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27/02/2017 Transport Minister launches Scotlands Guide to the Benefits of Using Rail Freight [Transport Scotland]
This short electronic guide is aimed at promoting rail freight capabilities to companies and public sector organisations unfamiliar with the benefits this can bring to their logistics chain Recommending the Guide to businesses across Scotland and beyond, Mr Yousaf said: 'Rail freight offers multiple benefits from improving bottom-line costs, reliability, resilience and environmental performance, through to corporate social responsibility in being better for the environment, and for local communities. More
Transport Scotland
Delivering Your Goods - Benefits of using Rail Freight [PDF]

27/02/2017 Double decker trains may ease Edinburgh-Glasgow overcrowding [Scotsman]
Using double decker trains to transport passengers between Edinburgh and Glasgow could help solve the countrys rail crisis, according to Scotlands former transport minister. Alex Neil says introducing double decker services on busy routes could help bring an end to overcrowding on trains and open up the possibility of cut price fares. But Union leaders have branded the idea pie in the sky. Speaking to the Sunday Herald, the ex-SNP cabinet minister claimed double decker trains would increase passenger numbers and lead to a growth in revenue. More

Double deck trains at The Hague^s Central station, a terminus. View looks north towards the buffers.
Den Haag Centraal
[Ewan Crawford 08/03/2014]

Scene in the sidings in downtown Vancouver on 11 May 2012 showing one of the West Coast Express double deck push-pull units. Five trains run inbound to Vancouver from Mission in the morning, lay up in sidings during the day and return to Mission in the late afternoon/early evening. [See image 39070]
Vancouver Waterfront
[Malcolm Chattwood 11/05/2012]

A Double decker Coradia Duplex emu, built by Alstom in 2004-05 and designated Class Z 26500 by SNCF, awaits its next Transport Express Régional (TER) turn at Grenoble, having received attention from the local neds... sorry graffiti artists.
[Andrew Wilson 02/05/2012]

27/02/2017 Gwynedd rail line still closed after damage [BBC News]
A railway line in Gwynedd is to stay closed after it was damaged during Storm Doris. Engineers have been working to repair the line after a large tree fell onto the track between Llanrwst and Blaenau Ffestiniog on Thursday. But the work has unveiled an unstable rock formation directly next to the track which requires further attention. Network Rail said it would be 'unsafe' to reopen the line on Monday as planned. More
BBC News

26/02/2017 Tram driver's view of Manchester city centre [BBC News]
Footage from a driver's cab has been released as a new £165m city centre tram line opens. The route passes historic landmarks such as Manchester Town Hall, the Royal Exchange Theatre - once dubbed the 'largest room in the world' - and the Corn Exchange, before it reaches the more contemporary National Football Museum. More
BBC News

25/02/2017 'Short-sighted' Borders Railway vision claims denied [BBC News]
The Scottish government has defended the Borders Railway after claims the infrastructure vision for the project was 'short-sighted'. Think-tank Reform Scotland said the route had been left with limited potential for expansion. It said the Edinburgh to Tweedbank line had shown thinking was 'too small' and planning 'too short-term'. More

158739 and 158720 head north over the Gore Glen bridge with the 09.45 from Tweedbank to Edinburgh.
Gore Glen Bridge
[Bill Roberton 27/09/2015]

Still leftover traces of an early morning mist hanging over the countryside on 18 October 2015 as the 0945 Sunday service from Tweedbank crosses the A7 viaduct at Hardengreen and begins to slow for the Eskbank stop.
Hardengreen Viaduct
[John Furnevel 18/10/2015]

Probably the most short-sighted piece of infrastructure on the entire Borders Railway - Overbridge 41 at Cowbraehill between Tynehead and Falahill, looking south on 15th July. Under Transport Scotland^s original specification this section of the route would have been double track. Following the cutback from 16 miles to just 9 miles of double track on the railway, this will now be single - and, in the absence of ^passive provision^, any future attempt to double here will require complete demolition of the bridge (carrying a farm access road).
[David Spaven 15/07/2014]
BBC News

24/02/2017 Alastair Dalton: All change for the better at Scotlands most historic stations [Scotsman]
They used to be thriving community hubs, even with only relatively few trains a day. But latterly, despite being served by more trains than ever before, many of Scotlands railway stations have had as desolate an air as shut-up seafront buildings out of season. Now, their fortunes are changing once again, thanks to an inspired programme by successive operators of the ScotRail franchise and the Railway Heritage Trust. The dedicated small team involved is nearing the remarkable milestone of finding a new use for buildings at all of the dozens of listed stations across the country. More

Acres of glass at Gleneagles.
[Ewan Crawford //]

Gray Street level crossing, Broughty Ferry, on 23 May 2007. Looking west along the platforms towards Dundee.
Broughty Ferry
[David Panton 23/05/2007]

Disbelief plus annoyance is the reaction of some bleary-eyed arrivals at Dunblane on the morning of Sunday 9th March 2014. At close of business the night before, there had been two footbridges linking the platforms, but by dawn, only one remained, and that did not allow exit on the west side of the station. Some were faced with a long walk around... Removal of the council owned footbridge pending construction of a new version with lifts by Network Rail temporarily revealed the southern aspect of the original Victorian footbridge for the first time since the early 1970s. [See image 4210]
[Mark Dufton 09/03/2014]
Railway Heritage Trust

23/02/2017 HS2 high speed railway on track for final approval [BBC News]
The go-ahead has formally been given for the first phase of the HS2 high speed rail link between London and Birmingham. After three years of debate in parliament, royal assent has been approved. More
BBC News

23/02/2017 Buckingham group awarded £22m Worcestershire Parkway contract [RTM]
Worcestershire County Council has appointed Buckingham Group to construct the new Worcestershire Parkway station, with a completion date set for Winter 2018-19. The scheme for the station, close to junction 7 on the M5, is worth £22m and construction will commence on the project in autumn. The new build will serve passengers with a single platform on the North Cotswold line and two other platforms on the Birmingham to Bristol line as it aims to address Worcesters poor accessibility to and from London as well as create easier connections to the CrossCountry network. The council has promised to deliver a fully accessible modern station building including a 500 capacity car park and easy access to onward transport routes via local bus services with a bus/rail interchange. [From Richard Buckby] More

22/02/2017 Tower train marks end of Welsh coal era at Aberthaw [BBC News]
There was no ceremony this time but the penultimate train carrying coal from Tower Colliery to Aberthaw arrived bang on time. The power station in the Vale of Glamorgan has been taking Welsh coal for decades but this 1,450 tonne delivery on Wednesday afternoon was one of the final ones. More

About to pass through Cardiff Central on 20 October is 66175 with a train of imported (!) coal from Avonmouth Docks on its way to Aberthaw Power Station.
Cardiff Central
[Bill Roberton 20/10/2015]

The loading pad at Hirwaun for Tower Colliery, looking east during an escorted visit in 2002. The loading pad was connected to the deep mine by a very long conveyor.
Tower Colliery Loading pad
[Ewan Crawford //2002]
BBC News

22/02/2017 Firm asks businesses to get on board with railway hub idea [The Courier]
Railway stations across Perth and Kinross could be transformed into business hubs in an initiative championed by local entrepreneurs. Their idea would see empty units turned into places for local businesses and organisations to operate from. More

Plaque unveiled today at Gleneagles by Andy Savage RHT and Fred Garner of Taylor Woodrow.
[John Yellowlees 05/05/2016]

Minister for Transport and Islands, Derek Mackay, formally launched the Strathallan Community Rail Partnership today. The announcement was made at Gleneagles Station, which benefitted from a recent £7 million upgrade funded by Scottish Government, Tactran and Perth and Kinross Council ahead of the 2014 Ryder Cup. Building on this successful event the venue was also awarded the rights to host Solheim Cup in 2019.

This new partnership, funded by Transport Scotland and the Abellio ScotRail franchise, aims to foster greater community engagement between the railway, the public and local business along the Bridge of Allan – Gleneagles corridor.

From left to right
Phil Verster, ScotRail Alliance managing director
Mark Byrne, ScotRail station team manager
Derek Mackay, Minister for Transport and Islands
Roger Brickell, Strathallan CRP convener
[SNS Group image.]
[ScotRail 15/12/2015]

Black 5 No 44871 hauling The Great Britain IX north to Inverness. Pictured approaching Gleneagles.
[John Gray 30/04/2016]
The Courier

22/02/2017 Southern guards in 24-hour walkout after failed talks [BBC News]
Guards on Southern trains have walked out on strike for the 29th time in their long-running row over safety. Talks between the Rail Maritime and Transport Workers union (RMT) and Southern broke down last week in the 10-month-long dispute. It centres on Southern's plan to make conductors on-board supervisors, giving drivers control of carriage doors. Southern said it expects to run 'around three-quarters of its normal service', despite the industrial action. The rest will either be cut completely, be replaced by bus services, or run with fewer carriages than normal. More
BBC News

21/02/2017 Ordsall Chord bridge lifted in [Rail News]
The largest crane in the UK was used to hoist a 600-tonne bridge into place on the Ordsall Chord today. The scheme will link all three of Manchesters main railway stations Piccadilly, Oxford Road and Victoria for the first time. [From Richard Buckby] More
Rail News

20/02/2017 Night Tube drivers balloted over strikes [BBC News]
Drivers on the Night Tube are to be balloted over strike action as part of a long-running dispute over jobs. The Rail Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) said it was balloting members over a block on career progression, which it said had been imposed by London Underground. It said drivers had been prevented from moving into vacant full-time jobs that Night Tube station staff were able to. More
BBC News

19/02/2017 First scheduled steam train service used by 5,500 people [BBC News]
More than 5,000 people travelled on the first timetabled steam train service on the Settle to Carlisle railway line in 50 years, Northern Rail has said. Tornado, the newest steam locomotive in Britain, pulled 12 Northern services over three days from 14 -16 February. The company described the event as 'a remarkable success' and has not ruled out running similar services again. It was part of celebrations to mark the upcoming reopening of the line after landslides closed a long stretch. More
BBC News

18/02/2017 Settle to Carlisle line on track for March reopening [RTM]
Considerable progress has been made on plans to reinstate the iconic Settle to Carlisle railway ahead of its scheduled reopening next month. The railway was closed in February last year after flooding to the River Eden in Cumbria caused 500,000 tonnes of earth under the railway to slip on 31 January 2016, meaning that the tracks fell 2.5 metres below their normal level. The £23m repair work involves engineers driving two rows of high-strength piles (steel tubes filled with concrete) into the bedrock of the Eden gorge, north of Armathwaite something that engineers hope will futureproof the track in the area. [From Richard Buckby] More

The ^Cumbrian Mountain Express^ on its return journey south via the Settle & Carlisle route on 25 February 2012. The train is passing through Smardale behind Britannia Pacific no 70013 Oliver Cromwell.
Smardale Viaduct
[Jim Peebles 25/02/2012]

Clan Line at Ribblehead on 30 September 1978 with the southbound memorial tour The Lord Bishop, dedicated to the memory of the recently deceased Bishop Eric Treacy.
[Ian Dinmore 30/09/1978]

If I were you I would close that window...! Scene on the Settle & Carlisle on 30 April 1966, with Britannia Pacific no 70035 Rudyard Kipling about to plunge into Armathwaite Tunnel with the returning South Yorkshireman No 5 railtour from Carlisle.
Armathwaite Tunnel
[Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) 30/04/1966]

17/02/2017 New hourly rail service ahead of schedule [Arbroath Herald]
The Scottish Government is looking to introduce a planned new hourly rail service covering Arbroath, Carnoustie and Monifieth in May of next year. More

DRS 66426 runs through Arbroath on 24 October 2016 at the head of the 1223 Grangemouth - Aberdeen intermodal.
[Sandy Steele 24/10/2016]

On the platform at Arbroath is a Dundee and Angus College barrel-train.
[John Yellowlees 30/04/2016]

The Borders Railway liveried unit takes the message to the North East with this Edinburgh to Aberdeen service at Arbroath on 19/10/2016. As scheduled it ran non-stop between Haymarket and Dundee to the consternation of two passengers in my hearing. Despite all the information available these days people are still getting on the wrong trains!
[David Panton 19/10/2016]
Arbroath Herald

17/02/2017 Northern line extension: Machines lowered into place to begin work on £1.2bn Tube extension [Evening Standard]
In the shadow of the old Battersea Power station a crane lowers the first of two huge drilling machines named Helen and Amy - to begin tunnelling on what will be the £1.2 billion Northern line extension. The tunnels will extend the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line from Kennington to Battersea Power station via Nine Elms - bringing the Tube network to a huge area of south London currently devoid of Underground services. More
Evening Standard

17/02/2017 ScotRail payouts to passengers hit £2,000 a day [BBC News]
ScotRail had to pay out more than £2,000 a day in compensation to passengers during a period of disruption to services. Figures obtained by the Scottish Conservatives showed the firm paid out £587,572 from April to December 2016. The majority of the cash was handed out for delayed trains, while some was a 'gesture of goodwill'. A spokesman for ScotRail said it encouraged passengers to claim back money for delayed services. The data, obtained under freedom of information rules, showed that 40,002 passengers were paid compensation over the nine-month period. More
BBC News

16/02/2017 Aslef members reject Southern deal [BBC News]
Aslef members have rejected a deal with Southern Rail that would have ended a long running industrial dispute. More
BBC News

16/02/2017 Train Disruption after Anderston Station Roof Fall [BBC News]
Officials are investigating after part of the roof of a Glasgow railway station collapsed. Train services were halted after the damage was discovered in the early hours of Thursday. More

A green liveried 320 spotted at Anderston on Friday 5th August in the afternoon.
[Veronica Clibbery 05/08/2016]

Anderston was a more atmospheric (or do I mean gloomy?) place before the white suspended ceiling was installed above the island platform. Here it is in July 1998, looking westwards. [See image 27786]
[David Panton 17/07/1998]

Looking west along Argyle Street towards Anderston station in April 2007.
[John Furnevel 08/04/2007]
BBC News

16/02/2017 Network Rail on track to save £14m a year [Rail News]
THE first formation flying engineering trains in the world have been deployed successfully by Network Rail, and it is hoped that the technique will save the company at least £250,000 a week in compensation payments. Until now, major maintenance schemes had resulted in a legacy of speed restrictions after a possession was over, because new track needed time to bed in. The restrictions triggered payments to operators under delay attribution rules and could also delay passengers. The pioneering technique was tried out on the East Coast Main Line in Bedfordshire this month, when switches and crossings were being replaced. [From Richard Buckby] More
Rail News

15/02/2017 Hitachi Rail Italy begins production of bi-mode trains for GWR [IRJ]
HITACHI Rail Europe announced on February 15 that production has begun at Hitachi Rail Italys Pistoia plant on the first of 36 class 802 inter-city trains for Great Western Railway (GWR). In 2015 GWR placed a £361m order through leasing company Eversholt Rail for 22 five-car and seven nine-car trains. An option for seven additional nine-car sets was subsequently exercised in August 2016. The trains will be introduced on services from London Paddington to Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance from December 2018. [From Richard Buckby] More

14/02/2017 Settle-Carlisle line: Tornado powers 12 scheduled services [BBC News]
Timetabled services on a world-famous railway line have been powered by steam for the first time in decades. Tornado, the newest steam locomotive in Britain, will pull 12 Northern services on the Settle-Carlisle line over three consecutive days. It is part of celebrations to mark the upcoming reopening of the line after landslides closed a long stretch. More

Heading for London King^s Cross, A1 Pacific no 60163 Tornado races along the East Coast Main Line near Musselburgh on 25 July 2012 hauling ^The Elizabethan^ Diamond Jubilee Special.
[John Gray 25/07/2012]

A1 no 60163 ^Tornado^ at the head of the Royal Train having recently arrived from Preston at Manchester Liverpool Road station, now part of the Museum of Science and Industry. The photo is taken from Lower Byrom Street looking west through the gates of the museum. The chimneys on the roof of the building behind the loco are part of the station building.
Manchester Liverpool Road
[John McIntyre 04/02/2010]

Tornado emerges from the Calton Tunnel with the Auld Reekie on 28 February 2009
Edinburgh Waverley
[Norman Bews 28/02/2009]
BBC News

11/02/2017 No-frills mini trains offer route to reopening lines that Beeching shut [Sunday Times]
A new generation of no-frills trains is being manufactured under plans to open up little-used branch lines closed by Dr Beeching in the 1960s. Ultra-cheap trains powered by truck engines, built using lightweight materials and running at low speeds, may be introduced within the next two years as part of a £4 million trial. More
Sunday Times
Daily Mail

10/02/2017 ScotRail warns transport police merger plan could lead to delays [Scotsman]
The Scottish Government wants to merge British Transport Police (BTP) functions into Police Scotland in a move which has been criticised by staff associations. ScotRail, the countrys largest rail operator, said the plans were likely to impact on how quickly incidents are dealt with and could lead to a loss of specialism on the network. Under the Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill, BTPs operations north of the Border will be taken over by Police Scotland. It is expected the majority of BTP officers will transfer to the national force, although staff associations have suggested that some may leave. More

09/02/2017 Northern rail conductors to be balloted in guard row [BBC News]
Northern rail conductors are to be balloted for strike action. The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said members will vote on whether to take action, citing a failure by the company to give assurances on the future use of guards on trains. The union is involved in a row with Southern Rail on the same issue and also recently announced a ballot of its members on Merseyrail. Northern called the move to ballot staff 'extremely premature'. More
BBC News

09/02/2017 Major road and rail improvements for Buchan take step forward [Press and Journal]
Multimillion-pound proposals to reintroduce a railway line north of Aberdeen and upgrade the regions busiest road have taken a step forward. Transport partnership Nestrans is currently considering how to overhaul road and rail links in Buchan and has now appointed two consultancy firms to explore how the project could be delivered. American engineering firm Aecom has been commissioned to review the rail infrastructure, while transport consultant group Systra will investigate how the A90 between Ellon and Peterhead could be improved. [From Charlie Niven] More
Press and Journal

09/02/2017 SCOT-FAIL Outrage as ScotRail passengers left in 100-metre queue at Glasgow Central AFTER their journey [Sun]
SCOTRAIL have been branded a disgrace after commuters were left in a queue stretching over 100 metres to buy tickets after their journey. A picture taken at Glasgows Central Station yesterday morning shows a line of disgruntled travellers stretching in to the distance as they wait to leave the platform. More

08/02/2017 Parcel plan offers new life for Intercity 125 trains [Financial Times]
The train is promising to take the strain of some of the booming market in ecommerce deliveries, after a rail freight operator revealed plans to use old Intercity 125 trains to whisk parcels from Yorkshire to north London. More
Financial Times

08/02/2017 Ceremony marks rebuilding of Ballater Station after fire [BBC News]
A ceremony has been held to mark the start of work to rebuild a historic railway station in Royal Deeside which was destroyed by fire. The Old Royal Station in Ballater was ravaged by the blaze in May 2015. The old station had been the final stopping point for members of the Royal Family heading to Balmoral. More

Ballater station following the fire in May 2015 - main station entrance.
[Drew McLelland 18/05/2015]

The next train to Aberdeen via the Deeside line stands at the platform at Ballater in July 1962. Closure of the line came 4 years later.
[R Sillitto/A Renfrew Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) /07/1962]

The main entrance to the former Ballater station on 3 November 2005.
[John Furnevel 03/11/2005]
BBC News

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