high- speed rail. However, events like iRail are doing their ... more >
HS2: collaborate to innovate

17/07/2018HS2: collaborate to innovate

Dr Chris Goodier and Dr Steve Yeomans, of Loughborough University’s Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering (CICE)... more >
Hydrogen trains: bringing the success story to the UK

17/07/2018Hydrogen trains: bringing the success story to the UK

Hydrogen-powered trains are already a reality in other rail networks in Europe. Now, working alongside Eversholt Rail, Alstom UK plans to bring t... more >

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interviews

Transforming travel in the north west

06/02/2018Transforming travel in the north west

RTM’s Josh Mines talks to Robin Davis, head of new trains at TransPennine Express (TPE), about the huge rolling stock change journey the co... more >
Thameslink: Nearing the end of the line

23/01/2018Thameslink: Nearing the end of the line

RTM’s Josh Mines catches up with Mark Somers, project director for Thameslink, on how the final stages of the programme are progressing and... more >
Modernising journeys in north east England

09/11/2017Modernising journeys in north east England

First Hull Trains is about to embark on the biggest fleet overhaul it has delivered since being set up in 2000. Managing director Will Dunnett te... more >