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.

Looking back over HS1, 10 years on

Looking back over HS1, 10 years on

14.11.17: While the HS2 project continues to gain ground and press ahead with major contracts despite recent staffing controversies, today sees its older, considerably smaller sibling turn 10 years old. HS1, the line running between St Pancras Intern...

Rising complaints, changing priorities?

Rising complaints, changing priorities?

27.10.17: On average this year, more people in the UK are complaining about the quality of the rail service. Yesterday, the ORR released its quarterly analysis of complaints received about train punctuality, ticket-buying and onboard facilities and c...

What makes a truly outstanding project?

What makes a truly outstanding project?

20.10.17: With the rail industry currently in a state of continuous change, there are plenty of well-run and innovative new projects being delivered across the country. From the construction of the Ordsall Chord in the north to the completion of Cros...

TCR’s Top 10: Our picks from a brilliant event

TCR’s Top 10: Our picks from a brilliant event

06.10.17: TransCityRail North (TCR) 2017 was a day (and night) filled with lively debate, inspiring speeches and plenty of opportunities to network and meet new and familiar faces. For those who attended the conference in the day, business cards were...

Deadline for UKRIA 2018 entries extended by two weeks

Deadline for UKRIA 2018 entries extended by two weeks

26.09.17: UKIRA, the rail industry’s biggest and most prestigious awards event hosted by RTM, has officially extended the deadline for entries by an extra two weeks. Due to unprecedented high levels of demand, the cut-off has been moved from to...

Investing in rail in the north

Investing in rail in the north

22.09.17: Rob Morris, director of operation at Siemens Rail Automation UK, runs through his organisation’s impressive track record across the north. With the Northern Powerhouse and Transport for the North programmes both firmly established as...

UKRIA 2018: Meet the judging panel

UKRIA 2018: Meet the judging panel

19.09.17: With just under a week left to get your applications in for the rail industry’s biggest awards event, UKRIA, it seems like the perfect time to introduce the huge names that are making up our judging panel this year. The most exciting...

What are you doing to prepare for the digital revolution?

What are you doing to prepare for the digital revolution?

08.09.17: Digital technology is enhancing and transforming the way the rail network in the UK is run. Increasingly, tickets and rail cards are available instantly on the smartphones of passengers rather than in paper form. Modern forms of traffic man...

How are you improving passenger safety?

How are you improving passenger safety?

05.09.17: Recent figures from the RSSB revealed that Britain’s railways are continuing the trend of recent years and becoming even safer. In its ‘Annual Safety Performance Report 2016-17’ report, the safety body showed further reduc...

Easing the capital’s cramped carriages

Easing the capital’s cramped carriages

22.08.17: We’ve all been there – you’re standing on the platform on the way to work, hoping to board the next train that pulls up, before seeing the crowd of packed passengers in front of you, crammed into the carriage like sardines. ...

UKRIA: Time to shine with your mobile tech innovations

UKRIA: Time to shine with your mobile tech innovations

15.08.17: Using innovative mobile technology to improve the passenger experience on trains and make the railway run more efficiently is increasingly important for companies across the industry. This month, the Rail Delivery Group announced the schedu...

The railway is not a playground

The railway is not a playground

11.08.17: Respecting and understanding the dangers of the railway is an essential lesson for young people. Trespassing on the railway is a hazard that Network Rail has to deal with every day, as many people, especially children and young adults, underesti...

New UKRIA category to recognise outstanding research achievements in rail

New UKRIA category to recognise outstanding research achievements in rail

01.08.17: A new category has been added to the rail industry’s biggest awards ceremony UKRIA for its 2018 ceremony which recognises organisations for their outstanding research achievements. For the latest instalment of the awards, held on 22 M...

Londoners given peek at abandoned Mail Rail Underground line

Londoners given peek at abandoned Mail Rail Underground line

28.07.17: Londoners will soon be able to enjoy a unique rail experience – by riding a train going along the disused Mail Rail line. The 6.5-mile track runs deep under the capital, criss-crossing Tube lines and formerly linking six sorting offic...

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...

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Network Rail announces major sell-off of entire commercial portfolio

17/11/2017Network Rail announces major sell-off of entire commercial portfolio

Network Rail will seek a major cash boost through the sale of its commercial property portfolio in England and Wales, announced today. The i... more >
Boosting workforce safety through design automation

17/11/2017Boosting workforce safety through design automation

David Shipman, innovations engineering manager in IP Signalling at Network Rail, makes the case for safeguarding the industry’s workforce t... more >
Rail risk: reality and perception

17/11/2017Rail risk: reality and perception

George Bearfield, director of system safety and health at the RSSB, looks at risk – reality and perception – and how the industry nee... more >

editor's comment

04/09/2017A series of incredible events

There are a couple of announcements I’d like to make in this editor’s comment, which I believe could be very beneficial to many of our readers.  Firstly, the deadline is fast approaching to enter the UK Rail Industry Awards (UKRIA), which will take place on 22 March 2018 at Battersea Evolution in London.  Now in its fifth year, UKRIA continues to bring together the leaders and decision-makers running the rail ... 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

Looking back over HS1, 10 years on

14/11/2017Looking back over HS1, 10 years on

While the HS2 project continues to gain ground and press ahead with major contracts despite recent staffing controversies, today sees its older, considerably smaller sibling turn 10 years old. HS1, the line running between St Pancras International and the Channel Tunnel, was completed at a total cost of £7.3bn a full 16 years after ... more >
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Boosting workforce safety through design automation

17/11/2017Boosting workforce safety through design automation

David Shipman, innovations engineering manager in IP Signalling at Network Rail, makes the case for safeguarding the industry’s workforce t... more >
Rail risk: reality and perception

17/11/2017Rail risk: reality and perception

George Bearfield, director of system safety and health at the RSSB, looks at risk – reality and perception – and how the industry nee... more >
The new era of station retail

17/11/2017The new era of station retail

Hamish Kiernan, commercial director of retail at Network Rail Property, explains how investment in better retail outlets is transforming the cust... more >
Digital connectivity fit for the 2020s

17/11/2017Digital connectivity fit for the 2020s

Raj Sivalingam, executive director for telecommunications and spectrum at techUK, makes the case for pan-industry collaboration in order to deplo... more >

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interviews

Modernising journeys in north east England

09/11/2017Modernising journeys in north east England

First Hull Trains is about to embark on the biggest fleet overhaul it has delivered since being set up in 2000. Managing director Will Dunnett te... more >
Ian Prosser: Safety by design

02/11/2017Ian Prosser: Safety by design

Ian Prosser, the ORR’s chief inspector of railways and director of railway safety, outlines to RTM’s Josh Mines the key challenges fa... more >
A complete step change for sleeper travel

26/10/2017A complete step change for sleeper travel

Ahead of the roll-out of new Caledonian Sleeper rolling stock next year, the company’s chairman, Peter Strachan, tells RTM’s Josh Min... more >