A History of Britain's Railways
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12/12/2017 New report calls for a rail revolution in Fife [The Courier]
A new report published today [8 Dec] by local rail campaigns and Green MSP Mark Ruskell has called for Fife Council and the Scottish Government to back an ambitious rail reopening strategy for Fife. The ground-breaking report entitled Breaking The Circle has been jointly produced by the Levenmouth Rail Campaign, the Newburgh Train Station Campaign, the St Andrews Rail Link Campaign (StARlink), Alloa Community Council, David Prescott of Allan Rail Solutions and Mr Ruskell, and represents a united front towards a Fife-wide rail enhancement strategy. More
The Courier
Fife Today

11/12/2017 Edinburgh - Falkirk - Glasgow electric services begin [IRJ]
SCOTLANDs Edinburgh - Glasgow Improvement Programme (Egip) celebrated a milestone on December 10 with the start of electric services from Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh Waverley via Falkirk High. ScotRail has replaced the class 170 DMUs previously used on these services with class 380 EMUs, although the use of these trains on the route is a temporary measure pending the introduction of new Hitachi class 385 EMUs next year. More

11/12/2017 Expert attacks volatile Borders Railway service [Scotsman]
Passengers on the Borders Railway are still suffering volatile punctuality and poor service, two years after its opening teething troubles should have been sorted, according to campaigners. The line between Edinburgh and Tweedbank also suffers from stops being missed and overcrowding, said rail consultant and author David Spaven. More

A train from Edinburgh arriving at Tweedbank platform 1 on 29 September 2016 alongside a unit stabled in platform 2.
[Bruce McCartney 29/09/2016]

A (late running) southbound train at Stow.
[Ewan Crawford 27/12/2016]

The late running 1253 Edinburgh - Tweedbank meets light rain as it rounds the curve at Falahill on 4 August 2016.
Falahill Summit
[John Furnevel 04/08/2016]

10/12/2017 First train crosses the Ordsall Chord and makes railway history [MEN]
It was an historic moment as the first train crossed the Ordsall Chord linking Manchester Victoria, Oxford Road and Piccadilly stations on Sunday morning. The M.E.N. joined a strong turnout of train enthusiasts for the first journey from Victoria to Oxford Road via the new network arch bridge at the heart of the line. Designed by architect Peter Jenkins of BDP, the £85m Network Rail project, includes 300m of track and a series of bridges and viaducts. The first train departed Victoria on Sunday at 8.40am, before heading to Oxford Road and back to Victoria, then making its way to Leeds. More
Manchester Evening News

10/12/2017 Memorial marks 80 years since Castlecary train disaster [BBC News]
One of Britain's worst train crashes is to be remembered in a memorial service. The Castlecary rail disaster cost 35 people their lives in a freezing snowstorm on a December Friday night in 1937. Another 179 were hurt in the tragedy when an Edinburgh to Glasgow express ploughed into a stationary train just west of Castlecary village. An inquiry found a signalling error led the driver of the express to believe the line was clear. The crash happened in the evening of 10 December 1937 as the express from Edinburgh Waverley was travelling at high speed in a blizzard. Both the express and the other train, from Dundee, were bound for Glasgow's Queen Street Station. More
BBC News
Coin Hope’s article on the Castlecary Disaster

08/12/2017 Ordsall Curve to Open to Traffic [Northern Rail]
Rail operator Northern is preparing to welcome customers onto the first passenger service to cross Manchesters Ordsall Chord on Sunday 10 December. The historic bridge, a centrepiece of the Great North Rail Project, connects north and South Manchester and, on Sunday, will see customers cross for the first time. The moment will be marked by Rail Minister Paul Maynard who will travel on one of the first trains across the Ordsall Chord The new bridge is a key link in the modernisation of rail services in the north of England and will enable Northerns customers to travel from West Yorkshire, through the Calder Valley, direct to Manchester Oxford Road. More
Northern Rail

08/12/2017 First electric trains to run on Edinburgh-Glasgow main line on Sunday - a year late [Scotsman]
Passengers will travel in the first electric trains on the Edinburgh-Glasgow main line from Sunday, ScotRail confirmed today. However, they have had to be borrowed from other routes because a brand new fleet for the line will be six months late. The new Class 385 Hitachi trains are not expected to enter service until late March, as The Scotsman revealed last month. More

08/12/2017 'No business case' made for British Transport Police merger [BBC News]
A report from Scotland's Police watchdog says no authoritative business case was made for the merger of British Transport Police and Police Scotland. The decision was made by ministers, meaning the benefits, disadvantages and costs were not explained. HM Inspectorate of Constabulary's overview of BTP says a detailed study of the risks should be undertaken. The functions of BTP are due to be absorbed into the national force on 1 April 2019. More

170407 in British Transport Police vinyls at Haymarket today. The re-liveried set bearing the text number 61016 was launched by transport minister Humza Yousaf.
[John Yellowlees 20/09/2016]

Virgin Pendolino 390029 ^City of Stoke-On-Trent^ at Glasgow Central Platform 2 in November 2006. An officer from the British Transport Police is busy carrying out security checks along the platforms
Glasgow Central
[Graham Morgan 02/11/2006]

British Transport Police officers board a Docklands Light Railway service at Canning Town on 22 July 2005. This was part of a public reassurance exercise following the abortive bombing attempts in London the previous day.
Canning Town
[John Furnevel 22/07/2005]
BBC News

07/12/2017 Germany: train collision near Dusseldorf injures dozens [BBC News]
More than 40 people have been injured in a train crash near the German city of Dsseldorf, emergency services say. A passenger train collided with a freight train near the town of Meerbusch, in North Rhine-Westphalia, on Tuesday night. Of 173 people on board, seven people were badly injured and one suffered serious injuries, the Meerbusch fire department said. More
BBC News

05/12/2017 'No trains' at Kenilworth's new railway station 'until 2018' [BBC News]
A town's fifty-year wait for a railway station continues amid a row over when trains can run through it. The county council says the site in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, is complete but has been told by the Department for Transport (DfT) that neither trains nor drivers can be supplied until February. The authority said it was 'beyond disappointing'. The government department said the council was to blame for delays. More

The rebuilt station at Kenilworth was due to open in December 2016 - then December 2017. Even that date may now not be met, but there is substantial visible progress. The under construction station is seen here on 2 September 2017.
[Ken Strachan 02/09/2017]
BBC News

05/12/2017 Rail fare rise biggest for five years [BBC News]
Train fares in Britain will go up by an average of 3.4% from 2 January, the rail industry has announced. The increase, the biggest since 2013, covers regulated fares, which includes season tickets, and unregulated fares, such as off-peak leisure tickets. The rise in regulated fares had already been capped at July's Retail Prices Index inflation rate of 3.6%. Passenger watchdog Transport Focus compared the news to 'a chill wind' for customers. More
BBC News

04/12/2017 Architect produces longest moving walkway alternative to tram-train Glasgow Airport link [Herald]
THE worlds longest moving walkway is the latest suggestion to end the long running saga of linking Glasgow Airport and the city centre. Architect Maurice Rodger has mooted the mile long sky travelator as an affordable solution to the Glasgow Airport rail link which he claims would cut the cost from £144 million to just £10 million. Mr Rodger of ID>A Design has drawn up a rough plan to create a new train station on the Glasgow to Wemyss Bay line near the Ferguslie Park housing estate in Paisley. More

03/12/2017 Track suits: More railway stations worth lingering at [BBC News]
While most railway stations in England are places to scurry through on the way to get somewhere else, there are some which are worth lingering a little longer at. BBC News recently suggested some everyday stops that offer commuters a little more than hurrying hordes and characterless coffee shops. Here are some more, this time recommended by readers. More
BBC News

03/12/2017 West Coast main line disruption: 'Do not travel' warning [BBC News]
Rail passengers travelling in or out of London Euston have been advised not to travel. Damage to overhead cabling means no West Coast main line services will arrive or depart until at least midday, Network Rail said. Passengers using Virgin, London Midland and London Overground services will be affected and delays are expected throughout the day. More
BBC News

02/12/2017 Railway hero honoured 44 years after tackling robbers [Scotsman]
A memorial for a railway security guard awarded Britains highest civil honour after being shot dead trying to stop a payroll robbery will be unveiled in Glasgow this month. The ceremony will take place on the 44th anniversary of James Kennedys murder at rail works in Springburn as he sought to prevent the gang escaping with nearly £10,000. More

02/12/2017 Could station plan get back on track? [Northumberland Gazette]
There has been pressure for nearly 20 years to re-open Reston station on the East Coast Main Line. It lies on a bus route linking Eyemouth and Duns, and the village has been poised for residential expansion pending the construction of the station. The Scottish Government made a commitment to the project, and Scotrail produced a draft timetable, which would be by extension of local services between Edinburgh and Dunbar, while the Scottish Borders Council committed a proportion of the funds required, and also committed to local development. It was announced that the station would open and services begun in late 2016. Nothing has happened, however, except that the commitment to construct it has been transferred to Network Rail, which has it in its budget for 2019-2024, and Scotrail has gone back on providing services. More

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]

The 0800 East Coast Kings Cross - Edinburgh service runs north through Reston, Berwickshire, on 8 March 2010. The train is passing the site of the island platform once shared by down trains on the main line and local services on the Berwickshire Railway^s cross-country line to St Boswells. The station house stands alongside the former main entrance in the left background. Reston, which lost its passenger service in 1964, is one of the locations identified as a possibility for reopening as part of a future improved Edinburgh - Berwick rail service.
[John Furnevel 08/03/2010]
Northumberland Gazette

01/12/2017 Scottish railway station is least used in Britain [BBC News]
A railway station in Angus is the least used in Great Britain, new figures have revealed. Just 24 passengers travelled to or from Barry Links station in 2016/17, according to data published by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) Only two ScotRail trains stop at the station, which is unstaffed and has no facilities, each day between Monday and Saturday. The station, which opened in 1851, is located between Dundee and Carnoustie. More

Northern Pacer 142094, working from Saltburn to Bishop Auckland, runs through Teesside Airport (without stopping of course) on 24th June. In 2017 the only trains scheduled to call are the (Sundays only) 1116 to Hartlepool and the 1236 to Darlington.
Teesside Airport
[Mark Bartlett 24/06/2017]

An exceptionally hot day at Barry Links looking south in August 2006 with an Aberdeen bound express service on the level crossing. The up platform was part of an island with the south side once used by troop trains serving the nearby MoD Barry Buddon training camp [see image 49155].
Barry Links
[John Furnevel 13/08/2006]

Breich at night ... very quiet... very, very quiet...
[Ewan Crawford //]
BBC News
ORR: Station usage estimates

30/11/2017 Grayling misleading Commons on East Coast rail 'bailout', says Labour [Guardian]
Labour has accused the transport secretary of misleading parliament over the early termination of the East Coast rail franchise as it emerged that the operator, Stagecoach, had been due to pay the Treasury more than £2bn in the final four years of its contract. A new rail strategy announced by Chris Grayling on Wednesday contained plans to replace the Virgin Trains East Coast (Vtec) contract running to September 2023 with a model of a partnership between track and train operators from 2020. More

30/11/2017 Government green light for £22m tramway [Blackpool Gazette]
Blackpool's £22m tram extension dream has been officially backed by the Government. The Department for Transport (DFT) tonight revealed it had approved the plan to extend the track from North Pier to North Station along Talbot Road, re-establishing a link which ceased operation in 1936. More
Blackpool Gazette

29/11/2017 Some lost rail routes may be 'restored' [BBC News]
Railway lines closed in the 1960s could be reopened if they boost the economy, the government has said. The plan forms part of a wider rail strategy under which the government will consider splitting up two of the biggest train operators. The move would affect Great Western and GTR, which comprises Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern. The government also plans to devolve running the track and train services to local companies. More
BBC News
Sky News

28/11/2017 The joy of the adventurous railway poster [Independent]
The golden age of the railway poster was undoubtedly 1890 to 1960 with many of the most famous or intriguing examples appearing between the years of 1919 and 1939. Why were they commissioned? As an enticement to holidaymakers soon to decide where next to go, those epic journeys drummed up valuable custom for railway companies for the laying on of hundreds of dedicated excursion trains, in addition to numerous Friday night and all-day Saturday specials before the ravages of Dr Beechings cuts. And where would you find these posters? On nearly every gas-lit railway station platform especially in the great mill, manufacturing and mining towns. Just where theyd be most noticed, as folks went about their daily business; giving them a goal at exactly the time their employers were sponsoring wakes weeks, providing up to 10 extra days pay for breadwinners. More

The British Rail / Caledonian Steam Packet Co 1969 summer season poster advertising the sailings on Loch Lomond by PS Maid of the Loch from Balloch Pier. Trains continued to run to Balloch Pier station for another 17 years, with closure taking place on 29 September 1986. [See image 16428]
Plates, signs and notices
[John McIntyre //1969]

Old BR poster The Queen of Scots 1928-1964. [See image 37611]
[John Furnevel //]

Above is a poster depicting Cruden Bay Hotel, built amongst the dunes north of Aberdeen by the GNSR to cater for golfers using the championship course. An electric tramway ran from Cruden Bay Station on the Boddam branch. The hotel was demolished after WW II, though the exceptional golf course remains. Below is the view in 2013. [See image 40796]
Cruden Bay
[Brian Taylor /05/2013]

26/11/2017 A first class bargain! Converted 19th century railway station goes on sale [Daily Mail]
A 19th century railway station that was converted into a family home has gone on sale for £380,000. The old Innerpeffray Station house, on a disused railway line near Crieff, Perthshire, is on the market nearly 70 years after closing its doors to the public. More

A westbound 54485 pauses at Innerpeffray, to the south east of Crieff, on the RCTS/SLS Joint Scottish Rail Tour on 15 June 1960. The special was on the leg from Methven to Comrie.
[WA Camwell (Copyright Stephenson Locomotive Society) 15/06/1960]
Daily Mail

26/11/2017 Play stations: Railway stops worth lingering at [BBC News]
The golden age of rail travel appears to be well and truly over, and stations lack the glamour formerly associated with letting the train take the strain. Often unmanned and usually unloved, they are places to hurry through. Commuters on the daily grind tend to be grimly determined when leaving a train. Heads down, elbows out, it's a fight to get to the exit. The only reason to pause is to grab a cardboard cup of something caffeinated before stalking out into the ice-spiked drizzle of a dark winter's morning. But what if your station wasn't full of faceless coffee chains and people pushing? What if there was a station garden filled with fragrant shrubs, or an art gallery, or a top-notch local restaurant? More

The ^Tap on the Line^ at Kew Gardens station is the last pub to be located on part of a London Underground platform (the station was opened by the L&SWR in 1869 and is today served by District Line and North London Line trains). The pub, formerly known as ^The Railway^ is today only accessible from Station Approach.
Kew Gardens
[Ian Dinmore //2016]

^Table for one please.^ Newcastle Central, 6 July 2004.
Newcastle Central
[John Furnevel 06/07/2004]

The former station building at Bearsden (opened 1863) - now houses a stylish pub/restaurant known as The Inn. Photographed on 8 August 2009, with its modern day replacement standing alongside on the right and the platform entrance between the two.
[David Panton 08/08/2009]
BBC News

25/11/2017 ScotRail has launched an Outlander train travel pass for fans of hit show [Glasgow Live]
A new travel pass has been launched, called the Spirit of Scotland, which enables passengers to experience some of the real-life filming locations at a discounted cost. The aim is to provide a 'bespoke itinerary' which makes rail travel across the country easily accessible. From Fife to South Queensferry, Inverness to Glencoe, Outlander has been filmed in some of Scotland's most beautiful spots, and according to ScotRail, this is the 'only ticket you'll need to experience the show's mysterious world'. And the best bit? The pass is on sale with a 20 per cent discount until February 2018. It entitles you to four days of travel across eight days (on sale for £111 down from £139) or eight days of travel across 15 (£143 down from £179). More
Glasgow Live

24/11/2017 Completion of London's Thameslink rail project delayed until December 2019 [Guardian]
The £7.5bn Thameslink project designed to run trains automatically through central London every two and a half minutes will now not be completed until the end of the decade. Passengers have suffered years of disruption due to engineering works to rebuild London Bridge and surrounding tracks, with the promise of a high-capacity service from 2018. Substantial benefits will be seen from May 2018, boosting capacity significantly - enough for around 35,000 more passengers at peak hours but the promised 24 trains an hour will now not be introduced until at least December 2019. More

22/11/2017 ScotRail punctuality down for third month in a row [Scotsman]
The ScotRail Alliances punctuality has slipped for the third month in a row, increasing the prospect of further potential remedial action. The deterioration in performance comes as ScotRail continues to implement a performance improvement plan (PIP) ordered by Scottish ministers a year ago. More

22/11/2017 Tram Inquiry: Princes Street row was used to bring city to its knees [Scotsman]
EDINBURGH would have been the laughing stock of Scotland, if not the world had a dispute over the Princes Street tram works - in which workers downed tools for months - not been resolved. Former TIE chairman David Mackay told the tram inquiry he had no doubt that a row over work on Princes Street was used by the construction consortium as a tactic to bring the city to its knees. More

Extensive Edinburgh Tram utilities diversion works taking place on the short section of Princes Street from South St Andrew Street to Waverley Bridge seen looking west on 22 February.
Princes Street [Tram]
[David Pesterfield 22/02/2012]

View east along Princes Street, Edinburgh, on 2 April 2009, with Tram works restarted.
Princes Street [Tram]
[Bill Roberton 02/04/2009]

View west along Princes Street over the tram works on 28 October 2009. Taken through a window on the top floor of Marks & Spencer.
Princes Street [Tram]
[F Furnevel 28/10/2009]

22/11/2017 Landslip closes train line between Inverness and Dingwall [BBC News]
The train line between Inverness and Dingwall has been closed following a landslip in the area. The incident happened on Tuesday evening, affecting Inverness to Wick and Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh services.ScotRail expect the line to be closed on Wednesday with a full inspection to be carried out in daylight with the track team assembling kit and materials required to start repairs. Meanwhile, ScotRails integrated control team are working on a temporary timetable for Dingwall to Wick/Kyle of Lochalsh. More
BBC News

21/11/2017 Discount railcard extended for people aged up to 30 [BBC News]
If you're 26 and annoyed about paying the full fare for your train travel, the Budget may offer a reprieve. The government has said people up to 30 years-old will now be able to buy a £30 railcard for discounted train travel. The move - set to be announced in Wednesday's Budget - would be an extension of the current young person's railcard for those aged 16 to 25. The so called millennials' card will be available from spring next year, and offer up to a third off non-peak fares. More
BBC News

18/11/2017 Strikes and Engineering Works to cause havoc during Festive Rush [Independent]
As pre-Christmas travel accelerates, rail passengers planning inter-city journeys face multiple problems from strikes and engineering works. Christmas markets are getting under way in London, York and Edinburgh this weekend, with those in Birmingham and Manchester already open. But trains will be disrupted on Sunday, with hundreds of miles of the CrossCountry rail network closed because of a strike by members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers about rostering and Sunday working. More

KML version