A History of Britain's Railways
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29/08/2016 Scottish councils increase funding bids for reopening stations [RTM]
More money has been offered to support the reopening of two stations on the East Coast Main Line in Scotland. Following talks with transport minister Humza Yousaf and the South East of Scotland Transport Partnership (SEStran), Scottish Borders and East Lothian councils have both increased their proposed funding for the reopening of Reston and East Linton stations. The Scottish Borders Council has now promised £2.84m for Reston station and the establishment of a local rail service between Edinburgh and Berwick-upon-Tweed. [From Richard Buckby]

The 1000 Kings Cross - Edinburgh Waverley passing Reston on 29 July 1967 behind D9010 King^s Own Scottish Borderer.
[Dougie Squance (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) 29/07/1967]

Looking east along the ECML from the old station footbridge at East Linton on 16 May 2007. The surviving platform buildings connect to the substantial structure incorporating the former Station House beyond.
East Linton
[John Furnevel 16/05/2007]

26/08/2016 Class 707 breaks cover [Rail Engineer]
You might have read about the Siemens Class 700 Desiro City trains that are under construction for Thameslink. A total of 1,140 of the vehicles are being built at the Krefeld factory in Germany. These vehicles will form 55 twelve-car units, each capable of carrying 1,754 passengers, and 60 eight-car units. The first of these new trains have already been delivered to the UK through the Channel Tunnel and put into service. At the same time, Siemens has been designing and developing a new class of train, the Class 707. This is also an electric multiple unit and it is being built by Siemens for South West Trains working in conjunction with Angel Trains, the leasing company involved. [From Richard Buckby]
Rail Engineer

24/08/2016 Rail travellers warned to expect months of disruption [STV News]
Rail travellers are being warned to expect months of disruption as work begins on the electrification of routes in central Scotland. ScotRail said customers should expect changes to services between Edinburgh, Perth, Dunblane and Stirling after 8.30pm on Sunday to Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings. Buses will be brought in to replace trains on portions of each route, the operator said. Services between Glasgow, Alloa, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness will also be diverted before 11am on Sundays. The works are expected to run from Sunday, September 4, until Thursday, March 31, with a break for the festive period.
STV News

22/08/2016 Restoration of a once busy mine railway in remote moorland valley [Northern Echo]
WORK will soon begin on restoring an abandoned mine railway, which during its Victorian heyday supported a bustling industry in a quiet moors valley. The North York Moors National Park Authority is to restore part of the former Rosedale Mineral Railway, in the remote and picturesque area of the moors near Pickering, which once delivered ironstone to the region. The work, which was approved at the park authority’s planning meeting last week, will involve repairing damage caused by a landslip along the route near Rosedale East.

High on the North Yorkshire Moors in July 1986. The Old Kilns near Rosedale goods station on the network of ironstone lines from Battersby.
[Colin Miller /07/1986]

Scene high on the North Yorkshire moors at Rosedale in October 2013 showing the trackbed and kilns associated with the iron ore workings that once dominated the area. The freight only route from Battersby closed in 1929.
[Peter Todd 06/10/2013]

By 1968 the winding house at the top of the Ingleby Incline (65 chains at 1 in 5 and 1 in 6) on the Rosedale railway had gone. The line closed in 1928 and the final locomotive lowered down the incline in 1929. The line served ironstone mines.
Ingleby Incline Head
[John Thorn /03/1968]
Northern Echo

21/08/2016 Services resume after West Coast Main Line derailing [BBC News]
A derailed train which blocked the West Coast Main Line between England and Scotland has been put back on the rails, National Rail has said. The engineering train came off the track near Carnforth, Lancashire, at 08:20 BST, affecting Northern Rail, TransPennine Express and Virgin Trains. Some services were cancelled and a replacement bus service was provided but trains are now running. Some continuing delays were predicted as train services resumed. The National Rail Enquiries website said Virgin Trains passengers travelling to/from Glasgow Central/Edinburgh could use Sunday tickets on services running on Monday.
BBC News

20/08/2016 Night Tube begins in London after year-long delay [BBC News]
The Night Tube has been launched in the London Underground - almost three years since the plan was first announced. Trains now run on the Victoria and Central lines on Fridays and Saturdays between 00:30 BST and 05:30. London Underground expects 50,000 people to use the Night Tube each weekend, rising to 200,000 once all five lines are open. The service had been intended to launch in September 2015 but was delayed due to strikes over pay.

Looking south across Kensington High Street towards the entrance to the London Underground station late in the evening on 24 July 2005.
High Street Kensington
[John Furnevel 24/07/2005]
BBC News

18/08/2016 Edinburgh Trams: Inquiry could lead to prosecutions [BBC News]
The inquiry into the Edinburgh trams fiasco could lead to criminal prosecutions, the judge chairing the investigation has said. Lord Hardie said his inquiry must not rule on, and has no power to determine, a person's civil or criminal liability. But he said: 'that does not mean nobody will be prosecuted as a consequence of their involvement in the project'. The former Lord Advocate is preparing to take evidence from councillors and the public affected by the disruption. He said the inquiry 'is not merely an academic exercise' given City of Edinburgh Council's indications it may extend the line, and said public co-operation was vital to enable him to make recommendations about future projects.

Crowds eagerly waiting to board trams at Gyle Centre around 10.30am on Saturday 31 May 2014, the first day of public services.
Gyle Centre [Tram]
[Alasdair Taylor 31/05/2014]

Edinburgh Trams progress. Pouring cement on Princes Street, 18 August 2009.
Princes Street [Tram]
[Bill Roberton 18/08/2009]

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

18/08/2016 Scotrail launches the first two new Glasgow rail services [Evening Times]
Scotrail has launched the first two new trains which will run on cross-Glasgow services. The refurbished trains, which will operate from Glasgow Central Low Level and will have wifi from next month, have been leased as part of a £475million train improvement programme. They will have better lighting, extra cycle space and at-seat power sockets. Seven revamped trains will run at a rate of one every few weeks between now and October on routes between Milngavie/Dalmuir and Motherwell/Larkhall/Cumbernauld via Glasgow Central Low Level.
Evening Times

18/08/2016 PICTURES: Scotland's brand new train leaves Japan for the UK [Rail]
The first Class 385 electric multiple units to be built by Hitachi in Japan for ScotRail have set sail for Europe. One train will be delivered to the UK, while the second will move to the Velim test track in the Czech Republic for testing.

18/08/2016 Virgin Trains East Coast August strikes suspended [BBC News]
Virgin East Coast train workers have suspended plans for strikes due to start this week. Members of the RMT union were due to stage three 24-hour strikes on 19, 26 and 29 August and ban overtime for 48 hours from 27 August in a row over job cuts, working conditions and safety. But Virgin said the union had 'returned to the table for further discussions'. RMT said the suspension 'does not mean the dispute has been completely resolved'. 'It has allowed... union representatives to go back into talks with management and to extend the deadline for taking industrial action to a further 28 days,' RMT general secretary Mick Cash wrote in a note to union members. Virgin said the decision came after it repeated its assurances over 'no compulsory redundancies.' 'We're pleased that the RMT has agreed to suspend industrial action and continue talks,' said Virgin Trains' managing director David Horne.
BBC News

17/08/2016 ScotRail unveils first two fully revamped Class 320s [RTM]
ScotRail has this week rolled out the first two refurbished examples of the seven Class 320 trains set to run on cross-Glasgow services via Glasgow Central Low Level. It first announced late last year that the seven trains, owned by Eversholt Rail and previously operated by London Midland, would be phased in as part of a £475m fleet overhaul programme, which will pay for the renewal or full refurbishment of 90% of the operator’s fleet. The three-carriage Class 320s will be painted in ScotRail’s own ‘Saltire’ livery and feature revamped interiors, such as more modern flooring, finishes and toilets. They will also be fitted with new CCTV and passenger information systems, with wi-fi due to be rolled out across the fleet from September.

Arriving at platform 2 of Helensburgh Central on 21 September 2009 is 320 305 with a service from the far east (Drumgelloch).
Helensburgh Central
[David Panton 21/09/2009]

Waiting for work. A pair of Class 320 EMUs in ScotRail blue, stabled in platform 3 (onetime platform 4) at Helensburgh Central on 23 September 2012.
Helensburgh Central
[John McIntyre 23/09/2012]

A Strathclyde Orange 320 enters Partick from the north in the mid 90s.
[Andy Kirkham //]

15/08/2016 Landslide debris cleared from Highland railway line [BBC News]
A landslide that closed a stretch of Highland railway line for most of the weekend has been cleared and repairs at the track completed. About 100 tonnes of mud and stones were washed across part of the Fort William and Mallaig line near Lochailort during heavy rain on Thursday. Travel on the nearby A830 road was also affected for a time by the same landslide. ScotRail said the work to the railway line was completed at 20:00 on Sunday. The normal timetable resumed on the line on Monday morning, when the A830 was also fully reopened to traffic.
BBC News

15/08/2016 Campaigners hit out at 'shambles' on the Borders Railway [STV News]
Campaigners have hit out at the 'shambles' on the Borders Railway as just 28% of trains arrived on time at the start of August. New ScotRail figures also revealed more than 70 trains were cancelled over the first ten days of the month. Blame was placed on various problems including track and train faults, a driver on sick leave and a fallen tree. ScotRail said the Borders Railway is subject to 'occasional technical faults' in common with the rest of the network. The line, which was launched in September last year, has had more passengers than expected.
STV News

14/08/2016 Talks break down in Southern rail dispute [Guardian]
Talks between Southern and the RMT union aimed at settling the long-running railway dispute have broken down, meaning passengers could face renewed disruption from strikes. A five-day strike that started last Monday was suspended after three days and both sides returned to talks at the arbitration service Acas on Thursday. But a third day of talks came to an abrupt end on Monday morning. An Acas spokesperson said: “Acas conciliation talks have ended without the sides reaching agreement. There are no further talks planned but our services remain available.” Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), which operates Southern trains, said it would press ahead with planned changes to staff roles, which were due to start being implemented next week. Conductors will no longer be responsible for closing train doors and will be rebranded as “onboard supervisors”. Unions say the move endangers safety and threatens jobs.

13/08/2016 Passengers hit out at Borders Railway shambles as 70 trains cancelled in ten days [Scotsman]
Train punctuality on the Borders Railway has sunk to a new low as Scotland’s newest line prepares to celebrate its first birthday. Campaigners have condemned “shocking” recent performance and said delays and cancellations had reached “epidemic” proportions. ScotRail figures show only about one in four trains – 28.4 per cent – arrived on time at the start of this month. In addition, at least 70 trains were cancelled over the first ten days of August. These have been blamed on track and train faults, a driver on sick leave and a fallen tree.

12/08/2016 Night Tube set for weekend testing ahead of official launch [Rail Technology]
The much-delayed Night Tube is all set to be tested this weekend ahead of its official launch on 19 August – almost a year after the original debut date. The 24-hour Tube service will be trialled today and tomorrow on the Victoria and Central lines after the last Tube runs to ensure it doesn’t disrupt normal passenger services. A TfL spokesman said: “The trains will involve operational staff – station and train staff – and no customers so it will be behind closed doors.” It will initially go live on Central and Victoria next week and will then begin operating on the Piccadilly, Jubilee and Northern lines in two phases over the autumn, once new drivers are trained. When the new launch date was announced back in May, around 200 part-time drivers were taking part in a 14-week training programme. [From Richard Buckby]
Rail Technology

12/08/2016 Landslide blocks Highlands railway line and road [BBC News]
Rail and road travel in parts of the Highlands are being disrupted following a landslide. The landslip has blocked the railway line between Fort William and Mallaig and the nearby A830 since about 18:00 on Thursday. ScotRail said there was disruption to services between Glasgow Queen Street and Mallaig terminating at or starting from Fort William. The A830 is shut between the Lochailort and Drumsallie junction. The landslide happened during a period of heavy downpours that affected Skye, Mull, the west Highlands and Argyll. The Met Office issued a yellow 'be aware' warning of heavy rain earlier this week.

Black 5 no 45407 The Lancashire Fusilier at the head of ^The Royal Highlander^ tackles the 1 in 50 out of Lochailort heading for Mallaig.
[John Gray /07/2012]

View over the clean and colourful concourse of the 1975 Fort William station looking towards the platforms in the autumn of 2005. A service to Glasgow Queen Street is getting ready to leave platform 1, with a train for Mallaig standing alongside at platform 2.
Fort William
[John Furnevel 29/09/2005]

As near as I could get 48 years on... [see image 24161]. The 16.05 Mallaig - Glasgow Queen Street service almost ready to commence its journey on 28 July 2011. (Note the modern-day practice of keeping passengers waiting on the platform as long as possible before opening the doors!)
[Colin Miller 28/07/2011]
BBC News

11/08/2016 Tyneside railway believed to be among world's earliest receives £75,000 funding boost [Evening Chronicle]
A section of historic wooden railway unearthed on the banks of the Tyne is to be safeguarded and studied thanks to a £75,000 award. The railway, dating from the 1790s, was discovered in 2013 during a dig before Shepherd Offshore was due to begin development work of the former Neptune shipyard site in Walker in Newcastle. The grant from Arts Council England’s Designation Development Fund will now allow Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums and partners including North Tyneside Council and the National Railway Museum to investigate the remains. Compacted coal waste covering the railway had resulted in a remarkable level of preservation and the find has been hailed as being of international importance. A 25m (82ft) stretch of the wagonway was revealed by archaeologists Alan Williams and Richard Carlton, of Newcastle-based The Archaeological Practice. The excavated remains were part of the Willington wagonway, which took in collieries at Willington Quay and Bigges Main on the edge of Wallsend.
Evening Chronicle

10/08/2016 Southern rail strike suspended as talks resume [BBC News]
A strike on the Southern rail network has been suspended to allow fresh talks in the row over the role of conductors, Acas said. Industrial action on Thursday and Friday has been called off for negotiations to resume. RMT members began a five-day walk out on Monday but Southern said it was encouraged its offer of talks had been accepted. Union chief Mick Cash said he had contacted Southern with a way forward. A spokesman for Southern said: 'For our passengers' sake, we truly hope these talks will be productive and bring this long-running dispute to an end.'
BBC News

10/08/2016 Sculpture resembling train crash shortlisted to stand outside railway station [ITV News]
A giant, £2 million sculpture that looks like a train crash has been shortlisted to stand outside a Birmingham railway station.Battered engines lie on their side as if they have come off the rails in a terrible accident. And although the sculpture would be modelled in stone, they could look like they are covered in human skin. Birmingham artist Roger Hiorns' creation is one of five vying for pride of place outside Curzon Street Station.
ITV News

10/08/2016 Bombardier gets £1bn contract in 'biggest rail boost since Victorian era' [BBC News]
The UK's last train maker Bombardier has been awarded a £1bn contract as part of 'the biggest investment in the railways since the Victorian era'. The contract will see 660 'state of the art' carriages built from the Bombardier factory in Derby. It is part of a £1.4bn boost to rail services for passengers across East Anglia, announced by the Department for Transport. The DfT said it is one of the biggest ever orders for British-built trains. The investment will be overseen by rail operator Abellio East Anglia, which has been awarded a new franchise running from October 2016 to 2025.
BBC News

10/08/2016 Eurostar staff to strike for seven days [BBC News]
Eurostar rail workers are to take seven days of strike action this month in a dispute over their work-life balance, the RMT union says. Staff will walk out from 00:01 BST on 12 August until 23.59 BST on 15 August, and for three days over the Bank Holiday weekend from 27 August. The union says the dispute is over unsocial hours and duty rosters for about 80 train managers. Eurostar said all passengers with reservations will be able to travel. A spokesman said: 'On the days of the strike we have made some small changes to our timetable to ensure that all passengers booked to travel will be able to on those days. Passengers affected will be notified in advance.' The company added it has been planning for possible strike action and is still in discussions with the RMT over the dispute.
BBC News

09/08/2016 ScotRail and RMT union in fresh talks over strike action [BBC News]
ScotRail and the RMT union are holding further talks in a bid to resolve the industrial dispute which led to strike action in June and July. Further planned walkouts by train staff were called off last week, but a final deal has yet to be reached. The dispute centres on proposals to run more trains where drivers rather than guards operate the doors. Last week, ScotRail offered a guarantee that there would be guards on all new electrified trains. The RMT then announced it would suspend five days of planned strikes while talks continued. The union insisted the dispute was about 'ensuring Scotland's trains run safely'. But ScotRail said the RMT had been running a campaign of 'disinformation that doesn't bear any scrutiny'.
BBC News

09/08/2016 Virgin East Coast rail staff vote to strike [BBC News]
Virgin East Coast rail workers have voted to go out on strike in a dispute over job cuts, working conditions and safety, the RMT union has said. Five out of six (84%) of those who voted in the ballot backed walkouts and the union said its leaders will now consider their next move. Destinations on the line include London, Aberdeen, Inverness and Hull. Virgin Trains responded to the result by saying it would run a full timetable during any RMT strike action.
BBC News

08/08/2016 TfL seeks contractor to build Barking Riverside extension [Railway Gazette]
UK: Transport for London has invited expressions of interest in the contract to build a 4·5 km extension of the Gospel Oak – Barking line to the Barking Riverside development area of east London. The extension would run alongside the existing London Fenchurch Street – Tilbury line between Barking station and the Renwick Road overbridge, where it would turn south to run over a new viaduct to reach the planned station. Around 1·5 km of new alignment would be required. In March TfL applied to the government for a Transport & Works Act Order which would grant legal powers for the project. A public inquiry is expected in the autumn, and TfL expects to issue the invitation to tender following the completion of design work in 2017. Construction would begin in late 2017, with opening now planned for 2021. [From Richard Buckby]
Railway Gazette

08/08/2016 Multimillion plans to renovate Inverness train station take a step forward [Press and Journal]
Plans for a multimillion pound upgrade to Inverness train station has taken another step forward after the search began to find a full design team for the project. The full business case for the plans has been completed and Abellio Scotrail Ltd is now ready to develop detailed design proposals – and has said work could start on the project by the middle of 2017. The train operator, in conjunction with the council and region’s transport partnership, commissioned Dundee-based architects Nicoll Russell Studios last October to carry out the initial design work. Now the contract has gone out to find a full design team.

The main entrance to Inverness Station, facing onto Station Square, just off Academy Street, on 19 November 2014. The Royal Highland Hotel (formerly The Station Hotel) stands alongside on the right.
[Andy Furnevel 19/11/2014]

First ScotRail Class 158 units line up at the buffers inside Inverness station. From left to right they are 158741, 731 and 702.
[Mark Bartlett 30/03/2009]

The circulating area in Inverness station.
[Ewan Crawford 03/01/1989]
Press and Journal

08/08/2016 Southern rail strike: Five-day walkout begins [BBC News]
The longest rail strike since 1968 has begun, with hundreds of trains cancelled on the Southern network across south east England. A five-day walkout by members of the RMT union started at midnight in a row over the role of conductors. Southern plans to run 60% of its normal timetable. Parent rail firm Govia Thameslink (GTR) is in a bitter dispute with the RMT union over plans for drivers to operate the doors on new trains using CCTV. BBC Correspondent Ben Thompson said the five-day walkout is the longest industrial action on the railways since 1968.

Southern 377145 eastbound at Worthing on 4 June 2016, heading for London Victoria.
[Peter Todd 04/06/2016]

View south from Ebury Bridge of the approaches to London Victoria on 25 July featuring classes 466, 455 and 377.
[Bill Roberton 25/07/2014]

Welcome indeed! As the sign says - Britain^s busiest railway station. Platform scene at Clapham Junction in July 2005, looking north with a Southern Trains service arriving.
Clapham Junction
[John Furnevel 21/07/2005]
BBC News

07/08/2016 Glasgow Queen Street station tunnel reopens [BBC News]
The rail tunnel at Glasgow Queen Street has reopened after being closed for 20 weeks during improvement works. The tunnel closure was part of a wider project to revamp Queen Street and allow longer, faster trains to run from the station. During the works, trains to Stirling, Edinburgh and Aberdeen were diverted to low-level platforms or Glasgow Central. The £60m revamp of the tunnel has been completed a day earlier than originally planned.

23.52 to Cumbernauld - then that^s your lot for five months.
Glasgow Queen Street High Level
[Mark Wringe 19/03/2016]

66559 idles at platform 6 during signal commissioning at Queen Street High level on 3rd August 2016, 4 days before the station is due to reopen.
Glasgow Queen Street High Level
[Colin McDonald 03/08/2016]

Some excavations taking place in this scene showing the easternmost side. This may be connected to the need to improve drainage from Cowlairs Incline and Queen Street tunnel.
Glasgow Queen Street High Level
[Charlie Niven 17/06/2016]
BBC News

05/08/2016 Hitachi ships first class 385 EMU for ScotRail [IRJ]
THE first of 70 class 385 regional EMUs has begun its journey from Hitachi’s Kasado plant in Japan to Europe. Seven of the trains are being built at Kasado, where fabrication of bodyshells began last October, while the remaining 63 sets will be assembled at the company's new British facility at Newton Aycliffe in northeast England. [From Richard Buckby]

05/08/2016 Bombardier-Hitachi joint venture to bid for New Tube for London [Railway Gazette]
UK: Bombardier Transportation and Hitachi Rail Europe have formed a joint venture to bid to supply rolling stock under London Underground’s New Tube for London programme. Bids are due to be submitted on September 26. Both companies prequalified for the contract, along with Alstom, CAF and Siemens. The basic requirement is for 250 trainsets, which on a like-for-like replacement basis equates to around 1 700 cars. However, bidders see the potential for up to 3 000 cars with provision for growth. According to Hitachi, assembly work would be shared between the companies’ plants at Derby and Newton Aycliffe.
Railway Gazette

KML version