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30/11/2015 Flying Scotsman steams to head of world's most famous trains list [Telegraph]
The Flying Scotsman has topped a poll of the world's best known trains and locomotives. People across four continents were asked to name five trains or engines they had heard of and the famous green-and-black loco topped a league table that also included the Japanese bullet train, India's Rajadhani Express and the fastest-ever steam locomotive, Mallard. The National Railway Museum commissioned the worldwide survey, by YouGov, and released the result to coincide with the 81st anniversary of Flying Scotsman being the first locomotive to break the 100mph barrier. [From Mark Bartlett]

4472 Flying Scotsman on the turntable at Ferryhill during its 4 hour stopover in Aberdeen on 16 May 1964. The A3 had arrived in the city from Edinburgh with the Queens College RTS ^Flying Scotsman Railtour^.
[John Robin 16/05/1964]

4472 Flying Scotsman approaches Dent with ^The Lord Bishop^ special on 30th September 1978. One of two trains run that day in memory of Bishop Eric Treacy, this working had originated from London Euston.
[Bill Jamieson 30/09/1978]

4472 Flying Scotsman (honest) in the workshops at the National Railway Museum, York, in September 2007. [See image 4383]
National Railway Museum York
[Colin Miller 25/09/2007]

30/11/2015 Scotland’s worst performing train station revealed [Scotsman]
Just one train out of 16 arrives on time at Scotland’s worst performing rail station. The Dutch firm that now operates ScotRail, Abellio, has revealed just how bad its record is for punctuality. Arbroath station in Angus came out as the worst performing station in the country with just 6.1 per cent of the services terminating at Arbroath in the year up to October arriving on time – within a minute of its schedule. Second bottom was Ardrossan Harbour, in Ayrshire, with an 10.9 per cent punctuality rate. It was followed by High Street in Glasgow which recorded a rate of 19.5 per cent and Springburn in Glasgow, on just 22.2 per cent. At the other end of the scale, 89.6 per cent of trains terminating in Cowdenbeath, Fife, and 89.4 per cent of those completing their journey in Dunbar, East Lothian, arrived within 59 seconds. Posters in railway stations claim more than eight in 10 trains - 83.3 per cent to be exact - on the network arrive on time. The official figure used to calculate punctuality is called a public performance measure and it regards all long-distance journeys as on time if they arrive no more than 10 minutes late.

29/11/2015 HS2 Birmingham to Crewe link to open six years early [BBC News]
The proposed high-speed rail link between Birmingham and Crewe will be opened six years earlier than planned, in 2027, Chancellor George Osborne has said. Improving transport links with the North is a key part of the government's transport policy. Mr Osborne also announced that ex-head of the CBI business group John Cridland would chair Transport for the North. This new body will look to improve transport links across the North. The new timetable means a part of the second phase of the project is due to open only a year after the first phase from London to Birmingham is due to be operational.
BBC News

28/11/2015 New Apperley Bridge rail station to open in December [BBC News]
The first new railway station to be built in West Yorkshire in 10 years is to open to passengers next month. Apperley Bridge, between Leeds and Bradford, will start running on Sunday 13 December, subject to final approval by the Office of Rail and Road. The original station was shut down 50 years ago and its replacement has cost about £8m to complete. Two trains between Leeds and Bradford Forster Square or Skipton will run per hour Monday to Saturday.

No. 5690 Leander heading for Carnforth immediately west of the site of Apperley Bridge station (closed March 1965) on the ^Leander Enterprise^ railtour of 20th October 1979. This was the second time the Jubilee had departed from Leeds that day, having already done the clockwise circuit via Harrogate, with the assistance of the Midland Compound as far as York.
Apperley Bridge
[Bill Jamieson 20/10/1979]
BBC News

26/11/2015 Glasgow Airport tram-train link proposed [IRJ]
GLASGOW City Council announced on November 26 that it is looking to develop a tram-train link to connect Glasgow city centre and Paisley with Glasgow Airport, which could be operational within a decade. The project is included in the Glasgow and Clyde Valley City Deal, which will devolve £1bn in British Scottish government funding to the city and surrounding region for investment in transport and regeneration. The City Deal will also enable local authorities to borrow up to £130m for capital investment. [From Richard Buckby]
BBC News

26/11/2015 Inverkeithing to Perth rail route safeguarded [Transform Scotland]
Transform Scotland's press release:
' Transform Scotland's Inter-City Express Campaign aims to see investment in the railway between the Central Belt of Scotland and Inverness brought up to the level being spent on roads (£6bn on the A9 and A96 upgrades). We are looking for a major investment programme to bring the railway up to 21st century standard by dualling the track, electrification and other enhancements.
'An important element of our proposal is the re-opening of the line between Inverkeithing and Perth, which would give a reduction in journey time of at least 30 minutes to Perth and beyond. We have therefore been pressing for the safeguarding of remaining track and infrastructure from non-rail development which would inevitably lead to increased costs when the line is reconstructed.'

Looking north to Kelty station, junctions and marshalling yards in 1989. Unfortunately the trackbed has been heavily landscaped and you^ll need your imagination. A cutting here ran from the foreground off to the left with the station by the distant buildings to the left. The station building, somewhat confusingly, survives at Loch Leven having been moved [see image 17062]. Behind the camera was the junction between the ^new^ line from Cowdenbeath [2nd] and Lumphinnans.
Kelty South Junction
[Ewan Crawford //1989]

A distant Bill Jamieson framed in the northern portal of the second of two tunnels north of Glenfarg on 12th June 2013.
[David Spaven 12/06/2013]

Eastern abutment of bridge at Wicks O Baiglie looking north to Bridge of Earn (line closed 1970). Balmanno IBS were 400yards to the left.
Bridge of Earn
[Brian Forbes 9/10/2006]
Transform Scotland

25/11/2015 Borders Railway bridge dispute taken to tribunal [BBC News]
A charity is taking Network Rail to a tribunal over the money offered after the compulsory purchase of a bridge to carry the new Borders railway. The Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust has been offered £10,000 for the Glenesk Viaduct in Midlothian. It says that 'woefully undervalues' the £300,000 it spent on preserving and maintaining the structure. A Lands Tribunal hearing in Edinburgh, scheduled to run over two days, will examine the claim. The Edinburgh-based organisation bought the viaduct in 1992 when it was under threat of demolition and turned it into a walking and cycle route.

Plate attached to Glenesk Viaduct - May 2007. [See image 51725]
Glenesk Viaduct
[John Furnevel 09/05/2007]

The view south over Glenesk Viaduct from the hillside on 22 February. The Dalkeith branch left the Waverley route at Glenesk Junction on the far side of the viaduct.
Glenesk Viaduct
[Ewan Crawford 22/02/2014]

View over the graceful Glenesk Viaduct, some 6 miles from Edinburgh, looking south in 2002. The split of the Waverley route and the line to Dalkeith occurred at Glenesk Junction on the far side. The viaduct was built by the Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway and dates from 1830. [see image 39780].
Glenesk Viaduct
[John Furnevel //2002]
BBC News

25/11/2015 Network Rail sell-off to fund upgrades [BBC News]
Network Rail wants to sell £1.8bn of railway arch space, disused depots and shop space in bigger stations to help raise the cash to upgrade UK railways. New chairman Sir Peter Hendy came up with the idea after he was drafted in this summer to rescue the company's disastrous £12.5bn enhancement plan. He says by selling off non-core bits of property, Network Rail can now deliver 'the bulk' of the planned programme. It is the biggest SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) UK landlord.
BBC News

24/11/2015 Virgin East Coast plans £21m refurbishment for trains [BBC News]
Virgin Trains is to spend £21m refurbishing its fleet of 45 trains which run on the east coast mainline between London and Edinburgh. The company said all 401 carriages used on the route would be overhauled with more than 20,000 seats replaced and new carpets and curtains fitted. The work will be carried out at depots in London and Edinburgh. An additional £16m is also being spent on fitting 35 new engines to Virgin's diesel High Speed Train fleet. [From Mark Bartlett]

^Skyfall^ DVT 82231 on a Virgin Trains East Coast service calling at York on 19 March 2015.
[Veronica Clibbery 19/03/2015]

The VTEC 0755 Inverness - Kings Cross Highland Chieftain about to pull away from the Stirling stop on 1 April 2015.
[John Furnevel 01/04/2015]

VTEC 91124 brings up the rear of the 12.00 service to Kings Cross at a wintry Edinburgh Waverley on 3 March.
Edinburgh Waverley
[Bill Roberton 03/03/2015]
BBC News

24/11/2015 West Coast Railways steam prohibited on main line network [Rail]
The Office of Rail and Road has prohibited West Coast Railways from operating steam trains on the main line rail network. In a statement released today (November 24), the regulator said: “The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has temporarily prohibited West Coast Railway Company Ltd from operating steam trains on the main line rail network, to protect the safety of its staff, volunteers, passengers and members of the public. [From Mark Bartlett]

23/11/2015 Langholm station considered in Borders Railway extension study [BBC News]
A station in Langholm will be considered as part of a potential future extension of the Borders Railway to Carlisle. The Scottish government has confirmed the prospect would be explored as part of a planned feasibility study. The commitment has come from Infrastructure Secretary Keith Brown. [From Mark Bartlett]

The 10.48 Saturday morning train to Carlisle pulls away from the platform at Langholm on 14 September 1963 with Ivatt 2-6-0 no 43045 in charge.
[Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) 14/09/1963]

The branch train for Riddings Junction heads south out of Langholm station on 12th April 1964, just a couple of months before withdrawal of passenger services.
[Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) 12/04/1964]

The Langholm branch train runs alongside the A7 about a mile south of the town heading for Carlisle in 1962. Nowadays the bridge over the Esk is controlled by traffic lights. For the scene forty-eight years later [see image 31011].
[Bruce McCartney //1962]
BBC News

23/11/2015 Funding approval means green light for Croxley Link [Rail News]
TRANSPORT for London has confirmed that it has secured full funding for the Croxley Link extension of the Metropolitan Line. The development means that a funding gap of £2.73 million has been closed. This was revealed a few weeks ago, casting fresh doubt over the future of the long-discussed scheme. The diversion of the line away from the present Watford station on the edge of the town centre will use the former Croxley Green BR branch and bring Metropolitan trains into Watford Junction. The extension will also bring London Underground trains back to Watford Junction for the first time since rush-hour Bakerloo Line trains were withdrawn in 1982. [From Richard Buckby]
Rail News

22/11/2015 Fire destroys chip shop and school club in Dyce [BBC News]
[RailScot note: this building was the last remaining station building at Dyce station, being the up platform building for the Buchan line.]

A fish and chip shop and an after school club have both been destroyed in a fire in Dyce. Fire crews were called to Station Road shortly after 04:00 on Sunday. As a result of the blaze, the nearby Dyce Railway Station is closed. Five fire vehicles were involved in tackling the flames. Nobody was injured in the incident and Police Scotland, along with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, is carrying out an investigation.

A ScotRail 158 bound for Aberdeen stands at Dyce on 6 November 2006.
[John Furnevel 06/11/2006]

The building on the up Buchan line platform at Dyce station in September 1977.
[Bill Roberton /09/1977]
BBC News

21/11/2015 Crossrail train carriage features unveiled [BBC News]
Transport for London has released details of the trains which will carry passengers on the £14.8bn Crossrail route, saying they will be 'fully accessible' with free Wi-Fi access. Services due to start in 2018 will run across London, extending as far west as Reading and as far east as Shenfield in Essex. London Mayor Boris Johnson said the rolling stock 'showcase the best of British design and engineering'. They are built by Bombardier in Derby. Each train will provide space for 1,500 customers in nine carriages. At over 656ft (200m), they are over one and a half times longer than the longest Tube train.
BBC News

21/11/2015 First tram-train heads for Sheffield [Railway Gazette]
UK: The first of seven Citylink vehicles for the Sheffield – Rotherham tram-train pilot project left Vossloh España’s factory near Valencia on November 18. Expected to leave the port of Santander on November 23, it is due to arrive in Southampton on November 28 before making the final leg of its journey by road, to arrive in Sheffield on December 1.

20/11/2015 Rocketing rail electrification costs unacceptable, say MPs [BBC News]
A £1.2bn hike in the cost of the Great Western Main Line rail electrification is 'staggering and unacceptable', the Public Accounts Committee has said. Upgrading the line between Maidenhead and Cardiff was set at £1.6bn in 2014 but is now estimated to cost £2.8bn. MPs said it was not clear why and said Network Rail had 'lost its grip' on large projects. Network Rail said planning of the scheme had not been good enough but changes had been made to control costs.
BBC News

20/11/2015 Eurostar Velaro e320 enters passenger service [IRJ]
EUROSTAR's new fleet of Siemens Velaro e320 (class 374) high-speed trains entered passenger service on the morning of November 20, when one of the 16-car sets formed the 10.24 from London St Pancras to Paris Nord. [From Richard Buckby]

19/11/2015 Edinburgh trams: Extension to Newhaven gets green light [BBC News]
Councillors in Edinburgh have agreed the city's tram line should be extended by three miles to reach Newhaven. The decision to approve the proposal in principle was described as a 'first cautious step' during a meeting in the City Chambers. It follows a council report that recommended extending the current line to Newhaven at a cost of £144.7m.

Edinburgh Tram 260 at St Andrew Square on 12 December 2014.
St Andrew Square [Tram]
[Bill Roberton 12/12/2014]

Edinburgh tram 254, bound for the Airport, arrives at Murrayfield on a September evening in 2014.
Murrayfield Stadium [Tram]
[Andrew Wilson 14/09/2014]

^Errr.. excuse me chief, there^s a tram coming..!^ A Lothian and Borders Fire Brigade training exercise taking place alongside Gogar Tram Depot on 18 February 2015.
Gogar Tram Depot
[John Furnevel 18/02/2015]
BBC News

19/11/2015 Late braking blamed for TGV Est derailment [IRJ]
FRENCH National Railways (SNCF) president Mr Guillaume Pepy confirmed on November 19 that an initial internal investigation into the derailment of a test train on TGV Est Phase 2 on November 14, which killed 11 people, has identifed that the accident was caused by excessive speed following a late brake application. [From Richard Buckby]

18/11/2015 Devolution deal boost for Birmingham rail services [Rail News]
Birmingham has secured a devolution deal with the UK government that will allow it to fund transport projects worth almost £2 billion. In return for agreeing to have a new elected mayor, the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) will receive an annual payment of £36.5 million from Whitehall to support local borrowing of more than £1 billion. The West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority (ITA) said the funding will support the delivery of the HS2 Connectivity Package, which includes light rail links from the proposed station at Curzon Street to Birmingham Airport via Bordesley Green and Chelmsley Wood, and between Wednesbury and Brierley Hill. Improvements to the West Coast Main Line and better connectivity between the East Midlands and the West Midlands will also be possible, the ITA has said. As part of the deal, the government also approved funding for the £97 million Adderley Park metro extension. [From Richard Buckby]
Rail News

16/11/2015 First refurbished Irish Enterprise train launched [IRJ]
TRANSLINK Northern Ireland Railways unveiled the first of three eight-car refurbished Enterprise trains, which operate between Belfast and Dublin, at Belfast Central station on November 16. The £12.2m project, which will be completed by the end of the year, is being funded through the European Union's InterReg IVA programme, with support from Ireland's Department for Regional Development and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. [From Richard Buckby]

16/11/2015 Double decker trains are designed to help ease overcrowding [Telegraph]
Double-decker trains could be introduced on British railways in a bid to ease overcrowding at peak times. Designers are said to be working on ways of developing such trains that would still be compatible with low bridges and tunnels, according to The Times. Such carriages would be lowered towards the tracks to create height, while aisles on both decks, positioned down the side of the compartment, would create maximum space.

Two generations of SNCF TER EMUs, operating services to the Picardie Region, stand at Gare du Nord during the early evening on 24 February 2015. Nearest the camera is new Alstom Regiolis 6 car single deck unit 84519L, whilst across platform is older Alstom built double deck unit 446.
Paris Gare du Nord
[David Pesterfield 24/02/2015]

The 15.39 service to Amersfoort Schothorst, formed by a double decker DD-VIRM, prepares for an on-time departure from Gouda on 16 July.
[Andrew Wilson 16/07/2015]

The start of the Hamburg evening rush hour on 27 July 2010. On the left of the photograph two local services are departing the station almost in unison, while in the centre a double decker service for Lubeck awaits its departure time, as does an ICE train on the right.
[John Steven 27/07/2010]

14/11/2015 Wires start to go up on Great Western Main Line [Rail News]
The first overhead wires of the Great Western Main Line electrification project have gone up near Reading. Network Rail engineers began the installation on November 12 between Pangbourne and Tilehurst – the section which will be used by Hitachi to test its Class 800 Intercity Express trains. A mile of earth wire was installed, becoming the first section of OLE to go up beyond the existing catenary at Airport Junction in Stockley, London. [From Richard Buckby]
Rail News

14/11/2015 Seven dead as French TGV high-speed train derails [BBC News]
A high-speed TGV train has derailed near the eastern French city of Strasbourg, killing at least seven people, officials say. The crash happened during a test run in the town of Eckwersheim, on a new Paris-Strasbourg line. Reports say technicians were on board the train and seven people were injured. The injured have been taken to hospital by helicopters. The AFP news agency quotes the Alsace regional prefecture as saying the derailment happened due to 'excessive speed'. Pictures later showed the locomotive partly submerged in a canal alongside the track. Wreckage was also scattered in a field beside the track. Rescue teams - including divers - are working at the scene.
BBC News

13/11/2015 Rail summit urged amid 'chaos engulfing the system' [Herald]
A summit on Scotland's railways is needed to deal with the 'chaos currently engulfing the system', according to a Labour MSP. Neil Findlay wants Transport Minister Derek Mackay to bring together employee and passenger representatives, the board of ScotRail and a cross-party group of transport experts to discuss issues affecting train services. It was revealed earlier this month that ScotRail has been fined more than £250,000 over three months for failing to meet strict standards for trains and stations. Figures show the franchise, taken over by operator Abellio in April, was hit with £265,282 in penalties between July and September. ScotRail fell short in eight of 17 areas of station performance over the period, including toilets, litter, shelters and CCTV and security.

12/11/2015 Strike ballot called over Sleeper train “defects” [Scotsman]
Caledonian Sleeper staff are to be balloted for industrial action over “potentially dangerous” defects with the ageing trains, the Rail Maritime and Transport union (RMT) announced today. The move follows growing discontent among the 100-strong workforce at faults which the union claimed included smoke alarms, lighting and toilets not working. There have also been problems with lack of hot water. RMT Scotland regional organiser Gordon Martin said there were currently more than 200 defects with the trains, which had led to whole carriages being closed on some services. Some coaches in the Sleeper fleet, which is due for replacement in 2018, date back more than 40 years. [From Colin McDonald]

11/11/2015 Nottingham-to-Derby tram link backed by councils [BBC News]
A multi-million pound project to extend the Nottingham tram system to Derby is being treated as a 'priority', the BBC has learned. The tram, which currently serves the Nottingham area, would also run to East Midlands Airport and the proposed HS2 station at Toton. The 19 councils in the region described the scheme as one of several 'priority projects' in devolution negotiations. [From Richard Buckby]

The Nottingham Express Transit (a tramway) under construction.
[Ewan Crawford //]

The NET tram system in Nottingham uses the former route of the Great Central to approach Nottingham (Midland) station. Here a tram sits at the terminus with the station beyond and below. Just to the north was the former Weekday Cross Junction. View looks south.
Weekday Cross Junction
[Ewan Crawford 18/11/2006]
BBC News

11/11/2015 Leith Walk tram line extension blocked by the SNP [Scotsman]
PLANS to extend the Capital’s tram line down Leith Walk have suffered a major blow with SNP councillors set to oppose the move. A full meeting of the city council next week is due to vote on whether to go ahead with a £144 million proposal to complete the route to Newhaven.

The current Edinburgh Tram terminus at York Place, looking west towards Queen Street on 22 August 2015. The layout of this terminus certainly looks ^temporary^.
York Place [Tram]
[John Yellowlees 22/08/2015]

The buffer at Edinburgh Trams York Place terminus on 23 September. The road sign in the background points the way for the delayed Leith extension.
York Place [Tram]
[Bill Roberton 23/09/2014]

The new sign for Major Roadworks in Edinburgh. View north along Leith Walk towards Princes Street on 8 October 2007 with activity underway on the rerouting of gas, electricity and water supplies in advance of tram works proper.
Leith Walk
[John Furnevel 08/10/2007]

11/11/2015 Highland Tain station gets lease of life [Traffic Scotland]
Tain railway station in Easter Ross will receive a new lease of life today (11 November), as a new restaurant opens in its disused building thanks to the Station Community Regeneration Fund. The 'Platform 1864' restaurant was funded jointly by grants from Transport Scotland's Station Community Regeneration Fund and the Railway Heritage Trust.

Tain. The main building, redundant and boarded up. 16/10/06
[John Gray 16/10/2006]

10/11/2015 TfL has released the first official 'walk the Tube' map for London [Evening Standard]
Transport bosses have unveiled the first official map showing the walking times between central London's Tube stations. The comprehensive plan highlights the time it takes to travel on foot between almost all of the stations on London’s Underground network. [From Mark Bartlett]
Evening Standard

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