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24/05/2016 RMT ballot under way over ScotRail’s driver-only trains [Scotsman]
The RMT rail union has begun to ballot conductors for industrial action in a dispute over driver-only train services. Talks between RMT representatives and Abellio ScotRail over the the introduction of new electric and high speed inter-city trains on Scotland’s rail network broke down when the union said it had not received the assurances it had sought on the issue.

24/05/2016 Night Tube: Maintenance workers vote for strike over pay [BBC News]
Maintenance workers on the London Underground have voted in favour of strike action in a dispute over pay linked to the Night Tube service. The new service will begin in August but the Rail, Maritime and Transport union balloted members over staffing and performance-related pay. The union said 85% backed a walkout with a bigger majority in favour of other industrial action. London Underground said it had made a 'fair and sustainable' offer.
BBC News

24/05/2016 New Thameslink train goes on show in London [Rail News]
A NEW Class 700 Siemens-built train for Thameslink is carrying invited guests for the first time today (24 May) on a special showcasing trip from London Blackfriars to East Croydon. The new high capacity trains, built in the German Rhineland, have been arriving for several months and have made numerous commissioning trips from the new depot at Three Bridges. Today's event marks the formal unveiling of the trains in Britain, after test runs with guests on board in Germany.
Rail News

24/05/2016 BBC commissions 'slow TV-like' live trainspotting show [Telegraph]
Trainspotting may be the pursuit of a niche demographic, but the BBC is confident a new live programme dedicated to the “most unique of British obsessions” will be a hit. The newly-commissioned Trainspotting Live on BBC Four will see veteran host Peter Snow and expert friends delight as different trains speed past on major railway lines. Broadcasting live over the course of three nights, the unlikely programme is expected to capture a variety of trains on camera – from classic steam and diesel locomotives, to high-speed electric and rarer engines. Mr Snow will host the show from Didcot Heritage Railway Centre, along with mathematician Hannah Fry, while linking to presenter Dick Strawbridge, who will be stationed at specific spots all over the country. [From Mark Bartlett]

23/05/2016 Night Tube start date set [Rail News]
Twenty-four hour services will launch on London’s Central and Victoria lines in August. Night Tube, as the service has been dubbed, had been due to start in September 2015, but protracted talks with rail trade unions have resulted in a significant delay. The 24-hour weekend service will be trialled on the Central and Victoria lines first before being rolled out across the Piccadilly, Jubilee and Northern lines in the autumn. [From Richard Buckby]
Rail News

23/05/2016 TransPennine Express's £230m north England and Scotland rail deal [BBC News]
A £230m deal for 25 new trains to serve the north of England and Scotland has been announced by rail operator TransPennine Express (TPE). It is part of a plan for two fleets, which will provide 125 carriages made up of electric and InterCity trains. The carriages are being built in Spain after no UK manufacturer took part in the tender process, TPE said. They will operate between Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh and are due to be delivered by 2019. They are to be built by Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF), and will feature 12 five-carriage electric trains and 13 five-car InterCity carriages.
BBC News

23/05/2016 New destinations for Scottish sleeper trains? [Rail]
Oban and Scotland’s Far North could be served by Caledonian Sleeper trains, but funding from authorities would be needed to support the services. CS Managing Director Peter Strachan, speaking exclusively to RAIL on May 6, confirmed that discussions had taken place with user groups regarding running trains north of Inverness, and with business groups for Oban. If the latter happens, he has not ruled out the possibility that extra Mk 5 coaches may have to be ordered from Construcciones Y Auxiliar De Ferrocarriles (CAF). The Spanish company is already building 75 vehicles for CS that will enter traffic in 2018. [From Mark Bartlett]

The Caledonian Sleeper at Oban, diverted from Fort William due to engineering works, topped and tailed with Class 73s. With the arrival of the new stock it is possible the sleeper may split at Crianlarich with portions for Fort William and Oban. Photograph courtesy of Doug Carmichael of the Friends of the West Highland Lines.
[Doug Carmichael 14/02/2016]

View over Oban pier and station from McCaig^s Tower on 10 July. The area of the pier adjacent to the station has become a mini-mall with shops, cafes and restaurants.
[John Gray 10/07/2013]

With a belch of diesel fumes the 12.10 service for Glasgow Queen Street gets underway from Oban on 30 July 2011.
[John Steven 30/07/2011]

22/05/2016 Switzerland's Gotthard Train Tunnel Will Be World's Longest, Deepest [NBC News]
The world gets a little smaller next month with the unveiling of the longest and deepest railway tunnel ever constructed — a feat of engineering under the Alps that will slash journey times across Europe. The Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) in Switzerland is the product of 17 years of work, including cutting through solid rock at depths of up to 7,500 feet. It cost $12 billion — as well as the lives of eight workers.
NBC News

21/05/2016 Swindon and Cricklade Railway vintage train destroyed by fire [BBC News]
A vintage diesel train valued at £100,000 has been destroyed in a fire. Swindon and Cricklade Railway said the train and three wagons were on the track near Hayes Knoll when fire crews arrived on Friday at about 18:00 BST. Dave Peacey, from Swindon and Cricklade Railway, said they had just refurbished it for the coming season and it was 'very hurtful'. Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue said it was investigating the cause of the blaze. Mr Peacey said: 'Back in January and February a team of us refurbished the whole thing inside. 'We repainted it, cleaned all the upholstery and made it look really smart for this coming season. And now of course we've lost it and it's very hurtful. 'It's valued at around about £80,000, but with the three wagons that were adjacent to it that have also been destroyed, the value is in excess of probably £100,000 damage.' The train - a Diesel Electrical Multiple Unit (DEMU) - was built in 1964 and is nicknamed the 'thumper' because of the engine's distinctive noise. It was one of only three in the country. [From Richard Buckby]

A class 207 DEMU, better know as a Thumper, photographed at the 1991 terminus at Uckfield.
[Ian Dinmore //]

BR class 205 ^Thumper^ DEMU no 205009 in Connex livery, standing in the sidings at Warcop on the Eden Valley Railway on 11 May 2006. Built at Eastleigh in 1957, the unit had been withdrawn from operational service at the end of 2004.
[John Furnevel 11/05/2006]

A class 207 Thumper DEMU repainted back into its original colours and with its old BR number stands at Hayes Knoll on the Swindon & Cricklade Railway on 22 November.
Hayes Knoll
[Peter Todd 22/11/2008]
BBC News

20/05/2016 East-West rail franchise being considered [Rail News]
The UK Department for Transport has revealed proposals for a new East-West rail franchise to reflect expectations of future passenger growth. In an updated franchising schedule, the DfT said it was considering a “small” franchise to operate services between Bletchley, Oxford, Aylesbury and Bicester – the western section of the future East West Rail corridor. According to the schedule, the franchise would operate from 2018.[From Richard Buckby]

Currently closed to passengers, there is clearly a major upgrade in progress at Bicester Town in August 2015. The rebuilt station is due to open in October, with trains running between Oxford and London Marylebone via High Wycombe, via the new curve to the east of the town [see image 47183]. In the longer term the station will also be served by trains on the Oxford-Bletchley-Bedford section of the East-West Rail Link, due to open by 2019.
Bicester Town
[Ken Strachan 14/08/2015]

Looking west to the level crossing by the remains of Claydon station on the Buckinghamshire Railway. Many of the rails going east from Shepherd^s Furze have been lifted.
[Ewan Crawford 06/09/2009]

Brick City. Stewartby (originally Wootton Pillinge), Bedfordshire, in 1974, Built to house the workers of the London Brick Co, with kilns and chimneys surrounding the station and dominating the landscape. At its peak, this enormous site boasted 167 chimneys and produced 16 million bricks per day. [Editor^s note: The last bricks were made here on 29 Feb 2008 following a rundown by owners Hanson, due to failure to meet UK limits for sulphur dioxide emissions. The 4 remaining chimneys on the site are now listed structures.]
[Ian Dinmore 16/02/1974]
Rail News

19/05/2016 ScotRail guards to vote on strike action - as bosses brand ballot 'inexplicable' [Herald]
SCOTRAIL conductors will be balloted on industrial action in a dispute over safety. RMT has notified ScotRail management that it will ballot conductors - also known as train guards - over potential strike action, signalling potential disruption to summer services. The ballot will begin on May 24 and close on June 7.

18/05/2016 Flying Scotsman to visit Scotland next year after sell-out trips [Scotsman]
The Flying Scotsman locomotive is expected to return to Scotland next year while ScotRail will run steam trains on the Borders Railway this summer, The Scotsman has learned. The news comes days after the world’s most famous engine attracted thousands of spectators as it travelled through the Borders and Fife on Sunday.

60103 ^Flying Scotsman^ approaching Levisham on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway on 12 March 2016.
[Peter Todd 12/03/2016]

The inaugural public run of restored 60103 Flying Scotsman on 6th Feburary 2016 started in appalling weather but, despite this, vantage points were full of spectators. Soon after departure from Carnforth the A3 is seen approaching the over bridge at Elmsfield near Milnthorpe. The smoke deflectors are clearly needed for main line running - what would the view ahead at this point have been without them?
[Mark Bartlett 06/02/2016]

A new generation of enthusiast enjoying the Flying Scotsman at Tweedbank.
[John Yellowlees 15/05/2016]

18/05/2016 Test runs for Hitachi Class 800 [Northern Echo]
A TRAINBUILDER has tested its new train on North-East lines for the first time, The Northern Echo can reveal. [From Charlie Niven] Hitachi Rail Europe has driven rolling stock on tracks at Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, in a move bosses say represents a landmark moment in their £82m venture. The engine, a Class 800, will eventually deliver services on the East Coast and Great Western lines as part of the Government’s InterCity Express Programme (IEP) to revamp high-speed routes.
Northern Echo

17/05/2016 Landslip could close section of S&C until late 2017 [Rail]
Speculation is mounting that the Settle-Carlisle Line will remain partially shut into the latter half of 2017 and possibly even later, due to the scale of the engineering task required to repair a landslip at Eden Brows (eight miles south of Carlisle). Rail services from Leeds have run only as far as Appleby since February 9 (RAIL 795), when Network Rail shut the route as a safety precaution following the movement of 500,000 tonnes of earth in an embankment above the River Eden. [From Mark Bartlett]

17/05/2016 Craigentinny does it all [Rail Engineer]
Between 21:34 and 00:24 on the night of 15 March, fifteen trains, made up of 115 rail vehicles, arrived for servicing at Craigentinny depot in Edinburgh. Production manager Jim Donnelly has to ensure that each of these trains is fit for service before it leaves the depot again between 04:02 and 08:59... [From Richard Buckby]

Busy scene at Craigentinny Depot. 67013 passes with the Oxwellmains - Powderhall empty ^bins^. The New Measurement Train and a CrossCountry HST are in the yard. Beyond the latter can just be seen 73966, heavily rebuilt for use on the Caledonian Sleeper.
Craigentinny Depot
[Bill Roberton 24/11/2015]

Comings and goings at Craigentinny carriage sidings in September 1959 with Ivatt 2-6-0 no 46461 arriving as B1 4-6-0 no 61007 Klipspringer awaits the road to Waverley station with the stock of The Talisman.
Craigentinny Depot
[A Snapper (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) 30/09/1959]

Motley crew at the west end of Craigentinny yard on 28 September 2007. Locomotives 47787, 67027 and 33029 are seen here from a passing train.
Craigentinny Depot
[John Furnevel 28/9/2007]
Rail Engineer

16/05/2016 Borders Railway extension to Carlisle ‘a realistic prospect' [Scotsman]
EXTENDING the Borders Railway to Carlisle is “a realistic prospect”, according to Scottish Secretary David Mundell. The Conservative MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale - the Scottish constituency closest to Carlisle - has pledged to work with the Scottish Government to deliver the SNP’s manifesto pledge to explore extending the recently re-opened railway line to England.

16/05/2016 Flying Scotsman reaches Scotland after 11th hour Network Rail U-turn [Scotsman]
HUNDREDS of people queued to get a closer look at the world’s most famous locomotive yesterday after Flying Scotsman arrived in Tweedbank following a historic first trip on the re-opened Borders Railway. Steam fans lined the 35-mile route from Edinburgh, with spectators thronging station platforms, footbridges and fields to watch the 93-year-old engine steam by.

14/05/2016 HS2 may not even reach Manchester as Department for Transport faces having project taken out of its control [Telegraph]
HS2 has admitted that “nothing is ruled out” in a cost-cutting exercise which could see sizeable parts of the controversial high-speed project shelved. The Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood and Treasury officials are conducting an urgent review of the £55.7 billion rail line amid growing alarm at its spiralling price-tag.

14/05/2016 Flying Scotsman Borders Railway and Forth Bridge trip back on [BBC News]
The Flying Scotsman will be allowed to run on the Borders Railway and Forth Bridge after a climbdown by Network Rail. Excursion operators were told on Friday the trip must be cancelled because it could not be sure the engine was suitable for the line. Scottish Transport Minister Derek Mackay said Network Rail had now reversed the decision. He had earlier branded the cancellation a 'debacle' and called for an inquiry. Hundreds of steam enthusiasts are planning to turn out to watch the newly-restored locomotive run on the Borders line, which re-opened last September.
BBC News

13/05/2016 Flying Scotsman Borders trip cancelled [BBC News]
Plans to run the newly-rebuilt Flying Scotsman steam locomotive on the Borders rail line have been stopped at the last minute by Network Rail. Steam Dreams, which will operate the excursion, said the late notice cancellation - at 16:40 on Friday - was 'an absolute disgrace'. The Flying Scotsman will operate between York and Edinburgh, before a diesel engine is expected to take over.
BBC News

13/05/2016 No train accident fatalities in Britain for eight years [IRJ]
BRITAIN's Rail Accident Investigation Branch (Raib) says 2015 was the eighth year in a row that there were no passenger fatalities resulting from train accidents, and that Britain's railways remain among the safest in Europe. [From Richard Buckby]
International Railway Journal

12/05/2016 GB Railfreight unveils final Class 66 for the UK [Rail]
GB Railfreight unveiled the final ever Class 66 to be built for the UK and European markets on May 10. In a ceremony at the National Railway Museum, 66779 was named Evening Star. It has been painted in lined express Brunswick green in a similar style to that of the last steam locomotive built, 9F 92220, which was also named Evening Star. The two locomotives were displayed together during the ceremony. [From Mark Bartlett]

BR Standard class 9F 2-10-0 no 92220 Evening Star storms through Settle on 30 September 1978 with the Bishop Treacy memorial special.
[John Robin 30/09/1978]

The last steam locomotive to be built by British Railways in 1960, class 9F 2-10-0 92220 Evening Star, pictured leaving Grosmont (and how) in 1986 while operating on the North York Moors Railway.
[Colin Miller //1986]

BR Standard class 9F 2-10-0 no 92220 ^Evening Star^ waits on the down centre road in York station on 4 July 1976 prior to taking over the NELPG^s ^Scarborough Spa Flyer^, which it will work to the seaside resort and back.
[Bill Jamieson 04/07/1976]

12/05/2016 First Group to run Edinburgh to London budget rail service[BBC News]
A new budget rail service between Edinburgh and London has been given the green light by the Rail Regulator. First Group will run five services a day, with stops at Stevenage, Newcastle and Morpeth, from no later than 2021. It claimed average fares would be less than £25 and there will be only one class of carriage as First Group looks to compete with budget airlines. Stagecoach, which operates Virgin Trains East Coast on the same rails, has warned its revenue will be harmed. The open access agreement is due to last for 10 years.
BBC News

11/05/2016 Crossrail project: New Elizabeth line stations revealed [BBC News]
Images revealing what the stations will look like on the new Elizabeth line when it opens in 2018 have been released by Crossrail Limited. The route will link 40 stations through London and the south east, between Reading and Shenfield. The firm says every station will have a 'distinct character' to reflect the heritage of the surrounding areas. Designs for the railway are on display at the Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba). [From Richard Buckby]
BBC News

11/05/2016 Why this family needed a lifeboat rescue when their train didn’t show up at Berney Arms [Eastern Daily Press]
When your train does not turn up as scheduled, it can be an immensely frustrating experience - but it does not normally necessitate an emergency call-out and a lifeboat rescue. Yet that was the fate of the Coyle family, after a day trip to explore the area around Berney Arms, on the edge of Breydon Water. [From Richard Buckby]

One of the most remote stations in England has to be Berney Arms on the former Yarmouth & Norwich line in the midst of the Norfolk Broads. The short-platform request stop has no road access and is otherwise acessible by foot or by boat on the River Yare. The station was named after the land owner who sold the land to the Norwich & Yarmouth Railway Co.
Berney Arms
[Ian Dinmore /09/2007]
Eastern Daily Press

10/05/2016 Flying Scotsman: Trespass warning for Scotland tour [BBC News]
A safety warning has been issued ahead of the arrival in Edinburgh of the world-famous steam locomotive the Flying Scotsman. It will be hauling special services in the Lothians, the Borders and Fife this weekend. Its return to the tracks follows a 10-year refurbishment and has generated huge excitement among rail enthusiasts. Previous tours in the north of England were marred by trespassing incidents and overcrowding on station platforms. During the famous steam engine's inaugural run earlier this year, some over-enthusiastic fans put themselves in danger.

4472 Flying Scotsman eastbound approaching Skipton station with its Diamond Jubilee special in April 1983.
[David Pesterfield /04/1983]

Gresley A3 Pacific no 4472 Flying Scotsman stands on Ferryhill shed on 16 May 1964, having arrived in Aberdeen earlier that day with the Queens College RTS ^Flying Scotsman Railtour^ from Edinburgh [see image 36107].
Ferryhill MPD
[K A Gray 16/05/1964]

4472 Flying Scotsman with twin tenders attached approaching Scemerston, Northumberland, with a special in the late 1960s.
[Bruce McCartney //]
BBC News

10/05/2016 Disruption looms as HS2 starts station work early [Times]
Rail travellers are facing major disruption at one of Britain’s busiest railway stations as work prepares to start on the country’s new high-speed line – even before the project is given the official go-ahead by parliament. Preparatory work will begin at Euston station in London at the end of this year as part of the first phase of HS2, to run between the capital and Birmingham. It will lead to up to half of platforms at the station being shut every Sunday throughout next year, forcing some train companies to run a reduced service on the west coast mainline.

09/05/2016 Work starts on construction of HS2 colleges [Rail News]
CONSTRUCTION has started on two sites of the future National College for High Speed Rail. A ground breaking ceremony on 9 May marked the beginning of work in Birmingham's university district and and Doncaster Lakeside. The College will provide specialist training, skills and qualifications required to build HS2 and other rail infrastructure projects in future. Transport minister Robert Goodwill said: “This landmark moment means we are one step closer to seeing students walk through the doors of the College in 2017, learning the cutting-edge skills we need to deliver HS2 and world-beating rail infrastructure
Rail News

09/05/2016 The man who has photographed every train station in Great Britain [BBC News]
Passengers on the 15:52 from Norwich to Liverpool Lime Street may not have noticed the man with the camera at Manea station. Manea is a small stop in Cambridgeshire, not far from Peterborough. Two platforms. Easily missed. The man with the camera was David Brewer, from Chorley in Lancashire. And when he photographed the 15:52 from Norwich, his odyssey was over. He had completed the set. He had taken a picture of a train in every railway station in Great Britain.

Standing on the level crossing at Dolau, Powys, in 2002 looking south west towards Llandrindod Wells.
[Ewan Crawford //2002]

Heather closing the level crossing gate at Shippea Hill in May 2011.
Shippea Hill
[Ian Dinmore /05/2011]

The down platform at Chathill, Northumberland, on the ECML, seen in August 2007 looking towards the station exit and level crossing. No passenger facilities exist on this side of the station as train departures (one in the morning and one in the evening) to Newcastle are from the up platform, where a noteworthy passenger waiting room still stands [see image 16285]. Until 1951 Chathill was also the western terminus of the North Sunderland Light Railway, opened in 1898, running to the village of Seahouses on the Northumberland coast.
[John Furnevel 16/08/2007]
BBC News

07/05/2016 Flying Scotsman to travel in secret [The Press]
Details of Flying Scotsman's journeys on the national railway network are being kept secret for safety reasons. Neither the National Railway Museum, which owns the iconic locomotive on behalf of the nation, and Network Rail, responsible for the railway infrastructure, will say where and when she will be. British Transport Police have warned they are prepared to prosecute anyone who goes on the railway tracks to get a better view of her. The decision to withhold her timetable from the public follows scenes on her return to the main line in February after a ten-year refit when people including young children risked their lives by standing on the railway line to get a better view. [From Richard Buckby]

Flying Scotsman south of Hellifield with the Carnforth to Leeds stage of the LNER Society^s ^West Yorkshireman^ on 21st June 1975. The LNER Society organised two tours for this date - these ran combined from Euston to Carnforth, with the other half of the train being taken forward to Ravenglass and Sellafield as ^The Furnessman^ by (6)1306 and Green Arrow.
[Bill Jamieson 21/06/1975]

4472 Flying Scotsman on the turntable at Ferryhill during its 4 hour stopover in Aberdeen on 16 May 1964. The A3 had arrived in the city from Edinburgh with the Queens College RTS ^Flying Scotsman Railtour^.
[John Robin 16/05/1964]

The LCGB East Riding Ltd railtour from Kings Cross stands at Louth, Lincolnshire, on 21 September 1968 behind 4472 Flying Scotsman.
[Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) 21/09/1968]
The Press

KML version