A History of Britain's Railways
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30/07/2016 Converted Underground train could be running soon [Rail News]
AN unusual project to convert retired London Underground District line cars into diesel-powered units may be about to pay off, after London Midland announced that a 'D-Train' could enter service on its local route between Coventry and Nuneaton this year. The line has been in the news after attempts to cater for sports crowds at the Ricoh Stadium in Coventry with hired rolling stock failed to pay their way, with fans being advised to use road transport instead because the usual single-car unit on the line would not be able to cope. London Midland had also said that there were no guarantees that more rolling stock would necessarily be available on match days unless it was specially hired, and so it was reluctant to advertise extra services. The three-car 'D-Train' may help to solve the problem, and also provide more capacity for regular passengers. It has been developed by Warwickshire-based Vivarail, which has bought redundant D78 stock from London Underground.

This recently opened station would be handy for the Ricoh Arena, if it was open before and after sporting events. [See image 54104] I await the next trade show, e.g. for computer gamers, to see whether the railway accommodates geeks more readily than sports fans. The train is the 1346 to Nuneaton; which at weekends comprises two carriages.
Coventry Arena
[Ken Strachan 31/01/2016]

Vivarail D-Train in the short platform at Long Marston on 17 August 2015. The D-Train, rebuilt around former LU D78 stock, is currently undergoing testing here [see recent news item].
Long Marston
[Ian Dinmore 17/08/2015]

Ex-LU D78 car with ^modified front end^ in the yard at Long Marston on 17 August 2015. The ^modification^ resulted from a controlled crash into a 3 tonne tank of water during testing of the bodyshells, which are being converted to low cost ^D-Train^ DMUs by Vivarail.
Long Marston
[Ian Dinmore 17/08/2015]
Rail News

29/07/2016 Building a Crossrail train - in 30 seconds [BBC]
Timelapse footage shows how the new trains for London's Crossrail project are built by the engineering firm Bombardier. Footage provided by Bombardier

29/07/2016 Bombardier unveils first Aventra EMU for Crossrail [IRJ]
THE first class 345 Aventra commuter EMU for London’s east-west Crossrail link was unveiled to the press by Bombardier and Transport for London (TfL) at Bombardier’s Derby plant on July 29. TfL and Britain’s Department for Transport (DfT) selected Bombardier in February 2014 for a £1bn contract to supply 66 nine-car 25kV 50Hz trains, with an option for 18 more. Each 200m-long nine-car train will accommodate around 1500 passengers, 450 of them seated, with a combination of longitudinal and 2+2 transverse seating reflecting the mixture of “metro”, commuter and airport journeys Crossrail will be used for. [From Richard Buckby]

29/07/2016 Network Rail awards contract to Jacobs for Heathrow Airport link [IRJ]
JACOBS engineering group announced on July 27 it was awarded a contract by Network Rail to provide a second rail link from the Great Western main line to London Heathrow airport, Britain. The work is part of the project to improve connection to the Britain’s busiest airport and create a global gateway for western England. [From Richard Buckby]

28/07/2016 RMT announces five-day August strike on Southern rail network [BBC News]
A five-day strike on the Southern rail network has been announced by the RMT union in a long-running dispute over the role of guards. Members have staged several walkouts, with the next action set for 8 August. Parent firm Govia Thameslink (GTR) wants to use new trains where the driver operates the doors using CCTV, but the union fears job losses and has raised safety fears about the move.
BBC News

28/07/2016 Further ScotRail strikes announced by RMT [Scotsman]
Three more strikes by ScotRail conductors were announced today by the RMT union. The latest dates bring the total to 15. Walkouts will be staged on Sunday, 7 August, Thursday, 11 August and Saturday, 13 August. These come on top of the previously-announced strike this Sunday. The news confirms the union telling The Scotsman yesterday that it was poised to organise more industrial action.

27/07/2016 Work to rebuild platforms at Waterloo Station for Reading trains [BBC News]
Platforms at Waterloo Station are being rebuilt and a new level concourse laid to accommodate longer trains to Reading. The work involves bringing five former Eurostar platforms back into service. It is the first stage in reworking Waterloo - next summer four more platforms at the other side of the station will be rebuilt to increase the station's overall capacity by 30%, according to Network Rail.

Photograph taken from a suburban train leaving Waterloo in the summer of 2005, showing a Eurostar awaiting its departure time at the International Terminal on the west side of the station.
[John Furnevel 24/07/2005]

Eurostars at Waterloo International in September 1995. [See image 39124]
[Ian Dinmore /09/1995]

The western concourse at Waterloo and entrance to the International platforms on 13 November 2007 - the station^s final day as a Eurostar terminus.
[Michael Gibb 13/11/2007]
BBC News

25/07/2016 Queen Street tunnel works complete one day early [Herald]
QUEEN Street station high level will reopen one day ahead of schedule, ScotRail have announced. The work on the tunnel which started in March, will be complete within weeks and services will start to operate again from Sunday August 7, instead of the following day as originally planned.

23/07/2016 Flying Scotsman steams ahead to Shildon railway museum [BBC News]
The Flying Scotsman has been welcomed by hundreds of steam enthusiasts at a railway museum in County Durham. It arrived at the National Rail Museum in Shildon for the start of a 1950s and 1960s inspired event which runs until 31 July. This year a £4.2m 10-year restoration of the locomotive was completed at York's National Railway Museum. Museum manager Gary Campbell said he was 'delighted' to give visitors the chance to get up close to the 'icon'.

Flying Scotsman heading west past Crofton Pumping Station on the GWR Berks and Hants line on 21 May, on time at 1045.
[Peter Todd 21/05/2016]

^The Lord Bishop^ memorial train leaves the north portal of Blea Moor Tunnel on 30 September 1978 behind 4472 Flying Scotsman.
Blea Moor Tunnel
[John Robin 30/09/1978]

4472 Flying Scotsman with the LCGB East Riding Ltd railtour from Kings Cross, seen during a photostop at Louth on 21 September 1968. Part of the large Associated British Maltsters site can be seen on the right.
[K A Gray 21/09/1968]
BBC News

21/07/2016 Glasgow subway will not reopen on time after works delay [BBC News]
The Glasgow subway modernisation works will not be completed on time. Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) has confirmed to the BBC that the contractor Colas Rail, which is working on the renewal works, will need extra time to complete the project, The subway had been suspended from 2 July and was due to reopen on 1 August. SPT gave no reason for the delay, saying Colas Rail had experienced 'a number of issues'. It is thought work could take a further two weeks. The subway operator is now trying to confirm when the system will be functioning again.
BBC News

21/07/2016 Cost of inquiry into Edinburgh tram project hits £3.7m [BBC News]
The cost of the inquiry into the Edinburgh trams fiasco has exceeded £3.7m, BBC Scotland has learned. The probe is investigating what went wrong with the £776m project which went massively over-budget and was completed five years later than planned. It was established in June 2014 by Alex Salmond, then first minister, who said it would be 'swift and thorough'. A spokesman for the Edinburgh Tram Inquiry said it was making 'good progress'. However they were unable to say when Lord Hardie, who is leading the inquiry, was due to report its findings.
BBC News

20/07/2016 ScotRail drivers warn of 'conflict' as train doors row ramps up [Scotsman]
The ScotRail dispute threatens to escalate with drivers’ union Aslef warning that it could be drawn into the row over who controls train doors. Union leaders will next week seek assurances that ScotRail will not introduce more driver-controlled trains. Scotland district secretary Kevin Lindsay told The Scotsman such a move “may lead us into some sort of conflict”.

19/07/2016 Drivers risk collisions at Aviemore railway crossing [BBC News]
Motorists have been failing to stop for lights at a railway level crossing before driving in front of a steam train that operates on the line. Police Scotland said there had been a number of similar incidents at the crossing in Aviemore's Dalfaber Drive over the past week. Strathspey Railway runs a steam train between Aviemore, Boat of Garten and Broomhill. Police said the motorists were committing an offence.

A graphic illustration of what can happen when you ignore the warning lights at an ungated level crossing. This is Dalfaber on the Strathspey Railway where, fortunately, only the car was written off. Photo credit David Gray.
[John Gray 06/04/2005]
BBC News

18/07/2016 RMT announces new strike dates in ScotRail dispute [BBC News]
The RMT has announced two new days of strike action in an ongoing dispute with ScotRail over driver-only trains. The union said it had 'no option' but to stage 24-hour strikes on Sunday 24 and 31 July after the failure of talks through the conciliation service Acas. The union opposes any extension of driver-only trains and wants guards to be in control of operating doors. ScotRail said 59% of customers already travel on a train where the doors are safely opened and closed by the driver.
BBC News

16/07/2016 Another weekend of RMT strikes on ScotRail [BBC News]
RMT union members working for ScotRail have started another two days of strike action. A number of services on Saturday and Sunday will be cancelled or reduced, although ScotRail has claimed that 76% of routes will operate as normal. The industrial action is over the union's concerns about trains operating without guards. On driver-only-operation trains, the driver is asked to close the doors at stations, instead of a conductor. ScotRail has said it would ensure a second member of staff was scheduled to be on board every train to assist the driver in emergencies.
BBC News

15/07/2016 CAF confirms UK assembly plant [Railway Gazette]
UK: Spanish rolling stock manufacturer CAF confirmed to Railway Gazette on July 14 that it is preparing to open a UK assembly plant to support the contracts it has won in recent months. The company says it intends to establish facilities ‘to carry out rolling stock assembly and testing, as well as maintenance’. These will be supported by a new headquarters ‘at a strategic point on the Northern network’. CAF Rail UK currently has a base in Coventry, and has started recruiting technical and management personnel; it expects to announce details of the new facilities ‘in the coming months’. Last year CAF signed a €200m contract to supply 75 coaches for Caledonian Sleeper services between London and Scotland, which are due for delivery in 2018. In January, the company signed a €740m deal with Eversholt Rail Group and Arriva Rail North to supply 43 Civity EMUs and 55 DMUs for the Northern franchise. This was followed in May by contracts from Eversholt and Beacon Rail to supply 12 EMUs and 66 push-pull coaches for FirstGroup’s TransPennine Express franchise.
Railway Gazette

14/07/2016 Italy rail crash: Andria station master 'let crash train go' [BBC News]
A station master in southern Italy has admitted he allowed a train to go on a single track, minutes before a deadly collision with an oncoming train. Twenty-three people died and 52 others were hurt in the head-on crash on a single track between Andria and Corato in the Apulia region on Tuesday. 'I let the train go, I was the one who gave the signal,' Andria station master Vito Piccarreta told Italian media. But he was adamant he was not the only one at fault. Mr Piccarreta, a railway employee with 24 years of service, was quoted by La Stampa and other newspapers as saying: 'I'm not the only one at fault, everyone is blaming me. But I'm a victim too.'
BBC News

14/07/2016 Train crashed after travelling 23mph above speed limit [STV News]
A railway crash that caused a section of line to close for two weeks was caused by a train travelling at 23mph above the speed limit, a report has found. The crash between a moving and stationary freight train involved 18 wagons and a locomotive derailing at a work site near Logan in East Ayrshire on August 1, 2015. There were no injuries but the trains and track suffered 'substantial' damage and a minor road was blocked by one of the wagons. The line between Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, and Dumfries was closed for a fortnight while a crane removed the wreckage from the scene.
STV News

13/07/2016 Sadiq Khan calls for temporary nationalisation of Southern Railway after commuter misery [Independent]
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has called for Southern Railway to come under temporary public ownership after angry commuters protested the train service cancelling 340 trains a day. The mayor has also called on ministers to speed up the process of shifting the responsibility for inner suburban rail services to Transport for London. Trains in and out of London have been subject to severe delays and cancellations after Southern Railway was hit by staff shortages and strikes, leading to an ‘emergency timetable’ having been put in place that saw 15 per cent of trains cancelled.

12/07/2016 Italy train crash: 'Twenty-three killed' near Bari in collision [BBC News]
Twenty-three people have been killed and dozens hurt in a head-on collision involving two passenger trains in southern Italy, officials say. The two trains were on a single-track line at the time of the crash, between the coastal towns of Bari and Barletta. The emergency services have been trying to free passengers from the shattered carriages, near the town of Andria.
BBC News

10/07/2016 Southern Railway: 'Desperate' commuters to hold Victoria station protest [Evening Standard]
'Desperate' commuters on Southern trains are considering a fare strike and will hold a demonstration at Victoria station tomorrow in a 'show of anger'. Hundreds of people have expressed an interest in the rush hour demonstration, scheduled for 5.30pm, claiming lives are being 'ruined' by the company's service. The event is being held on the first day of Southern's emergency timetable, which will see 341 trains a day cut from the network. Operator Govia Thameslink, hit by a series of strikes by staff over the role of conductors, said the changes were necessary after 'unprecedented' levels of train crew sickness
Evening Standard

10/07/2016 ScotRail passengers unimpressed by free hot dogs as compensation for delays [Sunday Post]
RAIL chiefs have been branded silly sausages by disruption-hit rail passengers after they were handed a £5 hot dog by way of compensation for crippling delays. The treat was offered to commuters left frustrated by behind-schedule and over- budget rail improvement works on a tunnel outside Queen Street Station in Glasgow. ScotRail chiefs hired street food specialists Fire Dog to dish out the free snacks “to thank passengers for their patience” during the travel chaos. Earlier this month, it was revealed a major upgrade of the Edinburgh-Glasgow rail line is running seven months late with costs spiralling.
Sunday Post

09/07/2016 All aboard! Volunteer rail service makes Scottish railway history [Guardian]
It has no buffet car, the waiting room is a garden shed and only one of its three hand-built carriages is fully glazed. But for one week only, the train from Leadhills to Glengonnar Halt has become an essential addition to the UK’s rail network. In a rare, perhaps unique, moment in British railway history, a replacement train service has been put on to make up for a closed road. It is normally the other way round. And this service is run by amateurs.

Scene at Leadhills on a wet June day in 2006. The former Wanlockhead and Leadhills Light Railway, closed in 1939, reopened as a 2ft gauge private railway in 1988.
[Colin Miller 04/06/2006]

Leadhills station on the Lowther Railway is built on the site of the former station on the Wanlockhead branch. Visiting O&K 0-4-0T Montalban waits to take a train up the hill in July 1994. A supply of coal is available on the platform to resupply the small bunker on the loco.
[John McIntyre /07/1994]

Looking over Glengonnar station on the Leadhills and Wanlockhead Railway on 26 July 2014.
[John Yellowlees 27/07/2014]

09/07/2016 Rail strike plan to help T in the Park and Scottish Open commuters [Scotsman]
A “well developed” transport plan is in place to deal with disruption caused by rail strikes taking place around major events like T in the Park and The Open, Humza Yousaf has said. The Transport Minister chaired a meeting of the Scottish Government’s resilience committee ahead of the latest planned strikes this weekend and next in an ongoing dispute between ScotRail and the RMT union over driver-only trains.

08/07/2016 Hull Trains rolls out real-time information screens [IRJ]
HULL Trains has become the first operator in Britain to roll-out real-time passenger information screens on its fleet of four five-car class 180 trains which operate 90 services a week between Beverley, Hull and London King’s Cross. In partnership with KeTech systems, Hull Trains trialled the screens last year before making the decision to install them on every train after positive feedback from passengers. The screens display live real-time train running information, fed from the national Darwin system, so that passengers can view precise arrival and departure times as well as information from connecting stations and services. Supplementary information is also available for passengers including departure boards when approaching interchange stations, London Underground status updates and weather conditions at destinations. [From Richard Buckby]

First Hull Trains ^Adelante^ 180111 calls at Grantham on 5 March with the 14.50 service to Hull ex-Kings Cross.
[David Pesterfield 05/03/2012]

First Hull Trains Adelante unit 180113 alongside an HST at Kings Cross on 30 July 2014.
Kings Cross
[Bill Roberton 30/07/2014]

A Kings Cross - Hull express service speeding north through Peterborough station on 11 August 2011, formed by First Hull Trains unit 180111.
[Ken Strachan 11/08/2011]
International Railway Journal

07/07/2016 Landslip-hit Settle-to-Carlisle line section shut until 2017 [BBC News]
Part of the Carlisle-to-Settle rail line damaged by a 500,000 tonne landslip in February is to stay closed until at least March 2017. Network Rail has begun a £23m project to repair the line at Armathwaite which was damaged following heavy rain. The scheme will see hundreds of concrete-filled steel piles driven into the surrounding bedrock in the hope of preventing further landslides. Network Rail has apologised for 'continued disruption' to passengers. [From Mark Bartlett]

07/07/2016 HS2 may be diverted around Sheffield, says report [Rail News]
NEW proposals to solve the dispute about the site of the future HS2 station in Sheffield involve diverting the line east of the city and serving the centre by a spur to the Midland Main Line instead. The plans, unveiled today in a report by HS2 chairman David Higgins, have rejected previous plans to create a new station at Meadowhall on the grounds of expense, and the alternative of reviving the former station at Sheffield Victoria has also been ruled out because it would be intrusive and also costly. The new option proposes that HS2 services between London and Sheffield would use a spur off the high speed line and travel directly to the existing Sheffield station. These trains, potentially running twice an hour, could also call at Chesterfield. [From Richard Buckby]

East Midlands Trains Meridian 222014 stands at Sheffield following arrival from St Pancras on 25 March 2014.
[Bruce McCartney 25/03/2014]

B1 no 61131 at Sheffield Victoria with the penultimate leg of the RCTS Great Central Rail Tour on 13 August 1966. The B1 hauled the special as far as Nottingham Victoria from where 34002 took over for the return to London (Marylebone).
Sheffield Victoria
[K A Gray 13/08/1966]

Looking towards Rotherham from the glass footbridge at Meadowhall as Sheffield Supertram 114 arrives at the interchange. The line of white poles denotes the tram route which turns sharp right just in front of the M1 Tinsley Viaduct to loop back towards the city centre.
[Mark Bartlett 19/03/2011]
Rail News

06/07/2016 Talks break up again in ScotRail dispute [BBC News]
Talks aimed at resolving the ScotRail dispute have broken up, without any progress being made. The RMT union met Abellio ScotRail management for an hour over its plans to change staffing levels on new trains. The two parties held talks twice last week, brokered through the Arbitration and Conciliation Advisory Service (ACAS). On both occasions, they broke up for both sides to consider their positions. Members of the RMT have already staged a number of walkouts in the dispute, and further stoppages are scheduled. They include three of the four competition days at golf's Open Championship, which is being played at Royal Troon next week. The RMT also intends to strike on Sunday 10 and Monday 11 July.
BBC News

06/07/2016 Rail line to close for up to 18 weeks [Gazette]
Rail services between Blackpool and Preston could be halted for up to 18 weeks to allow the completion of upgrade works. The shutdown, revealed in a report prepared for Wyre Council, would take place in the winter of 2017/18 and would see all services between Blackpool, Poulton, Kirkham and Preston replaced by buses. Network Rail has promised to electrify the route by May 2018 and is also replacing outdated signalling and other infrastructure along the line. The work is expected to include a significant rebuild at Blackpool North – including the lengthening and straightening of platforms – a remodelling of the railway at Kirkham and Wesham and the resignalling of the stretch between Poulton and Blackpool which is still operated using semaphore signals and bells. [From Mark Bartlett]

The first visit of a Class 221 Voyager to Blackpool North. Voyager 221105 stands at platform 1 (left) on 25 November 2014 with a proving run from Preston in advance of the daily service to London, due to commence on 15 December 2014. With Blackpool Tower illuminated in the background, Northern Class 142, 150 and 156 units await their next turns.
Blackpool North
[John McIntyre 25/11/2014]

A view of the large circulating area at Blackpool North
Blackpool North
[Veronica Clibbery 17/09/2015]

Elevated view of Blackpool North from the new municipal buildings that now overlook the station. A 150 Sprinter is in Platform 2, while a 158 waits in Platform 6 on a York service. The taxi rank and land beyond were once occupied by the main station platforms which extended back beyond the area now covered by the road.
Blackpool North
[Mark Bartlett 15/09/2014]

06/07/2016 Stuck Tube train leaves '1,000 passengers' to walk tunnel [BBC News]
Up to 1,000 Tube passengers were forced to walk through London underground tunnels after being evacuated from a train, Transport for London (TfL) said. Passengers walked along the tracks for more than five minutes because of a fault with the track led a train to get stuck outside Shepherd's Bush station. The train got stuck outside Shepherd's Bush station at about 18:00 BST. TfL said the evacuation was a 'safe and routine'. Passengers thanked crews for 'leading them into the light.' [From Richard Buckby]
BBC News

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