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20/10/2017 New Great Western Railway trains fixed after software upgrade [BBC News]
New trains which were taken out of service after problems hampered their first days in use, have been fixed. They were stopped on Wednesday with issues including water leaking from air conditioning systems on to commuters. On Monday, the first of the four Intercity Express Trains (IET) destined for Wales from London was cancelled. Great Western Railway said the faster and bigger trains, which are designed to run for the next 27 years, are working again after a software upgrade. More
BBC News

19/10/2017 New London to Cardiff trains pulled over 'teething' issues [BBC News]
Four new trains have been taken out of service on the Great Western Railway network after their launch was plagued by issues. The first destined for Wales from London - the 08:15 BST to Cardiff was cancelled on Monday. Issues included water leaking from air conditioning systems on to commuters. A GWR spokesman said the new Intercity Express Trains have received a software upgrade to fix issues and will return to service soon. More
BBC News

19/10/2017 ScotRail electric train makes first short trip [BBC News]
The first journey on the new electric ScotRail route took place early on Wednesday morning. The Class 385 train travelled between Edinburgh and Linlithgow, the first trip on the electrified line. It is one of 70 trains being introduced to Scotland's busiest route, from Edinburgh to Glasgow via Falkirk. The project has been hit by delays and risings costs. Further testing is needed before a launch date will be decided 'at the turn of the year'. More
BBC News

18/10/2017 UK railway news round-up - Forres [Railway Gazette]
ScotRail services began calling at the relocated Forres station between Inverness and Elgin on October 17. The replacement station was built by BAM Nuttall; AFM Electrical Ltd acted as subcontractor to Kelly Rail for electrical works. More
Railway Gazette

16/10/2017 Fault delays new high-speed train's first journey from Bristol to London [BBC News]
Broken air conditioning and a 41-minute delay have overshadowed the launch of the UK's new fleet of high-speed trains. The Hitachi 800 engine will be faster and carry more passengers and will run on GWR for the next 27 years. But passengers on the first Bristol to London service arrived late and some had to dodge drips as water leaked from an air conditioning unit. More
BBC News

16/10/2017 Signs of the times: Trove from golden age Britains railways to be auctioned [Yorkshire Post]
The ghosts of the golden age of British railways will go under the hammer with the sale of one of the most remarkable collections of railway heritage. Hundreds of rare railway signs, including many from stations that disappeared in the 1960s and 1970s, are to be auctioned following the death of their owner. Included is a sign from Dilton Marsh Halt in Wiltshire, the station whose threatened closure in 1969 prompted poet John Betjeman to pen his famous poem named after the station in its defence. The station survived the threat of closure but was renamed Dilton Marsh. The sale includes over 250 signs and many other items from railways, London Underground and London Transport dating from the early years of the 20th century up to the 1970s. More
Yorkshire Post

14/10/2017 Hogwarts Express rescues family stranded in Highlands [BBC News]
A family stranded in the Scottish Highlands have been rescued by the 'Hogwarts Express' steam train. Jon and Helen Cluett and their four young children were staying at a remote bothy in Lochaber when their canoe was swept away by a swollen river. Facing a long walk back to their car across boggy land, they phoned the police for advice. To their delight, they arranged for the steam train used in the Harry Potter films to pick them up. More

Fireman^s view of the climb up the side of Loch Eilt 9/8/17.
Loch Eilt
[Alan Hardie 09/08/2017]

By Loch Eilt.
Loch Eilt
[Ewan Crawford //]

A Fort William - Mallaig train skirts the south shore of Loch Eilt in 1982.
Loch Eilt
[Colin Alexander //1982]
BBC News

13/10/2017 Edinburgh to London in 45 minutes - Branson reveals Hyperloop plans [Scotsman]
Sir Richard Branson has invested in a Hyperloop firm which he claims will transport passengers between London and Scotland in 45 minutes. The billionaires Virgin Group has formed a partnership with Los Angeles-based Hyperloop One, which is developing a method of propelling passengers and freight in pods through low pressure tubes at high speed. Virgin described it as the worlds most revolutionary train service. More

12/10/2017 Hitachi unveils first UK built commuter trains at Newton Aycliffe factory [BBC News]
TRAIN builder Hitachi has unveiled the first UK built commuter trains to be completed at its Newton Aycliffe factory. The trains made their appearance to the hit song, 'Right here, right now' by Fatboy Slim this morning. A fleet of 70 Class 385 trains will, say Hitachi, transform journeys for the ScotRail commuter routes, including Edinburgh to Glasgow. The Class 385 marks the first commuter train to be built by employees at Newton Aycliffe. Last year the facility produced its first intercity train which is now due to enter passenger service later this month on the Great Western route. More
Northern Echo

11/10/2017 Edinburgh Tram Inquiry: Lawyer knew information was false [BBC News]
A lawyer has admitted he knowingly allowed false information about Edinburgh's tram contract to be submitted to the council. Andrew Fitchie said he accepted the legal implications amounted to fraud. He accepted that he allowed information about changes in the burden of risk in part of the contract to be submitted to Edinburgh City Council in May 2008 despite knowing it was false. He said he knew that was potentially a criminal and civil offence. Mr Fitchie told the tram inquiry that senior people at Tie, the company set up to manage the project, would also have known the information presented was inaccurate. More

Aaarrgghhhhhh... they^re back! Engineers using Lego on the re-activated tram works on Princes Street on 17 September in an attempt to reduce costs and speed up the project!
Princes Street [Tram]
[Bill Roberton 17/09/2011]

Looking towards Shandwick Place from the west end of Princes Street on 22 June 2012, showing a cast concrete base now in place running from the end of the in situ eastbound tram track.
Princes Street [Tram]
[David Pesterfield 22/06/2012]

Looking down South St David Street towards Princes Street on 20 September 2008. The cordoned off area, behind which tram works are now well underway, has one official notice displayed alongside an unofficial addition courtesy of a passing wag. [The official notice reads ^Catch the first tram 2011^.]
Princes Street [Tram]
[John Furnevel 20/09/2008]
BBC News

10/10/2017 HITRANS Autumn Newsletter [HITRANS]
The HiTrans Autumn Newsletter contains many interesting railway items.

Elgin: the loop is being extended at the west end over Wards Road. Signal control is passing to Inverness. New power points will give access to Elgin Yard which will become a ScotRail overnight stabling depot.

Forres: The new two-platform station is due for completion soon, allowing trains to cross without delay. Waterford level crossing is to be closed, with access via the new bridge over the railway at the new station.

Inverness Airport, Dalcross: Provision of a new railway stop at Inverness Airport is dependent on closure of the Dalcross (Petty) level crossing. The Case for Closure is being drawn up by Network Rail.

Inverness Rail East: Given the scale of developments east of the A9, HITRANS proposed to investigate the feasibility of providing stations at Seafield, Inverness Campus/Beechwood, and Stratton.

Inverness Railway Station: The £6 million upgrade of the railway station featuring improvements to the faade and concourse and introduction of new retail outlets is under way.

At Rose Street, work is under way to create new fuelling and CET (toilet tanking) facilities for the new Virgin Trains East Coast Inter-City Express trains. Further work will entail the provision of shore supplies to the platforms.

Invergordon: Talks are being held with ScotRail regarding a possible upgrade of the Inverness-bound platform (currently under the eaves) and new signage to benefit passengers from cruise liners berthed at the port looking for independent off-boat excursions. More

07/10/2017 Self-driving trains to run on Londons rail network for first time [Evening Standard]
Self-driving trains will run on Londons rail network for the first time. The trains than can accelerate and brake more efficiently than those operated by a driver will be brought in under plans to boost the number of services at packed city centre stations. Testing is currently being carried out on the Thameslink line through central London. More
Evening Standard

06/10/2017 Rail work calls a halt to train services for 10 days [Press and Journal]
There will be no trains between Inverness and Keith for 10 days from today [6th] as major rail work begins. The line will be closed as engineers get to work on the Aberdeen-Inverness Improvement Project, in which platforms will be extended, new crossing barriers and CCTV installed and almost three kilometres of new track laid. More
Press and Journal

05/10/2017 Fresh rail strikes hit services across England [BBC News]
Rail strikes across England are under way for the second time this week. RMT union members at Southern, Merseyrail, Arriva Rail North and Greater Anglia have begun a 24-hour walkout. The industrial action is over plans to make train doors driver-only operated. Rail companies have said this means a guard is no longer needed but some workers believe safety procedures would be compromised. Union members at South Western have also voted to strike, but any action first needs to be agreed with the executive body. The operator said it planned to increase numbers of drivers and guards and urged its staff to 'avoid premature strike action'. More
BBC News

02/10/2017 Hammond to announce 'more money' for Northern Powerhouse rail [BBC News]
Chancellor Philip Hammond is to announce an extra £300m to improve rail links in northern England, in a speech to the Conservative Party conference. Plans to electrify the whole Trans-Pennine route have been in doubt. But the new money will be used to ensure HS2 will link to faster trains between Liverpool and Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds and York - so-called Northern Powerhouse rail. More

View from the station footbridge at Leeds on 19 March.
[Veronica Clibbery 19/03/2015]

Two Northern Electrics sit in the north side platforms at Lime Street station on 6th April 2017. 319450, newly arrived from Preston, is as yet unbranded but 319382, waiting on the right to depart to Warrington, has full Northern livery.
Liverpool Lime Street
[Mark Bartlett 06/04/2017]

A bright morning at Manchester Piccadilly shows a Class 142 Pacer having just arrived from New Mills Central ready for a quick turnaround to work a service to Rose Hill Marple. In nearby platforms a Class 323 will shortly work a stopping train to Crewe and the Voyager will start its journey to Bristol Temple Meads. Departing 3 minutes later and running on the Up Fast the Bristol train should pass the Class 323 as it makes its second stop at Heaton Chapel.
Manchester Piccadilly
[Malcolm Chattwood 11/03/2016]
BBC News

01/10/2017 Alstom and Siemens announce merger [Rail News]
FRENCH train-builder Alstom is to merge its rail business with German-based Siemens Mobility. The new company is intended to be a European champion, competing more effectively with the Chinese state-owned rolling stock builder CRRC. More
Rail News

01/10/2017 Is Europe's ghostliest train station about to rise again? [BBC News]
It was one of the world's most opulent railway stations, sitting imposingly on the French-Spanish border - but then it fell into disrepair. Now, writes Chris Bockman, the building is showing new signs of life. More

Canfranc International Station with RENFE 592 Railcar.
[Alistair MacKenzie //]

Canfranc International Station on the SNCF-RENFE Pau - Canfranc - Saragossa Line
[Alistair MacKenzie 07/03/2011]

French end of the Trans Pyrenees Tunnel on the SNCF-RENFE Pau - Canfranc - Saragossa Line
[Alistair MacKenzie 07/03/2011]
BBC News

01/10/2017 Passengers stuck as ScotRail skips stations [Sunday Times]
About 60 scheduled train stops are being skipped every day on Scotlands rail network, leaving commuters stranded and undermining confidence in public transport. Figures obtained by the Scottish Greens indicate that between January and August, trains failed to stop on 12,885 occasions at stations where passengers had expected to get on or off. They include transport hubs, such as Glasgows Partick, where trains failed to stop 320 times during the seven months. Other stops most affected include the citys Anniesland (435), Westerton (340), Dalreoch (324), Renton (246), Hillfoot (229), Glasgows High Street (227) and Dumbarton East (210). More
Sunday Times

30/09/2017 Historic Edinburgh railtrack sign restored to former glory [Scotsman]
Spot the difference ... it's not hard! Network Rail Scotland and Railway Heritage have worked together to restore a historic sign seen by many on their rail commute. More

30/09/2017 Mumbai railway station stampede kills 22 amid heavy rain [BBC News]
A stampede on a footbridge at a Mumbai railway station has left 22 people dead and injured more than 30, Indian officials report. The tragedy occurred during the morning rush hour at Elphinstone station, which connects two major local lines. It was triggered by overcrowding and people seeking shelter from monsoon rains, the officials said. More
BBC News

29/09/2017 Major boost for Levenmouth rail campaign [Scotsman]
The Levenmouth rail line in Fife has taken a significant step towards becoming the next in Scotland to be re-opened after ministers agreed to re-examine the case for the route. Transport minister Humza Yousaf has told MSPs the business case for the restoring the link should consider its wider benefits. More

The 07.10 Leeds-Aberdeen NXEC service passes Thornton Junction on 24 August with power car 43206 on the rear. On the right is the junction for the Methil branch. Local news reports suggest Network Rail is to officially cease maintenance on the line (although there appears to be little evidence of any such work in recent years) despite current hopes of passenger and freight revivals.
Thornton Junction
[Bill Roberton 24/08/2009]

Four track bridge over River Leven which carried track to the power station and the Wemyss Coal Lines. The buildings were sadly demolished in 2011.
Methil Power station
[Brian Forbes 01/06/2007]

View west over the station site at Cameron Bridge towards the recently upgraded and extended Diageo distillery complex on 22 August 2008. The former Leven Railway route to Thornton Junction runs off to the right. Discussions have taken place regarding the possible reopening of the section to handle future rail based freight traffic at the distillery. Such a move would also give added impetus to the proposal to reopen the line through to Levenmouth, currently being pursued by the local authority in conjunction with Transport Scotland.
Cameron Bridge
[John Furnevel 22/08/2008]

25/09/2017 Dutch giant bails out ScotRail after losses make mockery of 'profiteering' claims [Herald]
HOLLAND's nationalised railways have bailed out ScotRail with a multi-million loan after the train operator suffered its first loss in more than a decade. After nearly a year of accusations of 'profiteering' in Scotland, Netherlands-based Abellio has confirmed it has effectively been subsidising service improvements north of the border. More

23/09/2017 Transpennine route to become UKs first digital railway [Global Rail News]
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has announced plans to install a traffic management system on the Transpennine route, creating what would be the UKs first digitally controlled intercity rail corridor. Network Rail is being given up to £5 million to look at the feasibility of implementing digital traffic management between Manchester and Leeds. The money will come out of a £450 million digital railway fund announced in the autumn. Announcing the upgrade proposal, the Department for Transport (DfT) highlighted the use of in-cab signalling systems on the London Underground, Thameslink and the Elizabeth line. Although it promotes the benefits of in-cab signalling, the announcement only specifically references traffic management for the Transpennine route. More
Global Rail News

21/09/2017 Rail extension among key Scottish Borders Council goals [BBC]
The administration of Scottish Borders Council has unveiled its five-year vision for the future of the region. It includes the ambition of seeing the Borders Railway extended to Hawick and beyond, with proposals developed to take the line to Carlisle. Improved broadband, better business investment and helping to diversify town centres are other key goals. The document, developed by the Conservative and independent coalition, covers the period from 2017 to 2022. The report, called Connected Borders, contains a wide range of goals for the local authority. More
BBC News

20/09/2017 David Shepherd, wildlife artist obituary [Telegraph]
David Shepherd, the wildlife, aviation and steam train artist, who has died aged 86, enjoyed great popularity with the public, if not with the critics. Yet he worked indefatigably, ceaselessly producing paintings to immense commercial success, and supporting animal causes through his wildlife charity. His paintings often depict proud elephants, and have appeared as prints, table mats, posters and commemorative plates, all of them employing a magic formula of high theatricality combined with bold, dazzling paintwork. More

Reminiscent of a David Shepherd painting perhaps... the artist^s BR 9F 2-10-0 no 92203 Black Prince emerging from the smoke and steam at Winchcombe on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway on 7 December 2008.
[Peter Todd 07/12/2008]

BR Class 4MT 4-6-0 no 75029 ^The Green Knight^, built at Swindon Works in 1954 and purchased by artist and steam enthusiast David Shepherd following its withdrawal by BR in 1967. Now owned by the NYMR the locomotive is seen here at Whitby on 1 September 2013, awaiting its departure time with a train for Grosmont. Definitely looking much better than it did for much of 2010... [see image 28429].
[John Steven 01/09/2012]
Eastern Daily Press
Somerset Live

20/09/2017 New Trains in Full Operation Across Thameslink Route [Rail News]
Passengers travelling between London Bridge, Gatwick Airport and Brighton now have brand new Thameslink trains that are up to three times longer giving more space and more seats. Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has withdrawn the last of its older trains from this off-peak service, replacing them with cutting-edge Siemens Class 700 carriages. More
Rail News

19/09/2017 Underground drivers to stage 24-hour strike [Rail News]
DRIVERS on London Underground are set to walk out for 24 hours on 5 October in a dispute over working hours. Widespread disruption to services seems inevitable if the strike goes ahead. A vote by ASLEF members, in which just over half the workforce took part, produced a majority in favour of a strike by eight votes to one. Finn Brennan, the unions organiser on London Underground, said the dispute had been caused by the failure of LU to deliver on the commitments they made to improve work life balance as part of the 2015 pay settlement. More
Rail News

19/09/2017 Southern, Merseyrail, Arriva Rail North and Greater Anglia rail staff strike [BBC News]
Workers from four different rail companies are to stage two 24-hour strikes in continuing disputes over the role of guards and driver-only trains. Members of the RMT union at Southern, Merseyrail, Arriva Rail North and Greater Anglia will walk out on 3 and 5 October. The walk outs will coincide with the closure of Liverpool Lime Street station for major refurbishment. It will also be during the Tory Party's annual conference in Manchester. More
BBC News

16/09/2017 Commuters hit by third delay to ScotRails new electric service [Scotsman]
The launch of electric trains on the main Edinburgh-Glasgow line has been delayed for a third time leaving them more than a year late. Commuters will not be travelling on the new Japanese-designed fleet until early next year rather than December, ScotRail told The Scotsman. More

15/09/2017 Parsons Green: Injuries after London Tube train blast [BBC News]
London Underground passengers have been injured following an explosion on a District Line train in south-west London. Police and paramedics were called at 08:20 BST (07:20 GMT) on Friday to Parsons Green station in Fulham. Pictures show a white bucket on fire inside a supermarket bag, but does not appear to show extensive damage to the inside of the Tube train carriage. Witnesses described seeing at least one passenger with facial injuries. Others have spoken of 'panic' as alarmed passengers left the train at Parsons Green station. More
BBC News

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