Key events

March2021Start of ScotRail conductor strikes on Sundays over rest-day pay.
ScotRail Conductors Strike
ScotRail to be nationalised from March 2022.
ScotRail Abellio Nationalisation
February2021Further reduction to 65% of pre-pandemic ScotRail timetable, with many late evening trains withdrawn.
ScotRail Timetabling COVID-19
January2021Freightliner withdraws (temporarily?) Class 86 fleet (dating from 1966) to be replaced by ex-Anglia Class 90s.
Bridge Parapet collapse between Stonehaven and Carmont closes line until February.
Freightliner Class 86 Class 90 Carron Water Bridge [East Croft of Carmont]
A close up of the damaged parapet on the Carron Water Bridge, which collapsed the previous day on 16th January 2021 (See news item). Network Rail engineers can be seen firing up the chainsaw so I might get some better photos once the trees have been felled, but my Apple Watch tells  me this will involve another hike of 9.19 miles.
December2020ScotRail timetable reduction.
ScotRail Timetabling COVID-19
November2020ScotRail alcohol ban introduced.
ScotRail Alcohol
October2020Kerr's Miniature Railway closed.
Kintore station opens.
Kerr^s Miniature Railway Kintore
First trains at Kintore on its day of re-opening. 43003 calls at the station.
September2020LNER cease using Class 91s on Anglo-Scottish journeys.
Class 91 LNER
August2020Three dead when train derailed hitting landslip near Stonehaven.
Union Canal burst its banks, flooding the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway near Polmont.
Trial run of timber trains on the Far North Line.
Landslip Union Canal Timber Derailment
The huge Ainscough crane being used at the Carmont crash site to lift the rear power car out on 10th September 2020.<br>
June2020Face coverings become mandatory on public transport.
A ScotRail HST pulls into its penultimate stop on 29th July 2020. I didn^t notice the driver^s wave at the time so that^s my card marked. The set is wearing a facemask, something which would be hard to recognise a matter of months ago. To be honest it^s not that obvious now and looks more like a nappy.
May2020Travelling by LNER becomes reservation-only.
COVID-19 LNER Reservations
March2020Major changes to railway operations and timetables resulting from impact of Coronavirus pandemic.
December2019Opening of new Robroyston station.
Opening of Dunbar's second platform.
Farewell to ScotRail Class 314s and LNER HSTs.
TPE introduce Class 397s with new Glasgow-Preston-Liverpool route and Class 802s on new Edinburgh-Leeds-Liverpool route.
Robroyston Dunbar HST
The first train (the 0837 to  Cumbernauld) arrives at Robroyston at 0836 on Sunday 15th December.
October2019Almond Chord: £15 million approved to develop options for Waverley approaches.
Almond Chord
August2019Government announces reopening of Levenmouth line within 5 years.
LNER Azumas Anglo-Scottish debut.
Levenmouth Azuma
LNER Azuma 800112 enters Prestonpans station with a Newcastle - Edinburgh test run on 13th August 2019.<br>
July2019Closure of St Rollox Works.
St Rollox Works
Diesel shunter 08568, which has been located at St Rollox for some years, seen through the mesh fence from the Tesco car park on 24 January 2015.
June2019New Caledonian Sleeper suffers various problems and delays.
Caledonian Sleeper
One of the new Caledonian Sleepers Mk 5 carriages is seen at Preston on 23 January 2019 during the second night of testing on the Glasgow/Edinburgh service.
April2019New Caledonian Sleeper launched.
Caledonian Sleeper
GBRF 92023 working the 3Z26 London Euston to Glasgow and Edinburgh ^shadow^ sleeper during the stop at Preston on 23 January 2019. This was the first northbound test run with the new Mark 5 sleeper stock, the first run had taken place 24 hours earlier with a Glasgow/Edinburgh to Euston run.
February2019Construction of two new platforms (5 & 6) completed at Edinburgh Waverley.
Edinburgh Waverley
Waverley^s new Platforms 5 and 6 have been train-ready for several days, but this is the first time I^ve seen either in use. The first train ever, perhaps?
December2018New ScotRail timetable implemented.
ScotRail Timetabling
October2018New ScotRail Class 385s taken out of service due to braking fault.
ScotRail Class 385
August2018First of the ScotRail refurbished HSTs arrives in Scotland.
ScotRail HST Inter7City
Refurbished Inter7City HST, powered by 43133 and 43147, passes through Dalgety Bay with a Doncaster - Perth delivery run on 27 May 2019.<br>
July2018New ScotRail Class 385s introduced on Edinburgh - Glasgow services.
ScotRail Class 385
380021, one of the ‘borrowed’ Electric Multiple Units which are deputising for the delayed new class 385 EMUs, seen about to slope off to Edinburgh from Platform 4 at Queen Street.
June2018LNER takes over operations on the East Coast Main Line from Virgin/Stagecoach.
LNER Virgin Stagecoach East Coast Main Line
Using the north side crossover to reach Waverley^s platform 2 on 12 July 2018 is the 0952 Aberdeen - Kings Cross HST. Trailing power car 43296 is sporting new LNER markings.
Serious rail disruption caused by unusually high temperatures near end of month.
May2018First of the ScotRail leased Class 365 units appears on the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway.
Class 365 Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway ScotRail
Class 365 number 365523 on a training run passes through Linlithgow station on 10/05/2018.  This was the 13:04 Glasgow Queen Street to Linlithgow Up Passenger Loop.
March2018Red weather warning of freezing temperatures and heavy snow is followed by transport chaos at beginning of month.
Running only 5 minutes behind time, the up Highland Chieftan does courageous battle with the “Beast from the East” at Dunblane on 28th February 2018. The “snowflake” generation of Class 170 and 158 DMUs on the other services was soon out of its depth, however, and within a few hours the system was at a standstill.
February2018Announcement that Stagecoach/Virgin ECML franchise to end early.
Stagecoach Virgin East Coast Main Line
December2017First electric services run on Edinburgh - Glasgow main line.
Electrification Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway
158721 on the 11.48 from Stirling to Edinburgh passes 380 004/114 on the 12.01 Edinburgh - Glasgow Queen Street, at Linlithgow.
Manchester's Ordsall Chord opens to traffic.
Ordsall Chord
Crossing the River Irwell on the bridge carrying the Ordsall Chord on 17 February 2018, some two months after opening. Photographed from a train running between Oxford Road and Victoria on a service to Leeds via Bradford. See image [[60177]]
September2017Testing of ScotRail 'New Era' modified HST services.
ScotRail HST Inter7City
Dawn of a new era as ScotRail HST (power cars 43132 and 43021) nears Aberdour, heading from Craigentinny to Aberdeen on 10 September 2017.<br>
August2017Half of London Waterloo station's platforms closed for extension work.

London Waterloo
June2017HS2/WCML franchise - shortlist of bidders announced.
HS2 West Coast Main Line
March2017Settle & Carlisle Line reopens after more than a year following landslip.
Settle and Carlisle Line Landslip
60103 <I>^Flying Scotsman^</I> hauling the S&C re-opening special from the K&WVR to Carlisle on 31 March 2017. The train is approaching Hellifield on the outward run.
February2017Commencement of work on HS2 phase 1 formally approved.
Complete overhaul of rail ticketing system announced.
December2016Government announces Network Rail to cease responsibility for UK rail network.
Network Rail
November2016ScotRail publishes 249-point improvement plan.
Croydon tram accident results in death of 7 passengers.
Croydon Croydon Tramlink
October2016Major concerns arise regarding poor ScotRail performance.
ScotRail Performance
August2016Glasgow Queen Street High Level reopens after completion of major tunnel and station works.
Electrification Glasgow Queen Street High Level Cowlairs Tunnel
A view of the station throat at Queen Street while the new metalwork is still shiny. The numbers by the signals correspond with the platform numbers. The new platform lighting seems to have been designed to withstand a major earthquake, so full marks there. 08/10/2016
June2016ScotRail and Southern train services badly affected by industrial action.
ScotRail Southern Strike
May2016Restored 60103 Flying Scotsman runs on Borders Railway.
Borders Railway Flying Scotsman
Flying Scotsman steaming sedately south between Heriot and Fountainhall on 15 May 2016.
March2016Glasgow Queen Street High Level station closed for tunnel works.
Electrification Glasgow Queen Street High Level Cowlairs Tunnel
February2016West Coastl Main Line reopened following major repair work on Lamington Viaduct.
Lamington Viaduct
The 0725 First TransPennine Manchester Airport - Edinburgh Waverley passes slowly over Lamington Viaduct on the morning of 22 February 2016. The viaduct has reopened after extensive repair work following major structural damage caused by storm <I>Frank</I> at the beginning of January. The Network Rail staff are standing on the specially constructed secondary bridge which enabled plant and equipment to be moved to areas requiring attention. See image [[53760]]
Settle & Carlisle line closed after major landslip north of Appleby.
Settle and Carlisle Line Landslip
January2016Closure of West Coast Main Line caused by flood damage to Lamington Viaduct.
Lamington Viaduct
Some of the considerable activity taking place on and around the WCML viaduct at Lamington on the morning of 2 January 2016. Part of the structure has suffered due to the effects of recent heavy rainfall on the fast-flowing River Clyde during storm <I>Frank</I>. At the time of the photograph (1030) the rain had stopped, although surrounding roads and fields were saturated, with flooding apparent in several areas. The line will be closed for some time. See image [[54263]]
December2015UK train services seriously disrupted due to storms in late December.
October2015First Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway Improvement Programme (EGIP) wires appear.
Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway Electrification
September2015Queen officially opens new Borders Railway.
Borders Railway
The crowds continue to enjoy the Borders Railway throughout the brilliantly sunny opening day as the 1404 from Edinburgh arrives at Galashiels on 6th September 2015.
July2015Winchburgh Tunnel reopens following major electrification works.
Winchburgh Tunnel Electrification Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway
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]
June2015Tickets go on sale for Borders Railway services.
Borders Railway
April2015West Coast Railway Company has operating license suspended by Network Rail.
West Coast Railway Company Network Rail
This year^s ^Jacobite^ season, the 18th under the operation of the West Coast Railway Company, was launched at Fort William on 14 May 2012 by Modern Railways columnist Alan Williams.
ScotRail franchise moves from First Group to Abellio.
ScotRail Abellio First Group
Serco takes over Caledonian Sleeper services.
Caledonian Sleeper Serco
March2015Virgin East Coast services commence.
Virgin East Coast Main Line
Power car 43300  with Virgin East Coast branding passes Inverkeithing East Junction on 1 March 2015 with the 13.47 Aberdeen - London Kings Cross service.
February2015Borders Railway tracklaying completed.
Borders Railway
December2014Travel chaos due to holiday engineering works overrunning at London Kings Cross and London Paddington.
London Kings Cross London Paddington Engineering Works
Facade of Kings Cross station on 24 July 2014.
November2014Stagecoach/Virgin Joint Venture selected to run re-privatised East Coast Main Line.
Stagecoach Virgin East Coast Main Line
October2014Dutch operator Abellio to take over ScotRail franchise from FirstGroup in April 2015.
ScotRail First Group Abellio
August2014Borders Railway - first track sections in place, opening date to be 6 Sepember 2015.
Borders Railway
BAM tracklaying team discussion taking place on 8 October 2014. View is north, with GBRf 66706 standing below a bridge located midway between Shawfair station and Newcraighall South Junction.
June2014Virgin Trains WCML franchise extended to 2018.
Virgin West Coast Main Line
A Virgin Pendolino from Edinburgh to London Euston crosses Crawford Viaduct on 17 March 2014.
May2014Serco awarded Caledonian Sleeper contract.
Caledonian Sleeper Serco
Edinburgh Trams operational on 31 May 2014.
Edinburgh Trams
April2014Main line through Dawlish reopens after major storm damage.
Looking west from the station footbridge at Dawlish on 12 September 2011.
February2014Severe and prolonged storms cause major delays and damage to railways throughout UK.
January2014Shortlist of three announced for East Coast franchise.
East Coast Main Line
December2013Revamped Haymarket station opened to public.
Looking towards the automatic ticket gates over the new concourse at Haymarket on 19 December 2013.
First Anglo-Scottish Class 350 service runs between Manchester and Glasgow.
Class 350
November2013Five companies shortlisted to bid for next ScotRail franchise.
ScotRail Franchise ScotRail Franchise
A ScotRail shuttle service for Glasgow Queen Street awaits its departure time at Edinburgh Waverley platform 14 in December 2002.
September2013London - Amsterdam high speed service to start in 2016.
London Amsterdam High speed
July2013Speeding train derails in north west Spain, killing and injuring many passengers.
Spain Derailment
Mallard in Great Gathering of A4s at York to mark 75th anniversary of steam world speed record.
Mallard York
Numbers 7, 8 and 9 lined up together in the Great Hall of the NRM on 13 July 2013 sporting suitable headboards to commemorate <I>The Great Gathering</I>. See image [[43776]]
May2013Glasgow Central - Whifflet line to be electrified by summer 2014.
Glasgow Central Whifflet Electrification
March2013Virgin Trains WCML franchise extended to April 2017.
Virgin West Coast Main Line
A northbound Pendolino passing Symington on 30 May 2011.<br>
January2013HS2 phase 2 links to Manchester/Leeds announced.
Cumbernauld line electrification contract placed.
Cumbernauld Electrification
December2012BAM Nuttall appointed main contractor for Borders Railway.
Borders Railway BAM Nuttall
November2012Electric trains operational on Paisley Canal branch.
Paisley Canal Line Electrification
380004 preparing to leave Paisley Canal with the 14.30 to Glasgow Central on 19 November 2012, the first day of electric operations over the branch.
October2012WCML franchise to remain with Virgin meantime following discovery of errors by Department of Transport.
West Coast Main Line Virgin
September2012Work begins on electrification of Paisley Canal branch.
Electrification Paisley Canal Line
August2012WCML franchise to move from Virgin to First Group after 15 years. Subsequent legal challenge to decision mounted by Virgin. [See October entry]
Virgin West Coast Main Line Virgin First Group
The 11.40 Virgin Pendolino for London Euston prepares to leave Glasgow Central on 28 September 2012. The future of the WCML franchise, recently awarded to First Group, is currently the subject of a legal challenge mounted by Virgin Trains. [See recent news items]
July2012Major electrification plans announced, incuding Midland Main Line.
Electrification Midland Main Line
June2012Exceptionally heavy rain results in floods and landslips causing serious travel disruption and closing various lines including ECML, WCML & West Highland routes
Weather Landslip East Coast Main Line West Coast Main Line West Highland Line
The site of the landslip near Tulloch which led to the derailment on 28 June. View on 4 July looking down towards the railway with Loch Trieg beyond. Almost all of the dislodged spoil has been cleared away by this stage.
April2012Rebuilding of Dundee station announced.
March2012Design development contract for Borders Railway awarded to BAM Nuttall.
Borders Railway BAM Nuttall
Nothing like a stroll in the shade on a hot day. View towards Edinburgh along the Waverley trackbed at the north end of Galashiels on 26 March 2012. This view from the footbridge at Low Buckholmside shows the tree clearance undertaken in connection with the Borders Railway project. See image [[4022]]
Major revamp of Glasgow Subway announced.
Glasgow Subway
January2012Refurbished Waverley Steps reopened.
Edinburgh Waverley Waverley Steps
The new Princes Street entrance to Waverley station on 3 February 2012.
December2011Painting of Forth Bridge completed [for at least 25 years]
Forth Bridge
View from the north shore on 1 June 2009 with EWS 67025 about to leave The Forth Bridge and run into North Queensferry station with the evening locomotive-hauled Fife Circle service.
November2011Last ferry sails from Stranraer Harbour.
Stranraer Harbour
The Stena Seacat ferry service from Belfast prepares to dock at Stranraer Harbour on 29 July 2008, while a First Scotrail 156 DMU awaits passengers at the station platform.
October2011Scottish Government decides to use Network Rail to deliver Borders Rail project.
Borders Rail Network Rail Scottish Government
View north at Newbattle (aka Lothianbridge, Dalhousie, South Esk, Newtongrange etc) Viaduct on 19 October 2011 towards Edinburgh, with the A7 running alongside. <br>
September2011Edinburgh Council agrees to complete tram link between Edinburgh Airport [Tram] and St Andrew Square [Tram].
Edinburgh Airport St Andrew Square Edinburgh Trams
August2011Edinburgh Council decides to terminate airport tram link at Haymarket.
Edinburgh Trams Haymarket
July2011Two trains collide on new Chinese high speed line.
High Speed
June2011Edinburgh Council agrees to complete tram link between Edinburgh Airport [Tram] and St Andrew Square [Tram].
Edinburgh Trams St Andrew Square
Edinburgh tram on display at The Mound tram stop on Princes Street on 29 April 2010.
April2011First rails laid on new Borders Railway at Millerhill.
Borders Railway Millerhill
March2011Opening of new stations at Armadale and Drumgelloch.
Armadale Drumgelloch
The 10.10 Helensburgh Central - Edinburgh Waverley arrives at Drumgelloch station on 7 March 2011. Weekday service frequency on the line has been increased co-incident with the opening of the last of the new stations.
February2011New station opens at Caldercruix.
A train arrives to pick up passengers waiting at Caldercruix on the morning of 13 February 2011, first day of services at the new station.
January2011Go ahead for work to start on Waverley Steps next month.
Edinburgh Waverley Waverley Steps
The big issue. Waverley Steps, with proposed improvements still to be implemented. View from Princes Street down to the station in September 2007. See image [[35788]]
December2010Passenger services commence over Airdrie - Bathgate line.
Airdrie Bathgate
The 12.40 Helensburgh Central - Edinburgh Waverley runs east at Forrestfield on 14 December 2010. Hillend reservoir can be seen in the right background with the town of Caldercruix beyond.
Severe weather causes major disruption to all transport.
October2010New Bathgate through station opened.
The 10.48 Waverley - Bathgate shortly after arrival at the new station on 20 October 2010 see image [[31158]].
August2010First of the new Class 380 units delivered.
Class 380
Marshalled in the centre of a Dollands Moor - Wembley freight on 25 August 2010, the first of the new ScotRail emus, no 380106, passes north through a rain-soaked Shepherd^s Bush station on the West London Line.
June2010Glasgow-Oban train derailed after rock fall near Falls of Cruachan.
Falls of Cruachan Derailment
Eurotunnel buys First GB Railfreight freight operation.
Eurotunnel GB Railfreight
May2010Waverley Steps proposals finally approved.
Edinburgh Waverley Waverley Steps
The big issue. Waverley Steps, with proposed improvements still to be implemented. View from Princes Street down to the station in September 2007. See image [[35788]]
April2010Arriva Group agrees to takeover by Deutsche Bahn (DB).
Arriva Group Deutsche Bahn
March2010Rail services badly affected by extreme winter weather.
The broken surface of one of the avalanches from above - the view looks towards Tyndrum with Beinn Odhar on the left. The railway is distant centre (and off the the right down a steep slope) and the A82 is on the hillside to the right. I reckoned it was best not to cross this particular avalanche as the snow was very deep and the crust wouldn^t hold my weight.
Government unveils outline UK high speed rail plans
High Speed
February2010Major recovery/repair operations completed at Carrbridge.
Carrbridge Derailment
<I>She flies!</I> ....^The Big Lift^ of 66048 underway at Carrbridge station in the early hours of 14 February 2010. [Andrew Smith/BBC News - with thanks to Sue Davies]
RMT union calls strike over use of guards on new A-B-E services.
January2010Container train in major derailment at Carrbridge.
Carrbridge Derailment
Following the derailment at Carrbridge on 4 January 2010, removal of the Stobart containers is currently taking place. The photograph shows lifting operations underway on the morning of 9 January - see latest news item.
Weather worsens across Britain - all transport badly hit.
December2009Festive season travel disrupted by worst weather for many years.
Improvements to Kilmarnock line and Edinburgh-Glasgow via Shotts services
Kilmarnock Shotts
November2009Nationalised 'East Coast' operations commence.
Nationalisation East Coast Main Line
First of the new Class 70 locomotives delivered.
Class 70
October2009Plans submitted for train/tram interchange station at Gogar (later named Edinburgh Gateway).
Edinburgh Gateway
September2009Glasgow Airport rail link cancelled.
Glasgow Airport Rail Link
Scene at Glasgow Central in September 2007, looking out along the car parking area soon to be occupied by new platforms 12 & 13. (Platform 11 on the left will remain, the edges of the new 12 and 13 will roughly follow the white lines, with the current 12 on the right becoming 14). Based on proposals agreed earlier in the year, GARL services using the new platforms will exit the station through the arch on their way to Glasgow Airport. (Addendum: Plans for Glasgow Airport Rail Link shelved in September 2009 - refer later entries).
August2009High Speed 2 proposals published.
New Market Street entrance for Edinburgh Waverley announced.
Edinburgh Waverley
The gloomy south entrance to Waverley station from Market Street on a  February afternoon in 2006. As with the Waverley Steps entrance, plans are also currently under consideration with a view to improving access from this side of the station as well as making it look a little more welcoming. See image [[40419]]
July2009ECML operations effectively nationalised.
East Coast main Line Nationalisation
June2009Plans for new Gourock station finally submitted.
External view of Gourock station on 18 June 2008, with a temporary entrance and booking office in operation pending the planned development of a modern rail/bus/ferry interchange.
First Group reports bid for National Express rejected
First Group National Express
May2009Doubts raised over future of National Express East Coast franchise.
National Express East Coast Main Line
A southbound NXEC service nears Dalgety Bay on 26 May. Will any more stock be reliveried in this colour scheme, given the uncertainty over the franchise?<br>
Laurencekirk station reopens after 41 years.
An Aberdeen - Glasgow Queen Street service calls at Laurencekirk on 12 July 2009. Note the successfully restored (as opposed to demolished) main building on the down platform see image [[13322]].
April2009Planned revamp of Waverley Steps approved.
Edinburgh Waverley Waverley Steps
The big issue. Waverley Steps, with proposed improvements still to be implemented. View from Princes Street down to the station in September 2007. See image [[35788]]
Airdrie-Bathgate main contracts awarded.
Airdrie Bathgate
March2009Introduction of Alloa - Edinburgh service announced from May 2009.
The 1118 service from Glasgow Queen Street takes the Alloa line at Stirling North on 12 June 2008.
February2009£7.9bn order placed with Hitachi for HST 125 replacements.
Hitachi HST
January2009Inverness rail freight interchange officially opened.
Inverness Rail Freight Interchange Inverness
DRS 66433 departs Inverness with containers for Grangemouth on Chrismas Eve 2008 passing 67011 standing in the background.
November2008Scottish Coal wins contract to part supply Longannet Power Station.
Scottish coal Longannet Power Station
Coal - swallower extraordinaire. Longannet power station looking south towards the Forth in June 2005. Longannet consumes approximately 10,000 tonnes of coal per day, mainly delivered by rail from Hunterston import terminal. It has an installed capacity of 2,400 megawatts, making it the third largest coal-fired power station in Europe after Belchatow, Poland and Drax, North Yorkshire.
Clearance work commences on Airdrie - Bathgate Rail Link.
October2008Doubling of Bathgate [4th] branch completed.
Bathgate Doubling
An Edinburgh - Bathgate service calls at the new platform 2 at Livingston North on 20 October 2008.