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.

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...

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...

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latest rail news

Scrap HS2 and use its £56bn budget to fund 28 alternative projects, urges TPA

14/05/2019Scrap HS2 and use its £56bn budget to fund 28 alternative projects, urges TPA

Scrapping the £56bn HS2 project could pave the way for 28 separate local infrastructure schemes to be funded instead with the case “g... more >
DfT calls for new technology to transform transport accessibility, but union warns against ‘faceless’ railway

14/05/2019DfT calls for new technology to transform transport accessibility, but union warns against ‘faceless’ railway

The DfT has called for new technologies to revolutionise travel for older people and those with disabilities, but the RMT has “reacted with... more >
First leg of HS2 ‘passing the point of no return’ due to amount of money already invested, says NAO head

13/05/2019First leg of HS2 ‘passing the point of no return’ due to amount of money already invested, says NAO head

HS2 is on the “verge of passing the point of no return” and the amount of money spent would make scrapping the flagship project &ldqu... 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

Making the railways safer and more reliable with Ze-Power

13/05/2019Making the railways safer and more reliable with Ze-Power

Professor Meiling Zhu, chair of mechanical engineering and head of the Energy Harvesting Research Group (EHRG) at the University of Exeter, introduces us to Ze-Power (Zero Power, Large Area Rail Track Monitoring): an innovative Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded project aiming to make the railway tracks safer and... more >
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The railway franchising model is broken, and passengers are paying the price

13/05/2019The railway franchising model is broken, and passengers are paying the price

Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch and chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), gives her view on the state of the UK’s ... more >
NSAR: Tackling the digital skills shortage

13/05/2019NSAR: Tackling the digital skills shortage

The National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) chief executive Neil Robertson returns to write for RTM, this time, to assess the digital skills shor... more >
Delivering cost-effective electrification

13/05/2019Delivering cost-effective electrification

David Clarke, technical director of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), sets out the findings of a new report on how rail electrification can... more >
5G: An opportunity to revolutionise on-train connectivity

13/05/20195G: An opportunity to revolutionise on-train connectivity

Simon Holmes, group head of digital (engineering) at FirstGroup, introduces us to the 5G solution being delivered for the rail sector.  ... more >

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interviews

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 >
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 >