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.

Triple electrification cancellation – a misstep from Grayling?

Triple electrification cancellation – a misstep from Grayling?

25.07.17: Following last week’s comprehensive set of announcements about HS2 and the closure of Parliament for recess, you’d be forgiven for thinking that there wouldn’t be any more news about major rail projects on the horizon anytime s...

Was the HS2 route decision for Sheffield correct?

Was the HS2 route decision for Sheffield correct?

21.07.17: This week has been a busy one for HS2. A number of important announcements were made by Chris Grayling, who will surely be glad to head off on holiday for some rest and relaxation as Parliament heads into its summer recess. Major details of...

Calling all women: have your say on the barriers of the rail industry

Calling all women: have your say on the barriers of the rail industry

18.07.17: Women have been instrumental in delivering large-scale projects in the rail industry, such as the Northern Powerhouse, and organisations like Network Rail have recently been relentlessly vocal about their commitments to diversifying the workforc...

Increased staff training having ‘real impact’ on reducing railway suicides

Increased staff training having ‘real impact’ on reducing railway suicides

30.06.17: On the railway, the prevention of suicides is a sad necessity that all staff increasingly need to be trained and prepared to deal with. But today, information released by the Samaritans has showed how a growing number of people working on t...

RTM joins industry to take part in Big Rail Diversity Challenge 2017

RTM joins industry to take part in Big Rail Diversity Challenge 2017

16.06.17: Last week, a team from Rail Technology Magazine competed in the second annual Big Rail Diversity Challenge which took place on 7 June. Held at the East of England Arena in Peterborough, the event aims to promote diversity in the rail indust...

RTM team joins rail industry in action-packed Big Rail Diversity Challenge

RTM team joins rail industry in action-packed Big Rail Diversity Challenge

09.06.17: For the second year running, members of the rail industry workforce will converge at Peterborough Arena today to participate in the innovative and action-packed Big Rail Diversity Challenge. And this year, RTM will be present not only as th...

TOC marks anniversary of railway safety education programme

TOC marks anniversary of railway safety education programme

06.06.17: Learning to travel independently on the railway and how to be safe around trains is an essential life lesson for any young person. And today, one operator has announced that its programme aimed at teaching children about the railway has rea...

New play makes a song and dance of Southern rail crisis

New play makes a song and dance of Southern rail crisis

02.06.17: A new play satirising the ongoing Southern Rail crisis is set to debut in Brighton this weekend. Written by Simon Levenson and directed by Mark Brailsford, ‘Southern Fail: The Musical’ centres around a romance between two commut...

Steam locomotion returns to Borders Railway for summer

Steam locomotion returns to Borders Railway for summer

30.05.17: History buffs and train enthusiasts will be delighted to hear that this summer they will once again be given the chance to hop on a steam train and travel through some of Scotland’s tranquil countryside. That’s because this week...

Opinion poll: HS3 must take priority over Crossrail 2

Opinion poll: HS3 must take priority over Crossrail 2

19.05.17: Fresh from their victories in the metro mayor elections earlier this month, new leaders of Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram were quick to make transport a top priority for their cities last week. ...

Vivarail: D-Trains now ready for sale

Vivarail: D-Trains now ready for sale

18.05.17: Vivarail has announced that its first two production D-Trains are ready for sale, with delivery likely to be completed in early 2018. The trains can be built and delivered ahead of the forecast schedule due to increased production capacity...

Virgin begins hunt for innovating rail start-ups

Virgin begins hunt for innovating rail start-ups

16.05.17: Virgin Trains has this week called on the next generation of innovative start-up businesses to pitch original ideas to solve a set of rail industry challenges. The company has partnered with PlatformX – a business accelerator programm...

60 seconds with… Adeline Ginn, founder of Women in Rail

60 seconds with… Adeline Ginn, founder of Women in Rail

09.05.17: We catch up with Adeline Ginn, founder of Women in Rail (WR), about the rail industry's outlook and the importance of investing in people. What are the biggest challenges facing the rail industry in the next 12 months? Over the last t...

Royal Assent: a huge step forward

Royal Assent: a huge step forward

28.04.17: Jim Steer, director of Greengauge 21, reflects on the first phase of HS2 receiving Royal Assent and what challenges lie ahead.  The powers to build the first phase of HS2 – linking Euston with Birmingham Curzon Street and with th...

Digital service to reunite passengers with lost valuables trialled in Wales

Digital service to reunite passengers with lost valuables trialled in Wales

11.04.17: Customers pulling their hair out at constantly leaving their valuables on the train may be in luck, as an innovative new system may help them track down their possessions. The system, FindMyLost, is a digital service which allows passengers...

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London passengers happier than before, but green shoots still ‘fragile’

26/07/2017London passengers happier than before, but green shoots still ‘fragile’

Rail passengers in London and the south east are more satisfied with their service in 2017 than they were last year, it has been revealed. T... more >
Transport investment must be ‘fairly weighted towards small stations’

25/07/2017Transport investment must be ‘fairly weighted towards small stations’

Investment in transport infrastructure and passenger experience in London needs to be spread more evenly across the system and focus on small sta... more >
TransPennine electrification and Piccadilly upgrade now also in doubt

25/07/2017TransPennine electrification and Piccadilly upgrade now also in doubt

Transport authorities in West Yorkshire have said it is “very disappointing” that electrification may not be completed along the enti... more >

editor's comment

03/07/2017Rapid progress needed

As RTM went to press, the National Infrastructure Commission outlined a list of the ‘top 12’ immediate priorities on which ministers must make rapid progress in the next year. Unsurprisingly, major rail schemes, including HS2, Crossrail 2 and HS3, featured highly in the projects that needed speedy development.  Lord Adonis stated that all of these have been agreed in principle, “but require decisive action to get ... read more >

last word

How do tram and rail passengers compare?

How do tram and rail passengers compare?

David Sidebottom, director at Transport Focus, analyses the drivers in performance of passenger satisfaction in tram compared to rail. Results published in our recent Tram Passenger Survey (TPS) have seen remarkable levels of satisfaction by the six operators we covered in Blackpool, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Manchester, Nottingham and Sheffield. Passengers gave them an overall satisfaction score of 93%, a trend that has consistently incre... more > more last word articles >
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'the sleepers' daily blog

Triple electrification cancellation – a misstep from Grayling?

25/07/2017Triple electrification cancellation – a misstep from Grayling?

Following last week’s comprehensive set of announcements about HS2 and the closure of Parliament for recess, you’d be forgiven for thinking that there wouldn’t be any more news about major rail projects on the horizon anytime soon. But having sparked anger after cancelling key sections of three major electrification prog... more >
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How can the new government support rail freight?

20/07/2017How can the new government support rail freight?

Following the recent general election, Maggie Simpson, executive director at the Rail Freight Group, considers what action the government can tak... more >
Building a sustainable future for rail services in Wales

20/07/2017Building a sustainable future for rail services in Wales

Geoff Ogden, interim managing director at Transport for Wales (TfW), talks to RTM about how the organisation is putting sustainable development a... more >
A potential benchmark for engineering quality and architectural design

20/07/2017A potential benchmark for engineering quality and architectural design

Victoria Hills, chief executive officer at the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC), gives RTM an update on the work to create a... more >
Simple changes for energy efficiency

20/07/2017Simple changes for energy efficiency

Michelle Papayannakos, rail sustainability specialist at the RSSB, argues that improving the way energy is managed should be a high priority for ... more >

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interviews

A game changer for Wales and Borders

17/07/2017A game changer for Wales and Borders

Andy Thomas, managing director for Network Rail’s Wales route, describes how the infrastructure owner will work more collaboratively than e... more >
‘In the rail business, we’re leading the way’

13/07/2017‘In the rail business, we’re leading the way’

Andy Milner, the chief executive of Amey, tells RTM about the transformation programme that has been taking place in the company since his takeov... more >
Expanding an unprecedented level of style and comfort

13/07/2017Expanding an unprecedented level of style and comfort

At the end of May, Eurostar introduced its new e320 train on the London-Brussels route. Rob Haycocks talks to RTM about what passengers can expec... more >