A History of Britain's Railways
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Archive : 2014 [419 items] 2013 [523 items] 2012 [477 items] 2011 [585 items] 2010 [474 items] 2009 [403 items] 2008 [368 items] 2007 [689 items] 2006 [518 items] 2005 [308 items] 2004 [444 items] 2003 [75 items] 2002 [89 items] 2001 [40 items] 2000 [28 items] 1999 [14 items]

22/12/2014 Passenger hurt as train hits flood in East Ayrshire [BBC News]
A passenger was hurt when a train came to a halt after striking flood water on a rail line in East Ayrshire. ScotRail said the passenger was treated 'for a minor head injury' following the incident near Mauchline, between Kilmarnock and Auchinleck, on Sunday. The train operator said the 22:12 Glasgow Central to Carlisle service 'came to a halt after striking a large volume of water' on the line
BBC News

22/12/2014 The InterCity 125 and its high-speed replacement [BBC News]
Four decades ago, something came along that many people feel helped save the railways. A sleek, pacy, high-speed train, the InterCity 125. With its familiar sloping nose, the 125 symbolised a new era of clean lines and high technology on a network that had been underfunded and getting tatty for decades. Now, we are getting the first glimpses of the train the government has picked to replace it.

The down ^Aberdonian^ InterCity HST continues its journey north following the Dundee stop on 4 August 1981. The train is seen shortly after passing Camperdown Junction with the dock estate to the left and the A92 road running parallel with the line on the right.
[John Furnevel 04/08/1981]

Brand new HST power cars 43143 and 43144 at Saltley in January 1981. They were taken into service the following month and so are either on test here or being delivered from BREL Crewe where they were built.
[Mark Bartlett 21/01/1981]

Prototype HST photographed running through Sonning Cutting in the 1970s.
[Ian Dinmore //]
BBC News

20/12/2014 Crossrail: A tour through the tunnels beneath London [BBC News]
It is exactly four years until the first section of London's new Crossrail line is due to open. The £14.8bn project is set to boost the capital's rail capacity by 10%, once it becomes fully operational the following year. Up to 24 trains will run every hour, each carrying up to 1,500 passengers during peak hours in the central section between Paddington and Whitechapel.
BBC News

19/12/2014 Restored Churchill funeral locomotive unveiled in Ropley [BBC News]
A restored locomotive that pulled Sir Winston Churchill's funeral train has been unveiled by the fireman who manned the service in 1965. James Lester unveiled the nameplates as they were reunited with the 34051 Winston Churchill. The engine and its carriages are being restored for the 50th anniversary of Sir Winston's funeral on 30 January. The restoration of the locomotive has been carried out by Mid-Hants Railway, Ropley. [From Richard Buckby]

^King Arthur^ class 4-6-0 no 30798 Sir Hectimere stands alongside ^Battle of Britain^ Pacific no 34051 Winston Churchill on Salisbury shed in August 1960.
[K A Gray 09/08/1960]

Bulleid ^Battle of Britain^ Pacific no 34051 Winston Churchill receives attention in the NRM workshops at York on 29 June 2011. The locomotive is part of the national collection.
[John Furnevel 29/06/2011]

Battle of Britain Pacific no 34051 ^Winston Churchill^ entering Oxford with his funeral train in January 1965.
[John Thorn /01/1965]
BBC News

18/12/2014 Northampton railway station: Behind the scenes view ahead of opening [BBC News]
The BBC has been granted behind the scenes access to the £20m new Northampton railway station ahead of its opening. Correspondent Richard Westcott said Network Rail had designed it to be double the size of the old station which would be demolished. The new station was expected to open to the public in early October but will now become fully operational by mid-January, Network Rail said.
BBC News

16/12/2014 MetroWest rail upgrade initially excludes Ashton Gate station [BBC News]
A new railway station at Ashton Gate in Bristol has been ruled out of the first phase of a £58m investment in the area's rail infrastructure. The MetroWest Phase 1 project includes the reopening of the Bristol-to-Portishead line to passenger train services, by early 2019. An study found it would initially be cost-prohibitive to build the station, but it would feature in later plans

A fully loaded coal train from Portbury import terminal heads east towards Bristol through the platforms of the former Ashton Gate station on 22 January 2009, hauled by Freightliner locomotive 66585.
[Peter Todd 22/01/2009]

Some of us may remember a song by Adge Cutler : ^Pill, Pill, I love thee still^. Pill is a real place and also the local name for a tidal creek. Crossing this is a viaduct on the line from Bristol to Portishead. 82032 was hauling a train to Bristol in 1960. The branch lay dormant for many years, was later reopened as far as Portbury for freight and there is talk of passenger services once again.
[John Thorn //1960]
BBC News

16/12/2014 Oxford Parkway train station building 'almost complete' [BBC News]
The main structure of a new train station for Oxford is nearing completion, ready for work inside to begin in the new year. Work on Oxford Parkway began at the end of October, with the station due to open in summer 2015. Located north of the city just off the A34, near Water Eaton park and ride, it will serve the new £130m railway line from Oxford to London Marylebone.
BBC News

15/12/2014 Dawn of a new era as link is restored [Blackpool Gazette]
Today we are back on track! That is the message from Blackpool’s business community as the first train of the direct link to London rolled out of Blackpool North station. The Virgin Voyager which set off at the early hour of 5.25am marked the dawn of a new era as the resort, along with Poulton and Kirkham, were once again linked to the capital. [From Mark Bartlett]

Virgin Voyager 221105 waits in platform 1 at Blackpool North on 25 November 2014 with a test run from Preston in preparation for the re-introduction of a daily Virgin service to London from 15 December 2014.
[John McIntyre 25/11/2014]
Blackpool Gazette

14/12/2014 First train pulls into Pye Corner £3.5m railway station [BBC News]
It is all aboard this weekend as the first train pulls into a new £3.5m rail station at Pye Corner in Newport. Joint funded by the UK and Welsh governments, the station is located on the Ebbw Vale to Cardiff line in the Bassaleg area of Newport.
BBC News

14/12/2014 New Shrewsbury to London rail service begins [BBC News]
A direct rail service between Shrewsbury and London has started. A similar service, run by Wrexham & Shropshire Trains, ended in 2011. Since then, business and political leaders in Shropshire have campaigned to get the route reinstated, saying it would boost tourism and the local economy. A Virgin Trains service was approved by the Office of Rail Regulation in September and the first train set out from Shrewsbury at 15:24 GMT on Sunday. On weekdays, it will see two services in each direction.
BBC News

13/12/2014 Northampton railway station to open by 12 January [BBC News]
The much-delayed £20m Northampton railway station will open no later than 12 January, Network Rail has announced. It had been due to open on 6 October, but was delayed while Network Rail worked through a 'snagging list'. Area director Terry Strickland said the delay had been 'frustrating,' but that the station would be a 'fantastic addition' to the town. Northampton South MP Brian Binley said 'bad publicity' had pushed Network Rail into solving the problem.

The new - and considerably enlarged - Northampton station is almost ready for use on 8 July 2014. What was previously an awkward entrance from Black Lion Hill (the road in the foreground) has been turned into a drop-off bay, with a new main entrance from St Andrews Road.
[Ken Strachan 08/07/2014]
BBC News

13/12/2014 Strike hits Settle to Carlisle rail service [BBC News]
Staff on the historic Settle to Carlisle railway line are taking part in a one-day strike in a row over a planned compulsory redundancy. Saturday's stoppage involves a small group of workers who provide at-seat trolley services on the Northern Rail-run trains. They are employed by the Settle and Carlisle Railway Development Company, which says it needs to make savings.

The sign says Settle-Carlisle. Midland Railway Extension. Opened to Passengers 1st May 1876.
[John Gray //]

Ruswarp keeping an eye on the signalbox at Garsdale, which at the time of the photograph on 21 September 2013, was undergoing some refurbishment.
[John McIntyre 21/09/2013]

The last post... Ribblehead, November 2004, with a Carlisle - Leeds DMU coming off the viaduct.
[John Furnevel 22/11/2004]
BBC News

12/12/2014 Edinburgh tram inquiry: Key figures refused to co-operate [BBC News]
The man leading the public inquiry into the Edinburgh trams fiasco has told how key figures refused 'point blank' to co-operate. In a BBC Scotland interview, Lord Hardie pledged his investigation would be tough and effective. The Scottish government said last month the inquiry was to be given the power to compel witnesses to participate.

Utility services excavation works taking place alongside Haymarket station (off picture to the right) in preparation for the section of track to be laid directly ahead along West Maitland Street / Shandwick Place to link up with the tracks on Princes Street.
[David Pesterfield 08/11/2011]

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.
[John Furnevel 08/10/2007]

Tram rails being installed on Princes Street! View looking east on 18 June 2009.
[Bill Roberton 18/06/2009]
BBC News

11/12/2014 Rail engineering work to cause Christmas delays [BBC News]
Train travellers will once again face delays and cancellations because of engineering work on some of the country's biggest lines over Christmas. Network Rail says the upgrades are part of a record-breaking £200m investment programme that begins after the last train runs on Christmas Eve. More than 11,000 engineers will be working across the holidays. New platforms, flyovers, junctions and station facilities will make the network more reliable for the new year.
BBC News

11/12/2014 Buses to battle trains as France deregulates [The Local]
Intercity travel may be about to get a lot cheaper in France when the government finally lifts the severe restrictions on bus companies that have been in place for decades to protect the SNCF national rail company from competition. [From Richard Buckby]

TGV Sud Est set 31 passing through the station at Charles De Gaulle Airport at the rear of a two unit set
[Graham Morgan 24/06/2012]

Southbound TGV No. 316, as seen from the front end of a local DMU approaching Angouleme station, which lies immediately beyond the tunnel under the town.
[Mark Bartlett 23/06/2009]

SNCF TGV service standing in the shadows at Paris Nord in January 1994.
[John Furnevel 15/01/1994]
The Local

10/12/2014 Scotland faces being struck by a ‘weather bomb’ [Scotsman]
SCOTLAND is braced to be hit by a powerful “weather bomb” today, causing flooding, power cuts and travel disruption. The Met Office warned of winds of up to 80mph and “exceptionally high waves” – to be followed by snow and further problems on Friday.

07/12/2014 French firms starts operating Docklands Light Railway [BBC News]
London's Dockland's Light Railway (DLR) is now being operated by French transport group Keolis. The group, a joint venture led by the SNCF subsidiary and the Spanish-owned UK services group Amey, started running the DLR on Sunday. Serco, who held the franchise for 17 years from 1997, lost the £700m contract to Keolis in July. Transport for London (TfL) said passengers would see a series of service improvements.

A DLR train curves away from West India Quay towards Stratford on 28 July, while another from either Becton or Greenwich Arsenal passes below.
[Bill Roberton 28/07/2014]

The elevated DLR platforms at Canning Town in July 2005. The North London line, Jubilee line and bus interchange are at ground level. Note passengers waiting at the North London Line platform, bottom left, with the busy bus station beyond. [The NLL route between Stratford and North Woolwich is due to close at the end of 2006 and will be replaced by the DLR^s new Stratford International line] [See image 5174].
[John Furnevel 22/07/2005]

View east from Docklands Light Railway platform 2 at Shadwell on Saturday 20 July 2013, with a train approaching from Limehouse. The station is also served by trains on the London Overground East London Line which, at this particular station, happens to be underground!
[John Thorn 20/07/2013]
BBC News

05/12/2014 H5 Shinkansen begins testing [Global Rail News]
Hokkaido Shinkansen’s new H5 train has begun testing, completing its first run between Nanae depot and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station. Test running of the H5, which is based on the E5 Shinkansen already operated by JR East on the Honshu island, began on December 1. The following day the train completed a second test drive to Kikonai Station. The H5 will enter passenger service on March 31, 2016, slightly later than originally planned, with the opening of the Hokkaido Shinkansen between Honshu and Hokkaido. [From Richard Buckby]
Global Rail News

05/12/2014 Edinburgh trams: Plans to expand network to Leith [BBC News]
Councillors are set to consider whether the tram network in Edinburgh should be expanded, seven months after the trams began running. The council is to look at extending the line from the city centre to Leith - part of the original design scrapped when the project ran into trouble. The line currently stops at York Place in the city centre.

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.
[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.
[John Furnevel 08/10/2007]
BBC News

04/12/2014 Gatwick Airport railway station revamp backed with £60m [BBC News]
Transformation of Gatwick Airport's railway station has been given a boost after Network Rail and the airport announced £60m funding. Work is due to begin in 2017 on the £120.5m project on the station concourse and links to the airport. Network Rail and the airport have announced they will each contribute £30m to the project. In December 2013, the government said it would provide £50m, subject to funding from the airport.
BBC News

04/12/2014 Autumn Statement: New trains for northern rail routes [BBC News]
Investment in new rolling stock for rail franchises in the north of England has been announced by the government. The move is part of Chancellor George Osborne's ambition to create a northern economic 'powerhouse'. It means the Northern Rail and Trans-Pennine Express routes will see the current 'pacer' trains replaced with new and modern vehicles. [From Mark Bartlett]

The 12.29 service from Leeds, formed by unit 142089, arrives at Harrogate on 27 September. The train will continue forward as the 13.05 to York via Knaresborough.
[John Furnevel 27/09/2010]

A very wet Blackpool South station sees Northern Pacer 142005, standing by the buffers, ready to leave on the 0844 service to Colne. This is the old Down Lytham platform. All the former railway land to the left of the fence is now used for car parks and roads as is the area behind the photographer continuing all the way to the former Blackpool Central station.
[Mark Bartlett 05/05/2009]

Under the shadow of the Pennines, Pacer unit 142060 arrives in the bay platform at the east end of Rochdale station on 1 October, having travelled from Manchester Victoria via Oldham. This service finishes on 3 October 2009 when the entire Oldham Loop line will close for at least two and a half years to allow conversion to Metrolink tram operation.
[John McIntyre 01/10/2009]
BBC News

03/12/2014 NRHA Awards 2014 [Railscot]
The Pitlochry station 150th anniversary restoration has been recognised at the National Railway Heritage Awards (see photograph). In addition, the London Underground Operational Enhancement Award went to Carillion Rail and Network Rail for Ballochmyle Viaduct refurbishment, with the NRHA Best Entry of 2014 going to Network Rail for Edinburgh Waverley Station Major Refurbishment.

Plaque commemorating a Pitlochry success in the National Railway Heritage Awards (see news item).
[Railscot Collection 03/12/2014]

Work in progress on the south side of Waverley station on 17 May 2013 - looking west. The sweeping roof of the new Market Street entrance can be clearly seen, with covered stairways running off towards the station car park (left) and sub platforms 8 & 9, where work is well underway on the new canopies. Far right is a section of the recently reglazed roof of the main station.
[John Furnevel 17/05/2013]

A view of the 1848 Ballochmyle viaduct, seen here looking back from the brake van of the Catrine goods on 30 September 1963.
[John Robin 30/09/1963]

29/11/2014 World class railway museum could come to Leicester if fresh £10m lottery bid succeeds [Leicester Mercury]
A fresh lottery bid has been launched for £10 million to create a world class railway museum in Leicester. If successful, it will be filled with priceless steam locomotives and hundreds of artefacts from the national collection in York. It will be built at the Leicester North end of the Great Central Railway (GCR) and tell the story of how railways helped Leicester thrive and develop. The new bid is being made in partnership with Leicester City Council and the National Railway Museum in York. [From Richard Buckby]
Leicester Mercury

28/11/2014 Lake District rail line to be electrified [BBC News]
A railway line that runs through the Lake District will be electrified, the government has said. Transport minister Baroness Kramer said the Windermere branch line in Cumbria would be upgraded at a cost of £16m. The work on the 10-mile stretch, which runs between Oxenholme and Windermere, could be completed by 2017 [From Mark Bartlett]

The basic present day layout at Windermere is seen to good effect as 185134 waits to depart for Oxenholme. Basic it may be but there is a roughly hourly service from 0650 to 2245, seventeen departures in total, and that compares very favourably with the sparse winter timetable for 1964 [see image 27662].
[Mark Bartlett 02/02/2010]

A full house at Oxenholme on 2 February 2013 with (from right to left) in platform 1 a Pendolino for Euston, in platform 2 a double Super Voyager for Glasgow and hiding under the roof in platform 3 is a TPE Class 185 on the Windermere branch service.
[John McIntyre 02/02/2013]

A neglected looking Fairburn 2-6-4T no 42680 prepares to take a train out of Windermere station in 1964. The locomotive was finally withdrawn from Carnforth shed in March the following year and made its last journey to Drapers of Hull shortly thereafter.
[Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) //1964]
BBC News

27/11/2014 Stagecoach and Virgin win East Coast mainline rail franchise [BBC News]
A consortium made up of Stagecoach and Virgin has won the franchise to run the East Coast mainline rail route. The firms promised to invest £140m in the route over eight years, and will pay the government £3.3bn for the contract. The franchise, which covers the route between London and Edinburgh, has been publicly run since 2009. [Fr0m Mark Bartlett]

An up East Coast service passing Low Moor Crossing, Northumberland on 5 April heading towards Belford.
[Brian Taylor 05/04/2012]

A late running morning GNER Glasgow Central - London Kings Cross service slowly draws to a halt at a crowded Edinburgh Waverley platform 2 on 5 July 2007.
[John Furnevel 05/07/2007]

A southbound NXEC service nears Dalgety Bay on 26 May.  Will any more stock be reliveried in this colour scheme, given the uncertainty over the franchise?
[Bill Roberton 26/05/2009]
BBC News

25/11/2014 Borders to Edinburgh railway: Abellio outlines route goals [BBC News]
A director with Dutch firm Abellio has outlined its aims for the Borders Railway once it takes over the ScotRail franchise in April. The line between Tweedbank and Edinburgh is scheduled to reopen in September next year. Abellio's UK rail business development director Mike Kean said the route would be extensively marketed in advance. He added that this would continue after trains returned - with the message that the railway was 'here to stay'
BBC News

25/11/2014 Blueprint for Britain’s Wessex network unveiled [IRJ]
BRITAIN's infrastructure manager Network Rail (NR) has issued the Wessex Route Plan, a blueprint for the future of passenger and freight services from London Waterloo to the south and the west of England over the next 30 years. The draft consultation plan sets out how the network could cope with an anticipated 40% growth in use of South West Main Line services from London Waterloo to Reading, Southampton, Weymouth, Portsmouth and Exeter as well as suburban services in southwest London, Berkshire and Surrey by 2043. Freight traffic is also set to grow on the primary route on the network from the Port of Southampton to the midlands and the north. The study identifies needs to increase capacity by 60% to meet expected demand on high-peak services into London Waterloo, which is equivalent to 37 trains per hour. [From Richard Buckby]

Freightliner 70018 runs through Eastleigh on 9 July 2014 with a freight heading for Southampton container port.
[Peter Todd 09/07/2014]

Welcome indeed! As the sign says - Britain^s busiest railway station. Platform scene at Clapham Junction in July 2005, looking north with a Southern Trains service arriving.
[John Furnevel 25/07/2005]

View south east over Waterloo Station in August 2009 from the London Eye.
[Alistair MacKenzie 23/08/2009]
International Railway Journal

24/11/2014 First Crossrail tracks laid on Stockley Flyover bridge [BBC News]
The first section of track to be used by Crossrail trains has been laid on a new bridge in west London. The 120m (131yd) long Stockley Flyover will be used by Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect services from next year. Crossrail services between Paddington and Heathrow are due to begin in 2018. Crossrail said the new bridge was the largest single-span bridge installed on the Great Western railway since the days of Brunel. [From Mark Bartlett]
BBC News

23/11/2014 Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway extension work begins [BBC News]
Work has begun to extend a heritage railway after a public shares scheme topped its £500,000 target. The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) will now be extended to the Cotswolds village of Broadway. Shares in the rail line, which currently runs between Cheltenham and Laverton, went on sale last September, raising a total of £565,000. Finance director Chris Bristow said the extra money was 'a bonus' and track laying would begin next year. When finished, the line will run to 14 miles long. [From Mark Bartlett]

Spotless Stanier 8F no 8274 arrives at Toddington on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway on 8 March 2014, the first day of the 2014 season.
[John McIntyre 08/03/2014]

Scene on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway on 26 May as 7903 Foremarke Hall, departing from Toddington for Cheltenham, is seen passing close to Hailes Abbey.
[Peter Todd 26/05/2013]

GW 2-6-2T 5542 has finished its work for the day and is serviced over the inspection pit at Toddington on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway.
[Mark Bartlett 27/07/2008]
BBC News

22/11/2014 CILT: The Stranraer to Ayr Line Support Association [Richard Carr, SAYLSA Development Manager]
SAYLSA was formed in 2007 to be Scotland's first Community Rail Partnership with a view to enabling the Ayr-Stranraer line to diversify into new markets on Stena Line's relocation to Cairnryan. That took place in 2011, and development manager Richard Carr will explain how the Association has gone about promoting walking and cycling guides and station-specific timetables, running a shop on Girvan Station, seeking recognition for its efforts while keeping an eye to the challenges that the line faces in the context of ScotRail refranchising.
*** The above event will take place on Tuesday 9 December 2014 (1730 for 1800) at First ScotRail, Atrium Court, 50, Waterloo Street, Glasgow, G2 6HQ. There is no charge for this event. A light buffet will be provided.

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