First three units 387204, 205 & 206 depart Hornsey depot

Govia Thameslink Railway is temporarily subleasing six of its Class 387/2 EMUs to Great Western Railway to provide extra capacity while the problems with cracking on Hitachi 80x trainsets are addressed. The EMUs would normally be used on Gatwick Express airport services, which are suspended because of Covid-19. ‘We’re committed to bringing back our Gatwick Express services when passenger numbers recover but, in the meantime, releasing these trains to help passengers and colleagues at GWR is the right thing to do’, said GTR Chief Operating Officer Steve White on July 13. Six of the 27 Class 387/2s are also being used on Great Northern services.

Toufic Machnouk

Toufic Machnouk has been appointed to Network Rail’s Eastern executive team as Director, Industry Partnership Digital. He was previously programme director for the East Coast Digital Programme. The new role brings together Network Rail’s existing national digital enabling portfolio with ECDP.

The Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme has announced a brand update and new website at, with an audit and scheduling tool now available to members. ‘RISQS has been through a period of planned change’, said Antony Howard, Head of Assurance at RSSB. ‘We also know that there is always room for improvement so we will be launching new offerings and initiatives which we know our members will like as they ask for them.’

Shelter Outreach visit Birmingham New Street

The Rough Sleeping on Rail Forum has been launched to bring together the rail industry to help end rough sleeping by 2024. Pilot schemes in Birmingham and Manchester are being run by Shelter, which has trained a number of Network Rail staff to connect with the people they encounter sleeping rough and refer them to Shelter’s expert services. The forum will meet quarterly and ‘align and unite industry efforts, allowing for more outreach programmes to be developed and support those in need’, said Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris on July 13.


HS2 Ltd has begin procurement for eight-year framework contracts for ground investigations, with a lead Ground Investigation Partner (£85m) responsible for managing and co-ordinating the packaging of GI works and supported by up to 10 specialist contractors (£215m) responsible for the acquisition and formal reporting of geotechnical, hydrogeological and geo-environmental data. The flexible framework will allow for contractors to undertake work to support the government’s Integrated Rail Plan.

Anne Shaw head shot

Anne Shaw has been appointed interim Managing Director of Transport for West Midlands. She was previously director of network resilience and succeeds Laura Shoaf, who has become interim chief executive of the West Midlands Combined Authority.


Govia Thameslink Rail passengers can get a three-month free trial of the Readly app, which provides access to more than 5 000 digital magazines and newspapers. ‘The regular commute and train travel have always been popular times to read magazines and newspapers’, said Rob Hanlon, Global Partnerships Director at Readly.

HS2 Ltd has awarded Kier Construction the £50m Enabling Civils Works – Package 2 contract covering highways and utility work on 58 km of Phase 2a from the West Midlands to the northwest. The ECW2 package was awarded via the government’s existing Crown Commercial Services Construction Works & Associated Services framework, streamlining the procurement process.

Tim Jones and Jason Durk_3Squared

3Squared has appointed Jason Durk as Principal Consultant, working with the sales and engagement team to develop new relationships with passenger rail companies. ‘It has been an exciting year for the business, from our work with HS2 to developing new and exciting products, and now with Jason’s extensive knowledge we look forward to seeing what’s in store for the future’, said Managing Director Tim Jones.

ScotRail employees outside Queen Street station

ScotRail is to use Scottish Credit & Qualifications Framework levels in its recruitment processes. SCQF levels are designed to replace specific qualifications in job adverts, so that employers can widen the pool of potential applicants who may have a variety of qualifications, skills and experience at the required level. ‘By adding SCQF levels into the recruitment mix, we are confident we will be able to identify skills and experiences that might previously have been ignored or overlooked’, said Neil Archibald, ScotRail’s Head of Strategic Workforce Planning.

DRIFT - image courtesy of Paul Smith

Following a prosecution brought by the Office of Rail & Road after an 11-year-old boy was electrocuted while climbing on a stationary wagon, WH Malcolm Ltd has been found guilty of failing to prevent unauthorised access to Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal.