A History of Britain's Railways
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30/01/2015 Mothballed Dudley railway line set to reopen [BBC News]
A West Midlands railway line which has been closed to passengers for 50 years could be reopened in a £20m scheme. Dudley Council and Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) - part of the University of Warwick - plans to reconnect Dudley to the national rail network and build a 'light rail innovation hub' in the town centre. The hub, which would create 50 jobs, would develop light rail technology. [From Richard Buckby]
BBC News

29/01/2015 UK launches rail ‘vision statement’ [Global Rail News]
The UK’s Rail Supply Group (RSG), a partnership between the British government and rail equipment suppliers, has presented its ‘vision statement’ for growth in the sector over the next 10 years. By 2025, the strategy predicts that the UK rail industry will more than double export volumes, be a global leader in high-speed rail and create a sustainable skilled domestic workforce. [From Richard Buckby]
Global Rail News

27/01/2015 Meet Britain's longest train - the ballast cleaner [BBC News]
The 'longest train in Britain' is working through the night to replace ballast on the Norwich to London line. Working overnight to minimise disruption to train travellers, engineers for Network Rail use a massive 'ballast cleaner train' to remove the broken chippings underneath the tracks and replace them with more robust material.
BBC News

26/01/2015 Rail journey satisfaction dips - Passenger Focus survey [BBC News]
Rail passengers on Southeastern, Govia Thameslink and Southern were the least satisfied last year, a survey suggests. The poll of 27,000 people last autumn by the watchdog Passenger Focus looked at topics ranging from reliability to staff attitudes and value for money. It recorded that 81% of people said they were happy with railways in Great Britain, compared to 83% in 2013. Rail operators say satisfaction levels had been improving until recently and promised to act to see them rise again. The survey was conducted between September and November and so does not include the Christmas period, when trains into London King's Cross were seriously disrupted.
BBC News

25/01/2015 London rail tunnel flood causes Thameslink 'major delays' [BBC News]
Flooding from a burst water main in a tunnel has left the Thameslink rail operator 'unable to run any trains' in London until the problem is fixed. About 50,000 litres of water poured into the tunnel between St Pancras and Farringdon on Friday. Network Rail said it was still pumping water out, and expected disruption to continue for the rest of Monday. Train operator Govia said the issue was causing 'major delays' on services from Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. The Thameslink line, which runs from Bedford to Brighton, also serves commuter stations in south London and Kent.

City Thameslink in landscape format [see image 35100]. No shortage of steel in these parts.
[Ken Strachan 09/11/2012]

A Metropolitan Line train for Aldgate East arrives at Farringdon station platform 4 on the widened lines in July 2005 as a southbound Thameslink service leaves platform 2 on a Bedford - Sutton working. Note that this photograph features an individual who does not appear to be using a mobile phone.
[John Furnevel 24/07/2005]

View over Borough Market Junction on 20 July with trains on the Charing Cross / Blackfriars route (left) and the cross-Thames lines from Cannon Street. The new east-west viaduct seen under construction will enable quadrupling here, with the southern pair of lines handling trains to and from Charing Cross and the northern pair providing Thameslink trains with a dedicated route to Blackfriars - essential in providing the planned 24tph peak service on the route. London Bridge station is just off picture bottom right.
[John Thorn 20/07/2013]
BBC News

22/01/2015 Stockport light rail plan released [IRJ]
PROPOSALS to connect Stockport to the Manchester Metrolink light rail network were published by Stockport Council on January 22 as part of a broader rail plan for the area, which has been developed in consultation with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM). [From Richard Buckby]
International Railway Journal
BBC News

20/01/2015 Hong Kong investor buys up a third of UK's trains [Telegraph]
Almost a third of all Britain’s trains have been bought by billionaire Hong Kong investor Li Ka-shing after rolling stock group Eversholt Rail was sold to CK Investments (CKI). Eversholt owns 28pc of Britain’s passenger trains and was bought in a deal that will see the current owners receive about £1bn, with CKI taking on £1.5bn of the rolling stock group's debt. The company leases its mainly electrically-powered fleet – which comprises about 3,500 vehicles – to 11 of Britain’s train operating companies. [From Richard Buckby]

19/01/2015 Cab ride over the new Reading viaduct [Dailymotion]
A video cab ride from Tilehurst to Reading over the new Reading Viaduct. [From Richard Buckby]

18/01/2015 Channel Tunnel rail services resume after fire [BBC News]
Train services have resumed through the Channel Tunnel after a fire caused it to be closed for most of Saturday. The 08:19 GMT service to Paris was the first Eurostar train to leave St Pancras station in London on Sunday. Eurostar has warned of delays of between 30 and 60 minutes because only one tunnel is open.
BBC News

16/01/2015 Rail link bid for Aberystwyth and Carmarthen outlined at meeting [BBC News]
Over 100 people attended a meeting amid hopes a rail link between Aberystwyth and Carmarthen can be reopened. The meeting in Aberystwyth was organised by campaign group Traws Link Cymru which revealed its hopes for a 90 minute service between the two towns. The line closed in 1965 and at that time the journey took almost three hours, stopping at over 20 stations. [From John Thorn]
BBC News

15/01/2015 Churchill'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]

Battle of Britain Pacific 34051 Winston Churchill about to enter Basingstoke in the summer of 1964 with a Waterloo - Bournemouth West train.
[John Robin 24/08/1964]

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

14/01/2015 Beverley to get direct trains to London, with new First Hull Trains service [Hull Daily Mail]
THE first direct rail service linking Beverley to London is set to be launched later this year. At present, passengers heading to the town have to change at Hull. But after a successful trial run yesterday, operator First Hull Trains has decided to offer a direct route. The aim is to speed up travel times for commuters and weekend visitors alike. [From Richard Buckby]

Northern 158906 emerges from below the overall roof of Beverley station on 1 October 2008 and is about to clear Armstrong Way level crossing with a southbound service from Bridlington which will call at Hull and Doncaster on its journey to Sheffield.
[John Furnevel 01/10/2008]

A DMU calls at Beverley in July 1986. Looking north towards Scarborough from the level crossing.
[Colin Miller /07/1986]
Hull Daily Mail

13/01/2015 Rail disruption caused by bad planning, Network Rail says [BBC News]
Equipment failure and bad planning for delays caused the disruption to rail travellers over Christmas, a report by Network Rail has said. Thousands of passengers had their journeys disrupted when work near King's Cross took longer than planned. Trains were switched to Finsbury Park, a much smaller station. 'Not enough was done' in planning the switch, said the report, which included an apology from Mark Carne, Network Rail's chief executive. Work near London's Paddington station finished on time, but a safety check took eight hours longer than planned.
BBC News

13/01/2015 Batteries included: Prototype battery-powered train carries passengers for first time [Network Rail]
The first battery-powered train to run on Britain’s rail network in more than half a century carries its first passengers this week. This marks an important milestone in the project to demonstrate the viability of an eco-friendly battery-powered train for the twenty-first century. [From Richard Buckby]
Network Rail

12/01/2015 Virgin Trains reports surge in cross-border travel [BBC News]
Virgin Trains has reported a surge in cross-border rail travel following investment in additional seating capacity. The West Coast Main Line operator said passenger numbers on its Anglo-Scottish services rose by 11% last year. The rise came after Virgin made an additional 3,000 seats available every weekday. Virgin said its trains now accounted for more than a fifth of journeys made between Glasgow and London.
BBC News

12/01/2015 London Bridge passengers face more rail disruption [BBC News]
Passengers using London Bridge station will face further disruption for more than a year because of rebuilding work, rail authorities have warned. Commuters travelling to London Bridge on Southeastern's Charing Cross services must take different routes. The disruption results from work on north side platforms starting later on Monday. [From Richard Buckby]

London Bridge station forecourt, dominated by The Shard, on a wet 25 July 2014.
[Bill Roberton 25/07/2014]

You get an unbeatable view of railway landmarks from The London Eye. View north across the Thames towards Charing Cross station in August 2009.
[Alistair MacKenzie 23/08/2009]

View over Borough Market Junction on 20 July with trains on the Charing Cross / Blackfriars route (left) and the cross-Thames lines from Cannon Street. The new east-west viaduct seen under construction will enable quadrupling here, with the southern pair of lines handling trains to and from Charing Cross and the northern pair providing Thameslink trains with a dedicated route to Blackfriars - essential in providing the planned 24tph peak service on the route. London Bridge station is just off picture bottom right.
[John Thorn 20/07/2013]
BBC News

11/01/2015 What happened to England's forgotten railway stations? [BBC News]
In living memory, hundreds of railway stations have closed across the country and have since been abandoned, demolished or converted to other uses. But many former passengers still remember the days when they were a hive of activity. [Sent in by several Railscot contributors - thanks]

Nice warm dusk colours at Green Park just after Christmas 2012. Just needs a bit of steam and smoke...
[Ken Strachan 28/12/2012]

Nowadays a location more associated with major exhibitions, sporting events and party conferences. DMUs stand below the 210 feet single-span wrought iron arched roof of Manchester Central station in May 1969.
[K A Gray 03/05/1969]

On 3 August 1968 the last BR scheduled service to be hauled by a standard gauge steam locomotive ended its journey here. Closed in 1977 the frontage now forms part of an office complex.
[John McIntyre 09/01/2007]

10/01/2015 Could the dining car ever make a comeback? [BBC]
Britain's traditional railway restaurant car is threatening to make a surprising comeback, writes Adrian Quine. The years after privatisation were not kind to the UK's restaurant cars. A 150-year tradition of fine dining on the move appeared to be about to be confined to the history books. But now the romance of dining on freshly cooked cordon bleu cuisine and fine wine while travelling at 125mph appears to be creeping back.

Gresley class O2 2-8-0 no 63973 with an up goods through Doncaster on 29 July 1961 passes the restaurant car of a Leeds - Kings Cross train standing at the platform.
[K A Gray 29/07/1961]

The Egon Ronay car, Bridge of Dun, November 2006.
[John Furnevel /11/2006]

This classic dining car is one of two that are marshalled in the daily Zermatt Davos Glacier Express services. WR3810, seen here waiting to leave Zermatt^s main line terminus, looks incongruous sandwiched between the modern Panoramique coaches. After the eight hour journey east it will be serviced overnight in Davos and then return the next day. [See image 45066]
[Mark Bartlett 14/09/2013]

09/01/2015 ScotRail trains suspended as Scotland battered by 140mph winds [STV]
A raft of ScotRail services have been suspended after the country was battered by winds of 140mph. Major disruption has been caused across Scotland with thousands of homes affected by power cuts. Network Rail is inspecting lines for damage caused by the hurricane-force winds which brought gusts of up to 140mph in the Cairngorms and 113mph on lower ground. On Friday morning all services were suspended for safety checks but some lines have now been deemed safe and services are beginning to return. Commuters are urged to check the ScotRail website for updates.

08/01/2015 Clifton Rocks Railway recreates 120-year-old sign [BBC News]
Supporters restoring the former Clifton Rocks Railway in Bristol have recreated a sign that stood outside the entrance to the top station over 120 years ago. The design is based on a recently-discovered postcard of the scene shortly after it opened in 1893. The railway was built inside the Avon Gorge cliffs and was designed to carry passengers from Hotwells up to Clifton.

View across the Avon from the Portishead branch on 15 February towards the lower entrance to the Clifton Rocks Railway, a funicular built within the cliff face of the Avon Gorge. Closed since 1934, the Clifton Rocks Railway Trust has been formed with the objective of restoring this unique structure.
[Peter Todd 15/02/2008]

Entrance to the Clifton Rocks Railway, Bristol, a hydraulically powered funicular within the cliff face of the Avon Gorge, closed in 1934. [See image 33145]
[Ewan Crawford 11/03/2003]
BBC News

07/01/2015 Obituary: Allan Garraway MBE, railway preservationist, manager and engineer [Scotsman]
Born: 14 June, 1926, in Cambridge. Died: Overnight 29/30 December, 2014, in Newtonmore, aged 88. Allan Garraway was one of the giants of railway preservation, an expert who was not merely a railway enthusiast but an enthusiastic railwayman, a subtle but a vital distinction. Internationally renowned in his field, he ran the world’s oldest operational railway company, an enterprise that would not exist today but for his contribution and tenacity. For almost 30 years he managed the historic Ffestiniog Railway Company in Wales, which he had been determined to reinvent, and in retirement was a director of the spectacular Strathspey Railway in the Highlands, an area he had known as a schoolboy. [From John Yellowlees]

Allan Garraway photographed at Aviemore in the 1980s.
[Bill Roberton //]

07/01/2015 Hitachi ships first IEP train to Britain [IRJ]
THE first of 122 225km/h Super Express Trains (SETs) ordered by Britain's Department for Transport (DfT) as part of its Intercity Express Programme (IEP) left Hitachi's Kasado plant in Japan on January 7 by ship on the first leg of its journey to Britain. The five-car bi-mode class 800 train is due to arrive at the port of Kobe on January 22 and will be transferred to a larger vessel for the remainder of its sea voyage to Southampton in southern England, where it will be unloaded in March. Trials are due to begin on the Old Dalby test track near Nottingham in April and the test programme will be managed by Hitachi Rail Europe. Three pre-series SETs and the first 10 production trains will be built in Japan before assembly switches to Hitachi's purpose-built £82m Newton Aycliffe plant in northeast England, which will assemble the remaining 109 trains. [From Richard Buckby]
International Railway Journal

06/01/2015 Edinburgh-Glasgow trains face summer of disruption [Scotsman]
COMMUTERS on Scotland’s busiest rail line will suffer six weeks of disruption this summer, in the first big test for ScotRail’s new Dutch operator, Abellio. Part of the main Edinburgh-Glasgow route will be closed from 13 June to 27 July, which coincides with tens of thousands of fans heading for the Open golf at St Andrews. The Winchburgh tunnel in West Lothian is being closed as part of the £750 million electrification of the line to enable faster and longer trains to run.

The Forth Bridge lines are carrying at least 7 passenger services an hour each way, so when the loops at Dalmeny are used for reversing trains during occasional diversions of Edinburgh - Glasgow services things can get busy, even with the interloper service reduced to half-hourly.  Four abreast here on 17 October are, left to right:  in the Down Loop a service from Edinburgh waiting for access to the Winchburgh Junction line for Glasgow; an unidentified train bound for the Forth Bridge; a local which has just left Dalmeny station (in background); in the Up Loop a service from Glasgow during a long wait to access the Edinburgh line.
[David Panton 17/10/2009]

An Eastbound train passing Winchburgh Junction.
[Ewan Crawford //]

A type 2 passes Dalmeny Junction signal box with a northbound freight heading for the Forth Bridge in 1970. The branch from South Queensferry came in behind the box and the line round to Winchburgh Junction is on the right.
[John Furnevel //1970]

06/01/2015 Ffestiniog Railway workshops set for major upgrade [Daily Post]
Work to upgrade the oldest operating railway workshops in the world is set to start in the next few weeks. Once the work at Boston Lodge near Porthmadog is completed the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway (F&WHR) will be able to store all its locomotives under cover for the first time. [From Richard Buckby]

The last train of the day crosses The Cob on its way from Porthmadog Harbour Station to return to Boston Lodge on a summer evening in July 1991.
[Colin McDonald /07/1991]

Boston Lodge Works on the Ffestiniog Railway, view east in 1968.
[John Thorn /05/1968]

A ^Rail Taxi^. Originally an Italian designed, BMW built Isetta bubble-car, this 4-2-0 petrol railcar had been converted for rail operations in 1967 and initially used on the Leighton Buzzard Light Railway. Photographed here during a period on the Ffestiniog Railway in 1984.
[Gus Carnegie //1984]
Daily Post

05/01/2015 Councillor calls for Borders railway halt at Heriot [BBC News]
A railway halt should be provided at Heriot on the new Borders railway line, according to a local councillor. Sandy Aitchison said villagers 'deserve' extra transport provision. He said: 'I see no reason why the future programming of the timetable could not allow a stop at Heriot to allow passengers to join it. [From Richard Buckby]

A Borders Railway ballast train photographed on 25 November looking north towards Heriot village. Freightliner locomotives 66605 and 66610 (nearest) are involved.
[Bill Roberton 25/11/2014]

View south from the former level crossing at Heriot on 17 January 2009. Just over 9 miles further on from here lies the village of Stow, where a new station is to be built, thus becoming the first stop in the Scottish Borders on the reopened Waverley route to Tweedbank.
[John Furnevel 17/01/2009]

An Edinburgh - Gorebridge local dmu photographed on the level crossing at Heriot in September 1968. The train has run ecs from Gorebridge in order to reverse on the crossover here. (Heriot was used as the crossover point following closure of the facility at Borthwick Bank two months earlier). [See image 24002]
[Bruce McCartney /09/1968]
BBC News

04/01/2015 Reading train viaduct scheme completed [BBC News]
Work on a railway viaduct in Reading has been completed. The new 2km (1.25 mile)-long flyover on the First Great Western (FGW) mainline, has been built to separate passenger trains from freight trains. The train firm said the elevated section would make a 'huge difference' to services as fast mainlines will be taken over freight and relief lines. The viaduct is expected to stop queues and free up pinch points on the network at Reading.

50022 with a class 47 on an up train approaching Reading in 1985.
[John McIntyre /05/1985]

Maunsell U class 2-6-0 no 31809 awaits its departure time from Reading Southern station in the summer of 1964 with a train for Basingstoke. Reading GWR station stands in the right background.
[John Robin 24/08/1964]

Brush Type 4 D1918 stands at the east end of Reading station shortly after arriving with a Birmingham - Poole train on 8 May 1969. The train will reverse here.
[John Furnevel 08/05/1969]
BBC News

02/01/2015 Dutch rail company NS denies British railway cross subsidy claims [DutchNews]
Dutch state-owned transport firm NS has received nearly €920m in British government subsidies to run several rail services in Britain so far, according to British media reports. [From Richard Buckby]

31/12/2014 Arriva Trains Wales rail passengers in driver's cab probe [BBC News]
An investigation has been launched over claims train passengers travelling from north Wales were forced to travel in the driver's cab for part of their journey because of overcrowding. Arriva Trains Wales said passengers would not be allowed to enter and travel in the driver's cab for 'safety and security reasons'. It said it was looking into the claims but apologised for overcrowding.
BBC News

29/12/2014 NS starts closing stations to all but smart card users [DutchNews]
From today 26 Dutch railway stations will only be accessible to people with a public transport smart card, as rail company NS begins implementing its closed-door policy. [From Richard Buckby]

A Plan T EMU entering Amsterdam Central on 27 February 1992.
[Bill Roberton 27/02/1992]

Amsterdam Central - Paris Nord Thalys service speeds through the centre road at Leiden, between Amsterdam and Den Haag on 21 May.
[Michael Gibb 21/05/2008]

NS double deck commuter trains stand side by side at the platforms of Amsterdam Central station on 5 December 1997.
[John Furnevel 05/12/1997]

28/12/2014 Rail delays: Train operators warn of more disruption [BBC News]
Rail passengers have been told to expect delays at some London stations after thousands faced major disruption on Saturday. Network Rail said King's Cross is now up and running but operators said the trains would be 'busy'. Overrunning engineering works meant trains in and out of King's Cross and between London Paddington and Reading were cancelled on Saturday. The Office of Rail Regulation is to investigate the disrup
BBC News

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