A History of Britain's Railways
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27/07/2015 Deal on track to bring fast rail link to Scotland [Scotsman]
A DEAL to cut train journeys from Scotland to London to three hours by bringing high-speed rail north of the Border is in the offing between the UK and Scottish governments. It could involve a combination of upgrading existing tracks and building new high-speed lines over the final stretches into Glasgow and Edinburgh, according to sources familiar with the project.

26/07/2015 Borders rail campaigner Madge Elliot takes front seat [BBC News]
An 87-year-old who campaigned to bring a railway line back to the Borders has become one of the first passengers to travel on the new service. Madge Elliot and family members took a trip on the Borders Railway line, which opens to the public on 6 September. The new railway will restore passenger services from Edinburgh to Tweedbank for the first time since 1969. Mrs Elliot fought to save the Waverley Line between Edinburgh, Hawick and Carlisle before it closed in the 1960s.
BBC News

26/07/2015 Rail staffing cuts blamed for 'shocking' increase in passengers being attacked on Britain's trains [Independent]
It’s a crime wave that has shocked safety campaigners and spurred British Transport Police (BTP) to start a major trial of body cameras, as the number of passengers attacked on Britain’s trains hits its highest figure in a decade. More than 2,880 people were assaulted or abused on the nation’s railways last year. Around half – 1,442, the highest number in 10 years – took place on trains. The remaining 1,446 assaults occurred on platforms and in station buildings. [From Richard Buckby]

25/07/2015 Eurotunnel warns of lengthy delays due to 'migrant activity' [BBC News]
Eurotunnel has warned passengers are facing delays of around three hours after what it described as 'migrant activity' overnight. Services on both sides of the Channel were suspended on Friday night. The operator said there were delays of around 60 minutes before check in and two hours at the UK terminal. Operation Stack, with parts of the M20 shut to non-freight traffic, is in place.
BBC News

24/07/2015 All aboard for return of steam to Borders line [Scotsman]
STEAM trains will start running on the Borders Railway on 10 September, ScotRail announced today as tickets went on sale. The thrice-weekly services will be hauled by the A4 class locomotive Union of South Africa, which pulled London-Edinburgh expresses between the 1930s and 1960s. They will operate on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays for six weeks on the line between Edinburgh and Tweedbank, near Galashiels, which re-opens on 6 September after a gap of 46 years. Adult return tickets start at 40, which includes ScotRail travel to Edinburgh.

24/07/2015 Rail services between Glasgow and Edinburgh will return to normal on Monday as tunnel works completed [Herald]
The ScotRail Alliance has today (Friday) confirmed that the Edinburgh-Glasgow main line will reopen as planned on Monday (July 27) following the successful, on-time completion of a six-week project to upgrade Winchburgh Tunnel. Engineers who have been working to lower and relay track through the 330m-long tunnel and install equipment to enable electrification of the line will complete the 44-day, 17m project to schedule this weekend.

A Metro-Cammell dmu bursts out of Winchburgh Tunnel on what is probably the 15:08 Stirling - Edinburgh Waverley service, thought to be in April 1972.
[Bill Jamieson /04/1972]

The scene at the Linlithgow end of Winchburgh tunnel on 2nd July 2015 with the lowering of the track level in progress. On the right are the now-flooded claypits of the former brickworks.
[Colin McDonald 02/07/2015]

View south from above the site of Winchburgh Station on 14 June 2015. The north portal of Winchburgh Tunnel is visible on the left, with the eastbound track removed to allow access for contractors plant. [See recent news items]
[Bill Roberton 14/06/2015]

22/07/2015 Eurostar shows off updated Class 373 interior [Rail News]
Eurostar has made public the first interior photos of its modernised Class 373 fleet. The images were released alongside Eurostars latest performance figures which showed that passenger numbers over the past three months had broken the operators single quarter record. Around 2.8 million passengers travelled on the high-speed service in the second quarter of this year, an increase of 3 per cent on last year. Despite an increase in sales revenue in the last quarter, revenue for the year so far was down, having been impacted by the Paris terrorist attacks and a lorry fire in the Channel Tunnel. [From Richard Buckby]

20/07/2015 Flying Scotsman nearing end of decade-long overhaul [BBC News]
One of the most famous locomotives in the world, the Flying Scotsman, has been off the tracks for the last decade. The lengthy and expensive overhaul is nearing completion, and the engine is finally expected to return to the main line later this year. The BBC's Tom Ingall has been for an exclusive visit to the workshop to see how the work is progressing.

4472 Flying Scotsman on the turntable at Ferryhill during its 4 hour stopover in Aberdeen on 16 May 1964. The A3 had arrived in the city from Edinburgh with the Queens College RTS ^Flying Scotsman Railtour^.
[John Robin 16/05/1964]

4472 Flying Scotsman approaches Dent with ^The Lord Bishop^ special on 30th September 1978. One of two trains run that day in memory of Bishop Eric Treacy, this working had originated from London Euston.
[Bill Jamieson 30/09/1978]

4472 Flying Scotsman (honest) in the workshops at the National Railway Museum, York, in September 2007. [See image 4383]
[Colin Miller 25/09/2007]
BBC News

19/07/2015 Rail delays: Passengers to get cash compensation [BBC News]
Rail passengers who suffer travel delays can now claim refunds in cash instead of vouchers as new compensation arrangements come into effect. The changes have been made after consumer groups criticised the vouchers, saying they could not be used online or to access cheap fares. Passengers will be entitled to refunds if their train is delayed by at least 30 minutes. Train operators said they wanted to give passengers 'an even better deal'.
BBC News

19/07/2015 Scots passengers vent anger at train cancellations [Scotland on Sunday]
HUNDREDS of trains have been cancelled across Scotlands rail network because of a shortage of drivers at the countrys main train operator. Widespread disruption across ScotRail, which has prompted an angry reaction from commuters, is believed to have been caused by staff discontent at being continually asked to work overtime.
Scotland on Sunday

18/07/2015 Boris Bikes scheme to be extended to West Lothian [Evening News]
A PIONEERING Boris Bikes scheme introduced at a Capital station last month is set to be rolled out across West Lothian. Train chiefs said Bike & Go facilities will be put in place at ten stations by the end of March next year with half of them in the Lothians.
Evening News

15/07/2015 Rail strike looms amid fears job cuts will top 100 [Scotsman]
JOB losses on Scotlands railways could now top 100, far more than the dozens previously expected, a union fears. The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) described the cuts by the new ScotRail-Network Rail partnership as stealth reductions.

15/07/2015 First look inside high speed train that will replace InterCity 125 [BBC News]
With a high speed service, sleek lines and modern technology, the InterCity 125 train was introduced to revamp the British rail network. But that was more than four decades ago, and now its days are numbered. A new train is being tested that will take over on some of Britain's busiest lines in the next few years. Richard Westcott reports. [From Mark Bartlett]

One of the Hitachi Class 800 trainsets for the East Coast and Great Western main lines at Hitachis Kasado factory in southwest Japan. [Courtesy Railway Gazette]
[Railscot Collection 13/11/2014]
BBC News

14/07/2015 Highland passengers wont lose modern carriages, according to ScotRail bosses [Press and Journal]
Rail passengers in the Highlands have been reassured that the region would not lose modern carriages to a new railway in the Borders. A spokeswoman for Abellio ScotRail said all but one of Class 158 trains would continue serving the north.

158702 BBC Scotland 75 years brings up the rear of the 19.58 to Elgin, at Inverness on 20 April.
[Bill Roberton 20/04/2013]

Motive power line up under the trainshed at Inverness in March 2009 comprising (L to R) 158702, 158731 and 158741. On the far left 170403 can partly be seen having arrived from Glasgow.
[Mark Bartlett 30/03/2009]

The First Class interior of recently refurbished ScotRail unit 158722 standing in Inverness station on 20 November 2007.
[John Gray 20/11/2007]
Press and Journal

13/07/2015 Highlands set to lose modern trains to Borders [Scotland on Sunday]
RAIL passengers in the north of Scotland can expect to travel in inferior, outdated carriages once the new Border railway opens, it has been claimed. Union officials and politicians, as well as some rail staff in the Highlands, believe that the most up-to-date carriages currently used on north rail lines are to be switched to the Borders to tart up the new operation when it is launched in September.

158741 on crew training duty on 15 June leaving Gorebridge and heading north towards Arniston.
[Bill Roberton 15/06/2015]

An early afternoon driver training turn runs north out of Galashiels on 10 June 2015. The train has recently crossed the Gala Water and is passing the site of Kilnknowe Junction where the Peebles Loop once diverged from the Waverley Route.
[John Furnevel 10/06/2015]
Scotland on Sunday

11/07/2015 Network Rail shunted towards full break-up [Times]
The break-up of Network Rail moved a step closer yesterday when ministers set out radical plans to overhaul the state-funded company. Under the new system, payment for track operations will be handed to individual train operators, rather than Network Rail, amid concerns over the organisations performance.

09/07/2015 Carne lays down digital railway challenge [Railnews]
NETWORK RAIL chief executive Mark Carne has challenged his colleagues to see if the introduction of the 'digital railway' can be accelerated dramatically. Under present plans for the introduction of the European Rail Traffic Management System, which dispenses with lineside signalling in favour of cab displays and provides full automatic train protection, the whole network will not be equipped until 2062. [From Richard Buckby]

Interesting looking signal with various supplementary attachments standing on the northbound platform at Morpeth station on 8 November 2007. The white printed sign reads Electric trains No access to South East Curve.
[John Furnevel 08/11/2007]

Class 50s Nos. D412 and D448 bring the 14.00 Glasgow Central to London Euston under the impressive signal gantry to the north of Carstairs station on 23 May 1970. The double heading of these locos on WCML expresses had only started at the timetable change less than three weeks previously.
[Bill Jamieson 23/05/1970]

London Bridge signalling centre, January 1991.
[Ian Dinmore /01/1991]

08/07/2015 Stagecoach to rebid for SWT after talks fail [Rail News]
TALKS have broken down between the Department for Transport and South West Trains, which is owned by Stagecoach Group, over a proposed direct franchise award of 26 months which would have allowed SWT to continue until 2019. The franchise will now end between February and August 2017, and Stagecoach will have to compete with other contenders for the next contract instead of carrying on unchallenged. [From Richard Buckby]

Platform scene at Dorchester South on 24 October 2014 as SWT emu 444004 calls at platform 2 with a Waterloo to Weymouth service.
[John McIntyre 24/10/2014]

The covered footbridge (with open sides) at Pokesdown provides a good vantage point on a wet day. Evidently the station once had more tracks than the two that now suffice. Most SWT services in the Bournemouth area are handled by 444 EMUs but the Class 450 suburban sets make appearances on stopping trains. 450561 is on the rear of a westbound eight car set making its last call before Bournemouth.
[Mark Bartlett 23/05/2014]

A South West Trains Class 159 DMU photographed near Avoncliff on 12 April 2012 heading for Westbury.
[Peter Todd 12/04/2012]
Rail News

08/07/2015 Chaos as Tube strike gets under way [BBC News]
There have been scenes of overcrowding at London Tube stations, as rush hour started early with workers trying to get home before a strike by London Underground workers. Four trade unions have staged a 24-hour walkout in a row over the new all-night Tube service. The strike, which officially began at 18:30 BST, will affect all Tube lines and finishes at 21:30 BST on Thursday.

Jubilee line terminus at Stratford in July 2005.
[John Furnevel 22/07/2005]

District Line platforms, Earls Court, July 1986.
[David Panton 11/07/1986]

There^s not much action in Acton when it^s dark and persisting down with rain. The camera is looking East towards Hammersmith on 16 January, but the Piccadilly line train is heading for Heathrow.
[Ken Strachan 16/01/2011]
BBC News

06/07/2015 New Street opening dates revealed [Rail News]
Birmingham New Street station, which has been undergoing a major reconstruction for the last five years, will open on Sunday, September 20, Network Rail has announced. The work to transform a cramped, 1960s concrete station into a light and airy passenger experience with a concourse three times the size has been a massive undertaking. [From Richard Buckby]

Passengers join 170517, forming the 0949 to Hereford, at Birmingham New Street on 18 April 2015.
[Ken Strachan 18/04/2015]

A recently introduced eleven coach Pendolino (390156) waits at Birmingham New Street with the 11.49 service to Wolverhampton on 17 April 2012. Across at platform 2 a sister set prepares to depart with a service for Euston.
[David Pesterfield 17/04/2012]

Artist^s impression of the new Stephenson Street entrance to Birmingham New Street.
[Courtesy Network Rail /12/2012]
Rail News

05/07/2015 Major disruption to ScotRail trains [BBCNews]
About a third of ScotRail's trains have been cancelled due to a lack of drivers willing to work on a Sunday. The rail operator has published an amended timetable which lists the services affected. Several lines will see trains run on a reduced frequency, while buses will carry passengers on some other routes. ScotRail has said that ongoing pay negotiations meant that not enough drivers were volunteering for Sunday shifts. It has pledged to ensure trains that do run will have more carriages than would normally be the case on a Sunday.
BBC News

05/07/2015 Forth Bridge given World Heritage Site status [BBC News]
The Forth Bridge has become the sixth Scottish landmark to be awarded Unesco World Heritage Site status. The decision was announced at a meeting in the German city of Bonn after the UN's heritage committee spent more than a year considering its nomination. World heritage status is given to sites of 'outstanding universal value' with the aim of protecting them for future generations. The distinctive red bridge has carried trains over the Forth since 1890. Scotland's other World Heritage Sites are New Lanark, St Kilda, the Old and New Towns in Edinburgh, Neolithic Orkney and the Antonine Wall.

An evening view of the Forth Bridge from Dalgety Bay in March 2012
[Bill Roberton /03/2012]

Scene at Hawes Pier, South Queensferry in June 1962 as the paddle-driven ferry Robert the Bruce, (with a carrying capacity of 28 cars), prepares for another crossing. One of 4 such ferries withdrawn on the opening of the road bridge in 1964, it was cut up by P&W McLellan at Bo^ness the following year. Meantime, high above the water, a Standard Class 5 and a B1 can be seen double-heading a northbound goods train onto the Forth Bridge.
[Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) /06/1962]

The passage of No. 60009 Union of South Africa through North Queensferry with an Edinburgh to Aberdeen railtour provokes some excitement amongst the gallery on 25 March 1978.
[Bill Jamieson 25/03/1978]
BBC News

03/07/2015 Talyllyn Railway celebrates 150th birthday [BBC News]
It was the world's first passenger-carrying narrow gauge railway, provided the inspiration for Thomas the Tank Engine and, this weekend, the Talyllyn Railway celebrates its 150th birthday. Built to serve the slate quarry of Bryn Eglwys, near Abergynolwyn, Gwynedd, in 1950 it seemed doomed when owner Henry Haydn Jones died and the quarry closed. But a group of West Midlands tourists vowed to safeguard it. And so, Talyllyn became the UK's first preservation railway.

0-4-2ST No 3 Sir Haydn at Tywyn Shed on the Talyllyn Railway in July 1992.
[Ken Browne 22/07/1992]

The 19.30 Tywyn Wharf to Nant Gwernol additional service gets underway on 16 August 2011. The locomotive is No 4 Edward Thomas, an 0-4-2ST built by Kerr Stewart & Co. in 1921.
[Ian Dinmore 16/08/2011]

Bryn Eglwys was the village containing the slate mines that were the raison d^etre of the Talyllyn Railway. Around the village were several small inclines, each with its own winding house.
[John Thorn /05/1970]
BBC News

02/07/2015 An eerie drone flight under Londons streets [BBC]
Sit back and watch mesmerising footage of a drone flying through the Crossrail tunnels under London. The view begins high above the London rooftops, the kind of eye-view usually seen only by crane operators working in cramped cabins. You descend at a gentle rate, dropping down until youre at the level of the treetops and office buildings. And then further and further, towards the giant hole that has been dug yards from the busy street. [From Richard Buckby]

02/07/2015 Cab ride from Galashiels to Tweedbank [Stumedia/Scotrail]
Courtesy of ScotRail these are the first images from inside the Cab on a train running through Galashiels to its destination at Tweedbank. [From Colin McDonald]
Stumedia / ScotRail

01/07/2015 ScotRail to reduce Sunday train services [BBC News]
ScotRail has said it will be reducing its rail services on Sundays from this weekend as it does not have enough drivers. The rail operator said ongoing pay negotiations meant that drivers were not volunteering for Sunday shifts.
BBC News

30/06/2015 Eurostar suspended as strikers set fire to Calais track [BBC News]
Thousands of cross-Channel passengers are stranded after striking Calais ferry workers closed the French port and blocked Eurotunnel rail services. The MyFerryLink workers walked out on Monday for the second time in a week over the sale of the company's ferries to rival firm DFDS Seaways. Both Eurostar and Shuttle services were suspended due to fire on the tracks. The tunnel reopened at 15:30 BST and Eurostar said 'some services will run this afternoon'. However, Shuttle services are running with a three-hour waiting time at the Folkestone terminal.
BBC News

30/06/2015 RMT votes for strike over new Hitachi high-speed trains [BBC News]
First Great Western rail workers have voted to support strike action over plans to axe guards and buffet cars on new Hitachi Inter City Express trains. Members of the RMT union will walk out for 48 hours from 18:30 BST on 8 July. The union said a guard should be kept on every train, 'not a diluted customer service role', but First Great Western said having drivers controlling doors was safer and jobs would not be lost. In the ballot, 80% supported strike action and 92% other forms of action.
BBC News

29/06/2015 Train sewage on tracks elimination date brought forward [BBC News]
The date for the elimination of trains dumping sewage on Scotland's rail tracks has been brought forward after a campaign, the RMT union has said. Union representatives met ScotRail management, Transport Minister Derek MacKay, and Transport Scotland officials over the issue. The RMT said about 40% of the ScotRail fleet should be fitted with controlled emission tanks by April 2016. The remainder are due to be fully fitted by December 2017.

47709 rushes through Lenzie on an Edinburgh-Glasgow push-pull service in April 1985. A toilet plug is pulled which intrigues two young spotters.
[Brian Forbes /04/1985]

A puzzling warning notice in a toilet cubicle of a Class 170 on 19 June 2010. As to what the danger might be I^ll have to leave to your imagination.
[David Panton 19/06/2010]

The present day fuelling facilities at Perth are located around the former platforms 8 and 9. This is a view of the ^half shed^ and fuelling pumps installed a couple of years ago to handle the servicing of the Class 170s, including their associated CETs (Controlled Emission Tanks). Class 158^s have all now been similarly adapted so the toilets can now be safely flushed in stations! The two stainless steel machines beyond the green wheeled bowser are two of the three CET pumps. Needless to say the latter are referred to in more colloquial terms locally.
[Gary Straiton 26/02/2010]
BBC News

29/06/2015 600m to deliver South Wales Metro by 2020 [BBC News]
About 600m is to be spent on a new metro for south east Wales within five years, BBC Wales understands. It is likely to be a mix of light rail, trams, improved trains and faster buses by 2020 in Cardiff and the valleys. It is in addition to planned rail electrification and will run as a 'not-for-dividend' part of the next all-Wales rail franchise from 2018. The economy minister will task rail and business experts to finalise plans before work starts in 2017. Edwina Hart envisages a partnership with private developers but operating for the minimum profit, with money being reinvested in the network, BBC Wales understands. The Welsh government has already committed 77m to a first phase, which includes a new station for Ebbw Vale.
BBC News

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