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13/02/2016 French train 'was 90km/h over limit' before deadly crash [The Local]
A French high-speed train that derailed on a test run in November - killing 11 - was operating at 'massively excessive speed', according to the investigation. The train was on a test run back in mid-November last year when it flew off the rails at a bridge, crashing into the canal below. [From Richard Buckby]
The Local

12/02/2016 Midland Metro LRVs to go catenary-free [IRJ]
WEST Midlands transport authority Centro announced on February 12 that it is planning to upgrade Midland Metro's fleet of 21 CAF Urbos low-floor LRVs for catenary-free operation as part of plans to extend the light rail line through Birmingham city centre. The vehicles entered service last year on the 20km line from Wolverhampton to Birmingham Snow Hill, which was extended to Bull Street on December 6. Trams will begin running to Stephenson Street outside the recently-rebuilt New Street station later this year. Retrofitting the Urbos fleet with roof-mounted batteries will enable catenary-free operation on the next phase of the line, a 1.3km extension from Stephenson Street to Centenary Square, which will open in 2019. This will obviate the need to erect catenary in front of the 182-year-old Town Hall in Victoria Square. [From Richard Buckby]

The light rail side of the station at Birmingham^s Jewellery Quarter [see image 42485] with the 13.26 Midland Metro tram to Wolverhampton St. Georges arriving. (there was a 15-minute interval service, being a Sunday)
Jewellery Quarter
[Ken Strachan 24/03/2013]

Midland Metro tram 04 arrives at the Wolverhampton St. Georges terminus on an early evening service from Birmingham Snow Hill in June 2011. Although the station was built for two track working, and a possible extension, all trams arrive and depart from the same platform. Most of the route follows the old GWR main line apart from a short street running section here in Wolverhampton. [See image 34444]
Wolverhampton St. Georges
[Mark Bartlett 08/06/2011]

A tram heading for Snow Hill stops on a quiet Sunday evening at Lodge Road. West Midlands Metro
Lodge Road, West Bromwich Town Hall [Tram]
[Ken Strachan 09/02/2014]

12/02/2016 Mind the Gap: Great Central Railway to be joined after 40 years [BBC News]
Work to reconnect two parts of a railway line which was divided into two over three decades ago is due to begin later. The Great Central Railway, between Leicester and Nottingham, was left with a 500m gap after a bridge was removed. A new bridge, in Loughborough, will rejoin both parts of the 18-mile (29km) railway, described by its owners as the 'UK's only main line heritage railway'. The £8m project is due to be completed by 2019.

Newly built Pacific 60163 Tornado fresh from Darlington Works (the former Hopetown Carriage Works) is put through its paces on the Great Central line near Loughborough on 10 September 2008.
Loughborough Central
[Peter Todd 21/09/2008]

The Gap at the south end of Loughborough (Midland) station where the former Great Central Railway crossed the Midland main line. The embankment of the former GCR runs off to the left. View south in July 2003.
Loughborough Midland
[Ewan Crawford 14/07/2003]

The GCR Leicester North station slowly thawing out on a quiet January Friday. Notice the brick cutout for the now demolished signal box on the right and the bricked-up entrance to the former Belgrave and Birstall station on the distant overbridge [see image 31066].
Leicester North
[Ken Strachan 15/01/2010]
BBC News

11/02/2016 ScotRail’s new fleet must work from day one [Scotsman]
Inside what looks like a storage container at Waverley Station in Edinburgh lies the future of Scottish rail travel. It doesn’t much resemble a train from the outside, but the interior provides the first glimpse of how hundreds of thousands of Scots will travel over the next few decades.

A full-size mock up of the interior of ScotRail^s new class 385s has been erected at Edinburgh Waverley^s east end. This features first and standard class seating.

Passengers can look forward to more leg room, larger tables and windows, and power sockets.

So, not a modern art installation then.
Edinburgh Waverley
[John Yellowlees 10/02/2016]

Mock up image of a Hitachi Rail Europe Class 385 AT200 train for Abellio^s ScotRail franchise at Queen Street. 70 of these are due to enter service in 2017/2018.
Courtesy Hitachi Rail Europe.
Glasgow Queen Street
[Hitachi Rail Europe 12/03/2015]

The new ScotRail class 385 electric multiple unit to be built by Hitachi. Artist^s impression distributed at the Abellio franchise launch on 1 April 2015.
[Courtesy ScotRail 01/04/2015]

11/02/2016 Proposals for the extension of passenger services between Alloa and Fife [Alloa Advertiser]
PROPSALS to open the Alloa to Fife rail line to passengers has been given fresh hope after the Scottish Parliament referred a public petition to the Longannet Task Force for consideration. The closure of the power station, due to take place in March, may well have a devastating financial effect on Clackmannanshire and the surrounding areas. However, plans were put forth that could arguably soften the blow and open up new economic opportunities using the existing rail infrastructure. Passenger services currently terminate at Alloa, while the line itself runs past Longannet, through the West Fife villages and on to Dunfermline. A public petition, submitted by Martin Keatings, has called for the service to be extended to allow trains to take passengers from Alloa through the Fife circle, without the need to head into Edinburgh first.

Coal empties from Longannet power station on their way back to Hunterston shortly after noon on 9 May 2012 behind EWS liveried 66015. The train has just crossed Helensfield Bridge over the A907 in the centre background [see image 12813] and is now running parallel with the road on the eastern approach to Alloa. The track on the left is part of Alloa East loop.
Alloa Loop
[John Furnevel 09/05/2012]

66107 passes Cairneyhill with a Ladybank - Millerhill engineers train on 19 January. Note the housing now occupying the old goods yard.
[Bill Roberton 19/01/2013]

DMU having just passed the site of Torryburn station on its way to Culross on 21 June 1992 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the town.
[Craig Seath 21/06/1992]
Alloa Advertiser

10/02/2016 Brand new Scottish trains unveiled [Rail]
Two weeks after it unveiled the Class 385 bodyshells, ScotRail has revealed the interiors of the Hitachi electric multiple units it will introduce into traffic from next year. A full-size mock-up of the ‘385’ has gone on display at Edinburgh Waverley. It was unveiled by Scottish Transport Minister Derek Mackay on February 10 and remains on display until March 4.

10/02/2016 Germany train crash: Controller error theory dismissed [BBC News]
German police have rejected as speculation a report that a line controller turned off an automatic safety system shortly before two passenger trains collided in Bavaria. Ten people were killed and scores more were injured, 18 seriously. An unconfirmed report suggested that an automatic braking system had been switched off to allow one of the trains to make up time. But a police spokesman rejected the theory as 'pure speculation'. 'Discard that, we reject that,' a spokesman told local broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk.
BBC News

09/02/2016 Highland Spring freight plan changed after local backlash [Courier]
Bottled water giant Highland Spring has scaled down controversial plans for a new Perthshire freight depot after a backlash from neighbours. The firm sparked a row with a bid to expand its rail yard at the edge of Blackford, installing a huge crane and creating storage space for hundreds of shipping containers. Bosses said the project would help slash the company’s carbon footprint and help the business grow. But the proposal has come up against a wall of opposition from the village, with more than 60 people writing to council planners calling for the scheme to be scrapped.

09/02/2016 Germany train crash: Several killed in Bavarian town of Bad Aibling [BBC News]
Two passenger trains have collided in the German state of Bavaria, with police saying several people have been killed and scores injured. The head-on crash happened at Bad Aibling, a spa town about 60km (37 miles) south-east of Munich. One of the trains was derailed in the crash and several carriages were overturned, German media reported. Police said rescue teams were trying to free people still trapped in the wreckage.
BBC News

07/02/2016 Carlisle to Newcastle trains set to resume [ITV News]
Trains between Carlisle and the North East will resume tomorrow (Monday 8 February). Rail services have been disrupted since a huge landslip at Farnley Hough, near Corbridge, in January. Network Rail revealed last week that it planned to re-open the line on 8 February providing there were no further setbacks, and it has confirmed today that services will resume as planned.
ITV News

06/02/2016 Flying Scotsman's mainline return after £4.2m revamp [BBC News]
One of the world's most famous locomotives has returned to the West Coast mainline. Flying Scotsman is travelling from Carnforth on the West Coast Main Line following a £4.2m restoration project, which has taken 10 years. The engine, which was retired from service in 1963, has been restored for York's National Railway Museum by Riley and Son Ltd, based in Bury. Low-speed tests have taken place along the East Lancashire Railway. The locomotive is in its black undercoat and sporting wartime numbers. It will painted in its new green livery next week after the test run.

^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]

General view over the workshops at the National Railway Museum in June 2013. The locomotive hiding at the back, disguised in wartime black livery and carrying the number 502 is Flying Scotsman. [See image 26937]
National Railway Museum York
[John Furnevel 06/06/2013]

4472 Flying Scotsman with ^Pegler^s Pullman^ about to run into Waverley^s east end platforms on 9 May 1964 following its journey north from Doncaster. [See image 25500]
Edinburgh Waverley
[Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) 09/05/1964]
BBC News

05/02/2016 Tram plan to replace Isle of Wight rail line [BBC News]
Trams could be the answer to saving a dilapidated Isle of Wight rail line, a council-commissioned report has stated. The Island Line between Ryde and Shanklin, which can only run using old tube trains, could be dug up to be replaced with the 'light rail' service. With passenger numbers falling and annual £3.5m losses, trams would be more 'efficient' and 'low cost'. The report comes after the government announced plans to remove the service from the next regional train franchise. [From Richard Buckby]

Adams 0-4-4T no 30 Shorwell simmers at the buffer stops at Ryde Pier Head station in the summer of 1961.
Ryde Pier Head
[K A Gray 16/08/1961]

Station scene at Sandown, Isle of Wight, in February 1988. On the right are two of the local trains based on ex-London Transport tube stock, while on the left BR Class 03 0-6-0 DM no 03079 stands with permanent way vehicles. The locomotive, which also carried the numbers D2079 and 97805 during its lifetime, is now preserved on the Derwent Valley Light Railway.
[Ian Dinmore /02/1988]

05/02/2016 Royal Mail 'secret' railway on track to reopen next year [Guardian]
A little known railway that ran under Londoners’ feet for almost a century, with its tunnels in places running within a few feet of packed underground commuter lines, will open to the public for the first time next year. A £26m project backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund is rebuilding the Royal Mail museum at Mount Pleasant in central London to hold its vast collection and archives, and restoring a stretch of the railway as a visitor attraction. The Mail Rail opened in 1927, the first driverless electric railway in the world, with trains running every five minutes at peak hours along a network of 22 miles of 2ft-gauge lines, shuttling mail safe from road traffic and weather between two main railway stations, Paddington and King’s Cross, and six major sorting offices.

04/02/2016 Two shortlisted for South Western franchise [Rail News]
FirstGroup and Stagecoach have been shortlisted for the next South Western franchise. The franchise, which begins in June 2017, includes services operated out of London Waterloo to Reading, Bristol, Exeter, Weymouth and Portsmouth. The franchise also cover the Island Line on the Isle of Wight. Rail Minister Claire Perry said: “The South Western franchise has some of the busiest routes in the country, serving a diverse range of passengers and places. “It is vital that we have the best partner to help us meet the challenge of delivering better journeys for all customers using these services. “We are investing in additional capacity, and have ambitious plans for smart ticketing, customer service and improved connectivity across the South Western network, to give passengers real benefits across the region and beyond.” [From Richard Buckby]

Ten cars of South West Trains class 444 stock head South at Eastleigh on the through lines in August 2013.
[Ken Strachan 01/08/2013]

Looking over the terminus at Portsmouth Harbour on 18 October from the 2nd floor of the Spinnaker Tower.
Portsmouth Harbour
[Peter Todd 18/10/2013]

Pre-rush hour line up of SWT 444 and 450 stock in the depot sidings at Clapham Junction. These sidings sit between the Richmond and Wimbledon line platforms. Serving both Waterloo and Victoria termini, the number of trains moving through Clapham Junction at any given time has to be seen to be believed.
Clapham Junction
[Mark Bartlett 16/01/2009]

03/02/2016 Night tube: Breakthrough as RMT urges members to accept deal [Telegraph]
The biggest London Underground union is to recommend acceptance of a pay and conditions deal for an all-night Tube in London in a big breakthrough for the planned service. The executive of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union decided to urge members to accept the latest offer from LU, clearing a big hurdle for an all-night Tube. [From Mark Bartlett]

02/02/2016 Eight-month closure planned for GOBLIN electrification [Rail News]
Network Rail and Transport for London (TfL) have confirmed that London Overground’s Gospel Oak to Barking Line will be closed for eight months while electrification works are carried out. The Gospel Oak to Barking Line, sometimes referred to as GOBLIN, will be partially closed from early June to late September – trains will still run between Gospel Oak and South Tottenham on weekdays – and then fully closed from October to February 2017. To accomodate the new OLE gantries, the electrification project will require some sections of track to be lowered and bridges to be rebuilt. Work will also be carried out at stations, lengthening platforms to accomodate the new fleet of Class 710 EMUs, which will enter service in 2018. [From Richard Buckby]

31/01/2016 Britain's railways doing well despite privatisation [Independent]
Britain’s first privatised train service, which ran 20 years ago this week, was a bus. In the early hours of 4 February 1996, a handful of passengers travelling from Fishguard to Cardiff in South Wales found themselves on the A40 trunk road. Engineering work meant the brave new world of privatisation began with a rail-replacement service from Fishguard to Cardiff. As the train drivers’ union, Aslef, says with a touch of irony, “The honour of working the first privatised train fell to the crew of the 05.10 Twickenham to Waterloo.”

Class 450 electric units on Portsmouth line services operated by South West Trains, standing at the buffer stops at Waterloo Station on 24 July 2005.
[John Furnevel 24/07/2005]

Class 455 5707 nears Twickenham with a Waterloo-bound train, looking west from from London Road bridge in 1987. The original Twickenham station was located in the foreground, the present station to the east of the bridge dates from 1954. Twickenham Junction is in the distance.
Twickenham [1st]
[Bill Roberton /01/1987]

An InterCity 125 HST arriving at Cardiff Central in 1990 on a service from Paddington.
Cardiff Central
[John McIntyre /08/1990]

29/01/2016 Edwina Hart dismisses cross-border trains 'threat' [BBC News]
Claims direct cross-border rail services could be under threat due to devolution have been dismissed by Wales' transport minister. Edwina Hart accused UK officials of 'ignorance' amid suggestions passengers could have to change trains on some services between Wales and England. Responsibility for the Wales and Border network will be devolved in 2017. A Department of Transport spokesman said no decisions would be made without considering local views. Services from Aberystwyth to Birmingham and Milford Haven to Manchester via Cardiff, are among routes which could be affected.
BBC News

28/01/2016 Borders Railway passes 500,000 passenger mark [BBC News]
The Borders Railway between Tweedbank and Edinburgh has passed the 500,000 passenger mark less than five months after it opened. The line opened to the public in September last year. More than 125,000 people used it in its first month and the total has now gone past half a million.
BBC News

27/01/2016 ScotRail Class 385 EMUs under construction [Railway Gazette]
UK: The first of 70 Class 385 electric multiple-units ordered by Abellio for the ScotRail franchise is now under construction at Hitachi’s factory at Kasado in Japan. The first seven of the 25 kV 50 Hz EMUs are to be built in Kasado, with the remaining 63 to be produced at Hitachi’s UK plant in Newton Aycliffe.
Railway Gazette

27/01/2016 Call for Borders Railway extension to Carlisle renewed during Lamington work [BBC News]
Campaigners say the closure of the West Coast Main Line due to storm damage has strengthened their case to extend the Borders Railway to Carlisle. Repair works are expected to continue at the Lamington Viaduct in South Lanarkshire until March. The Campaign for Borders Rail said taking the line beyond its Tweedbank terminus would create an alternative route between Edinburgh and Carlisle. A feasibility study is planned into the viability of lengthening the route. The Edinburgh to Tweedbank line opened to passengers last year but the CBR would like to see that taken on to Carlisle in due course. 'The current terminus of the Borders Railway at Tweedbank between Galashiels and Melrose should only be regarded as temporary,' said chairman Allan McLean.
BBC News

26/01/2016 Newburgh rail station bid gathers steam [Courier]
Campaigners for a train station in Newburgh have vowed their fight will gather steam after a report on its economic benefit emerged. Newburgh Train Station Group wants a full appraisal to be conducted as soon as possible to allow the Scottish Government to consider reopening the town’s stop.

Newburgh signal box - late 1970s.
[Bill Roberton //]

The station forecourt at Newburgh, Fife, in the summer of 2005, looking west. The main station building lies straight ahead, partially hidden amongst the trees, with the Perth - Ladybank line running beyond (part of the surviving platform canopy can just be seen). Ahead and to the right lay the surprisingly large goods yard, with a number of its former buildings now put to commercial use [see image 1624]. The case for reopening the station, which closed to passengers in September 1955, has been taken up recently by a local lobby group.
[John Furnevel 21/06/2005]

View west over the former Newburgh station in January 2007.
[Brian Forbes 27/01/2007]

25/01/2016 Welsh Government preparing for takeover of domestic rail services [Rail News]
The Welsh Government has launched a public consultation for the next Wales and Borders rail franchise. In early 2017, the Welsh Government is expecting to assume responsibility from the Department for Transport (DfT) to award franchises for its domestic rail services. The new Wales and Borders franchise, which starts in 2018, includes proposals for a metro-style rail service around Cardiff and South East Wales. Transport Minister Edwina Hart said: “For the first time decisions about our railway services will be taken in Wales to ensure we have the high quality, effective, and affordable service we need. “I am expecting real benefits to passengers, including faster journey times, higher quality services, improved reliability and less overcrowding. [From Richard Buckby]
Global Rail News

25/01/2016 Dangerous occurrence at Lamington Viaduct [RAIB]
Rail Accident Investigation Branch: Investigation into trains passing over an undermined Lamington Viaduct, South Lanarkshire, 31 December 2015. [From Mark Bartlett]

Detail of the Network Rail poster at Glasgow Central showing the damage and repairs to Lamington Viaduct.
[John Yellowlees 11/01/2016]

Aerial view of Lamington Viaduct looking east over the works to repair damage caused during Storm Frank. Network Rail have announced that works will continue throughout February. Network Rail news item.
[Courtesy Network Rail 18/01/2016]

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. 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.
[John Furnevel 02/01/2016]

23/01/2016 Isle of Man horse tram service ends after 140 years [BBC News]
The Isle of Man horse tram service is to be terminated after 140 years, Douglas council has confirmed. A spokesman for Douglas Borough Council said the service, which has been in existence since 1876, was 'no longer financially viable'. The council said the decision had been taken 'with very great regret' at a special meeting in Douglas on Thursday. [From Richard Buckby]
BBC News

22/01/2016 CAF to supply 98 trains for Britain's Northern franchise [International Railway Journal]
BRITISH rolling stock leasing company Eversholt Rail announced on January 22 that it has signed contracts with Arriva Rail North and CAF to finance and procure 281 regional multiple unit vehicles for the new nine-year Northern franchise, which starts in April. The £490m order comprises 31 three-car and 12 four-car EMUs together with 25 two-car and 30 three-car DMUs, all of which are due to enter service by December 2018. [From Richard Buckby]
CAF Press Room

21/01/2016 Great Western Railway electrification 'four years late' [BBC News]
The electrification of some routes across the south of England is running four years late, Network Rail said. The rail operator, which has estimated its project could cost £2.8bn, is carrying out the work on the Great Western railway line. It was originally due to be finished by 2018, with most diesel trains replaced. However, some routes due to be completed before then will not be ready until 2020, resulting in new trains sitting in sidings.
BBC News

21/01/2016 Transport for London to take over suburban rail routes [BBC News]
Transport for London (TfL) has announced it will be taking over the running of the capital's suburban rail network. It will take over the routes as the various rail franchises come up for renewal. The new partnership between the Department for Transport and TfL says it aims to ensure there are more frequent trains and increased capacity. The first rail franchise up for renewal is South West in 2017.

Comings and goings at Cannon Street in July 2005. View east along the Thames past the twin 120 ft red brick towers and walls that once supported the magnificent trainshed roof. The remains of the roof were removed in the 1950s following substantial bomb damage sustained during World War II.
Cannon Street
[John Furnevel 23/07/2005]

Southeastern Networker 465934 arriving at London Bridge station in June 2011.
London Bridge
[Ian Dinmore /06/2011]

You get an unbeatable view of railway landmarks from The London Eye. View north across the Thames towards Charing Cross station in August 2009.
Charing Cross (London)
[Alistair MacKenzie 23/08/2009]
BBC News

20/01/2016 New railway station will be 'gateway' to Edinburgh [BBC News]
Edinburgh's newest railway station is on schedule to open by the end of the year, Network Rail has said. The 'Edinburgh Gateway' has been designed to allow rail passengers travelling from the north to reach the city's airport more easily. An interchange will allow them to complete their journey to the terminal building by tram. The £41m station is being built next to the Gogar roundabout on the A8 and will also have a link to the Gyle Centre. The station is part of the Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Programme, which will see the electrification of railway lines in central Scotland.

View from the front of westbound Tram 266 about to turn west at the Gogar Depot junction after passing below the A8 on 31 May 2014. Edinburgh Gateway interchange is planned to open here by the end of 2016, with the tram stop round to the left and the railway station on the embankment to the right. [See image 46620]
Edinburgh Gateway [Tram]
[Alasdair Taylor 31/05/2014]

The new structure at Edinburgh Gateway rises. This is the construction site as viewed from a tram.
Edinburgh Gateway
[John Yellowlees 04/10/2015]

View over part of the construction site which will become the new Edinburgh Gateway interchange on 11 November 2015, seen from the down side of the line. The 0941 Inverness - Edinburgh is about to run south through the platforms while in the background the 1300 Edinburgh - Dundee is heading for the Forth Bridge.
Edinburgh Gateway
[John Furnevel 11/11/2015]
BBC News

20/01/2016 Borders Railway signals runaway success amid local boost to economy [Times]
The Borders Railway is on track to smash its passenger target after a surge in demand to travel on the reopened route. More than 350,000 people used the new Waverley line in the first three months of its existence. The total is more than half of the annual passenger figure of 647,000 that was projected for the 30-mile Edinburgh to Tweedbank route. Business owners have reported that profits have soared since the line re-opened in September, while Abbotsford, the area's most famous tourist attraction, has reported a 63 percent increase in takings.

^Hello! It^s good to be back!^ The first scheduled passenger train on the Borders Railway calls at Newtongrange on 6 September 2015 on its way from Tweedbank to Edinburgh.
[John Furnevel 06/09/2015]

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.
[Colin McDonald 06/09/2015]

Full house at the terminus as the steam special brought in by 60009 prepares for its departure from Platform 2 at 14.38, headed by the out-of-sight 67026, and 158782 forms a subsequent service for Waverley in Platform 1.
[Andrew Wilson 24/09/2015]
Times editorial

KML version