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.

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...

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...

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Rail industry launches new interactive accessibly map for UK rail stations

17/04/2019Rail industry launches new interactive accessibly map for UK rail stations

A new interactive map which lets passengers find out about accessibility at stations has been launched by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) to help b... more >
Helium balloons causing ‘increasing number of train delays’ at cost of £1m

17/04/2019Helium balloons causing ‘increasing number of train delays’ at cost of £1m

Helium-filled balloons are causing hundreds of train delays at a cost of £1m in taxpayer money every year, Network Rail has revealed. ... more >
Dawlish sea wall gets council planning approval with construction to begin in May

17/04/2019Dawlish sea wall gets council planning approval with construction to begin in May

Plans for an £80m sea wall to protect the Dawlish coastal rail line from extreme weather have been by approved by Teignbridge District Coun... 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

West Midlands Rail Executive’s Malcolm Holmes on the 30 year Rail Investment Strategy and working with Midlands Connect

08/04/2019West Midlands Rail Executive’s Malcolm Holmes on the 30 year Rail Investment Strategy and working with Midlands Connect

Malcolm Holmes, Chief Executive of the West Midlands Rail Executive, joins us to discuss the 30-year Rail Investment Strategy, and how he and his team are working closely with Midlands Connect to deliver on uplifting capacity and bettering services for people across the region ahead of TCR Midlands 2019. What do your roles as Ex... more >
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Changing the London skyline with HS2

26/03/2019Changing the London skyline with HS2

Lisa Hogben, HS2 programme delivery manager for area south enabling works, explains how the arrival of HS2’s first tower cranes shows chang... more >
Picking up the pace with high-speed track handovers

26/03/2019Picking up the pace with high-speed track handovers

In 2018 Steve Featherstone, programme director of track at Network Rail, set his team a challenge to secure 100 high-speed track handovers in a y... more >
26-30 Railcard: taking advantage of opportunities

19/03/201926-30 Railcard: taking advantage of opportunities

After a nine-month national trial, the rail industry launched its seventh National Railcard for 26-30-year-olds on 2 January 2019. Rail Delivery ... more >
Caledonian Sleeper: a railway icon re-imagined

19/03/2019Caledonian Sleeper: a railway icon re-imagined

The world-renowned Caledonian Sleeper, due to begin operations at the end of spring 2019, completed its first Scotland to London journey earlier ... more >

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interviews

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 >
TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... more >
Exclusive: Midlands Connect and WMRE talk collaboration and investment in the Midlands' railway

22/01/2019Exclusive: Midlands Connect and WMRE talk collaboration and investment in the Midlands' railway

In the jigsaw puzzle of regional transport decision-making, there must be collaboration and compromise. Midlands Connect media lead James Bovill ... more >