A History of Britain's Railways
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23/04/2019 Deluxe Caledonian Sleeper fleet to roll out for the first time [Scotsman]
Passengers will board the first new overnight Scotland-London trains for nearly 40 years on Sunday, Caledonian Sleeper will announce today. More
Caledonian Sleeper

23/04/2019 Vivarails D-Train enters service [Rail]
THE first example of Vivarails refurbished D-Trains is carrying passengers on West Midlands Trains. The inaugural service left Bedford at 05.16 this morning, bound for Bletchley. Three of the Class 230 units will soon be operating on the Marston Vale line, which is part of the future East West Rail link, More

Battery powered Vivarail D-train 230002 moves out of the yard at Boness on 9th October 2018. The unit took a power charge before public demonstrations the following day.
[Bill Roberton 09/10/2018]

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^ units by Vivarail.
Long Marston
[Ian Dinmore 17/08/2015]

A view from the road above of the ^new^ St Johns station on the Bedford to Bletchley line. The vehicle recovery yard on the right contains four Standard cars - probably one of the largest collections anywhere! The train is the 15.55 from Bedford Midland to Bletchley. [See image 22133]
Bedford St Johns (New)
[Ken Strachan 17/06/2011]

22/04/2019 These are the public transport laws you should be aware of [Scotsman]
This week Labour MP Diane Abbott apologised after a photo showing her drinking a Marks & Spencer canned alcoholic cocktail on a Transport for London overground train was circulated. More

22/04/2019 Slippy floor at Aberdeen train station to be replaced [Evening Express]
The flooring at Aberdeen Railway Station is to be replaced because it is too slippy. More
Evening Express

22/04/2019 Heritage railway fully re-opened after closure [BBC News]
A heritage railway has fully re-opened after closing for three months following a critical inspection by the rail watchdog. West Somerset Railway decided to close in January after the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) recommended improvements to governance and infrastructure. The steam railway is a branch line of the old Great Western Railway and runs from Minehead to Bishops Lydeard. A trial scheme, linking the railway to the mainline, has also been announced. More

Driver to photographer: Did you get my good side? D1015 Western Campaigner is ready at Minehead to return railtour passengers along the WSR to pick up their HST for Paddington.
[Ken Strachan 13/05/2017]

In immaculate maroon livery, Western Region auto - coach, propelled by ex - GWR 0-4-2 tank 1450, prepares to depart from Crowcombe Heathfield for Bishops Lydeard on 2nd October 2014.
Crowcombe Heathfield
[Brian Taylor 02/10/2014]

Ex-Somerset & Dorset 2-8-0 no 88 prepares to take a train out of a sunny Bishops Lydeard station on the West Somerset Railway on 30 May 2010.
Bishops Lydeard
[Peter Todd 30/05/2010]
BBC News

21/04/2019 ScotRail posts worst year on record after ‘hellish’ run [Scotsman]
More than 27,000 trains were cancelled by ScotRail last year – the equivalent of 74 every day – leaving thousands of passengers stranded at stations. More

21/04/2019 New ScotRail performance figures reveal 'year of hell' [Herald]
Scotrail inflicted a year of hell on its passengers, critics claimed, after official figures showed reliability for the last 12 months was the worst since records began. The Office for Rail and Road (ORR) data revealed ScotRail ended 2018/19 with cancellations and significant lateness at the highest level since 1997/98. More

21/04/2019 The next service is from 1965: rail firms run out of trains [Sunday Times]
Rail users face fresh chaos after the late delivery of new trains and the forced withdrawal of older ones leave operators without enough to run a service. One company is hiring 54-year-old locomotives hauling 1970s coaches to cope with the crisis. Others are using mothballed trains from the 1980s. Some are having to cut services by up to half. The unpopular Pacer units, which ministers promised to scrap by the end of this year, may also have to be kept running to handle the emergency. More

Large logo 37402, in Platform 5 at Lancaster station, waiting to form the last loco hauled service to Barrow-in-Furness on 19th May 2018 - the End of an Era, or at least an Indian Summer, of classic diesel haulage.
[Tony Jenkinson 19/05/2018]

Scotrail HST set, led by power car 43148, seen at Dunblane on 21st July 2018
[David Prescott 21/07/2018]

Nearly the end of the line for the Northern Pacers. 142092 approaches the buffers at Morecambe after the short run from Lancaster on 15th January 2019, a scene that has been repeated many times during their long service [See image 20207]. However, this should be the last year of main line duties for these units.
[Mark Bartlett 15/01/2019]
Sunday Times

20/04/2019 Plans for north-east rail project take step forward [Evening Express]
The operator is currently carrying out work for the double tracking of the Aberdeen to Inverness line, in a bid to increase the number of trains on the route. More
Evening Express

20/04/2019 All aboard for new season of Harry Potter train “ but please stay off the line [Press and Journal]
Excited tourists from all over the globe were preparing for 'the trip of a lifetime' yesterday when The Jacobite train pulled out of its buffers in Fort William for its 26th year. More
Press and Journal

20/04/2019 West Coast Main Line works set to cause Easter disruption [BBC News]
Engineering works on the West Coast Main Line are set to cause severe disruption for rail passengers over the Easter bank holiday weekend. Shawfield junction, south of Glasgow, is undergoing a £4m signal and track upgrade which will not be completed until Tuesday morning. Passengers travelling between Scotland and northern England will be affected. Network Rail admitted the work would cause disruption, but said a short-term line closure was unavoidable. More
BBC News

19/04/2019 SNP MP calls for a network of tunnels for Scotland's islands [The Herald]
Linked by lifeline ferry services and at the mercy of the stormy Atlantic, they are among Scotlands most remote communities. Now a Western Isles MP has suggested a way to permanently connect Scotlands islands to the mainland and each other by building tunnels. Angus MacNeil said links under the Sound of Barra, Sound of Kerrera off Oban and between Mull and the mainland would get rid of five ageing CalMac ferries alone. More
The Herald

19/04/2019 First stage of Aberdeen to Inverness rail upgrade to be complete by August [Evening Express]
The first stage of a major north-east rail project is on track to be completed in August, according to those behind the work. More
Evening Express

19/04/2019 Loch Lomond paddle steamer opens to visitors [BBC News]
The last paddle steamer built in Britain is opening up to visitors for the summer season. The Maid of the Loch is undergoing major restoration work at its berth at Balloch on Loch Lomond. From Friday, the public can enjoy the newly-refurbished tea room and go on tours of the boat and nearby slipway. More

The paddle steamer Maid of the Loch photographed on Loch Lomond in September 1955 on one of her regular trips out from Balloch Pier.
Loch Lomond
[A Snapper (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) 06/09/1955]

Maid of the Loch berthed at Balloch Pier in September 2007 alongside the remains of the former station platform.
Balloch Pier
[John Furnevel 09/09/2007]

Pier in use - see the heaving line being thrown - as PS Maid of the Loch berths in 1976. Note the catenary at Balloch Pier station on the far right. Originally opened as Balloch Wharf in 1850, the station closed to passengers in September 1986.
Balloch Pier
[Colin Miller //1976]
BBC News

18/04/2019 ScotRail reduces assisted travel booking time [ScotRail]
ScotRail has reduced the time needed to arrange assisted travel, meaning customers can now book as little as two hours before their journey. Customers who need extra help when travelling on the ScotRail network now have more flexibility in arranging short notice trips, as they used to need to book at least three hours in advance. The reduction in booking time makes ScotRail the fastest at delivering assisted travel journeys in the UK. More

18/04/2019 If TfL couldn't make Crossrail run on time, what hope for the HS2 project? | Phillip Inman [The Guardian]
Transport for Londons reputation has been badly damaged by the projects delays and budget overrunsTransport for London is in a fix. On the one hand it is the most lavishly funded transport organisation in the country. On the other, it is stretched to breaking point operating probably the most extensive and sophisticated network of trains and buses in Europe.Crossrail, the £15bn-plus joint venture with the Department for Transport to build a new rail line across the capital, is making matters worse. More
The Guardian

18/04/2019 Bid to turn Glasgow Queen Street car park into offices [Evening Times]
Plans have been revealed which could see the former Queen Street station car park converted into a large office development. The move follows issues with the original proposal to build a new car park and retail units on the North Hanover Street site. Glasgow City Council say the new scheme, while smaller in level of investment, falling from £80m to £45-50m, is expected to create the same economic impact for the city. [Railscot note: this would occupy the site of the outside platforms and former goods yard.] More
Evening Times

18/04/2019 ScotRail boss responds to north-east communities concerns [Evening Express]
The boss of ScotRail has said they will look into issue of some north-east communities feeling cut off since the changes to train timetables last year. More
Evening Express

18/04/2019 Glasgow rail junctions £4m Easter upgrade [Network Rail]
Network Rail will be delivering a £4m upgrade to a key junction on the southside of Glasgow this Easter. Over the bank holiday weekend, Shawfield junction will be renewed with six sets of points (rails which move to transfer trains from one line to another) replaced and nearly 400m of new track laid. [Railscot note: Shawfield is not a true junction, these are the crossovers at the east end of Polmadie depot.] More
Network Rail

18/04/2019 Crossrail opening may be delayed to 2021 [The Guardian]
Opening of the over-budget London rail project could be pushed back to spring 2021, according to a BBC report, Crossrail's opening date could be pushed back into 2021, as bosses continue to assess the remaining work to be done on the flagship London railway project. A new target is due to be announced next week by Mark Wild, the Transport for London chief executive parachuted in to lead the programme after the extent of delays was revealed last summer. More
The Guardian

18/04/2019 Concerns raised over recent rise in ScotRail trains skipping stations [The Herald]
Concerns have been raised following a recent rise in the number of trains skipping scheduled stations. Figures show ScotRail services failed to pull into stops 149 times in a four-week period towards the start of this year. This compares to a low of just 45 last summer “ and means the number missing stations has more than doubled in around six months. More
The Herald

18/04/2019 ‘Stay off the railway’ warning as electrified lines switched on in Manchester [Network Rail]
The overhead power lines on the eastern side of Manchester Victoria station are now live as work continues to introduce electric trains across the north west. More
Network Rail

17/04/2019 Highland Main Line investment not enough - David Spaven [Scotsman]
Ten years ago the rail freight industry had good cause to feel confident about the prospects for shifting freight from trucks to trains along the Perth-Inverness corridor. In 2008, the Scottish Government's Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR) identified upgrading the largely single-track Highland Main Line (HML) as the third-top priority among 29 road and rail schemes across Scotland. Investment of between £200 million and £450m was envisaged, including 'additional loops, dynamic loops or lengthening of double track sections' designed to benefit both passenger and freight traffic. More

17/04/2019 UK launches interactive map to make train stations disabled-friendly [Railway Technology]
British rail industry membership body Rail Delivery Group has launched an interactive map that will enable passengers to procure information. More
Railway Technology
RDG Access Map

17/04/2019 Rise in helium balloon train delays prompt safety warning [Network Rail]
Helium-filled balloons were today blamed for causing hundreds of train delays for passengers across Britain each year. More
Network Rail

17/04/2019 Irish Rail and Porterbrook order Rolls-Royces MTU Hybrid PowerPacks [Railway Technology]
Iarnrd ireann (Irish Rail) and UK-based rolling stock leasing company Porterbrook have signed contracts to procure MTU Hybrid PowerPacks from Rolls-Royce. More
Railway Technology

17/04/2019 Easter investment for Scotlands railway [Network Rail]
Network Rail engineers will be working around-the-clock this Easter bank holiday to deliver more than £18m of improvements across Scotlands railway. Over 1,500 engineers will work more than 20,000 hours on projects across the country, including major investments in Aberdeen and Glasgow. More
Network Rail

17/04/2019 Barra's mainland ferry service resumes after breakdown [BBC News]
A local councillor blames the disruption which has lasted since the weekend on CalMac's ageing fleet. More
BBC News

16/04/2019 Work under way on Queen Street platform extensions [RAIL]
Network Rail begins platform extension project at Glasgow Queen Street. More

15/04/2019 Train-naming honours Network Rails partnership with Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways [Network Rail]
The name of a Class 97 locomotive was unveiled at a ceremony hosted by Network Rail at Minffordd railway station on Friday 12 April. More
Network Rail

KML version