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.

Majority rules: We must build HS3 first

Majority rules: We must build HS3 first

12 August 2016The UK’s recent vote to leave the EU has cast doubt on what most industries once perceived as ‘business as usual’. Across rail, there were many questions around the viability of major infrastructure projects that rely on European...

More London Bridge delays add to GTR’s misery

More London Bridge delays add to GTR’s misery

05 August 2016Another hole under the tracks at Forest Hill led to services into London Bridge being cancelled last night. Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) advised passengers on its Southern and Thameslink services to avoid using the station as Network Rail engin...

Is Pokemon Go a rail safety risk?

Is Pokemon Go a rail safety risk?

29 July 2016For the past month, Pokemon Go mania has swept around the world. It’s impossible to go out at the moment without spotting people walking around staring at their phones – not to send texts, but to catch animated creatures in the popular...

Anti-hate crime campaign launched at King’s Cross St Pancras

Anti-hate crime campaign launched at King’s Cross St Pancras

21 July 2016Passengers in London are being urged to report hate crimes on the capital’s transport network as part of a new Transport for London (TfL) campaign. The #WeStandTogether campaign, which aims to reassure passengers that the transport network...

Unlocking the benefits of freight

Unlocking the benefits of freight

08 July 2016Following the country’s decision to leave the EU, Philippa Edmunds, manager of Freight on Rail and a member of the Campaign for Better Transport, highlights the importance of freight in the UK, with a particular focus in the north east. ...

Network Rail seeks 15 more apprentices

Network Rail seeks 15 more apprentices

05 July 2016Network Rail has announced that it will recruit 15 more apprentices into its 2016 intake due into increased demand. Aspiring apprentices have until 18 July to apply for the three-year scheme, which begins with 20 weeks training at Network Rail&rs...

ORR promises greater scrutiny of franchise compensation

ORR promises greater scrutiny of franchise compensation

01 July 2016The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has promised to continue its drive to improve compensation offered to passengers for delays. After consumer pressure group Which? highlighted the issue by making a super-complaint to the ORR, the regulator conduc...

Long-term strategy needed to tackle gender imbalance in engineering

Long-term strategy needed to tackle gender imbalance in engineering

23 June 2016Guest blog to mark National Women in Engineering Day by Melanie Maldonado, principal project manager for Rail London, AECOM.  It was my mum who suggested a career in engineering to me. A family friend was an engineer and that is how we knew...

How could Brexit affect the rail sector?

How could Brexit affect the rail sector?

21 June 2016Sean Thomas, senior consultant at economics consultancy Oxera, looks at the impact Brexit could have on the rail sector.  Brexit raises significant implications for the GB rail network and its operators. Here I consider two potential effects...

Knighthood for Crossrail chair shows importance of rail skills

Knighthood for Crossrail chair shows importance of rail skills

14 June 2016The chair of Crossrail was given a knighthood in this weekend’s Queen’s Birthday Honours for his services to UK infrastructure, skills and employment. Sir Terry Morgan, CBE, is also chair of the HS2 College Governing Body, and was app...

Two-pronged approach needed to encourage women’s careers in railways

Two-pronged approach needed to encourage women’s careers in railways

10 June 2016Women seeking to build or return to a career in railway engineering can find out more about job opportunities at HS2 on 23 June. To mark National Women in Engineering Day, HS2 will hold a coffee morning from 9.30am to 11.30am at its office at 2 S...

Virgin introduces ground-breaking entertainment portal

Virgin introduces ground-breaking entertainment portal

07 June 2016Virgin is seeking to make its passenger experience more entertaining than ever, with a new app allowing customers to view free films and TV programmes during their journey. Passengers who download the BEAM app will be able to use it to view films...

Treating each rail passenger as a service partner

Treating each rail passenger as a service partner

03 June 2016The head of the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), as well as representatives from different passenger groups, will give evidence about improving passenger experience to the Commons Transport Select Committee on Monday afternoon. The full list of wit...

Government considering private funding for East Coast upgrades

Government considering private funding for East Coast upgrades

27 May 2016Private funding may be needed for the necessary infrastructure changes to allow the new East Coast InterCity lines to run at 140mph, the government has said. In response to a written question from Leeds MP Rachel Reeves, rail minister Claire Perr...

Your chance to live in a railway station… complete with its own train

Your chance to live in a railway station… complete with its own train

20 May 2016A former 19th century railway station, featuring its own track and steam train, is for sale for any rail enthusiast who has £600,000 to spare. The former Great Northern Railway Station in Rippingale, Lincolnshire, was built in 1872 and clos...

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Greater Anglia new electric commuter trains testing continues

03/07/2020Greater Anglia new electric commuter trains testing continues

Greater Anglia are currently in the depths of replacing their old trains with brand new state-of-the-art modern trains, including 111 trains from... more >
‘Safer travel pledge’ issued by train companies

03/07/2020‘Safer travel pledge’ issued by train companies

As lockdown restrictions look to be relaxed further this weekend, with businesses like pubs, restaurants and cinemas beginning to reopen, train o... more >
SWR Wimbledon depot welcomes first 701 train

02/07/2020SWR Wimbledon depot welcomes first 701 train

South Western Railway’s (SWR) Wimbledon depot recently received its first Class 701 train, marking a momentous milestone in the £1bn ... 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

Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

14/11/2019Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

Rail Technology Magazine’s Matt Roberts explains the significant role data can play within the future development of the rail industry. Standing as a cornerstone of the UK transport network, the rail industry is forever striving to innovate and maximise efficiency in all aspects of its work. Data is just one such way of achievi... 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 >
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 >