Track and signalling

Rail industry urges government rethink to deliver rail electrification at half the costs

Rail industry urges government rethink to deliver rail electrification at half the costs

15.03.19: The cost of rail electrification projects could be slashed by as much 50%, the Railway Industry Association (RIA) has revealed as it urges the government to review and renew its electrification programme. The RIA has called on ministers to...

Safety warning issued after runaway road-rail vehicle raises concerns over brake maintenance and ‘inadequate supervision’

Safety warning issued after runaway road-rail vehicle raises concerns over brake maintenance and ‘inadequate supervision’

15.03.19: The RAIB has issued new safety recommendations after a road rail vehicle (RRV) ran downhill and out of control along a track for 340 metres. During works at Bradford Interchange station, a mobile elevating working platform ran away whilst i...

Network Rail reveals winner of final track works contract worth £1.5bn

Network Rail reveals winner of final track works contract worth £1.5bn

14.03.19: Network Rail has announced Balfour Beatty as the preferred bidder to carry out track upgrades across central England for the next decade in a contract worth an estimated £1.5bn. The contract covers the delivery of a wide-ranging progr...

Proposals for direct Perth to Edinburgh train link to be considered by Transport Scotland

Proposals for direct Perth to Edinburgh train link to be considered by Transport Scotland

12.03.19: Transport Scotland has confirmed it will look into proposals to introduce a direct rail link between Edinburgh and Perth. Rail bosses said it they would consider the transport links between the two Scottish cities as part of an upcoming rev...

Rail minister gives boost to Hull-Manchester Airport direct rail link

Rail minister gives boost to Hull-Manchester Airport direct rail link

11.03.19: Rail minister Andrew Jones has pledged to look at the options for a direct train service from Hull to Manchester Airport. Jones told MPs and business leaders that he would take a strategic look into a direct service, and into a rail link be...

DfT declares electrification extension of Midland Main Line to Leicestershire

DfT declares electrification extension of Midland Main Line to Leicestershire

05.03.19: The electrification of the Midland Main Line is to be extended to Leicestershire, the DfT has confirmed. Responding to a parliamentary question, rail minister Andrew Jones said Network Rail had been instructed to design an extension of elec...

‘Clearer vision’ and improved joined-up working needed to deliver growth in Cambridge-Oxford arc, NIC says

‘Clearer vision’ and improved joined-up working needed to deliver growth in Cambridge-Oxford arc, NIC says

25.02.19: The potential of the highly-anticipated Cambridge-Oxford arc project could be stunted if the government does not provide a “clearer vision and better joined-up working” to maximising the output of the corridor, the National Infrastru...

Final 100mph speed checks made on electrified Manchester to Preston railway

Final 100mph speed checks made on electrified Manchester to Preston railway

25.02.19: Final checks have been made on the newly electrified railway between Manchester and Preston as a test train made its last journey over the route for the arrival of 100mph in May. During the early hours of Friday morning, the last electric h...

Potential Leicester to Coventry rail link mulled over in updated Leicestershire transport vision

Potential Leicester to Coventry rail link mulled over in updated Leicestershire transport vision

22.02.19: The potential of a Leicester to Coventry rail link has been revived again as one of the key highlights of a new transport masterplan outlined by Leicestershire County Council. In the council’s revamped Prospectus for Growth handed out...

Shepton Mallet railway station and services could be restored under new vision

Shepton Mallet railway station and services could be restored under new vision

20.02.19: National rail services could be restored to a Somerset town after the local authority unveiled a new vision for the rail route. Shepton Mallet’s current nearest mainline station is Castle Cary which is over seven miles away, but new s...

Battered Dawlish rail line gets £80m for new protective sea wall

Battered Dawlish rail line gets £80m for new protective sea wall

15.02.19: A new taller sea wall is to be built at Dawlish as the DfT announced that up to £80m is being made available to build it – five years on from the storms which wreaked havoc on the rail line. Around £40m was spent by Networ...

TfL awards £220m contract to Balfour Beatty for tube track renewals

TfL awards £220m contract to Balfour Beatty for tube track renewals

14.02.19: Balfour Beatty has won a £220m contract from TfL to carry out track renewals on the London Underground. The four-year contract encompasses all aspects of track renewals including track, points and crossings, and trackside drainage acr...

Select committee to decide on amendments to HS2’s northern Phase 2 plan

Select committee to decide on amendments to HS2’s northern Phase 2 plan

13.02.19: MPs are to vote on amendments to the construction of the second phase of HS2, Phase 2a, to decide whether or not to take forward major changes to layouts and designs of the proposed network. A select committee of MPs will rule on the change...

New Forest railway line proposed despite criticism for ‘pie in the sky’ idea

New Forest railway line proposed despite criticism for ‘pie in the sky’ idea

13.02.19: The construction of a New Forest railway line and the reopening of stations closed in the ‘Beeching cuts’ has been recommended, but a local MP has dismissed plans as “pie in the sky.” A detailed costing for a raft of...

HS2 land acquisition costs could spiral five times higher than projected

HS2 land acquisition costs could spiral five times higher than projected

07.02.19: The cost of acquiring land and property for Phase 1 of HS2 could be almost five times the original estimation. Forecasts based on freedom of information requests from an anti-HS2 campaign group have revealed that the total land costs could...

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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... more > more last word articles >

'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 >