GB: Driverless trains on the London Underground are in the news again. With union strikes threatening to make traveling within the Smoke a nightmare this week, it was only a matter of time before the question of axing drivers in favour of automation would pop up again. As always, it’s bound to get messy.

The Tories have championed full-on automation of the tube for decades. Boris Johnson made the case for driverless trains when he campaigned for his second term as London mayor back in 2012. The now-prime minister pledged the tube would be fully automated by 2022. It has since proven another broken promise on his ever-expanding list of unrealised vanity projects. Despite failing to deliver, Johnson has continued to argue that driverless trains would free the sector from being the “prisoners of the unions”.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps echoed that sentiment when he made driverless trains a conditions for bailing out TfL earlier this year during another week of industrial action. The minister told the transport operator it would have to make looking into the feasibility of driverless trains a priority if it wanted the £200m bailout, Shapps told them. Shapps had made driverless trains a previous condition in a £1bn bailout in 2021.

21 June 2022

22 June 2022

16 June 2022

VAE: Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) has secured a contract worth more than €250m from UAE’s state-owned company Etihad Rail.

Scope of the contract includes the delivery of push-pull passenger trains.

CAF stated that “the contract, along with other recent successes, achieved by the firm as a supplier of better …

24 June 2022

16 June 2022

14 June 2022

UK: Ground engineering contractor Van Elle has secured a contract under the £3bn Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) programme in the UK.

The contract covers a piling framework for the West of Leeds section of the TRU programme.

TRU has been launched for the improvement of rail services between Manchester and York through Huddersfield and Leeds.

The West of Leeds Alliance (TRU West) will upgrade the section between Manchester and Leeds. This alliance comprises Amey OWR, Bam, Siemens, Network Rail, and Arup. 

13 June 2022

Topic of the week

Mobility Passports in Europe – Opportunities and Challenges

The Russian invasion of Ukraine led to the still ongoing oil and gas crisis and a rise in fuel prices. Governments across the EU are trying to mitigate the impact on consumers with various measures.

Limiting taxes on diesel and petrol is the most common approach.

Another approach is to persuade citizens to use less energy-consuming modes of transport.

Germany has introduced a special offer for public transport: The so-called 9-Euro-Ticket.

While the German offer is mainly aimed at commuters, other countries are trying to get holidaymakers back on the rails.

The mobility offers vary in price, with some countries or individual cities even offering their transport services completely free of charge for citizens. 


Philipp Cerny
Freelance Consultant on Transport Policy


June 2022

Daily Deals!