Manchester Piccadilly station concourse (Photo ORR)

On October 10 the Office of Rail & Road published the final version of a new complaints code of practice for train and station operators, setting out good practice principles and core minimum requirements. ORR said the code, which is expected to come into effect on April 1 2023, is designed to embed a culture where insights from complaints drive continuous improvement, and to incentivise quality and timeliness in complaint handling. Operators will be required to publish information annually on how they have applied learning from complaints.

LNER Azuma train

Applications have opened for LNER’s Tomorrow’s Talent online work experience programme, which is to return on October 24 to showcase the variety of career opportunities available in the rail industry with participants aged between 14 and 18 completing online modules on topics such as innovative technology and sustainability. ‘We want to continue to do all that we can to support young people in developing their skills, regardless of where their career takes them’, said Managing Director David Horne.

Rail Partners has published Revitalising Rail: How private operators can accelerate recovery, saying Great British Railways should be given a specific duty promote private sector innovation and investment; Passenger Services Contracts should give operators the right incentives to grow revenues and control costs, and the right levers over timetabling, fare setting and marketing; and freight model shift should be encouraged. ’Our research shows at least an additional £200m per annum could potentially flow back to Treasury if operators are given more commercial freedom’, said Chief Executive Andy Bagnall.

Avanti West Coast Pendolino at Manchester Piccadilly (Photo Tony Miles)

On October 7 the Office of Rail & Road said it had gained assurances from Avanti West Coast that it would return to providing timetables at least six weeks in advance of travel, rather than with as little as 48 h notice. AWC’s initial recovery plan was rejected by ORR, and a revised plan submitted with a ‘substantially improving picture for weekday timetable information, a more gradual improvement for weekends, and positive plans for the Christmas period.’

HS2 Chiltern tunnel south portal buildings

HS2 Ltd has opened applications for tech start-ups to join the fifth cohort of its Innovation Accelerator programme, seeking five candidates to use artificial intelligence to help drive smooth delivery of design changes across the construction phase of the programme.

PM_IVU_Arriva UK_2022

London Overground concessionaire Arriva Rail London has deployed IVU Traffic Technologies’ IVU.rail integrated resource planning system to replace previously separate systems for rostering, unit allocation and event logging. Dispatchers can manage more than 110 trains using real-time position data.

Whoosh has partnered with Karhoo to provide a taxi booking service on the Real-Time Journey Dashboard which is available on Grand Central’s Journey Central portal and Network Rail’s Station Connect.

Jonathan Bray is to step down as Director of the Urban Transport Group network of city region transport authorities in early April 2023.