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.

1300 hopes dashed… again

1300 hopes dashed… again

30.10.09: For a moment this morning my usual cynical mood was raised by a headline which stated that the Glasgow Airport Rail Link could be reinstated. Imagine my joy of seeing a possible 1300 rail jobs coming back on to the market, only to have the...

Coming in First place…

Coming in First place…

29.10.09: First GBRf has appointed Phil Amos to a new rail job, as market manager in Rail Services. Phil, who has had a job in rail at First GBRf for the last seven years, will be taking on responsibility for all of First GBRf’s commercial acti...

1300 construction rail jobs that could have been

1300 construction rail jobs that could have been

28.10.09: One decision by the Scottish Government, who is controlled by the SNP, has cost Scotland 1300 construction rail jobs. That decision was to scrap the construction of the Glasgow Airport Rail Link and has led to the Scottish Government coming...

Hope for Ilford rail jobs

Hope for Ilford rail jobs

27.10.09: It has been reported that losses at the Bombardier workshop in Ilford may not be as bad as once thought. As a consequence of union talks, Bombardier have reportedly increased the number of rail jobs to be saved, along with agreeing to inves...

Thank god for Britain’s rail safety record

Thank god for Britain’s rail safety record

26.10.09: On hearing the news of two awful train crashes, one in northern India and one on Egypt, I was filled with a series of emotions; pity for the victims and their families, along with relief that Britain’s railways are amongst the safest in th...

Grabbing headlines is a dangerous game

Grabbing headlines is a dangerous game

23.10.09: My heart leapt in my chest when I saw the RMT press release claiming that Network Rail was planning to shed 13,000 rail jobs and then re-employ a smaller amount. Of course Network Rail have vehemently denied this accusation; however the ide...

Strikes; the way to end an industry?

Strikes; the way to end an industry?

22.10.09: Whilst reading about the Royal Mail strikes today I began to wonder if striking has ever done an industry any good? If you consider the industries which were famous for striking; coal, steel and car manufacturing, they have now all but...

Bringing fresh talent to the rails

Bringing fresh talent to the rails

21.10.09: It is marvellous news that Network Rail has taken on 220 new graduates and will be expanding its workforce. However, it seems to be in direct contradiction of the 1800 redundancies which are happening and so sends out a mixed message. ...

On a road to nowhere?

On a road to nowhere?

20.10.09: There have been some fairly vicious comments being made ever since the publication of the report, put together by the Tax Payer’s Alliance and the Driver’s Alliance, which questions the amount of public money spent on roads and on ra...

Leaf delays down

Leaf delays down

19.10.09: Network Rail is to be quizzed next month by MPs over its decision to cut around 1800 rail jobs in an effort to reduce its expenditure. The not-for-profit company will have to face questioning from the House of Commons Transport Select Co...

Quiz over rail job losses

Quiz over rail job losses

16.10.09: Network Rail is to be quizzed next month by MPs over its decision to cut around 1800 rail jobs in an effort to reduce its expenditure. The not-for-profit company will have to face questioning from the House of Commons Transport Select Co...

Eurostar reports ticket sales up 6.8%

Eurostar reports ticket sales up 6.8%

15.10.09: Eurostar, the provider of high-speed, carbon neutral rail journeys between the UK and the continent, has announced its Quarter 3 2009 results which report some recovery in sales. Whilst sales and revenues for the year to date are down sligh...

Birkenhead maintenance staff get a brand new roof

Birkenhead maintenance staff get a brand new roof

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...

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...

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latest rail news

North of England leaders demand ‘Northern Budget’ to boost region

16/08/2019North of England leaders demand ‘Northern Budget’ to boost region

Key leaders from across the North of England have called for Government commitment to a ‘Northern Budget’ which could be used to deli... more >
Metrolink customers complete 170k trips using contactless system

16/08/2019Metrolink customers complete 170k trips using contactless system

Since its launch four weeks ago, more than 170,000 journeys have been made using the new contactless payment system on the Metrolink network... more >
Government announces £25m Brexit high-speed medicines train

15/08/2019Government announces £25m Brexit high-speed medicines train

In the event of a No Deal Brexit, the Government has announced the setting up of a high-speed train service to ferry medicine to the UK from Fran... 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

Network Rail’s Anna-Jane Hunter on, NPR, TRU, HS2 and supply chain opportunities

12/08/2019Network Rail’s Anna-Jane Hunter on, NPR, TRU, HS2 and supply chain opportunities

Anna- Jane Hunter, is a ‘proud northerner’ and is passionate about continuing the investment and success story of rail across the North.  She plays a key role in working with government and northern leaders to enable the network to carry on thriving. We caught up with Anna-Jane, for her expertise and insight into connecti... 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 >
Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

24/06/2019Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

Ahead of his appearance, Malcolm Holmes spoke with Rail Technology Magazine about what key leaders in the industry were doing to improve rail in ... 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 >