After 16 months of toil, the fate of the planned European rail giant Siemens Alstom was revealed on February 6. Unresolved concerns surrounding its impact on competition and the price of signalling and very...
Representatives from union Unite are attempting to rally enough political support to save 180 jobs at Springburn rail depot in Glasgow. Following an initial announcement in December, owner Gemini Rail Services has entered into a consultation with staff after serving...
Spanish state-owned operator Renfe has partnered with MTR for its West Coast Partnership bid. The new West Coast Partnership is a franchise which will combine the existing InterCity West Coast services with the development and introduction of services on HS2 as a ‘shadow...

End of boom and bust

Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Railway Industry Association, believes greater certainty for the rail industry could alleviate the skills gap   It is no secret that the rail industry needs a considerable number of new entrants to deliver an ambitious...
Fresh opportunities are on the horizon for the rail supply chain and CP6 promises to provide a teaser of them. From the Shaw Review to the Department for Transport’s (DfT) guidelines for market-led proposals, a series of reviews and incremental...
Photo: Network Rail.

CP6: A land of opportunity

With the start of CP6 in April edging ever closer, Network Rail has started to spend some of its allocated billions. Putting the challenges of CP5 behind them, suppliers will be hoping the next control period will deliver on...
There has been much talk of collaboration in the industry in recent years and, while there are some great examples of where this has worked well, it’s likely there is more that could be achieved. Of course, collaboration can...
The bogies of Eurostar's Class 374s, Thameslink's Class 700s as well as bogies and wheelsets of other trains from Siemens' Desiro Classic platform will be serviced at its new facility in Waterside South, Lincoln. The £8 million centre was opened on November 23...
Photo: HS2.

First shoots of HS2

Right now, across the country, thousands of people are starting work on HS2. After years of talk, preparatory work for Europe’s largest infrastructure programme is underway ahead of construction beginning in 2019. On 30 September, the Mayor of West Midlands...
Siemens Mobility has finally signed a £1.5 billion contract with London Underground for new Piccadilly line trains. Confirmation comes after Transport for London (TfL) announced its intention to award the deal to Siemens in June. Other bids were received by...
A new brand has been added to the Virgin Group family with the launch of Virgin Trains USA. Last year Richard Branson visited Brightline, the USA's first privately-owned passenger train service since the 1980s, and following discussions, is set to make...
Talgo intends to build a train factory in Fife, Scotland, should it secure a major order. The Spanish manufacturer is one of five shortlisted bidders for HS2's £2.75 billion contract to build at least 54 trains. It also has plans to...
FirstGroup has promoted chief financial officer (CFO) Matthew Gregory, who has also been the company's interim chief operating officer (COO) since May, to the position of chief executive. Matthew takes on the role with immediate effect. Chairman Wolfhart Hauser said: "Since...
The era of austerity is finally coming to an end. That was the headline statement from Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond who presented his 2018 Budget to Parliament on 29 October. Although focused on investment in public services, supporting business and boosting living...
Photo: InnoTrans.

The UK at InnoTrans

Transport secretary Chris Grayling led the charge as UK rail companies went in search of new international opportunities at InnoTrans. The Railway Industry Association (RIA) struck up strategic partnerships with booming markets abroad and businesses big and small secured...

RailStaff Awards: Highs and lows

Satnam Thiara strolled up to the stage at the 2010 RailStaff Awards bursting with pride as the winner of the Newcomer of the Year category. A year earlier, he had been made redundant and faced an uncertain future so...

Birmingham beginnings

Talent services business Ford & Stanley has announced its expansion in Britain’s second city, following the grand opening of its new offices in Birmingham. The company, which already has a presence in Derby and London, has worked hard behind the...
Long-serving Hull Trains employee Louise Mendham has been appointed as its new production director. She joined the open access operator 14 years ago as operational support but has since risen through the ranks. After three years as an operational support colleague,...
Flannery Plant Hire is working to help tackle the industry's skills gap while working on HS2. The Wembley-based company currently has 30 plant operatives involved in enabling works along the route for Phase One and, in anticipation of a shortage...

RailStaff: 250 issues not out

When RailStaff was launched at the tail end of the last millennium, it wasn’t just the beginning of a new age for Britain’s railways. The print media landscape was also shifting, as newspaper editors - unimpressed by the thought...
Photo: WangAnQi.

Ex-HS2 CEO joins Nichols

Simon Kirby, the former chief executive of HS2 and chief operating officer of Rolls-Royce, has joined the Nichols Group as an associate senior advisor. In his new role, Simon will be responsible for strategic advice and will report to the...

New MD for HS2 JV

Balfour Beatty VINCI (BBV) has appointed Mark Davies as the managing director for its HS2 joint venture (JV). Mark Davies will take on the role from Mark Cutler, who will leave Balfour Beatty after a short handover period. Mark Cutler...
Companies interested in taking part in an innovative project to trial 5G on the TransPennine route have been asked to come forward with their comments. The project aims to test ways of providing high quality passenger connectivity while onboard trains using trackside...
Civil engineering firm Aspin has appointed Costain's former rail director Gren Edwards as its new chairman. Edwards brings with him a wealth of  experience in the rail industry. He was at Costain for seven years until December 2017 and previously spent...

West Coast appointments

Phil Whittingham remains as the managing director for services on what was formerly known as the InterCity West Coast franchise as he...

Christmas work