News in brief

 

The pound in your pocket & the price of your ticket

One pound in every four from rail ticket sales is reinvested in network enhancements and renewals but only 3p in every pound ends up as profits for the train companies, says Paul Maynard, DfT parliamentary under secretary. Continue reading The pound in your pocket & the price of your ticket

Worsening ScotRail performance triggers Transport Scotland intervention

Worsening ScotRail performance over recent months has prompted Transport Scotland to demand an improvement plan to address current shortcomings. Continue reading Worsening ScotRail performance triggers Transport Scotland intervention

Swedish company buys GB Railfreight

Hector Rail, Sweden’s largest private rail freight operator, is to acquire the GB Railfreight (GBRf) from Eurotunnel subsidiary, Europorte, for an undisclosed sum.Continue reading Swedish company buys GB Railfreight

Poverty of Northern Powerhouse exposed

Public sector spending per head in the Northern Powerhouse area is less than a quarter of that in London, according to the latest Treasury figures. Continue reading Poverty of Northern Powerhouse exposed

State spending on rail continues to fall as TOC premiums rise

Government support for the rail industry continues to decline, albeit slowly. Latest figures from the ORR show that total state expenditure in 2015/16 fell to £4,771bn (2014/15: £4.846bn). It has now fallen for three consecutive years. Continue reading State spending on rail continues to fall as TOC premiums rise

‘Largest ever’ UK rolling stock deal completed

Dutch state-owned rail operator Abellio UK has completed what has been described as the ‘largest ever privately-placed UK rolling stock order’ in two separate deals totalling over £1.5bn with train manufacturers Bombardier and Stadler. Continue reading ‘Largest ever’ UK rolling stock deal completed

DfT will make nearly £3bn out of Govia GTR

The troubled Govia GTR franchise will pay nearly £3bn into DfT coffers over its seven year life. Continue reading DfT will make nearly £3bn out of Govia GTR

DfT has spent £44m on rail re-franchising since 2013

The DfT has spent £44.2m on re-franchising costs since spring 2013, a parliamentary reply has disclosed. Continue reading DfT has spent £44.2m on rail re-franchising since 2013

Southern trains: Chris Gibb to sort out mess

Veteran rail executive, Chris Gibb, is to head a trouble-shooting team tasked with sorting out the endemic performance problems currently afflicting Southern trains.Continue reading Southern Trains: Gibb rides to the rescue

Only two bids for devolved West Midlands rail franchise

The DfT has issued invitations to tender for the new West Midland rail franchise but only two companies are in the race. The deadline date for submissions is 29 November 2016; the new franchise starts on 15 October 2017. Continue reading Only two companies bid for devolved West Midlands rail franchise

New trains for new Abellio East Anglia franchise

Abellio retains control of the East Anglia rail franchise under a new nine year contract awarded by the DfT. The new franchise – which will continue to trade under the Abellio Greater Anglia name -starts on 16 October 2016 and runs to October 2025.Continue reading New trains for new Abellio East Anglia franchise

GWR orders nine more IEPs from Hitachi

FirstGroup-owned GWR has ordered seven more bi-mode (electro-diesel) IEP sets from Hitachi Rail Europe in a multi-million deal financed with Eversholt Rail Group, the rolling stock leasing company. Continue reading GWR orders nine more IEPs from Hitachi

Network Rail now considers depot privatisation

Network Rail has confirmed that it has appointed accountancy major PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) to advise on depot sales. Continue reading Network Rail now considers depot privatisation

Berkeley floors DfT over HS2

The DfT is still unable to quantify how much capacity HS2 will free up on the West Coast Main Line (WCML) when it opens. Continue reading Berkeley floors DfT over HS2

More Class 387s for GWR

FirstGroup-owned Great Western Railway has agreed a multi-million deal with rolling stock leasing company Porterbrook and train manufacturer  Bombardier  to supply an additional 23 Class 387 ‘Electrostar’ EMUs (electric multiple units) for Thames Valley services. Continue reading More Class 387s for GWR

Londoners take three times more than anyone else

On a per capita basis, expenditure on rail in London is at least three times higher than in the English regions. Continue reading Londoners take three times more than anyone else

Borders Railway exceeds expectations

The Scottish Borders railway carried 126,000 more passengers than forecast in its first six months of operation, Transport Scotland has announced. Continue reading Borders Railway exceeds expectations

Double-deck trains for HS2?

French train manufacturer Alstom has floated the idea of double-deck trains for HS2, hinting they could be made in the UK if the company gets the contract to build them.Continue reading Double-deck trains for HS2?

More new trains for TransPennine Express

FirstGroup-owned TransPennine Express has ordered 25 new five car train sets from Spanish manufacturer CAF. The deal is worth is worth £230m and the new trains should be delivered during 2018-19. Continue reading More new trains for TransPennine Express

Tough choices ahead for Network Rail, ORR warns

Network Rail may have to make tough choices in meeting all its investment commitments in the next control period says ORR’s initial PR18 (2018 periodic review) consultation document. Continue reading Tough choices ahead for Network Rail, ORR warns

DfT envisions the trains of the future

The Department for Transport’s 2nd Rolling Stock Perspective outlines its thoughts, suggestions and aspirations for the passenger train of tomorrow. Continue reading DfT envisions the trains of the future

Arriva Northern franchise could face CMA investigation

Barely a month has elapsed since Arriva Rail North (ARN) was awarded the Northern rail passenger franchise, but it could face investigation by the Competition& Markets Authority unless that body receives firm assurances soon. Continue reading Arriva Northern franchise could face CMA investigation

Rail franchising to be reviewed

The House of Commons Transport Committee has launched an inquiry into rail franchising and requests that written submissions be made by no later than Friday 3rdJune. Continue reading Rail franchising to be reviewed

Underground traffic keeps on growing

London Underground continues to break records as the capital’s burgeoning population puts more traffic onto rail. Continue reading Underground traffic keeps on growing

New company to sell off rail land

Network Rail is set up a separate property company to sell off surplus railway lands; it is expected to raise £1.8bn for investment funding. Continue reading New company to sell off rail land

Revaluation could add £100bn to Network Rail accounts

Network Rail could be revalued by at least £100bn says a Sunday Telegraph report.Continue reading Revaluation could add £100bn to Network Rail accounts

New EC rules to access European rail infrastructure

The European Commission has introduced new rules to give independent train providers better and fairer access to rail infrastructure within the EU. They take effect on 1 December 2016. Continue reading New EC rules to access European rail infrastructure

Centro scores UK first with battery trams

Battery trams are set to return to the UK after an absence of more than 100 years. Centro, the delivery arm of the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority, has signed an agreement with CAF to adapt existing trams to (partially) operate on battery traction.Continue reading Centro scores UK first with battery trams

Three companies shortlisted for West Midlands franchise

The DfT has shortlisted three train operating companies for the next West Midlands passenger rail franchise. The contract is expected to be awarded in June 2017 with the new operator taking over in October 2017. Continue reading Three companies shortlisted for West Midlands franchise

Electrify to Holyhead

Welsh Assembly transport minister Edwina Hart has called on the Westminster government to electrify the North Wales mainline by 2024. Continue reading Electrify to Holyhead

East West Rail selects route for central section

The East West Rail Consortium (EWRC) has selected the Bedford-Sandy-Cambridge corridor as the preferred option for its ‘missing’ central link section. It was one of 20 options considered. Continue reading East West Rail selects route for central section

Network Rail misses most quarterly targets

Network Rail failed to meet 12 targets out of 17 according to its third quarterly report.Continue reading Network Rail misses most quarterly targets

 

Hitachi wins order to build new TransPennine Express trains

A day before taking control of the new TransPennine Express franchise, FirstGroup placed an order for new trains with the Japanese manufacturer Hitachi. Continue reading Hitachi wins order to build new TransPennine Express trains