A History of Britain's Railways
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27/06/2017 MSPs set for final vote on railway policing merger bill [BBC News]
MSPs are set to pass legislation aimed at merging railway policing north of the border into Police Scotland. The Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill would be the first step towards the national force taking on the role of British Transport Police (BTP). There has been a lengthy debate over the plan, with police bosses warning it could be 'massively complicated' and 'a real challenge'. The bill is expected to pass, with the Greens backing the SNP. More
BBC News

26/06/2017 In pictures: The empty railways of America [BBC]
One of photographer John Sanderson's earliest memories was family road trips to Pennsylvania from his home in Manhattan, New York. While on one of these trips, 13-year-old Sanderson discovered the delight of taking pictures when shooting the Strasburg Rail Road and its historic steam engine. Returning to the subject of railways in adulthood, he rebelled against his younger self and this time chose to photograph American railroads devoid of trains. More
BBC News in pictures

26/06/2017 Plans for Midland Metro expansion presented [IRJ]
PLANS for a £200m extension to the Midland Metro light rail system from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill have been handed to Britain's secretary of state for transport, Mr Chris Grayling. The business case for the 11.2km extension was presented by the mayor of the West Midlands, Mr Andy Street, and Ms Laura Shoaf, managing director of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), at the House of Commons. The line will run from Wednesbury, on the existing Birmingham - Wolverhampton route, to Brierley Hill, serving Great Bridge, Horseley Heath, Dudley Port, Dudley town centre, the Waterfront and Merry Hill. This extension is part of a larger plan to extend the system, which also includes a proposed extension to Wolverhampton interchange and the planned HS2 terminal at Curzon Street in Birmingham. [From Richard Buckby] More

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 except for a short street running section from Priestfield to the Wolverhampton terminus. [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]

24/06/2017 East Somerset Railway brings 1952 locomotive back into service [BBC News]
A steam engine, brought back to life by volunteers at the East Somerset Railway, has returned to service after a 52-year absence from the railways. A ceremony was held at Cranmore to mark the return of engine number 41313, a class 2 tank locomotive. Chairman Dick Masters said: 'It ran mostly in the south of the country, anywhere between Brighton and Bude. It's vey much a local engine.' The engine was built in 1952 in Crewe. It has not been in use since 1965. More

Withdrawn Ivatt class 2MT 2-6-2T no 41313 stands on one of the scrap roads at Barry on 7 August 1966. Built at Crewe in 1952 the locomotive spent its entire life operating in southern territory before being finally withdrawn from 70D Eastleigh in October 1965.
[David Pesterfield 07/08/1966]
BBC News

23/06/2017 RMT announce further strikes on Southern, Northern and Merseyrail [BBC News]
Train passengers across England are to be hit by further strike action, RMT officials have said. Arriva Rail North staff will walk out for three days from 8 July, while Merseyrail staff will strike on 8, 10 and 23 July, the final day of The Open. More
BBC News

23/06/2017 First Elizabeth line train enters passenger service [Global Rail News]
The first train built for Londons Elizabeth line has gone into passenger service on the capitals rail network. It is the first of 66 Class 345 EMUs being built by Bombardier in Derby for the Elizabeth line, which is being opened in stages up to 2019. Transport for London (TfL) has said 11 of the new trains, including 345 005, will be put into passenger service on the TfL Rail route between Liverpool Street and Shenfield by the autumn. The new fleet will begin operating through the Elizabeth lines central core when the tunnels open in December 2018. Each of the trains are currently 160 metres long and consist of seven cars, but there are plans to extend them to nine cars in the future. [From Richard Buckby] More
Global Rail News

22/06/2017 New railway connection to London Luton Airport approved [BBC News]
London Luton Airport is to get a new railway station so that trains can run directly to the terminal. A 1.4-mile (2.2km) rail line will be built to the existing Luton Airport Parkway station, replacing the current bus shuttle service. The £200m plans have been approved by Luton Borough Council and the station is due to open by the end of 2020. More
BBC News
Luton Airport

22/06/2017 Three shortlisted for West Coast Partnership franchise [Railway Gazette]
UK: The shortlisted bidders for the West Coast Partnership franchise were announced by the Department for Transport on June 22. They are: First Trenitalia West Coast Rail Ltd, a joint venture between FirstGroups First Rail Holdings Ltd (70%) and Italian state operator Trenitalia SpA (30%); MTR West Coast Partnership Ltd, a joint venture of the MTR Corp (UK) Ltd subsidiary of Hong Kongs MTR Corp and Guangshen Railway Co which operates the 481 km Shenzhen Guangzhou Pingshi Railway in China, with key sub-contractors including consultancy Deloitte MCS Ltd, Panasonic Systems Europe, Swedish travel software company Snowfall, ticket retailer Trainline.com Ltd and engineering consultancy; West Coast Partnership Ltd, a joint venture between Stagecoach Group plc (50%), Virgin Holdings Ltd (30%) and the SNCF C3 (20%) subsidiary of the French national railway group. The winning bidder will take over the existing inter-city services on the West Coast Main Line when the current contract held by Virgin (51%) and Stagecoach (49%) ends in April 2019. More
Railway Gazette

21/06/2017 Breich earmarked for first Scottish station closure in 31 years [Scotsman]
Plans to close Breich Station in West Lothian, used by just three passengers a week, have been announced by Network Rail. If confirmed, the unstaffed station on the Edinburgh-Glasgow line via Shotts would be the first Scottish closure since 1986 when Balloch Pier Station on Loch Lomond shut. The move has been prompted by the £1.4 million cost of replacing its footbridge as part of electrification of the line, which would be saved. It is understood the station is likely to have stayed open otherwise. Only one train a day in each direction stops at Breich, which was opened in 1869, with no trains on Sundays. It served just 138 passengers in 2015-16 - an average of 2.6 passengers a week. More

156445 heads east through Breich on 15 May bound for Edinburgh .
[Bill Roberton 15/05/2013]

Breich at night ... very quiet... very, very quiet...
[Ewan Crawford //]

The lonely station at Breich, looking east, February 2006.
[John Furnevel 13/02/2006]

21/06/2017 HS2 commitment confirmed in Queens Speech [Rail News]
THE new Government says it intends to continue with work on HS2, including Phase 2a towards Manchester, which it describes as the next leg. The commitment is set out today in the Queens Speech at the State Opening of Parliament. Timetables for passing laws have been disrupted by the unexpected General Election, and achieving the new laws set out in this years speech will cover two years of Parliamentary time, meaning that there will be no further timetable for legislation announced in 2018. More
Rail News

21/06/2017 London trams to get new safety system [Rail News]
TRAMS in London are set to be equipped with a safety system which would monitor their speed and intervene if necessary. Transport for London is now inviting the supply chain to take part in developing a form of ATC for trams following last Novembers fatal crash near Croydon, in which a speeding tram overturned on a bend with a 20km/h limit, killing seven people. More
Rail News

20/06/2017 First MTR signs £895m deal with Bombardier for new SWT trains [RTM]
FirstGroup and MTR have today announced that they have signed an order with Bombardier worth £895m to deliver 90 new trains to support its South Western franchise. The news follows the franchise, (which is due to start on 20 August this year) being awarded to the partnership between the FirstGroup and MTR in March, and is expected to provide a 46% boost to peak capacity on its suburban routes into Waterloo. RTM reported earlier this year that First MTR was reportedly dropping £200m worth of new Class 707 Desiro City trains currently being built by Siemens. The first of these arrived in the UK in December last year. However, a spokesperson for the partnership told RTM that they will continue to roll-out the new rolling stock, but once the Aventras are fully in place by December 2020 it will look to cascade the 707s to other parts of the network. He added that this falls under First MTRs plans for a homogenous fleet of trains. [From Richard Buckby] More

20/06/2017 Staff want moved from 'war zone' Scots train station besieged by 'headbangers & nutters' [Herald]
STAFF at a war zone train station besieged by teenage gangs have lodged appeals to be moved to quieter platforms in other parts of Scotland. Up to 100 are expected to take part in a demonstration at Hamilton Central railway station on Wednesday claiming that not enough has been done to combat the 'headbangers and nutters' that are congregating there over two years. The RMT, which says Hamilton Central is the worst in Scotland because of teenage gangs, says there is a surge of violence towards staff a situation which it says management are 'choosing to ignore' despite repeated warnings. More

318 262 stands alongside classmate 318 252 at Hamilton Central on 16 June 2009.
Hamilton Central
[John Steven 16/06/2009]

The new pedestrian bridge under construction at Hamilton Central in January 2017. The old footbridge can be see in the background.
Hamilton Central
[Colin McDonald 27/01/2017]

Looking south east from the bus station towards Hamilton Central on 17 March 2006. Behind and above the station is Kemp Street, where the former Caledonian booking office and south side entrance (which accessed the platforms via a covered stairway) still survives [see image 9044].
Hamilton Central
[John Furnevel 17/03/2006]
Daily Record

17/06/2017 ScotRail staff to wear body cameras in national roll-out [Courier]
ScotRail is looking at deploying 230 body cameras for its frontline workers to protect them from physical and verbal attacks. It follows a proposed national roll-out of the cameras by Police Scotland. Privacy campaigners have warned that public bodies are increasingly using intrusive surveillance when the case for doing so has not been made. The rail operator is seeking bidders to supply and maintain the cameras and the monitoring system over three years following a trial in 2015. That trial was held in response to a rise in assaults on staff, which rail bosses say are an ongoing problem. More

17/06/2017 Campaigners renew push for St Andrews rail link [Scotsman]
Campaigners have launched a new push to restore St Andrews to the rail network - but acknowledge there are many hurdles to clear in their long-running quest. They have published a report highlighting the benefits of re-opening the five-mile line to the Fife town, which closed nearly 50 years ago. However, the St Andrews Rail Link campaign (StARLink), which was founded in 1989, is still waiting for a bid to be lodged to fund the detailed study required before ministers would consider such a scheme. Research commissioned five years ago showed the line would cost up to £71 million but cover its operating costs and provide faster journeys from Edinburgh than by road. More

J37 No 64569 meets a photographic scrum at the south end of St Andrews station during the 1965 RCTS Fife Coast railtour. The J37 had taken over from No 256 Glen Douglas at Leuchars Junction and took the train round the Fife Coast line before handing back to no 256 at Thornton Junction.
St Andrews
[G W Robin 28/08/1965]

View east towards the site of St Andrews station (1887-1969) in the spring of 2011. Station road on the left now leads up to the recently rebuilt bus station, with Hope Park Church spire standing in the background. The 1865 church saw the railway station (the town^s second) come and go, pre-dating it by 22 years. [See image 34565]
St Andrews
[Andrew Wilson 30/05/2011]

The western approach to St Andrews station seen from a DMU in the early summer of 1967, two years before the line^s closure. This was the second St Andrews station with the first, a short distance north west of here, replaced in 1887 when the line from Leuchars was extended south. Buses are visible at the top of Station Road with the spire of Hope Park Church beyond. For the same view 44 years later [see image 34391]
St Andrews
[Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) //1967]

14/06/2017 Plan for Edinburgh-Glasgow electric trains delayed [BBC News]
A project to improve the Glasgow to Edinburgh rail line, which has faced delays and rising costs, has been held up a further three months. Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne said he was 'very confident' the latest deadline would be met, though he could not give a 'cast-iron guarantee'. He told a Scottish Parliament committee that no more taxpayers' money would be needed for the project. The first electric services are now due to start running in October. A deadline set in January 2014 had aimed to achieve this milestone in 2016, and this was later pushed back until July 2017. The Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) was costed at £742m in January 2014 - up £90m on the previous estimate. More
BBC News

13/06/2017 Swanage-Wareham rail line reconnects after four decades [BBC News]
The first regular passenger train service between the mainline and a Dorset seaside resort has been reconnected after four decades. The original rail line from Swanage to Wareham was closed by British Rail and ripped up in seven weeks in 1972. Volunteers rebuilt the 5.5-mile (8.8km) stretch from Swanage to Norden over 30 years and have been running it as a tourist attraction since the 1990s. The first timetabled train ran along the full 10-mile (16km) route earlier. Bob Richards, who signalled the last British Rail train from Swanage to Wareham 45 years ago, was one of dozens of people to wave off the maroon diesel train. He said: 'To see it return after all these years is amazing - absolutely incredible.' More

Ex-GWR Collett 5600 series 0-6-2T no.6695 arrives at Corfe Castle with a service to Swanage on 19 October 2014. [See image 46387]
Corfe Castle
[John McIntyre 19/10/2014]

Standard class 4 no 80078 with a train on the Swanage Railway, near Corfe Castle, on 29 June 2000.
Corfe Castle
[Peter Todd 29/06/2000]

Standing under the canopy at Swanage station in April 1981 with a two coach train waiting at the platform.
[John McIntyre /04/1981]
BBC News

13/06/2017 Queen recreates historic train journey [BBC News]
The Queen has joined celebrations marking the 175th anniversary of the first train journey taken by a British monarch. She recreated Queen Victoria's trip from Slough to Paddington on 13 June 1842 on the Great Western Railway. The Queen made the 19-minute journey on the new Intercity Express train along with the Duke of Edinburgh. Of her experience, Queen Victoria wrote in her journal 'it was delightful and so quick'. The monarch added: 'It took us exactly 30 minutes going to Paddington, & the motion was very slight, & much easier than a carriage, also no dust or great heat.' Victoria had been persuaded on board by Prince Albert, a veteran of rail travel who was fascinated by the new technology. More

The man himself. Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The impressive waxwork on display at the Museum of the Great Western Railway in Swindon on 20 March 2013.
Steam - Museum of the Great Western Railway
[Peter Todd 20/03/2013]

Castle class 4-6-0 no 5079 Lysander getting ready to leave Paddington in 1959 with the ^Torbay Express^.
[K A Gray //1959]

Not bad Mr Brunel... not bad at all... The Great Western Railway^s London terminus at Paddington, seen from the concourse on 20 July 2005.
[John Furnevel 20/07/2005]
BBC News

12/06/2017 2,563 stations in 14 weeks: meet the couple visiting every station in Britain [Guardian]
Railway stations are places we go to and places we pass through, places that are home and far from home, places we whiz through or wait at. They can be functional or baldly beautiful, eerily quiet or frustratingly frantic. Sometimes they sell sandwiches from Costa and sometimes from Pumpkin. But whatever the stations elemental essence, Vicki Pipe and Geoff Marshall want to visit it. The couple are four weeks into a 14-week odyssey to see and film Britains 2,563 National Rail stations. We wanted to do something memorable, says Marshall. More

11/06/2017 North Highland rail services confirmed as worst performing [Press & Journal]
Rail services to the far north are by far the worst performing in Scotland, shocking new punctuality figures show. Only 64.2% of trains arrived at Wick station within five minutes of their scheduled time the lowest rate across the country. And just 38.1% of services were within one minute of their booked arrival time, the fourth worst performance in that category for the 12 months to the end of April. Highland transport chiefs said that a series of 14 cancellations last month had a severe impact on the figures for the service to Wick. Four of the worst six performing stations against the five minute target were all on the Far North Line, with Wick on 64.2%, Tain achieving it 77.1% of the time, Inverness in 78.6% of cases, and Invergordon on 79.3%. The national average was 90.03%, according to new monthly annual average statistics from ScotRail. The route between Inverness and Caithness has been beset with problems in recent years, prompting the Scottish Government to establish the Far North Line Review Group last year. More
Press & Journal

10/06/2017 Queen to recreate 1842 Slough to Paddington train journey [BBC News]
The Queen will mark the 175th anniversary of the first train journey made by a British monarch. On 13 June 1842, Queen Victoria made the trip from Slough to Paddington, writing in her journal afterwards that it was 'delightful and so quick'. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will embark on the same journey on the day of the anniversary. Joining them will be two descendants of pioneering railway engineers Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Sir Daniel Gooch. More
BBC News

08/06/2017 London Mail Rail: Postal Museum launch date announced [BBC News]
The Post Office's abandoned underground railway in London will open as a tourist attraction next month, it has been announced. Visitors to the Postal Museum can ride on a section of the 6.5 mile (10.5km) network, from 28 July. The track, which was established in 1927, took mail between Whitechapel and Paddington before it shut in 2003. Two new trains, based on the originals, will carry up to 32 passengers on a 0.6 mile (1km) section of the line. More

Former Post Office Underground Railway unit 809, on display at the National Railway Museum, York, in November 2014. The 2ft gauge system, built to move mail between sorting offices across London, operated between 1927 and 2003. The six and a half mile route between Paddington and Whitechapel originally served 8 stations, including the 23 acre Mount Pleasant Mail Centre on Farringdon Road.
National Railway Museum York
[Colin Miller 11/11/2014]
BBC News

07/06/2017 Flooding causes reduced service on Edinburgh Trams [Scotsman]
Edinburgh trams are offering a reduced service due to heavy flooding in parts of the Capital. It was reported yesterday in the Evening News that the Capital had a weeks worth of rain in just one day, and the weather has had a knock on effect on transport in the city. More

07/06/2017 Dress rehearsal for new French high-speed lines [IRJ]
WITH just 25 days remaining before the start of commercial operations on the Bretagne-Pays de la Loire and Sud Europ Atlantique high-speed lines, French National Railways (SNCF) carried out parallel high-speed test runs using two TGV sets on June 7. [From Richard Buckby] More

07/06/2017 Train delays after line fault near Glasgow [BBC News]
Travellers using train services to and from Glasgow Central are facing major disruption due to damaged overhead lines near Cardonald. Ayrshire coast services have been cancelled, delayed or are starting and terminating at Paisley Gilmour Street. Commuters faced long queues for replacement bus services from Paisley into the city. Buses were running between Glasgow Central and Paisley, and from Glasgow Central to Prestwick Airport and Ayr. ScotRail said disruption was expected until the end of the day. It was understood the fault was not related to adverse weather conditions. More
BBC News
Evening Times

05/06/2017 Engineering work causes train delays [BBC News]
Rail commuters have faced delays after engineering work affected services between Glasgow Queen Street and Edinburgh. Other services affected included trains from Glasgow to Aberdeen, Alloa, Dunblane, Dundee, Inverness and Perth. ScotRail said disruption was expected until about 09:00 due to engineering work not being finished on time. More
BBC News

04/06/2017 Train which runs on virtual railway track unveiled in China [Independent]
A train that runs on virtual rails has been unveiled in China. The Autonomous Rapid Transit (Art), which was unveiled in the city of Zhuzhou on 2 June, is around 30metres long and is fitted with sensors that detect the dimensions of the road. This enables the vehicle to follow routes without the need for metal rails, Feng Jianghua, a chief engineer behind the project, said according to Xinhaunet.net. Each vehicle can hold up to 307 passengers, and is said to navigate the streets easier than a bus while being more adaptable than a train. It has a top speed of 70kmph. The technology behind the Art was developed by Chinese railmaker CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive which also designs parts for the countrys high-speed railway. The firm, which has been working on Art since 2013, hopes to roll out the train in 2018. More

03/06/2017 Southern trains 'to be cancelled without guard' [BBC News]
Southern rail has confirmed trains will be cancelled on all lines apart from the Brighton mainline if a second member of staff is not onboard. Southern said it had made a temporary agreement with the drivers' union Aslef while talks take place. He said the move was in return for Aslef suspending an overtime ban which had been due to begin on Sunday. During the year-long dispute Aslef has argued there should be a second 'safety-critical' person on trains. The drivers' union has been in the dispute with Southern and its parent company Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) over the roles of train staff. GTR replaced conductors with 'on-board supervisors' to work across different services but without the responsibility of closing doors - which has switched to train drivers. More

A Southern service, heading for Portsmouth and formed by EMU 377461, runs into the down island platform at Fratton. This will have travelled along the coast, probably from Brighton. Fratton EMU servicing depot is just off to the right of this platform.
[Mark Bartlett 18/06/2009]

A view at the Brighton buffer stops on 4 June 2016, featuring Southern units 313209 and 377157.
[Peter Todd 04/06/2016]

A Southern Trains Brighton - Watford Junction Cross-London service about to call at Kensington Olympia on the West London Line in July 2005.
Kensington Olympia
[John Furnevel 21/07/2005]
BBC News

02/06/2017 Commute From Hell [Sun]
Nightmare images showing overloaded trains during a Bangladeshi rush hour will make you thankful your commute isnt as bad as some People are forced to dice with death on a daily basis by resorting to grabbing hold of the outside and standing on the roof. More

01/06/2017 Launch of Crossrail trains pushed back by TfL [RTM]
The introduction of the new Crossrail trains to run on Elizabeth Line services has been pushed back to this month, TfL has today confirmed. Trains were supposed to be rolled out on services between Liverpool Street and Shenfield by the end of May. But now TfL has said that commuters will have to wait until later in June to see the new trains enter passenger service. Howard Smith, TfLs operations director for the Elizabeth Line, said: The train is undergoing thorough testing, assurance and approvals before it enters passenger service shortly. Good progress is being made and we anticipate testing being completed within the next few weeks. We continue to work closely with Bombardier, Network Rail and MTR Crossrail. [From Richard Buckby] More
Rail Technology

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