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.

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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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 >