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.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

14.10.09: Train maintenance staff at Merseyrail’s Birkenhead depot are now working in brighter, drier conditions thanks to a new £2.5m roof over their heads which has been installed without any disruption to train maintenance. The nine-mo...

Crossing the line?

Crossing the line?

13.10.09: Network Rail has begun a renewed attack on those who misuse level crossing in an effort to bring down the number of casualties which result from misuse. However there has been criticism of Network Rail in Scotland, where the Rail Accident I...

Politicians everywhere for the next seven and half months

Politicians everywhere for the next seven and half months

12.10.09: Isn’t it funny how politicians suddenly care about us all again? Could it be anything to do with the fact there is an election next year perhaps? Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats has been visiting rail companies in an effort to s...

A rail good job

A rail good job

09.10.09: A new rail director has been appointed by Nexus, to control maintenance on the Tyne and Wear Metro. He said: “I’m excited and very proud to be joining Nexus. The Metro is a fantastic system and I’m delighted to have this o...

Cuts are coming

Cuts are coming

08.10.09: Today David Cameron gave one of the greatest performances of his life; he looked ready to become prime minister. He spoke with honesty about the need to rein in government spending to get the country back on track. However this honesty brin...

Charles Riley gets Invensys Rail job

Charles Riley gets Invensys Rail job

07.10.09: Invensys Rail, which provides railway control and communications technology to the rail industry, has announced that it has appointed Charles Riley as business solutions director. Charles got the rail job after working for an Invensys subsi...

Could tax breaks lead to more rail jobs?

Could tax breaks lead to more rail jobs?

06.10.09: Perhaps. The shadow chancellor has said that new businesses could be allowed to save on their NI contributions for the first ten employees in an effort to encourage start-ups. Of course this probably won’t have much of an affect...

More rail jobs for a safer future

More rail jobs for a safer future

05.10.09: Today we remember the victims of the Paddington rail crash; a terrible tragedy which must never happen again. However, given the current state of investment in rail, it could. It does not take a genius to work out that the financial restric...

Spare rail the cutter

Spare rail the cutter

02.10.09: It would seem that unless Gordon Brown can pull something spectacular out of the bag, the Conservatives will probably win the next election. However, whichever party wins reductions in public spending will have to be made and therefore we r...

Money from nowhere

Money from nowhere

01.10.09: Why, when Network Rail is having to make sweeping efficiency savings, can the government suddenly afford to keep hold of the East Coast Mainline? Where is this money coming from? A cynic could also ask the same question about the gover...

Siemens fills rolling stock rail job

Siemens fills rolling stock rail job

30.09.09: The company responsible for a large percentage of the rolling stock used on Britain’s railways has appointed a new member to its management team. Matthias Schlelein has been given the role of finance director of the company’...

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...

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Workers who narrowly avoided death had no one in charge and ‘ineffective’ safety arrangements

18/12/2018Workers who narrowly avoided death had no one in charge and ‘ineffective’ safety arrangements

“Ineffective” safety arrangements and a number of unofficial working practices contributed to a group of track workers narrowly avoid... more >
Structural steelwork begins on Glasgow Queen Street transformation

18/12/2018Structural steelwork begins on Glasgow Queen Street transformation

The transformation of Glasgow Queen Street has been revealed as engineers have finished the installation of the west truss and have begun buildin... more >
Rival operators to run on same rail routes in bid to drive up competition

18/12/2018Rival operators to run on same rail routes in bid to drive up competition

Passengers will have the choice of choosing which train operators they travel with under new plans to allow rival TOCs to operate on the same rou... 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

Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

27/11/2018Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

Olivia Brown, business development officer at Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), an academic department of the University of Warwick, outlines the four exciting projects currently taking place as part of the Coventry Very Light Rail (VLR)  programme. In RTM’s June/July issue, readers were introduced to the concept of VLR and th... more >
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Passenger safety: Respect the edge

27/11/2018Passenger safety: Respect the edge

Claire Coward, communications lead at the RSSB, discusses her organisation’s latest passenger safety campaign. Incidents at the platfo... more >
Night Tube: The twilight economy

27/11/2018Night Tube: The twilight economy

Dr David Lutton, executive director of economy and tax at London First, argues that the capital’s night-time economy is just starting its j... more >
Monitoring the performance of earthworks

27/11/2018Monitoring the performance of earthworks

Dr Joel Smethurst, associate professor in geotechnical engineering, and Professor William Powrie, professor of geotechnical engineering, both of ... more >
Introducing iPort

20/11/2018Introducing iPort

Steve Freeman, managing director of iPort Rail, introduces the UK’s newest inland freight terminal. The UK’s newest inland rail ... more >

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interviews

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 >
Taking to the skies

30/10/2018Taking to the skies

Network Rail’s commitment to driving innovation is best encapsulated by its latest scheme involving high-definition imagery drones, or UAVs... more >