|24/04/2014|| Scotland would beat UK to high speed rail - Salmond [Scotsman]|
|Ambitious proposals which could see a Scottish high speed rail (HSR) link built and operating decades before the current UK plans were unveiled by Alex Salmond last night.
The First Minister said that the Scottish Government would “not wait 30 years for high speed rail” to be delivered by Westminster and pledged to commission a feasibility study on work on HSR beginning from the north heading south, if Scotland becomes independent.
|24/04/2014|| Borders to Edinburgh railway: Carlisle extension would be 'wonderful' [BBC News]|
|A council leader has said extending the soon to be reopened Borders railway to Carlisle would be "wonderful news".
The Edinburgh to Tweedbank line is due to come into operation next year.
Scottish Borders Council leader David Parker said its eventual extension would be a boost for the local economy and the country as a whole.
|23/04/2014|| My Day: Pakistani station master [BBC]|
|Shaukat Mehmood Hashmi works as the station master in an isolated part of north-western Pakistan. He says they get by with ancient technology - and hope for a bright future as a tourist attraction. [From Richard Buckby]
|22/04/2014|| Swanage Railway Wareham service undergoes restoration [BBC News]|
|Work has stepped up to reinstate a Dorset train service 42 years after it was axed.
Swanage Railway plans to deliver the trial train service on the 10-mile stretch between Swanage, Corfe Castle and Wareham by spring 2015. [From Mark Bartlett]
Standard class 4 no 80078 with a train on the Swanage Railway, near Corfe Castle, on 29 June 2000.
[Peter Todd 29/06/2000]
Standing under the canopy at Swanage station in April 1981 with a two coach train waiting at the platform.
[John McIntyre /04/1981]
A Weymouth to Bournemouth push-pull service, comprised of a class 33 locomotive attached at the rear of a pair of 4TC sets, photographed at speed near Wareham in May 1977.
[John McIntyre 20/05/1977]
|22/04/2014|| £70m railway depot plan to bring 160 jobs [The Star]|
|A massive contract to bring high-speed trains to the East Coast main line will include a £70m maintenance depot built in Doncaster creating 160 jobs.
Hitachi Rail Europe is set to take possession of Doncaster Carr next month before handing it over to a construction firm.
The new depot, on land which has included a railway depot for more than 100 years, is set to open in early 2017.
|21/04/2014|| Great Central bridge planning application [Loughborough Echo]|
|A VISION to reunify the two halves of the Great Central Railway is steaming ahead after an application for the bridge to connect them was submitted to planners.
The Bridge to the Future appeal was launched last June with the aim of raising £1m to reunify the track on either side of Loughborough Railway Station.
So far, £405,000 has been donated to the appeal and some work is already underway.
Now the planning application for the bridge has been submitted to Charnwood Borough Council by Network Rail, which is working with Great Central Railway on the project.
The Gap at the south end of Loughborough (Midland) station where the former Great Central Railway crossed the Midland main line. The embankment of the former GCR runs off to the left. View south in July 2003.
[Ewan Crawford 14/07/2003]
|21/04/2014|| Senator's close call with train in New Haven [BBC News]|
|A US senator has had a close call with a train during a news conference on rail safety.
Richard Blumenthal was standing close to the platform edge during a speech by Milford Mayor Ben Blake, when a train hurtled past, disturbing a diagram. [From Mark Bartlett]
|18/04/2014|| Plans on track to reopen Leamside railway line [Sunderland Echo]|
|THE reopening of Wearside’s disused Leamside railway line has moved a step closer.
The North Eastern Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has commissioned a study into the business case for reopening the line.
The move comes just weeks after the last ever meeting of the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority heard about a Nexus plan to introduce a new circular Metro route, connecting Pelaw, Washington, South Hylton, Sunderland and East Boldon, by connecting the Leamside line and the former Sunderland to Durham rail line west of South Hylton.
A Tyne and Wear Metro service shortly after arrival at South Hylton terminus in the summer of 2004. Prior to 1967 the line crossed the road in the background and continued on to join the Leamside line at Penshaw Junction.
[John Furnevel 04/07/2004]
V3 67636 with empty stock from Heaton CS for the Durham Rail Tour of 13 October 1962. After crossing the King Edward Bridge and run east to reach Pelaw the train has turned south under the A184 road on the ^old main line^. This will take it through Washington and Leamside to reach Durham, the starting point for the railtour.
[K A Gray 13/10/1962]
The site of Usworth station on the old main line through County Durham via Leamside. View is north towards Pelaw Junction over the former A1290 level crossing in the 1990s.
[John Furnevel //1992]
|17/04/2014|| The level crossing wars [BBC]|
|Campaigns to save level crossings are being waged across Great Britain, despite many considering them dangerous anachronisms. It's a dispute that reveals much about people's attitudes towards risk.
|16/04/2014|| ‘Huge’ difference in train subsidies across UK [Scotsman]|
|SCOTTISH rail services receive three times more government subsidy per passenger than services in England, according to a report by the rail regulator.
The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) report also details the subsidy each train company receives from the public purse and just how much they pay back in premiums to the Treasury.
Opponents of plans to privatise the recently-nationalised East Coast service have claimed the report shows the flaws in the current franchise system.
The report showed that Government funding in 2012/13 varied from £2.19 per passenger journey in England to £7.60 in Scotland and £9.33 in Wales.
|16/04/2014|| Hitachi seals £2.7bn train-building deal [BBC News]|
|Japanese firm Hitachi has secured £2.7bn of funding for its contract to bring new high-speed trains to a key route between London and Edinburgh.
The UK government announced that nearly 500 carriages for the East Coast line will be built at Hitachi Rail Europe's factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. [From Richard Buckby]
|13/04/2014|| Wensleydale railway reopens for Easter after major feat of restoration by three engineers [Northern Echo]|
|A TREMENDOUS feat of engineering to repair a significant landslip which threatened the future of a Dales railway has been carried out by just three men.
Wensleydale Railway is comparing the job to restoring the line at Dawlish, near Devon, washed away in this year's storms, which hit the headlines when it was repaired in record time by more than 300 network rail staff and contractors.
The £100,000 job on the Wensleydale Railway has taken less than four months after a landslip at Akebar, between Bedale and Leyburn, effectively cut the 16 mile railway in half and caused the suspension of services from Christmas 2013.
Class K1 2-6-0 no 62005, with D5160 tucked in behind, takes on water during a photostop at Leyburn on 20 May 1967. The special is the SLS Three Dales Railtour on its way back to Darlington following a visit to Redmire.
[Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) 20/05/1967]
A Redmire - Leeming DMU passing the former Wensley station in November 2004. The old station has been converted to a holiday cottage, but with the original railway theme retained. To the left beyond the bay window, now the master bedroom, was the private waiting room once used by local landowner Lord Bolton. The Wensleydale Railway continues to work on restoration of the full 22 mile route from the ECML at Northallerton to the S&C at Garsdale.
[John Furnevel 11/11/2004]
Leyburn station, seen from the overbridge looking east in August 2012, with a Wensleydale Railway DMU waiting to depart for Redmire. As the line now hosts steam as well as diesel services the redundant loop track has been lifted and watering facilities installed. [See image 1451].
[Mark Bartlett 11/08/2012]
|11/04/2014|| How an iconic British railway line was saved [BBC News]|
|It may be one of the most picturesque railway lines in England, but 25 years ago the old Victorian mainline from Settle, in North Yorkshire, to Carlisle, was on the brink of closure.
A Peak takes a northbound train across the 11 arches of Arten Gill Viaduct in the 1960s. The imposing structure was built using the distinctive locally obtained dark limestone which was referred to as Dent marble after polishing.
[Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) //]
Coal from Ayr crawling up the gradient from the tunnel south of Kirkby Stephen.
[Ewan Crawford 19/09/2007]
The 0926 Carlisle - Leeds train arrives at Dent Station on 9 January 2010. Trains ran very well over the snowy period which lasted about 5 weeks, although the evening train back on this particular day did lose time due to having to creep through Blea Moor tunnel as a result of giant icicles!
[Peter Rushton 09/01/2010]
|09/04/2014|| Railway writer and former train worker says farewell to historic steam engines in Shildon [Northern Echo]|
|A RAILWAY writer who helped to look after two historic steam engines 50-years ago during their heyday has bid them goodbye before they leave the UK.
Peter Townend, 88, headed to Locomotion: The National Railway Museum at Shildon to see the A4-class Dominion of Canada and Dwight D Eisenhower.
A former shedmaster at London King’s Cross, he once had 19 A4’s engines to look after including the two on show in Shildon.
Mr Townend, who has penned several books including LNER Pacifics Remembered, viewed the engines which are set to leave the UK for ever later this month.
A4 60008 Dwight D Eisenhower on display in the yard at NRM Shildon on 22 February as part of The Great Goodbye.
[John Yellowlees 22/02/2014]
Cosmetically restored (and how) 4489 Dominion of Canada, complete with bell, standing in the Great Hall of the National Railway Museum, York, in June 2013. [See image 30040]
[John Furnevel 04/06/2013]
It didn^t get much better than this.... Lineup of top-link locomotives being made ready at Kings Cross shed in October 1959. The four Gresley Pacifics are, from the left, A3 60039 Sandwich, A4 60010 Dominion of Canada, A4 60033 Seagull and A3 60038 Firdaussi.
[Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) 04/10/1959]
|08/04/2014|| Fears over trains on new Borders railway [Herald]|
|CAMPAIGNERS have demanded trains used on the new Borders rail line must be refurbished to the standard of inter-city stock.
Services will begin running on the Edinburgh to Tweedbank route in 2015 for the first time in 45 years, but lobby group the Campaign For Borders Rail has raised concerns the line could use older diesel trains.
Its officials have urged the Scottish Government to ensure the interiors are upgraded to match the standard of inter-city services.
|06/04/2014|| East Coast train staff hit out at shiny uniforms [Scotsman]|
|TRAIN drivers have demanded new uniforms be scrapped because glare from the shirts has left them unable to see their cab speedometers.
The staff attire introduced by the cross-Border train operator in January includes a striped purple shirt which, a union said, reflected light onto cab instruments.
|06/04/2014|| Historic Brierfield signal box to be re-built [Lancashire Telegraph]|
|A RAILWAY signal box built almost 140 years ago could be rebuilt and opened to the public as part of an arts project.
The art organisation In-Situ wants to work with Network Rail to salvage the Brierfield signal box, which is set to demolished to make way for a new system.
Councillors are set to approve the demolition at a meeting of the Brierfield Area Committee on Tuesday.
Council planning officer Keith Thompson said: “Network Rail advises that they have been working with a local community group called In-Situ who have ambitions to reconstruct the signal box, within the conservation area (on land likely to be Brierfield Mills car park).
A Class 142 unit calls at Brierfield station with a service to
Blackpool South on 9 July 2011. The view is south and at the far end of the platform is the level crossing over the B6248 Clitheroe Road and the signalbox controlling the barriers.
[John McIntyre 09/07/2011]
Gate-box to the Burnley side of Brierfield on the Colne line in October 2007.
[Ewan Crawford 07/10/2007]
Opened as Marsden but renamed Brierfield in 1857. The signal box survives to operate the full barrier crossing, which is on a steep hill on a busy road. When this was a double track main line there was a further box, just by the curve in the distance, known as Brierfield Goods Yard. View towards Burnley on a wet, dreary July day.
[Mark Bartlett 17/07/2008]
|05/04/2014|| Officials fire Chicago train operator who ‘dozed off’ before crash [Daily News]|
|The operator, who was not identified, allegedly told investigators she fell asleep before crashing an eight-car commuter train at the O'Hare International Airport subway station last month. She was fired on Friday for causing the wild wreck, which left more than 30 people injured.
|05/04/2014|| Shildon railway museum enjoys 'record numbers' [BBC News]|
|A County Durham railway museum has hailed an "amazing year" in which it attracted a record number of visitors.
Almost 300,000 people visited the National Railway Museum at Shildon in the 12 months up to 1 April.
VIP lineup in the yard at NRM Shildon on 18 February 2014.
[Colin Alexander 18/02/2014]
APT-E on display inside the NRM Shildon on 4 November.
[John Furnevel /11/2007]
Having been transferred from York the previous week behind Deltic 55002 [See image 41111] 6229 Duchess of Hamilton and its LMS coach are given a thorough clean by a group of Friends at Locomotion, Shildon. The connecting rods, removed for the rail transfer, had not been refitted at this time but the loco still looked magnificent.
[Mark Bartlett 27/11/2012]
|04/04/2014|| Lorry lobby derails the case for a safer A9 [Scotsman]|
|Scotland’s killer road has just got more deadly – while the safest form of transport wasn’t even given a look-in, argues David Spaven. The crude politics of the Perth-Inverness transport corridor will just not go away. Despite the safety gloss being presented to the public, new evidence obtained from the Scottish Government by the Rail Freight Group (RFG) shows that the planned increase in lorry speed limits from 40mph to 50mph on single-carriageway sections of the A9 is being driven by “operational benefits” – and more lives will be lost as the price of government helping to keep truckers competitive. [From David Spaven]
|04/04/2014|| Dawlish's storm-damaged railway line reopens [BBC News]|
|The main railway line through Dawlish in Devon has reopened after part of the track was destroyed during winter storms.
The track was swept away with part of the sea wall in early February, cutting off the service linking Cornwall and much of Devon with the rest of the UK. [From Richard Buckby]
A Pacer enters Dawlish from the Newton Abbott direction in September 2011.
[Ewan Crawford 12/09/2011]
A Western diesel-hydraulic photographed leaving Dawlish in August 1975.
[Jim Peebles /08/1975]
A Class 50 entering Dawlish with a Paignton - Waterloo service in December 1985.
[Ian Dinmore /12/1985]
|03/04/2014|| Strike ballot for First Great Western railway staff [BBC News]|
|Railway workers at First Great Western are to be balloted for industrial action, the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union has said.
Acting general secretary Mick Cash said the dispute is over a number of issues including agency work and employment contracts.
He said members would be asked if they are prepared to take part in industrial action up to and including strikes.
A First Great Western service pauses on its way west at Honeybourne and the guard takes the air. The view looks towards Oxford. The arch crosses over the original OWW and to its left is a girder over the later connecting line to the Stratford-upon-Avon to Cheltenham line.
[Ewan Crawford 05/09/2009]
The new west end footbridge and access links to platforms 10-15 at Reading Station under construction on 12 Fenbruary 2013. A First Great Western HST is about to leave platform 9 bound for Paddington, as a class 165/166 DMU arrives at platform 10.
[David Pesterfield 12/02/2013]
First Great Western Sleeper liveried class 57 locomotive no 57605 Totnes Castle ambles past North Pole ^eurostar^ depot in July 2005 with empty stock.
[John Furnevel 21/07/2005]
|02/04/2014|| Scots trains ‘ran despite landslip risk’ [Scotsman]|
|TRAINS were operated without special precautions when there was a significant risk of running into a landslip, according to an official report on three separate incidents in Scotland.
GBRf 66734 ^The Eco Express^ lying alongside Loch Trieg on 4 July 2012 following derailment in the aftermath of a landslip on 28 June. The locomotive will be particularly difficult to recover from this inaccessible spot, although the tank wagons are due to be lifted clear fairly soon.
[John Gray 04/07/2012]
|02/04/2014|| Electrified trains for Liverpool and Manchester routes [BBC News]|
|Electric trains will be introduced to the one of the North West's main rail routes in December, Northern Rail said.
The operator confirmed it had reached an agreement with the Department for Transport, with the four-carriage trains entering service in 2015.
The trains will run between Liverpool and Manchester via Newton Le Willows.
Northern Rail said the trains will provide an extra 3,000 seats for passengers during peak times of travel on the newly-electrified route. [From Mark Bartlett]
|01/04/2014|| Dawlish railway station receives makeover for reopening [BBC News]|
|The storm-wrecked Dawlish railway station has been given a revamp by volunteers ahead of its reopening.
February's storms destroyed the main railway line leaving the track hanging over the sea.
Network Rail has confirmed the railway line will reopen as planned on Friday.
TV gardener Toby Buckland has joined the Friends of Dawlish Station volunteer group to give the platforms a floral new loo
|31/03/2014|| They're just loco - Britain's most bizarre train stations [Express]|
|TALK about railway request stops and the response you’re most likely to get is: “Railway what stops?” Yet astonishingly Britain boasts around 150 such stations where if you want the train to halt you must hold out your hand, just as if you were stopping a bus.
The Arriva Trains Wales 11.21 ex-Cardiff Central calls at Llanfairpwll on 17 September on its journey to Holyhead.
[Bruce McCartney 17/09/2012]
Not a good place to forget your umbrella - exit from Berney Arms, Norfolk, in March 2004, with storm clouds gathering.
[Ian Dinmore 22/03/2004]
A water column still stands defiantly at Altnabreac in the summer of 1971, long after the end of steam.
[David Spaven //1971]
|31/03/2014|| Heatherslaw Light Railway starts 25th year [Berwick Advertiser]|
|Heatherslaw Light Railway got its 25th anniversary year off to a flying start on Sunday.
Despite the foggy weather, there were plenty of visitors on the first day of the new tourist season for 2014.
The most northerly steam railway in England, the train ride from Heatherslaw to Etal attracts around 30,000 visitors each year
Home-built diesel Clive recently arrived with a train at Etal on the Heatherslaw Light Railway in October 2001.
[Colin Miller 01/10/2001]
The scene at the Etal terminus and turntable of the 15 inch gauge Heatherslaw Light Railway, Northumberland, with Etal Castle behind. The roofed building houses a museum which was doing good business that day in connection with the 500th anniversary of Flodden, itself 4 miles away.
[Andrew Wilson 09/09/2013]
|30/03/2014|| Ipswich Chord rail link opens for Felixstowe freight [BBC News]|
|A new £59m railway giving the Port of Felixstowe a direct link to the Midlands is opening to freight.
Until now freight trains have had to travel in to Ipswich and then out again, adding a hour to journeys.
The new 'Ipswich Chord', which is 0.75 miles (1.2km) long, connects the East Suffolk Line with the Great Eastern Main Line to Nuneaton. [With thanks to all who submitted this item]
A Trafford Park - Felixstowe container train arrives at Camden Road Junction on the North London Line on 21 July 2005 behind Freightliner 90016. The train is coming off the direct freight-only link from the WCML at Willesden Junction.
[John Furnevel 21/07/2005]
So it^s really happening. £26m of Nuneaton North chord will emerge from the bare earth here over the next nine months. The new link will enable cross country freight traffic approaching Nuneaton from the east (in particular container trains from Felixstowe) to join the down WCML without having to cross the up main line on the level to the south of Nuneaton station, as at present. Traffic on the cross country route will increase following inauguration of the Ipswich chord which will enable trains from Felixstowe for destinations north of Nuneaton to avoid using the heavily congested North London Line to reach the WCML [see image 5098]. View is north east on 22 October 2011, with the WCML in the background.
[Ken Strachan 22/10/2011]
A train of Class 37s is seen shortly after passing through the former Felixstowe Beach station running towards the junction near Felixstowe. From there, the locomotives will head to Ipswich for servicing [see image 34707]. At the time, in April 1984, the heavy freightliner trains to the container port at Felixstowe were double-headed and this peculiar working helped ease the congestion on the line before the loop to Trimley was built.
[Mark Dufton 14/04/1984]
|30/03/2014|| Commonwealth Games facing railway chaos [Herald]|
|THE train drivers' union has warned of disruption to rail services around the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games unless long-running talks over bonus payments are resolved soon. Aslef, which represents 1100 drivers in Scotland, said it was increasingly frustrated at the lack of information from ScotRail about the extra duties for staff created by the Game
|30/03/2014|| Network Rail expecting record £70m fine for delays [BBC News]|
|Network Rail has said it expects to be fined about £70m - a record figure - for delays suffered by passengers.
The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) is expected to impose the penalty later this year.
Network Rail, which maintains Britain's tracks and rail infrastructure, said it was disappointed passengers had not seen the punctuality it had promised.
It said work was continuing to make the network more reliable - but congestion and extreme weather had caused delays.