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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
RTM

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.
Gleneagles
[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.]
Gleneagles
[ScotRail 15/12/2015]

Black 5 No 44871 hauling The Great Britain IX north to Inverness. Pictured approaching Gleneagles.
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.
Ribblehead
[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]
RTM

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.
Arbroath
[Sandy Steele 24/10/2016]

68006 in Scotrail livery passing north through Arbroath station on 28 October 2016 with the afternoon Grangemouth - Aberdeen Intermodal.
Arbroath
[Sandy Steele 28/10/2016]

On the platform at Arbroath is a Dundee and Angus College barrel-train.
Arbroath
[John Yellowlees 30/04/2016]
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.
Anderston
[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]
Anderston
[David Panton 17/07/1998]

Looking west along Argyle Street towards Anderston station in April 2007.
Anderston
[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
IRJ

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.
Musselburgh
[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
Scotsman

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
Sun

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.
Ballater
[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.
Ballater
[R Sillitto/A Renfrew Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) /07/1962]

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

08/02/2017 Volunteers to help build new railway station [Cambrian Times
VOLUNTEERS at the Corris Railway Society have launched a funding drive to help build a new station, 50 years after the original line was closed. The Corris Railway Society was founded in 1967 with the original intention of establishing a museum to preserve artefacts and memories of the narrow gauge railway whose main line ran between Machynlleth and Aberllefenni. The Railway was closed in 1948 and subsequently demolished with its two surviving steam locomotives and other stock eventually being purchased by the Talyllyn Railway. Half a century on from the foundation of the society, and after much work by a small but dedicated volunteer workforce, trains are running on selected dates each year between Corris station and Maespoeth Junction. A new steam locomotive has been built, with another under construction, carriage building continues in the carriage shed constructed at Maespoeth Junction and much else has been achieved. The next plan is to carry out work in the Corris station area. More

A train for Abergynolwyn stands at Tywyn in July 1981. No 4 ^Edward Thomas^ is an 0-4-2ST built for the Corris Railway by Kerr Stewart & Co. in 1921. It was purchased by the Talyllyn Railway in 1951.
Tywyn Wharf
[Colin Miller /07/1981]

Talyllyn locomotive No. 3 Sir Haydn takes water at Dolgoch station. This locomotive, and sister engine No.4, had originally worked on the Corris Railway but were bought by the Talyllyn to supplement the two original locos on the line.
Dolgoch
[David Hindle //1969]

The Corris terminus of the short length of preserved railway from Maespoeth, seen in September 2016. There was originally a small passenger trainshed spanning the left hand line in pre-closure days. The line from Machynlleth originally continued beyond here to Aberllenfenni but the section above Corris was for goods only. The railway finally closed in 1948 with the first preserved trains running again in 2002.
Corris
[Mark Bartlett 19/09/2016]
Cambrian Times

08/02/2017 Rail firms mull iris scan train fares [BBC News]
Technology such as biometric scanning and smarter trains could improve rail travel for customers, a body representing UK rail firms has said. The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has unveiled its plans for the future of rail travel. Travellers could purchase fares after being identified via iris or fingerprint scans to enable faster ticket-free travel, it said. Digital signalling could also enable trains to travel more closely together. This would mean more frequent services could operate. In his last budget Chancellor Philip Hammond committed £450m to trials of digital signalling technology and other railway improvements as part of the Digital Railway project. Chiltern Railways is currently seeking volunteers to trial ticket-free travel via a Bluetooth app. More
BBC News

07/02/2017 All aboard for Garstang rail line revival [The Garstang Courier]
Railway revivalists are to launch a campaign which could see part of an almost forgotten rail route restored. The team of transport enthusiasts have long since dreamed of seeing parts of the route of the former Garstang to Knott End Railway being re-tracked and used by local passengers and tourists. [From Mark Bartlett] More

Sixty six years after the last goods train, and eighty six after the last passenger service, a section of the Knott End Railway trackbed between Hackensall Road in Knott End and the site of Preesall station is still clearly defined and accessible to walkers. This view looks east towards Preesall and ahead lies a stream which is now crossed by a modern footbridge that was installed to replace the collapsed railway structure. Might this old line see trains again? See recent news item.
Preesall
[Mark Bartlett 29/02/2016]

The substantially rebuilt terminus of the Knott End Railway in its centenary year. Opened in 1908 the sparse passenger service [See image 29967] only lasted twenty two years until closure in 1930 with goods services finishing in 1950. The two lines terminated in between the building extensions, the left of which is in basically original condition. The Fleetwood ferry slipway is to the left of the station, which is now used as a cafe with pictures of the old railway displayed inside.
Knott End
[Mark Bartlett 23/04/2008]
The Garstang Courier

07/02/2017 Man dies in Frampton Mansell level crossing crash [BBC News]
A man has died after his car was hit by a train on a level crossing in Gloucestershire. The vehicle was struck by the Great Western Railway London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa service at 15:10 GMT. The man, who was believed to have been driving the car, died at the scene of the crash in the Frampton Mansell area, British Transport Police (BTP) said. More
BBC News

07/02/2017 Stadler delivers first class 88 locomotive to Direct Rail Services [IRJ]
DIRECT Rail Services (DRS) announced on February 3 that it has received the first of 10 class 88 locomotives from Stadler Rail at its Kingmoor Depot in Carlisle, Britain. The locomotive will undergo a testing programme for six to eight weeks and the remaining nine locomotives will arrive via the Port of Workington over the coming months. [From Richard Buckby] More
IRJ

06/02/2017 £2m Caernarfon steam railway station work begins [BBC News]
Work has begun on a £2m steam railway station in Gwynedd. The Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway - the UK's longest heritage line - is behind the scheme in Caernarfon and hopes to attract 5,000 extra visitors to the town each year. Funding has come through the Welsh Government's Vibrant and Viable Places programme, but a water pipe had to be moved before work could start. The station is expected to open in Spring 2018. More

Beyer-Garratt locomotive no 143 rounding a curve at Caernarfon on the Welsh Highland Railway en route to Porthmadog in June 2012. Welsh Highland Railway
Caernarfon
[Peter Todd /06/2012]

Ex SAR NG class 143 taking water at Caernarfon on the Welsh Highland Railway on 14 July 2007.
Caernarfon
[Bill Roberton 14/07/2007]

WHR 143 leaving Caernarfon with the 13.55 to Rhyd-Ddu on 17 July. Welsh Highland Railway
Caernarfon
[Bill Roberton 14/07/2007]
BBC News

05/02/2017 Rail franchising system 'not fit for purpose', MPs warn [BBC News]
The UK's rail franchising model is 'no longer fit for purpose' and is failing passengers, MPs have warned. The Transport Committee said operators were restricted in how much they could improve services and efficiency, and the relationship with Network Rail was 'not as co-ordinated as it should be'. More
BBC News

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