A History of Britain's Railways
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Archive : 2014 [363 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]

30/10/2014 Manchester Airport: Chaos on the cards with train station set to shut for three weeks [MEN]
Manchester Airportís train station will be closed for three weeks as work is carried out to complete a fourth platform. Transport chiefs have warned travellers will face four weeks of disruption and will have to find alternative ways of getting to and from the airport as rail replacement buses are put on to cope with the disruption in early 2015.

185139 stands at Manchester Airport with the 1327 service to Edinburgh Waverley on 6 March 2008. The extensive construction work is in connection with the provision of a third platform at the station The additional platform is scheduled to open in January 2009.
[David Burrell 06/03/2008]
Manchester Evening News

29/10/2014 French auditor calls for smaller TGV network [IRJ]
FRANCE will need to consider reducing the number of stations served by TGV services if the network is to stand any chance of being profitable, according to a report on the finances of TGV, which was published by the French Court of Auditors on October 23. [From Richard Buckby]

An SNCF Paris bound TGV service prepares for departure from Lausanne station on 17th May 2009.
[Michael Gibb 17/05/2009]

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]

A TGV set repositioning for a later departure from La Rochelle on 9 September 2009.
[Peter Todd 09/09/2009]

28/10/2014 What is HS3?: proposed sub-Pennine rail line explained [Guardian]
This is the name the government is giving to its ambition to speed up connections between the big cities of the north from east to west. At the moment, the £50bn HS2 network is planned to run from London to Birmingham and then in two forks north, to Leeds and Manchester. HS3 would provide faster direct links across the Pennines between the last two cities, reducing journey times across the north.

25/10/2014 Former trams figure to run Caledonian Sleeper [Scotsman]
SERCO is poised to appoint Aberdeen-born Peter Strachan to run the Caledonian Sleeper when it takes over the franchise in April, The Scotsman has learned. Strachan quit as the Department for Transportís (DfT) head of major projects in the wake of the West Coast Main Line franchise fiasco and was a board member of Edinburgh city councilís tram development firm, TIE. [From Richard Buckby]

A BR class 73 Electro-Diesel locomotive approaching the carriage sidings at Clapham Junction with empty stock from Waterloo on 2 June 1973.
[John Furnevel 02/06/1973]

Running ahead of time, presumably because there had been no passengers to set down, the Caledonian Sleeper heads north out of Dunblane shortly after 5 a.m. on July 3rd 2009 behind 67009. Following a transport review in 2011, there were predictions that the service might not be able to continue beyond 2014.
[Mark Dufton 03/07/2009]

The northbound Highland Sleeper pauses at Preston platform 4 on 21 April 2009 with First ScotRail liveried 90024 at the helm. The departure from Preston is scheduled for 0052 hrs and the train contains through carriages for Aberdeen, Fort William and Inverness.
[John McIntyre 21/04/2009]

24/10/2014 Eurostar e320 to be unveiled next month [GlobalRailNews]
Eurostar is to hold a special unveiling event at St Pancras International station next month to show off its new high-speed e320 train. The launch event on November 13 will be the trainís first public appearance since the order was first announced four years ago. [From Richard Buckby]

24/10/2014 HS2: Phase two report proposes new station for Crewe [BBC News]
A report into the route of the second phase of the controversial fast train project HS2 is expected to recommend a new station be built in Crewe.
BBC News

23/10/2014 Work starts to dismantle Victorian signal box in Deeping St James [BBC News]
Work has started to dismantle a Victorian signal box, despite a campaign to turn it into a museum. Network Rail is removing it to make way for an automated crossing near Deeping St James, Lincolnshire. The work is part of a £280m scheme to modernise the line between Doncaster and Peterborough. Villagers Stuart and Lynda Hall said: 'It's an important part of our heritage, but to Network Rail it's just a box.' They said the community had won a partial victory as Network Rail had wanted to demolish the building, known locally as Jimmy's box, but had now agreed to 'remove it sensitively' and store it until a new site can be found. It was called Jimmy's box because of the sign which says St James Deeping instead of Deeping St James. [From Richard Buckby]

A DMU passing the signal box and level crossing alongside the closed station of St James Deeping in 1991. The train is on the former GN line between Peterborough and Spalding.
[Ian Dinmore //1991]

An InterCity 125 speeds over the level crossing at St James Deeping, located on the former GN route between Peterborough and Spalding. The line was in use as a diversionary route in January 1991 during engineering work on the ECML. The instruction on the gate makes an interesting alternative to Pull. [Note: Despite serving the village of Deeping St James, Lincolnshire, the station (closed to passengers in 1961) and signal box both carried the name St James Deeping.]
[Ian Dinmore /01/1991]
BBC News

22/10/2014 Britainís railway network Ė Transport mode of choice [GlobalRailNews]
In his recent address to the Institution of Engineering and Technologyís 2014 Sir Henry Royce Memorial Lecture in London this September, HS2 technical director Andrew McNaughton set out his vision for the future of Britainís railways.

21/10/2014 Eurostar to launch London-Amsterdam high-speed train in 2016 [CTV News]
Starting two years from now, the railway will launch direct services between the British and Dutch capitals. The new link will further expand Eurostar's high-speed train network after the addition in May 2015 of new destinations in France. As traffic on the Eurostar network continues to rise (+3 per cent in Q3 2014 to 2.8 million passengers), the company hopes to reinforce the rise in demand by expanding its services.
CTV News

20/10/2014 German train strike leaves millions stranded [Reuters]
(Reuters) - Millions of passengers were left stranded across Germany on Saturday after train drivers began a 50-hour strike that halted two thirds of long-distance trains in a dispute over pay and negotiation rights. The GDL drivers' union started their action at 2 am on Saturday morning for passenger trains. They return to work on Monday morning. Freight train drivers started their strike 11 hours earlier on Friday afternoon. The drivers' second national strike in a week hit at the start of week-long, half-term holidays in nearly half of Germany's 16 federal states.

A class 648 DMU with the 15.34 service to Lubeck awaits its departure time at Travemunde on 13 August 2014.
[Bruce McCartney 13/08/2014]

An ICE3 unit forming part of the 12.51 Intercity-Express departure to Dresden rests under Leipzig Hauptbahnhofís impressive train shed on 30th June 2013. To the right, passengers make cross-platform interchange from the 07.11 Munich-Berlin Intercity service.
[David Spaven 30/06/2013]

Looking over the main platforms at Hamburg in July 2010. On the left a Metronom train awaits its departure time, in the centre of the photograph an ICE service snakes away westwards, while to the right two DB trains are departing in opposite directions.
[John Steven 27/07/2010]

20/10/2014 Japan approves construction of maglev bullet train that will travel 178 miles in 40 minutes [Independent]
When it comes to building high-speed trains Japan is continuing to embarrass the rest of the world, with the latest line, approved by the government this Friday, capable of travelling the 178 miles from Tokyo to Nagoya in just 40 minutes

20/10/2014 Cashback reward for rail passengers who avoid rush hour [Times]
Overcrowding on commuter trains will be reduced by offering discounts on season tickets to people willing to travel at off-peak times after the introduction of a new smart ticketing system.

19/10/2014 Cardiff Queen Street railway station to stay closed on international rugby match days [WalesOnline News]
Arriva Trains Wales has decided that Cardiffís second station will remain closed on rugby international days after Network Rail completes a major enlargement there next month. Passengers at Queen Street station will have twice as much room on the platforms as they do now. Those catching trains towards Pontypridd, Merthyr Tydfil, Aberdare and Treherbert will divert inside the new entrance building to a spacious new platform. Passengers for stations to Caerphilly, Rhymney and Coryton will use the same platform as now, which will be less crowded.

121032 and 142074 departing from Cardiff Queen Street on 31 January 2012 with services to Cardiff Bay and Radyr respectively.
[David Pesterfield 31/01/2012]

Reconstruction underway at Cardiff Queen Street, where two extra platforms are to be brought into use - the previously existing through platform opposite platform 1, plus a new bay platform to serve trains on the Cardiff Bay line. This scene on 31 October shows progress on what will become the reinstated through platform on the west side of the station.
[John Thorn 31/10/2013]

One of only two main line services now using a 1st Generation DMU is the shuttle running for one mile from Cardiff Queen St to Cardiff Bay. Here Arriva Trains single unit 121032 (55032) arrives in Platform 3 at Queen St as the commuters build up on the island platform that handles all other trains at this busy station.
[Mark Bartlett 18/09/2009]
WalesOnline News

18/10/2014 Next train to Iran: British firm launches 'new Orient Express' [Telegraph]
A British company hoping to recapture some of the romance of the original Orient Express has launched a new service taking passengers on a fortnight's journey that will carry them from Hungary to Iran. The first 'Jewels of Persia' express left Budapest on Wednesday with the 70 passengers willing to pay a minimum of £9,385 for the 4,350 mile journey that will take them through Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey before entering Iran.

Travelling on the Up Slow line at Euxton on 6 September is 67027 with an Orient Express - Northern Belle charter.
[John McIntyre 06/09/2008]

BR Class 73 electro-diesel no 73128 with the Venice Simplon Orient Express preparing to get underway from London Victoria station in August 1987.
[Ian Dinmore /08/1987]

An OBB class 1044 electric locomotive takes the 1997 version of the Orient Express away from the St Anton stop on its Tyrolean leg and heads for Venice. The station building is in the right background. This station was subsequently replaced by an ultra modern structure on the south bank of the Rosanna River and much of this area has since been landscaped, although the main building survives as a restaurant [see image 27900].
[John Furnevel 17/07/1997]

18/10/2014 Tribute bid for Livingston North station cat Keira [Evening News]
SHE was the beloved railway cat who warmed the hearts of hundreds of commuters on the platforms of Livingston North station. For years, fluffy Keira affectionately brushed the ankles of waiting passengers and could be seen sprawling out in comfy alcoves across the West Lothian halt. But following her untimely death this week, an outpouring of grief from her many fans has seen coffers of a feline welfare charity swell as cash rolls in to protect and rehome moggies less fortunate than the popular railway cat. And now there have been calls to erect a permanent memorial in honour of Keira, who was so renowned she had her own Facebook page boasting more than 1200 likes. [From John Yellowlees]

Nice place for a catnap on a warm and sunny afternoon. Rushden Transport Museum^s cat enjoying forty winks on a convenient carriage step board.
[John Steven 02/06/2013]

Off duty member of staff at Grosmont shed in September 2011. [Alan Hardie adds - The cats name is Erica (after 45428 Eric Treacy) and has its own ID card pinned above its bed in the repair shed. The shed shop staff feed her.]
[Colin Miller 26/09/2011]

The former station at Mid Clyth (closed April 1944), on the Wick and Lybster Light Railway, photographed in August 2007. A descendant of the original resident rodent exterminator, the station cat, stands guard more than 63 years on.
[John Furnevel 28/08/2007]
Evening News

17/10/2014 Video Report on the Borders Railway Project [Rail Engineer]
A progress report on the Borders Railway project which is reinstating 30 miles of the former Waverley line from Edinburgh to Tweedbank. [From Richard Buckby]
Rail Engineer

16/10/2014 Swanage to Wareham rail reconnection works begin [BBC News]
Work has started to reconnect a Dorset heritage railway with the mainline network to allow passenger services to run for the first time in four decades. The boundary between Swanage Railway and the old Network Rail line was removed earlier, marking the start of a year-long restoration project. [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]
BBC News

14/10/2014 British Rosco Porterbrook changes hands [IRJ]
A consortium of infrastructure investors has acquired Porterbrook Rail Finance, one of the three original rolling stock leasing companies (Roscos) set up in 1994 as part of the privatisation of British Rail. [From Richard Buckby]

Sporting InterCity livery and with the Porterbrook nameplate on the side, 47810 hauls a Virgin service south from Preston in September 1999, seen here passing Farington.
[John McIntyre /09/1999]

After a short spell with Advenza Freight former DRS Class 66 No. 66841, and its two sister locomotives, were taken back by Porterbrook Leasing following Advenza and sister/parent company Cotswold Rail being wound up in October 2009. No 66841 was stabled at Cardiff Central on 18 September, as seen here from the valley lines island platform.
[Mark Bartlett 18/09/2009]

13/10/2014 Britain to sell its 40% stake in Eurostar [International Railway Journal]
THE British government has announced plans to sell its 40% stake in cross-Channel high-speed operator Eurostar to help reduce the national debt. The British Treasury has set a deadline of October 31 for companies to prequalify to purchase the shares and it hopes to select investors during the first quarter of 2015. UBS is advising on the sale. [From Richard Buckby]

Early morning at Kensington Olympia in July 2005 with the morning rush hour not yet in full swing. An empty Eurostar is passing through southbound en route from North Pole Depot to Waterloo International where it will form the 08.11 service to Paris Nord. In the bay platform on the left a District Line train will soon leave on a slightly shorter journey with a shuttle service to Earl^s Court and High Street Kensington.
[John Furnevel 22/07/2005]

A St Pancras bound Eurostar on HS1 just north west of Ashford on 28 October 2010. The tracks on the left are those of the Ashford to Maidstone line.
[John McIntyre 28/10/2010]

Eurostars awaiting departure for Paris and Brussels via the UKs only High Speed Rail Link stand below Mr Barlow^s engineering masterpiece at St Pancras station on 5 July 2009.
[Bill Roberton 05/07/2009]

13/10/2014 New Metrolink line to Wythenshawe and Manchester Airport to open on November 3 Ė a year ahead of schedule [Manchester Evening News
Trams on the new Metrolink line to Wythenshawe and Manchester Airport will run with passengers on board from early next month - more than a year ahead of schedule. Metrolink bosses have confirmed an opening date of November 3 for passengers wanting to use the new 14.5km route. [From Richard Buckby]
Manchester Evening News

12/10/2014 How Dutch and German train and bus firms are taking UK taxpayers for a ride [Observer]
The UK government has poured money into transport infrastructure. And thanks to privatisation, state-owned European bus and rail operators reap the benefits.

12/10/2014 Network Rail: Debt-ridden train operatorís Middle East contract is its biggest coup yet [Independent]
Network Rail will help a new Saudi Arabian railway to run on time in a deal worth nearly £100m. It marks a major advance in attempts to commercialise the debt-ridden railway operator. The Government had been keen to see the independent but state-backed rail operator find alternative sources of revenue to ease the more than £30bn debt it had racked-up in maintaining and running 20,000 miles of Britainís track, 32,000 bridges and tunnels, and 19 major stations, including Glasgow Central, Liverpool Lime Street and London Waterloo.

11/10/2014 Going Dutch means tourism lift for Borders railway [Southern Reporter]
Dutch operators who will run Scotlandís trains have given a boost to the Borders Railway ahead of its opening next September. Abellio has confirmed the route will become part of the Great Scenic Railways of Scotland network. And that will be seen by rail supporters in the Borders as an opportunity to bring more tourists into the area.
Southern Reporter

10/10/2014 Hitachi named as preferred bidder for 70 Scotrail electric trains [Journal]
A dutch transport group has confirmed that Hitachi Rail Europe is its preferred bidder for the construction of electric trains for Scotrail. Rail operator Abellio, announced this week as the winner of the contract to run Scotlandís train services for the next decade, has enlisted the firm to build and supply 70 new electric trains for ScotRail, which will come into operation by December 2017. The firm will operate ScotRail services from April next year, taking over from Aberdeen-based FirstGroup, and said it will invest millions to improve trains, facilities and services. Hitachi will manufacture the 70 trains from its multi-million pound facility in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, which is currently under construction.
The Journal

09/10/2014 Borders to Edinburgh railway: Track laying gets under way [BBC News]
Track laying is under way on the multi-million pound rail link between the Borders and Edinburgh. The line between Tweedbank and the capital is due to open to passenger trains on 6 September next year. Seven new stations are being built along the length of the 30-mile stretch of railway. Stuart MacKay, of main contractor BAM, said it was a 'real landmark' to start putting down the track and added that the project remained on schedule. BBC Scotland was given first access to see how the operation is carried out.

The first track-laying train on the Borders Railway Ė just before 10.00 on a dreich Monday 6th October, the Dutch track-laying train begins inching its way south from Newcraighall, propelled by a GB Railfreight Class 66. Track laying up to this point (with 60 ft rails) had been by means of cranes and other mobile equipment. Work on the new Edinburgh and Midlothian food waste recycling plant is underway on the far side of the line with Millerhill loco stabling point in the background.
[David Spaven 06/10/2014]

Tracklaying taking place on the down line through Shawfair station on 9 October 2014 as part of a media event. GBRf 66706 Nene Valley is at the north end of the train.
[John Furnevel 09/10/2014]

GBRf 66736 continuing tracklaying on the up line to the south of Shawfair Station on 7 October 2014.
[Bill Roberton 07/10/2014]
BBC News

09/10/2014 London Underground: Designs for Tube trains unveiled [BBC News]
Designs for 250 London Underground (LU) trains have been unveiled as part of an upgrade which could cost up to £2.5bn. The trains will be installed on the Piccadilly, Central, Waterloo & City and Bakerloo lines from the mid-2020s. They will have walk-through carriages similar to the new Metropolitan, District and Circle line trains.
BBC News

09/10/2014 Rail bid signals good news for Stranraer lineís future [Galloway Gazette]
News this week that a new operator will take over the next ScotRail franchise means a brighter future for rail services in Wigtownshire. That is the claim made by SNP MSP for the South of Scotland Aileen McLeod, who said the awarding of the Scotrail franchise to Abellio will see specific commitments to the Stranraer-Ayr line. This is likely to include support for community rail partnerships, services between Stranraer and Ayr every two hours and the introduction of a Scenic Railway Service on the line to attract visitors.

The 12.36 service to Glasgow Central waits to leave Stranraer Harbour on 24 May 2012.
[Colin Miller 24/05/2012]

A southbound train pulls away from a colourful Maybole station and heads for Girvan on the last day of May 2007.
[John Furnevel 31/05/2007]

The immaculate interior of the waiting room at Girvan, Scotland^s only art deco station, seen on 3 June.† Even the ceiling is glossy.† The more modern seating is unfortunately not sympathetic, though probably more comfortable than the wooden benches it no doubt replaced.
[David Panton 03/06/2010]
Galloway Gazette

08/10/2014 Cambridgeshire guided busway: BAM Nuttall 'to account for' £31m defects [BBC News]
The company which built Cambridgeshire's guided busway is to be 'held to account' for the cost of defects, the county council has agreed. BAM Nuttall handed over the project two years late in August 2011. The council said it was left with £31m of defects on the St Ives to Cambridge route. It said while there were no safety concerns, the defects needed to be fixed. [From Mark Bartlett]

This is the Cambridge end of the Northern (from Huntingdon) part of the new Guided Busway. The bus is about to turn right along Milton Road to the city centre and station. The avenue of trees ahead runs along the old line to Chesterton Junction, adjacent to Cambridge Science Park. There is a scheme afoot to open a new Cambridge Science Park station, in which case it would make sense to extend the Busway across Milton Road into the former goods yard adjacent to the station. Notice the absence of concrete blocks [see image 32111].
[Ken Strachan 10/09/2011]

The deserted platforms of the closed station at Histon, on the St Ives, Cambridgeshire, branch in 1981. The 1847 station building is seen here occupied by a flooring company. [Editors note: The branch closed to passengers in 1970 with closure of the final freight-only section of the line in 1992. It is planned to convert the former branch into the worlds longest guided busway with effect from the summer of 2009 - see news item.]
[Ian Dinmore //1981]
BBC News

07/10/2014 Dutch firm Abellio wins ScotRail franchise from FirstGroup [BBC News]
Dutch rail operator Abellio will run ScotRail services from April 2015, after promising to invest millions in improving services. It will take over from Aberdeen-based FirstGroup, which has run most Scottish rail services for the past 10 years.
BBC News

06/10/2014 Work on Bermuda Park railway station in Nuneaton starts [BBC News]
Work has begun on a new station which is part of a £13.6m project to improve rail links between Coventry and Nuneaton. Bermuda Park station, being built on Nuneaton's Bermuda Industrial Estate, is expected to be ready by May 2015. Work on a second new station, at Coventry's Ricoh Arena, started last month. [From Richard Buckby]

The Bermuda industrial estate has seen a number of measures to reduce carbon emissions - a cycle path, new footpaths, traffic lights on a major roundabout. A new station is scheduled for completion in December 2013 - about where the approaching 153 can be seen in the centre background of this south-facing view. Notice the curve of the road in the foreground - this is the approximate course of the old branch line to the Bermuda collieries. [See image 31054]
[Ken Strachan 18/06/2010]

View north east at Three Spires Junction on 30 August 2011, with Freightliner 66542 approaching Coventry from Nuneaton on a container train. The line to the left serving the Prologis Industrial Park looks a little underused. Coventry City^s Ricoh stadium in the background, standing alongside the line, is woefully under-provided with car and coach parking. A new station here should be completed by December 2013.
[Ken Strachan 30/08/2011]
BBC News

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