© Associated Train Crew Union.

Associated Train  Crew  Union

ATCU, an accountable and democratic independent Union founded to address the issues affecting all our colleagues and to meet the aspirations of all those working in the rail  industry.


Break the chains of slavery and let your voice be your freedom

A  rail revolution

News Archive

6 October 2015

Grandparents to be included in shared parental leave

At the beginning of this month (October 2015) George Osborne announced plans to include grandparents in a new legal right to take time off to help care for their grandchildren.

September - October 2015

Conference season ends

With the end of the 2015 political conferences what did the parties have to say about the future of our rail industry. ATCU has summarised their views and vision for that future.

5 October 2015

Labour’s big gun joins the conservative government

Labour’s Lord Adonis joins the conservative government on a new infrastructure development.

6 August 2015

The Government seems more than happy to see the union movement as an enemy once again.

It is a fact that the Conservative Party  won the battle with the unions some 20 years ago with their legislation covering strike action but the decision to include more draconian measures against the unions will only serve to stir up anger and resentment. Other European countries have a grown up relationship with trade unions based on social partnership and dialogue yet our Government seems more than happy to see the union movement as an enemy once again.

25 July 2015

Is it simplifying?

The government is now consulting on simplifying the tax treatment of termination payments which was published on 24 July 2015.

15 July 2015

The warnings were there for all to see

As we warned on 11 July 2015 when we reported that Mr Cameron was renegotiating an opt-out on the working time and agency directives, there is more to come and so it has arrived.

11 July 2015

Be warned, this is only the beginning

It is reported that David Cameron is seeking to opt-out of EU employment social protection laws such as the working time directive and the agency workers’ directive.

4 June 2015

Crossrail hits its final cut

After 26 miles of tunnelling, Crossrail hits its final cut. Costing £14.8bn, the last of the boring machines called Victoria completed its journey into Farringdon, central London, today. Some  forty-years after the Crossrail scheme was proposed.

14 May 2015

English cities greater powers and funding

The newly elected conservative government have today announced plans to give English cities greater powers and funding over housing, policing, planning and transport. However, the new plans will only affect cities that elected their own mayor.

12 May 2015

McLoughlin remains as Transport Secretary

David Cameron - the first Conservative leader to win an outright majority for 23 years - retains Patrick McLoughlin as the Transport Secretary, after taking over from Justine Greening in 2012.

31 March 2015

Election could reveres construction of the high-speed rail link

Ed Miliband’s election train has been bumped by Alex Salmond of the Scottish National Party (SNP) by threatening budget amendments if support is required by a Labour-led government in a hung parliament.

23 March 2013

FirstGroup gets franchise extension in cut price deal

FirstGroup retains the out of London Paddington - Great Western franchise – for another four years.

This is in contradiction to FirstGroup’s insistence that they did not want to continue after 2013 in order to avoid paying around approximately £800m in premiums.

11 March 2015

Disabled passengers avoided or prefer not to use the train

In a report by the Papworth Trust ‘Improving Rail Travel for Disabled Passengers in Britain’, half of the disabled people who took part in their research, avoided or prefer not to use the train.

8 February 2015

East Coast franchise criticised by competition watchdog

The government’s plans to return a key London to Scotland rail route to the private sector after five years of public sector operation have run into concerns from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

16 January 2015

Twitter Warning!

The first Twitter case to face the scrutiny of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that dismissal for offensive, non-work related comments on a personal Twitter account is potentially fair. This was the case of  Games Retail Limited v Laws UKEAT/0188/14.

14 January 2015

Guidance published on new Fit for Work services

The Department for Work and Pensions has published three sets of guidance notes for GPs, employers and employees on the new Fit for Work service (FFW). The service will be introduced on a phased basis. This is due to be completed by May 2015.

9 December 2014

Tenth Anniversary

2015 will be tenth anniversary of the formation of the Associated Train Crew Union, where a group of like minded people came together, not to challenge the status quo but to provide an alternative. An alternative that retains not only the values of those who centuries ago fought for the rights we have, but one that is fit for a new generation. An alternative way of unified thinking that places the workforce at the heart of their company. One that is structured on your family, friends and community, a community, not just based on where you live but also the place where you work.

28 December 2014


ATCU is about members who instinctively know what social values and justice are; that all children are cared for and they have every opportunity in life; about looking after our sick and elderly and caring for the unfortunates. It is about natural justice for all and in the rail industry it is about real people coming together as a community.  

28 November 2014

And the winners are…

The East Coast franchise that covers the route between London and Edinburgh has been won by a joint venture under the title ‘Inter City Railways’ (ICRL), consisting of Stagecoach and Virgin. Stagecoach has a 90% shareholding in ICRL, with Virgin Group holding 10%. However, we have been informed the branding of the trains will be ' Virgin Trains East Coast'.

5 November 2014

Holiday Pay: Cable reacts and announces taskforce

Following yesterdays (4 November 2014) announcement  of EAT’s ruling on holiday pay and overtime, Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced he is setting up a new taskforce to assess the impact of the ruling.

04 November 2014

ETA gives ruling on holiday pay and overtime

Following a ruling at the Employment Appeal Tribunal brought by Bear, Amec and Hertel today (4 November 2014), an argument found in favour to workers that overtime be included in holiday pay. The full details of the ruling, particularly on whether claims can be backdated, have yet to be released.

Given the financial implications for companies it is expected that the government will appealed to the Court of Appeal, meaning a final decision may be years away.

8 October 2014

ScotRail - And so the merry-go-round continues

Group Dutch rail operator Abellio beat Arriva, MTR, and National Express and replaces incumbent rail operator FirstGroup for the right to operate the ScotRail contract from April 2015.7 October 2014

Liberal Democrat Conference 2014 - Rail

Nick Clegg announced his vision of creating a so-called varsity railway line between Oxford and Cambridge and in the process build new garden cities along the route.

29 September 2014

Conservative Conference 2014 - Rail

In an apparent snub to austerity, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin boasted to the Conservative Party conference about the level of government transport infrastructure spending. In the same speech McLoughlin  also attacks workers rights.

23 September 2014

Labour Conference 2014 - Rail

The Labour Party remains committed to the mantra of putting “the passenger back at the heart of the railway, not the profit motive”.

23 September 2014

Rail travellers are unhappy

The passenger watchdog ‘Passenger Focus’ produced a survey that says rail travellers are unhappy with the way their train company deals with delays or cancellations.

01 September 2014

Network Rail, public sector company to all intents and purposes

As from  today (Monday 1 September) Network Rail becomes a public sector company to all intents and purposes. This follows from the independent Office for National Statistics (ONS) announcement back in December of last year to reclassify Network Rail (NR) to the public sector.

20 August 2014

Northern and TransPennine Express franchise shortlist

The shortlist of companies bidding to run rail networks in the north of England has been announced. It is expected that the winner will be announced in October 2015.

19 August 2014

Regulated rail fares will rise by 3.5% from January next year

Regulated rail fares will rise by 3.5% from January next year, following the release of July's inflation figures. This is in line with the formula used in England and Wales which increases with July’s RPI + 1%.

18 August 2014

Commuters prepare for rail increase

Report on how much passengers will be paying extra for their fares will be published on Tuesday.

10 August 2014

One North Report

An alliance of five cities - Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield are calling for a £15bn 15-year plan to be adopted to improve transport. This is also in response to HS2 Ltd chairman Sir David Higgins’ call for the Government’s high-speed rail plans to be rethought to maximise benefits for the North. 

03 August 2014

Millionaire  fare dodger

A millionaire City executive who earns up to £1m and owns two country mansions worth £4m has was accused of dodging train fares to the tune of £43,000.

20 August 2014

Labour to bring in a "tough cap" on all rail fares

Speaking in Hastings, East Sussex, Ed Miliband said that Labour would bring in a "tough cap" on all rail fares in contrast to David Cameron's failure to stop another hike of up to 5.6% for some commuters from next year.

17 July 2014

Flexible working, nothing much changes

 The right to flexible working was part of the last Labour government’s family friendly policy which assisted families in creating a balance between home and working life and was included into the Employment Rights Act 1996. Part 8A Flexible working’.

22 May 2013

FirstGroup shareholders’ no payout

21 May 2013

C'est la vie

Come on admit it, we have all done it at some time in our life.

06 May 2014

31 signatures for rail nationalisation

26 April 2014

Workers Memorial Day 28 April

20 March 2014

Hitachi expands its UK train manufacturing business

26 February 2014

Say no to mobile phones


7 February 2014

Which?  - best and worst  train companies

10 February 2014

The right to withdraw your labour under attack

4 February 2014

Bombardier Losses out under European competition rules

29 January 2014

GDP and the feel good factor

The New Year brings hope for a brighter economic future, but angry rail passengers don’t see much to celebrate.

Nationalisation or Co-operisation of our railways

McLoughlin tells conference he is tired of moaning London commentators

Warning! Social networking sites can be harmful to your job

Labour sets out a raft of proposals for rail

Biggest investment in our railways since the Victorian times

Not for Dividend Rail Service for Wales

Does Bombardier’s loss mean UK manufacturing losses out


What is so important about CIRAS

Is there enough HS2 information out there

Employee Shareholder Status

Workers Memorial Day

Scottish Coal & Freightliner

My Australian Experience

Proud and Honoured

Tax allowance on working clothes/uniforms

Don’t dictate who is responsible for plannig UK railways