This day in history 15 January

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Images



Wells-next-the-Sea: This is the platform side of the former Wells next the Sea station on 15th January 1978, around 13 years after closure. The concrete buffer stop on the left was for the West Norfolk line while the line from Dereham terminated on the right. The discarded vintage toilet and cistern visible are an unintentional homage to a George Cooke, whose visit to the station Gents on the evening of 3rd June 1879 ended tragically. An approaching train from Norwich lost control, overran the platform end and ploughed into the building (roughly to the right of the brick arch), delivering the unfortunate Mr Cooke a sudden and cruel end but also a footnote in history. [Ref query 847]

Wells and Walsingham Light Railway
Mark Dufton [15/01/1978]


Barnhill: LNER No Trespass sign located at south end of west platform of Barnhill Station - NBR City of Glasgow Union Line.

City of Glasgow Union Railway
Alistair MacKenzie [15/01/1980]


Plates, signs, notices etc: British Transport Commission trespass warning sign. Rectangular metal sign (probably black background with white lettering and border) located at the site of Abercorn Station, Paisley on the Paisley & Renfrew line. Bearing the legend - British Transport Commission - WARNING - Is hereby given to persons not to trespass upon the Railway - Penalty not exceeding 40s.

British Rail
Alistair MacKenzie [15/01/1980]


Greenhill Lower Junction: On a frosty morning in January 1989, a Glasgow - Falkirk class 101 DMU heads north over the former double lead junction.

Scottish Central Railway
Brian Forbes [15/01/1989]


Calstock Viaduct: A 2-car DMU bound for Gunnislake crosses the Tamar on Calstock Viaduct in January 1990. The viaduct, built in 1908, carries the railway 120 feet above the river between Bere Alston and Calstock.

Callington Branch (Plymouth, Devonport and South Western Junction Railway)
Ian Dinmore [15/01/1990]


Paris Gare du Nord: SNCF TGV service standing in the shadows at Paris Nord in January 1994.

SNCF
John Furnevel [15/01/1994]


Fouldubs Junction: A container train unloading at WHM Grangemouth on 15 January 2005. At the head of the train are DRS class 37 locomotives 37218 (nearest) and 37602. View is south west below the M9 Motorway overbridge.

Grangemouth Railway (Forth and Clyde Canal)
John Furnevel [15/01/2005]


Fouldubs Junction: A pair of class 37s with a container train - unloading completed - at WHM Grangemouth in January 2005. DRS 37602 is nearest the camera with 37218 at the head of the train.

Grangemouth Railway (Forth and Clyde Canal)
John Furnevel [15/01/2005]


Haymarket: A train for Bathgate standing at Haymarket's new platform 0, now with its recently completed canopy, on 15 January 2007.

Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway
John Furnevel [15/01/2007]


Haymarket: All change please... View east at Haymarket on 15 January 2007 as passengers change from a terminating service at platform 0 to a Waverley bound train recently arrived at 1.

Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway
John Furnevel [15/01/2007]


Lochore: Old bridge on the B920, Main Street, Lochore, over the trackbed of the Thornton-Westfield-Kelty branch. Only the western parapet of the bridge remains, the other side having been landscaped. It would appear that reclaimed stone has been used to infill the span at some stage.

North British Railway
Bill Roberton [15/01/2009]


Lochore: Looking west from the bridge on Main Street, Lochore on 15 January along the trackbed of the Thornton-Westfield-Kelty branch. The view is towards the site of Mary Colliery, the concrete headgear of which is preserved within what is now Lochore Meadows Country Park.

North British Railway
Bill Roberton [15/01/2009]


Leicester North: The GCR Leicester North station slowly thawing out on a quiet January Friday. Notice the brick cutout for the now demolished signal box on the right and the bricked-up entrance to the former Belgrave and Birstall station on the distant overbridge see image [[31066]].

London Extension (Great Central Railway)
Ken Strachan [15/01/2010]


Belgrave and Birstall: A bricked up entrance, a chimney and a storage space within the bridge pier are all that remains at this former suburban station on the North side of Leicester; although one track has been relaid. The awning of the more recent Leicester North station can just be seen over the parapet to the left of the entrance.

London Extension (Great Central Railway)
Ken Strachan [15/01/2010]


Bathgate: 334 001 waits at a wet Bathgate Station on 15 January 2011 with the 16.01 to Edinburgh waverley.

Edinburgh and Bathgate Railway
Bill Roberton [15/01/2011]


Leith Walk: It is over 80 years since anyone caught a train at Leith Walk station. I imagine it succumbed to competition from the frequent trams up 'The Walk' as passenger trains continued to pass it on the way to the North Leith branch which didn't close until 1947 on the eve of nationlisation. The ticket office was set back from Leith Walk where these advertising hoardings now stand see image [[22889]].

Easter Road Deviation (North British Railway)
David Panton [15/01/2011]


Edinburgh Waverley: A pre-dawn look along the former 'Sub' Platforms 8 and 9 on 15 January 2011.  The awning is looking a bit tired; it is destined to be replaced in the Waverley station improvement programme, though the Victorian ironwork will be retained.  Waverley is one of only 7 stations outside London owned by Network Rail (as is Glasgow Central) and so has NR signage.  Waverley's symbol is a castellated letter E, but it's bell shape makes it look rather like a pound sign.  I'm sure this wasn't the intention, though I like a '£' as much as the next miser.

North British Railway
David Panton [15/01/2011]


Standish Junction: Immediately south of Standish station was Standish Junction, where the Whelley Loop left the WCML and ran to the east of Wigan. In this picture looking north towards the site of Standish station a Virgin Voyager heads north on 15 January 2012. The burrowing junction under the WCML can just be identified beyond the second OHLE stanchion on the right with the brick tunnel entrance almost at right angles to the track.

North Union Railway
John McIntyre [15/01/2012]


Douglas Viaduct: Remains of the viaduct over the River Douglas on the Boar's Head to Adlington line to the north of Wigan which closed in 1971. Normally difficult to photograph during summer because of the trees, this view is south east on 15 January 2012. Haigh Junction was off to the left and Boar's Head Junction (on the WCML) to the right.

Lancashire Union Railway
John McIntyre [15/01/2012]


Standish Junction: To avoid conflicting movements across the west coast main line, a burrowing junction was created at Standish to the north of Wigan to cater for the route from Whelley Junction. Although the secondary route disappeared in the 1970s the structure remains intact. View south on 15 January 2012.

North Union Railway
John McIntyre [15/01/2012]


Totnes: Totnes Station's long former signal box building sited behind the up platform and accessed from the footbridge steps half landing is now used as a cafe. Other than the cafe signs as a giveaway it could be taken for an operational box

South Devon Railway
David Pesterfield [15/01/2013]


Derby: Devon & Cornwall Railway Company's 56311, coupled to ex Jarvis Rail 56301 in sidings alongside Derby Station south junction, emits an initial burst of 'clag' just after being started up on a cold and frosty 15 January morning.

North Midland Railway
David Pesterfield [15/01/2013]


Totnes Riverside: The South Devon Railway's Totnes Riverside station and signalbox, and Network Rail connection, as seen from a passing train in January 2013.

South Devon Railway
David Pesterfield [15/01/2013]


Gloucester Road: Refurbished LUL 1973 stock with a Piccadilly Line service to Heathrow Terminal 4 and Terminals 1, 2, 3 at Gloucester Road station, on 15th January 2014. This deep-level tube station opened on 15th December 1906 with the original section of the Great Northern Piccadilly & Brompton Railway from Finsbury Park to Hammersmith, now part of the much-extended Piccadilly Line to which it was renamed in 1937. It is an interchange with the former Metropolitan District Railway sub-surface station (now part of the District and Circle Lines) that had opened on 1st October 1868.

Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway
David Bosher [15/01/2014]


Haymarket: The mural at Haymarket station on 15 January 2014, now relocated to the front of the 1842 building for the duration of its refurbishment.

Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway
John Yellowlees [15/01/2014]


Morecambe: DRS 37609 accelerates towards Heysham after the reversal at Morecambe with a single flask wagon and 57008 in tow. This view taken from the Regent Rd bridge in Morecambe on 15 January. The As Required flask train runs in the afternoon after the daily boat train has cleared the section at Bare Lane.

Morecambe Bay Railway
Mark Bartlett [15/01/2014]


Girvan: Sign of the times. A bus service is currently operating between Givan and Stranraer due to damage to the Laggansarroch Viaduct (between Pinwherry and Pinmore).

Girvan and Portpatrick Junction Railway
Colin Miller [15/01/2016]


Ardmore Level Crossing: In gloriously sunny conditions, and just east of Ardmore level crossing, 66733 passes east with the empties from the Lochaber Smelter for North Blyth. See image [[53913]] for the same locomotive working in the reverse direction the next day.

Glasgow, Dumbarton and Helensburgh Railway
Ewan Crawford [15/01/2016]


Springfield: A lampholder on the footbridge at Springfield.

Edinburgh and Northern Railway
John Yellowlees [15/01/2017]


Scotstounhill: ​​A half-hourly Cumbernauld to Dumbarton Central EMU calls at Scotstounhill on 13th January 2018. These services alternate with Whifflet/Motherwell to Dalmuir trains while non-stoppers whoosh through in between.

Glasgow, Yoker and Clydebank Railway
David Panton [15/01/2018]


Abermule [Canal Depot]: A canal goods shed - not something you see every day. It is situated alongside the A483, and carries a sign with the evocative message: 'Shropshire Union Railways and Canal Company - General Carriers'. I found it by getting lost on the way to a pub!

Shropshire Union Railways and Canal Company
Ken Strachan [15/01/2018]


Ford Bridge: The station at Ford Bridge, to the south of Leominster, operated from 1866 to 1954. The level crossing closed after the Leominster bypass (in the foreground) opened in 1988. I once paced a cement train here while driving down the bypass - the combination of a misty night and a white dust covered train made for a spooky experience. [Ref query 23 January 2018]

Shrewsbury and Hereford Railway
Ken Strachan [15/01/2018]


Blenheim and Woodstock: Blenheim and Woodstock station closed in 1954, and has twice escaped demolition. It may look a little bland, but I'm glad it's still there.

Woodstock Railway
Ken Strachan [15/01/2018]


Edinburgh Waverley: On 15th January 2018, the day Carillion collapsed, I saw this van do a three-point turn and drive up the ramp to leave Waverley station, no longer to be 'Creating better railways' in the form of the Platforms 5 & 6 extension. At time of writing, 13th February, the vans and Carillion signs are still there, and all I can say is that some contractors from somewhere seem to be doing at least some work on site...

North British Railway
David Panton [15/01/2018]


Plowden: The station at Plowden on the Bishop's Castle Railway (closed 1935) was a very large station for a very small railway. There are still few houses around here, although the station building, incorporating the station master's house on the left, has been converted to two separate dwellings. [Ref query 28 January 2018]

Bishop^s Castle Railway
Ken Strachan [15/01/2018]


Lydham Heath: This obscure country railway was originally intended to connect to the Minsterley branch, and/or the Cambrian near Welshpool. But they ran out of money, so this station became a reversing junction, rather than a through station. The single platform was behind the wall on the right; the remains in the foreground are part of the cattle dock. The truck trailer on the left has somewhat taken root over the last 20 years or so; perhaps, like the long-abandoned HAA cripple at Nantgarw colliery, it will eventually have to be cut up on site.

Bishop^s Castle Railway
Ken Strachan [15/01/2018]


Forton: 50008 Thunderer powers north on the WCML at Forton with 5Z50, a special working conveying three former GWR HST coaches from Leicester to Craigentinny on 15th January 2018.

Lancaster and Preston Junction Railway
Mark Bartlett [15/01/2018]


Forton: 50008 Thunderer with three former GWR HST coaches, and two barrier vans, negotiates the reverse curves at Forton on 18th January 2018. This was 5Z50, a special working from Leicester to Craigentinny Depot via the WCML.

Lancaster and Preston Junction Railway
Mark Bartlett [15/01/2018]


Eaton: Eaton station was a much more sensible size for the rural Bishops Castle Railway than Plowden see image [[62685]]. The weighbridge office survives, in use as a garden shed; while the trackbed looks walkable, given permission and wellies. View looks generally towards Lydham Heath. The station closed in 1935 and is seen here in January 2018.

Bishop^s Castle Railway
Ken Strachan [15/01/2018]


Newcraighall North Junction: 158713, on the 1422hrs Waverley to Tweedbank service, after passing Newcraighall on 15th January 2018. Beyond is the new EMU depot, complete with electric train.

Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway
John Yellowlees [15/01/2018]


Warriston Junction: Looking north east along the curving course of the NBR line from Warriston Junction to North Leith on 15th January 2019. The ornate stonework is part of a tunnel connecting parts of Warriston Cemetery, which was divided by the railway.

Edinburgh, Leith and Newhaven Railway
Bill Roberton [15/01/2019]


Crew Junction: Looking north over the site of Crew Junction Yard on 15th January 2019. The CR Leith branch ran in front of the fence in the background with the sidings parallel.

Granton Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Bill Roberton [15/01/2019]


Morecambe: Nearly the end of the line for the Northern Pacers. 142092 approaches the buffers at Morecambe after the short run from Lancaster on 15th January 2019, a scene that has been repeated many times during their long service See image [[20207]]. However, this should be the last year of main line duties for these units.

North Western Railway
Mark Bartlett [15/01/2019]


Crew Junction: Base of a lattice post signal near Crew Junction, seen during a walk of closed Edinburgh railway lines in January 2019. This was most likely the down advanced starter.

Granton Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Bill Roberton [15/01/2019]


Pilton Junction East: View east from Pilton Drive of the CR line to Leith, now a foot/cycle path, in January 2019. Housing now occupies the site of the rail-served Bruce Peebles engineering works. After closure of the CR Leith branch in 1968, the internal railway sidings at Bruce Peebles survived to serve the stock yard with a Jones diesel crane used for moving materials.See image [[]]

Granton Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Bill Roberton [15/01/2019]


House O^ Hill Halt: Looking east over the site of House O'Hill Halt on the Barnton branch in January 2019. It opened in 1937 and closed in 1951.

Barnton Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Bill Roberton [15/01/2019]


York Road: Entrance to former York Road station, LUL Piccadilly Line, complete with signs despite being closed since 17th September 1932, seen here through the front upstairs windows of a 'New Routemaster' bus - a 'Routemaster' in name only since they are nothing like the traditional and much-loved Routemasters of old - on route 390 towards Victoria, travelling along York Way - as York Road is now called - on 15th January 2020.

Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway
David Bosher [15/01/2020]


Kings Cross: The frontage of King's Cross station, designed by Lewis Cubitt for the Great Northern Railway's London Extension and opened in 1852 (trains had used a temporary terminus just to the north at Maiden Lane for two years before it was ready), seen through the front upstairs windows of a 'New Routemaster' bus on route 390 from Archway to Victoria, on 15th January 2020.

Great Northern Railway
David Bosher [15/01/2020]


Kings Cross: Lewis Cubitt's King's Cross station, opened in 1852 for the Great Northern Railway, seen here on 15th January 2020. Demolition of the ghastly buildings put up in front of the station in 1972, and meant to be only temporary though they lasted 40 years, was intended to open up a view of the station frontage with a brand new plaza, called King's Cross Square, but these equally ghastly buildings still blot out most of the view, more's the pity.

Great Northern Railway
David Bosher [15/01/2020]


Hest Bank: 195112 skirts Morecambe Bay with a Barrow service from Manchester Airport on 15th January 2020. Just 24 hours later the wires above the train were damaged in an incident. This caused severe disruption to WCML services that continued through to the 17th.

Lancaster and Carlisle Railway
Mark Bartlett [15/01/2020]


Events


Events from the chronology which occured on this day. This generally lists events before 1995, the creation of the website.

YearCompaniesDescription
1867Peebles RailwayWalkerburn opened.
1872Relly Mill to Ferryhill (North Eastern Railway)Line opened.
1968Douglas Branch (Caledonian Railway)Ponfeigh to Lanark Racecourse to Smyllum East Junction closed to freight.
1980Vale of Glamorgan RailwayBranch opened from Ewenny to Ford Motor Company by Bridgend.

News


These are old news items which which occured on this day. This generally lists events after 1995, the creation of the website.

YearCompaniesDescription
2005Delays worsen for Capital Commuters [Scotsman]First ScotRail admitted it was still facing "significant problems" on routes into Edinburgh as performance on its trains deteriorated across half the country for the third consecutive month.
2006Bus tycoon sued over train delay [Scotsman]COACH company owner Robin Gloag is being sued by Network Rail over allegations that a train was delayed by one of his school buses.
2008Kings Cross redevelopment 2008 [Network Rail Article]
2009High-speed rail link considered [BBC News Article]The UK Government is forming a company to consider the case for new high speed rail services from London to Scotland.
2009Network Rail welcomes rail expansion [Network Rail]Network Rail today welcomed the Government’s announcement of potential further rail expansion and the key role that the company will play in developing proposals.
2009Maxwell Park adopted! [First ScotRail]POLLOKSHIELDS HERITAGE, the local conservation and amenity society, has ‘adopted’ Maxwell Park station with their refurbishment of the former Booking Office - assisted by Glasgow City Council, the Railway Heritage Trust and First ScotRail - for use as a small community meeting venue and exhibition area. Officiating at the latest development in the saga of the station where he played such a prominent role throughout his youth is JACK KERNAHAN, former local resident and railway historian who ‘spent some of the happiest days of his life’ in the building, helping to maintain the platform gardens, operating the booking office and generally helping the station staff. “I used to study for University exams in the Station Master^s room...lovely warmth from the stove! We had a small railway museum in the SM^s room from 1966 to 1971.” On this occasion Jack will present the original map of the area which hung in the booking office – and the last station master’s hat! – restoring them to their former location. His friend and ally from those earlier days, Hamish Stevenson, a noted railway photographer, will also be attending. An Options Appraisal for the re-use of the whole of the station premises was carried out on behalf of Pollokshields Heritage by the Glasgow Building Preservation Trust in 2007-8. But notwithstanding the wide range of interests attracted to the station building, it concluded that the costs of regenerating the whole building currently prohibit any potential funder. While the outstanding issues are being addressed, Pollokshields Heritage is taking the lead towards sustainable re-occupation of the whole of this iconic building with their refurbishment of the former Booking Office.
2010Moor Street station to get faster trains to Londn [Birmingham Post]A dramatic expansion of Moor Street station will give Birmingham a second major rail terminal with high-quality and faster trains to London.
2010How to track down a cheap train ticket [The Guardian]Train fares may have risen an average of 1.1% this year, yet there are still plenty of cheap tickets out there – if you are prepared to be flexible and book ahead.
2011Rail thieves steal track [Doncaster Free Press]More than three quarters of a mile of rail track has been stolen from a railway line in Tickhill, Doncaster.
2011Scots urged to push for new rail link - in England [Scotsman]SCOTS were today urged to campaign in favour of a controversial high-speed rail line through the heart of England - so it can eventually be extended to Edinburgh and Glasgow.
2013Stockholm train crashed into apartments by cleaner [BBC News]A cleaning woman has stolen an empty commuter train in a suburb of Stockholm and crashed it into a house, injuring herself, Swedish officials say. She drove the four-carriage train out of the depot for about a mile (1.6km) until it jumped the tracks, ending up wedged into a three-story building.
2013Treasure trove of old Scottish railway photos found at car boot sale [Scotsman]AN ANTIQUES dealer who bought a treasure trove of old photographs documenting Scottish railways in the 40s and 50s has called the discovery a “great find”.
2013Great British Railway Journeys [Railscot]The next round of the popular TV programme ^Great British Railway Journeys^ continues next week (21-25 January) with Michael Portillo travelling across Scotland (BBC2 1830 - 1900). Recording of the programme was completed last September. [Railscot]
2014Freight train hits car on level crossing in Silverdale [BBC News]A freight train used for taking spent nuclear fuel to the Sellafield site in Cumbria hit a car on a level crossing, police said. The vehicles travelled 300m (984ft) down the track following the crash at the New Road crossing, Silverdale, at about 19:00 GMT on Tuesday. No one was injured but both drivers were treated for shock. The train was not loaded at the time. [From Mark Bartlett]
2015Churchill^s funeral carriage restoration complete [BBC News]The carriage which carried Sir Winston Churchill^s coffin to his final resting place has been restored. Southern Railway luggage van No 2464 has spent four months being stripped and repainted at Locomotion, the National Railway Museum in Shildon. The carriage transported Churchill^s coffin from London to Oxfordshire in 1965. [From Mark Bartlett]
2016Aslef calls another Welsh strike [Rail News]A FURTHER strike has been called of Arriva Trains Wales drivers, after peace talks broke down. Aslef said its members would walk out on 1 February, in the continuing dispute over conditions. There has already been one strike this year, on 4 January, and there had been hopes that further negotiations would result in agreement over terms and conditions of drivers^ employment. A pay deal has already been accepted. [From Richard Buckby]
2016Transport for London should run south London rail, report urges [BBC News]^Strained^ rail services in south London are ^not delivering^ and should be taken over by Transport for London, according to a think tank report. The Centre for London has called on the Department for Transport to devolve the network when current franchises expire.
2016Thousands of tonnes of debris blocks Newcastle to Carlisle railway [BBC News]Work is continuing to clear a huge landslip which has blocked the railway line between Newcastle and Carlisle. Network Rail engineers are having to remove thousands of tonnes of debris after heavy rain caused a huge swathe of rocks, soil and trees to slide down down onto the track at Farnley Haugh. Despite the scenes of devastation at the site, Network Rail^s route managing director, Rob McIntosh, is confident they will have the line open again within four weeks.
2017Ground broken on Manchester^s Trafford Park line [Global Rail News]Manchester^s civic leaders have broken ground on the £350 million Trafford Park line. The 5.5 km line will connect the Metrolink network to the intu Trafford Centre and Manchester United^s home ground, Old Trafford. Due to open in 2020/21, the line will branch off from the existing Pomona stop. [From Richard Buckby]
2018ScotRail ranks bottom in Scotland says consumer watchdog study [Herald]SCOTRAIL has ranked bottom for user satisfaction amongst train companies operating in Scotland, according to a consumer watchdog^s annual rail survey. It was awarded an overall customer happiness score of 51 per cent in the Which? study. Last year it received a score of 50 per cent. It ranks Scotrail below other train companies that operate in Scotland as well as other parts of the UK, such as TransPennine Express (52 per cent), Cross Country (56 per cent) Virgin Trains East Coast (60 per cent) and Virgin Trains West Coast (61 per cent).
2019 German train-delay scarf sells for 7,550 euros on eBay [Guardian]A scarf knitted by a German woman to document her frustrations with frequent train delays has sold for 7,550 euro (£6,720) on eBay, as the countrys biggest railway company announces plans for a punctuality tsar. The rail delay scarf came to prominence when Sara Weber, a journalist, posted a photo of it on Twitter earlier this month. Her mother, a commuter in the Munich area, knitted two lines a day in 2018 to represent how long she was delayed for, she explained. The scarf is colour-coded: grey wool meant her delay had been less than five minutes, pink signified delays of between five and 30 minutes, while red meant she was delayed for more than 30 minutes or had been delayed both ways.
2019German watchdog raises serious doubts over Siemens-Alstom merger in latest blow [RTM]Germanys competition watchdog has raised serious doubts over the proposed Siemens-Alstom merger and said its objections still stand despite the concessions offered by the French and German rail companies. A letter seen by the Financial Times revealed an intervention by the independent Bundeskartellamt, which adds to the chorus of national competition regulators opposing the merger between the two European giants.
2019Plans for £550,000 revamp of Aberdeen train station submitted [Evening Express]Plans for a £550,000 revamp at an Aberdeen railway station have been approved by the council.
2020Caledonian Sleeper boss leaves role in another blow for flagship service [Scotsman]Ryan Flaherty has been managing director of the Caledonian Sleeper for nearly two years.
2020First freight train to East Midlands Gateway Terminal [Railway Gazette]UK: DB Cargo UK operated the first commercial rail freight service to the new East Midlands Gateway Terminal in Castle Donington on January 7.
2020HS2 supporters fear Boris Johnson plans to scrap part of rail project [The Guardian]London to Birmingham leg thought to be in danger with speculation money might go to other northern transport. Supporters of HS2 are growing increasingly anxious that Boris Johnson is prepared to scrap part of the high-speed railway project or overhaul it in a bid to redirect the money towards other transport in the north of England. Local government leaders from the north and Midlands are privately concerned there has been a change of tone from No 10 since Christmas, causing nervousness that the government could scale back the scheme. Related: HS2 will destroy or damage hundreds of UK wildlife sites, says report.
2020Passenger numbers hit buffers as north-east train use drops two million [Evening Express]The number of passengers using trains in the north-east has dropped by more than two million in the past five years, according to a new report.