Fares, rail policy and DfT news

TfL commissioner urged to quit after downplaying Crossrail ‘tragedy’

TfL commissioner urged to quit after downplaying Crossrail ‘tragedy’

24 April 2019Transport for London’s (TfL) chief commissioner has been told to consider resigning after he “watered down” key messages between Crossrail and TfL over the project’s extensive delays and £3bn overspend, according to a...

Dawlish sea wall gets council planning approval with construction to begin in May

Dawlish sea wall gets council planning approval with construction to begin in May

17 April 2019Plans for an £80m sea wall to protect the Dawlish coastal rail line from extreme weather have been by approved by Teignbridge District Council. Construction of the new sea wall will now begin at the end of May, and once completed will provi...

Stagecoach and MPs demand answers in dispute over ‘staggering’ pensions fund deficit and rail franchise controversy

Stagecoach and MPs demand answers in dispute over ‘staggering’ pensions fund deficit and rail franchise controversy

16 April 2019MPs have asked The Pensions Regulator (TPR) to reveal the extent of the “substantial” deficit in the Railways Pensions Scheme and provide an “urgent solution” after Stagecoach threatened legal action over its three spurned...

Renewable Welsh rail electrification project wins decarbonisation funding

Renewable Welsh rail electrification project wins decarbonisation funding

12 April 2019Plans to use renewable energy sources to electrify Welsh train lines have won a grant from the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), one of six rail decarbonisation projects to have won the funding. The ‘Green Valley Lines’ scheme t...

Unions and MPs protest TOC’s potential £7.5bn funding gap in ‘deadly serious’ rail pensions row

Unions and MPs protest TOC’s potential £7.5bn funding gap in ‘deadly serious’ rail pensions row

12 April 2019The Pensions Regulator has warned that train operators face a black hole of up to £7.5bn and the RMT has threatened national strike action as the row over rail pensions comes to a head after the DfT blocked Stagecoach’s franchise bids....

‘Huge challenges ahead’ as Crossrail bosses say new rolling stock coming in December

‘Huge challenges ahead’ as Crossrail bosses say new rolling stock coming in December

11 April 2019A possible opening date for Crossrail could be announced by the end of month and Class 345 Elizabeth Line trains to be introduced in December but there are “huge challenges ahead,” Crossrail bosses have warned. Crossrail chief executi...

Branson says Virgin Trains could be gone by November after ‘baffling’ DfT franchise decision

Branson says Virgin Trains could be gone by November after ‘baffling’ DfT franchise decision

11 April 2019Virgin Trains could disappear from Britain’s railways by the end of the year, Sir Richard Branson has announced after the government disqualified its joint franchise bid with Stagecoach. Branson he was “devastated” by the decisi...

Rail industry heralds smart-ticketing rollout to all major UK stations

Rail industry heralds smart-ticketing rollout to all major UK stations

10 April 2019Train companies are set to rollout smart tickets to thousands more passengers this month, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has announced, meaning nine out of 10 tickets will now be available as smart tickets. Major stations such as Waterloo, Brighto...

‘Shocked’ Stagecoach disqualified from three rail franchise bids in row over pensions

‘Shocked’ Stagecoach disqualified from three rail franchise bids in row over pensions

10 April 2019Stagecoach has accused ministers of putting the future of the UK rail industry in doubt and said it is “extremely concerned” after the DfT has barred it from three rail franchise bids. The DfT said that Stagecoach’s bids for the...

DfT awards East Midlands rail franchise to Abellio

DfT awards East Midlands rail franchise to Abellio

10 April 2019Abellio has won the next East Midlands rail franchise and will take over from Stagecoach in August 2019 until 2027. The DfT announced that the ScotRail operator has been named as the successful bidder “after they presented a strong, complia...

Corbyn calls for new electrified West Country rail line bypassing Dawlish

Corbyn calls for new electrified West Country rail line bypassing Dawlish

09 April 2019The Labour Party leader has called for a new electrified rail line connecting the West Country with London which will bypass Dawlish. The inland rail line would avoid Dawlish, where the current railway clings to the coast between Plymouth and Exe...

Glasgow Airport’s tram-train link is ‘dead’ with shuttle pod system preferred

Glasgow Airport’s tram-train link is ‘dead’ with shuttle pod system preferred

09 April 2019Plans for a direct tram-train link to Glasgow airport have been branded “dead” by the leader of the city council. Local politicians have been calling for a direct rail link between Glasgow city centre and its airport “as a matte...

Bristol’s MetroWest scheme receives final £32m funding from DfT

Bristol’s MetroWest scheme receives final £32m funding from DfT

09 April 2019The DfT has announced its backing for the MetroWest railway line between Portishead and Bristol after confirming the final £32m funding for the “nationally-significant” project. The Portishead branch line shut in 1964, but is no...

DfT’s £300m scheme to see disabled access at 73 railway stations improved

DfT’s £300m scheme to see disabled access at 73 railway stations improved

04 April 2019The DfT has announced a £300m investment to see disabled access improved at 73 UK rail stations. Lifts, adjustable ticket counters, and footbridges will be among the new measures announced by transport accessibility minister Nusrat Ghani to...

MPs ‘not convinced’ two-year delay and £3bn overspend will be enough as committee slams Crossrail’s ‘disastrous’ governance

MPs ‘not convinced’ two-year delay and £3bn overspend will be enough as committee slams Crossrail’s ‘disastrous’ governance

04 April 2019MPs have said they are “increasingly alarmed at the continual shortcomings” of Crossrail and the DfT as its nearly £3bn overspend and substantial delays still “may not be enough.” The Public Accounts Committee (PAC)...

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Wales’ Transport Minister criticises funding for Welsh railways

25/09/2020Wales’ Transport Minister criticises funding for Welsh railways

Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales Ken Skates has written to Grant Shapps MP, the Secretary of State for Transport, highlighting his... more >
Further work on £1.2bn East Coast Upgrade in October

25/09/2020Further work on £1.2bn East Coast Upgrade in October

No trains in or out of London King’s Cross, or on Thameslink services to or from St Pancras International via Finsbury Park, on Saturday 17... more >
£1.8m improvement work this weekend near Manchester Piccadilly

24/09/2020£1.8m improvement work this weekend near Manchester Piccadilly

Passengers are being asked by Network Rail to check before they travel this weekend during essential railway improvement work on a busy route int... 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

On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

29/06/2020On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

Following an independent audit, Sulzer’s Nottingham Service Centre has been accepted as part of the rail industry supplier approval scheme (RISAS). The accreditation reinforces the high-quality standards that are maintained by Sulzer’s network of independent repair facilities across the UK and further afield in its global network. ... 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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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 >