GB Railfreight Class 69 large logo blue

GB Railfreight announced on May 27 that the Office of Rail & Road had authorised the putting into service of the 16 Class 69 diesel locos which are being produced by rebuilding and repowering Class 56 locos.

RSSB is bringing the Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme in house, and Capita’s contract will not be extended beyond August 3. ‘The decision has not been made lightly, but in the end, the resilience, ongoing improvement and development of the scheme and the sector is always at the forefront of decisions taken by RISQS’, said Antony Howard, Head of Assurance at RSSB on May 28. ‘Our members deserve a scheme that provides surety during the changes the Williams–Shapps Plan will create.’

Network Rail has awarded Tratos UK a five-year framework contract for the supply of cables. ‘The products to be supplied will be manufactured and stocked at Tratos’ Knowsley facility in Merseyside, a site that we have recently invested upward of £25m, an investment including a technologically advanced testing facility’, said Tratos CEO Dr Maurizio Bragagni.


The Welsh government has created a Ministry for Climate Change, with responsibilities including transport. Julie James, Labour Assembly Member for Swansea West, has been appointed as minister, with Lee Waters, Labour & Co-op Member for Llanelli, as deputy.


Network Rail has appointed Amey to five of its Civil Examination Framework Agreement contracts. Amey was awarded the sole five-year contract for the Scotland region, and will also take asset management responsibility for structures (South East) and tunnels within the Southern region and all building assets in the Wales & Western region for four years, as well as the majority of building assets in the Eastern region for three years. The contracts are worth a combined £22m/year, with the potential for extensions.

Forth Bridges 3 Fugro RILA compr

Fugro has been awarded a contract to survey the 2 750 route-km rail network in Scotland and provide Network Rail with a holistic gauging database. This will use Fugro’s train-mounted RILA monitoring system, with asset managers able to view simultaneously acquired video and RILA data in a desktop environment.

HS2 bridge construction hi-vi

HS2 Ltd is holding a series of weekly Work with us Wednesday webinars to highlight the 400 000 contract opportunities available. The one-hour events will run for six weeks from June 9. ‘These events will show just how simple it is to register an interest in joining HS2’s supply chain. So if you’re wondering whether there’s an opening for you, this really is a quick and simple way to find out’, said HS2 Ltd Business Engagement Manager Matt Hadlington.


Construction unions GMB and Unite have secured the first access agreement for work on HS2, with the Mace/Dragados JV which will rebuild London Euston station. The agreement secures the right of union representatives to visit the project’s inductions as well as welfare facilities to talk to all the workers on the site during their breaks, in order to deal with any concerns or worries that they may have. The unions are working to ensure that similar agreements are signed for all areas of the HS2 project.

TfW Pacer Cardiff Queen Street

Transport for Wales withdrew its remaining Pacer DMUs after their final trips on May 29. ‘The end of the long service of our Pacer trains marks a key step in the transformation of the Valley Lines’, said CEO James Price. ‘Our customers deserve more modern trains that provide better facilities, improved accessibility and a more comfortable ride.’


HS1 Ltd has been awarded We Invest in Wellbeing gold accreditation from Investors in People.

A year on from its investigation into Network Rail’s impact on poor train performance in the North West & Central region, the Office of Rail & Road reports that progress has been made with 19 of its 25 recommendation, but an extended focus is required in the coming months to deal with ‘slow progress’ on the other six. Issues include timely interventions to address track faults or drainage problems, further development of weather resilience and climate change plans, and trackside vegetation management.

Palace of Westminster clock tower.

On May 17 the House of Commons Transport Select Committee issued the government’s response to its Trains fit for the Future? report, which had been published on March 23.