Spain ushers in privatisation of long-distance rail services

The Spanish government has given private companies the opportunity to compete with state-owned rail operator Renfe for passengers on long-distance rail services between some of the country's major cities. Minister for Public Works, Ana Pastor, has...

Transpennine and Northern franchise competitions begin

Ministers have begun the bidding for the new Transpennine and Northern rail franchises. The Department for Transport (DfT) has published an OJEU notice for both franchises, which are set to begin in February 2016, seeking expressions...

EU agrees on Fourth Railway Package Technical Pillar

Europe's Transport Ministers have reached agreements on three texts of the Fourth Railway Package which are designed to remove the administrative and technical barriers that hinder the development of European rail networks. The texts made up...

European Commission unhappy with Fourth Railway package vote

The European Commission has voiced its disappointment at attempts by member states to water down legislation designed to open up competition in the European rail sector. In a plenary session, the European Parliament voted to...

UK government sets up new rail body

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has announced plans to establish a new 'Rail Executive' body to oversee industry matters within the Department for Transport (DfT). Although the Rail Executive has been set up in reaction to...

Romania asked to cut track access charges for diesel trains

The European Commission has appealed to Romania's rail infrastructure manager to remove certain access charges to help improve conditions for freight operators. MEPs have said they are concerned that Romania's main infrastructure manager, Căile Ferate Române...

India to close all unmanned rail crossings

All unmanned railway crossings in India are to be closed under a new proposal in the country's Interim Rail Budget for 2014-15. The removal of unmanned crossings is one of several new safety measures to...

Switzerland backs dedicated rail infrastructure fund

The Swiss public have voted in favour of introducing a new dedicated fund to finance rail infrastructure maintenance and upgrades. For the first time, Switzerland will have a reliable source of ring-fenced funding for rail...

Spain approves ADIF split

The Spanish government has approved the creation of a new public body to oversee the construction and management of the country's high-speed network. In December 2013, a Royal Decree set out plans to split up...

Train fares and the Autumn Statement

The structure of train fares is a complicated one, so the announcement that fare increases will be capped to the rate of inflation seems welcome, but what does it really mean? Writes Nigel Wordsworth There...

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