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30/06/2015 Eurostar suspended as strikers set fire to Calais track [BBC News]
Thousands of cross-Channel passengers are stranded after striking Calais ferry workers closed the French port and blocked Eurotunnel rail services. The MyFerryLink workers walked out on Monday for the second time in a week over the sale of the company's ferries to rival firm DFDS Seaways. Both Eurostar and Shuttle services were suspended due to fire on the tracks. The tunnel reopened at 15:30 BST and Eurostar said 'some services will run this afternoon'. However, Shuttle services are running with a three-hour waiting time at the Folkestone terminal.
BBC News

30/06/2015 RMT votes for strike over new Hitachi high-speed trains [BBC News]
First Great Western rail workers have voted to support strike action over plans to axe guards and buffet cars on new Hitachi Inter City Express trains. Members of the RMT union will walk out for 48 hours from 18:30 BST on 8 July. The union said a guard should be kept on every train, 'not a diluted customer service role', but First Great Western said having drivers controlling doors was safer and jobs would not be lost. In the ballot, 80% supported strike action and 92% other forms of action.
BBC News

29/06/2015 Train sewage on tracks elimination date brought forward [BBC News]
The date for the elimination of trains dumping sewage on Scotland's rail tracks has been brought forward after a campaign, the RMT union has said. Union representatives met ScotRail management, Transport Minister Derek MacKay, and Transport Scotland officials over the issue. The RMT said about 40% of the ScotRail fleet should be fitted with controlled emission tanks by April 2016. The remainder are due to be fully fitted by December 2017.

47709 rushes through Lenzie on an Edinburgh-Glasgow push-pull service in April 1985. A toilet plug is pulled which intrigues two young spotters.
[Brian Forbes /04/1985]

A puzzling warning notice in a toilet cubicle of a Class 170 on 19 June 2010.  As to what the danger might be I^ll have to leave to your imagination. 
[David Panton 19/06/2010]

The present day fuelling facilities at Perth are located around the former platforms 8 and 9. This is a view of the ^half shed^ and fuelling pumps installed a couple of years ago to handle the servicing of the Class 170s, including their associated CETs (Controlled Emission Tanks). Class 158^s have all now been similarly adapted so the toilets can now be safely flushed in stations! The two stainless steel machines beyond the green wheeled bowser are two of the three CET pumps. Needless to say the latter are referred to in more colloquial terms locally.
[Gary Straiton 26/02/2010]
BBC News


29/06/2015 £600m to deliver South Wales Metro by 2020 [BBC News]
About £600m is to be spent on a new metro for south east Wales within five years, BBC Wales understands. It is likely to be a mix of light rail, trams, improved trains and faster buses by 2020 in Cardiff and the valleys. It is in addition to planned rail electrification and will run as a 'not-for-dividend' part of the next all-Wales rail franchise from 2018. The economy minister will task rail and business experts to finalise plans before work starts in 2017. Edwina Hart envisages a partnership with private developers but operating for the minimum profit, with money being reinvested in the network, BBC Wales understands. The Welsh government has already committed £77m to a first phase, which includes a new station for Ebbw Vale.
BBC News

28/06/2015 Manchester Metrolink trams halted in city centre for revamp [BBC News]
Work has started on the Metrolink in Manchester, suspending all tram services across the city centre for eight weeks. Trams will not run through St Peter's Square until the end of August, Transport for Greater Manchester said. It is part of a 14-month construction project to create a new tram crossing in the city, expected to open in 2017. [From Mark Bartlett]

Construction work and tram track laying taking place in Corporation Street near Manchester Victoria station on 25 June 2015 in connection with the planned ^second city crossing^. [See news item]
[Mark Bartlett 25/06/2015]
BBC News

28/06/2015 £18m rail link in Staffordshire given go-ahead [Express and Star]
An £18 million rail terminal is to be built in Norton Canes. Bosses at freight delivery company Pentalver say building the terminal is the right decision for Cannock. The ambitious scheme has been given the go-ahead by Cannock Chase Council, despite concerns about noise. The company, which employs more than 300 people, plans to run up to six trains a day directly to and from south coast ports, cutting down on ‘empty’ trips to rail depots to pick up containers. [From Richard Buckby]
Express and Star

26/06/2015 ScotRail train driver pay dispute escalates [BBC News]
ScotRail train drivers are set to vote on possible industrial action after pay talks broke down between management and unions. Aslef, which represents most of ScotRail's 1,200 drivers, said it had rejected a final 2.5% pay rise offer from management. The union is unhappy at productivity improvements linked to the offer, such as the use of driver-only trains. The ScotRail Alliance said it felt its offer was 'fair'.
BBC News


26/06/2015 First look at Nottingham’s new tram line [Rail News]
Nottingham’s long-awaited Phase 2 tram extension will open this summer, insisted Alstom during a media tour of the new system. Driver training is now complete and the delivery team in Nottingham is about to begin full timetable tests. The 17.5-kilometre Y-shaped extension to Clifton and Beeston will more than double the size of the existing network. For the new lines, Nottingham ordered 22 Citadis trams, which have been delivered and can be found transporting passengers around the city on Line 1. [From Richard Buckby]
Rail News

25/06/2015 Paris: Shabby Gare du Nord set for makeover [The Local]
The Gare du Nord train station in Paris - once dubbed 'the squalor pit of Europe' - is set for a major facelift, officials announced on Wednesday. It will even include a gourmet restaurant. [From Richard Buckby]

Looking west to east along the lengthy concourse at Gare du Nord in February 2015. Platforms are numbered 2 to 19, with platforms 2 to 5 for Eurostar services only. The concourse for the easternmost platforms is beyond the main building and is enclosed in a modern glass structure [See image 50643].
[David Pesterfield 26/02/2015]

Full house at Gare du Nord on 5 August - I see three TGVs, a Thalys, and two Eurostars... just.
[Ken Strachan 05/08/2014]

Loco-hauled double deck suburban train at Paris Gare du Nord in May 2007.
[Michael Gibb 27/05/2007]
The Local

25/06/2015 Network Rail upgrade delayed by government [BBC News]
The government says it will delay or cut back a number of modernisation projects planned for Network Rail. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin says rising costs and missed targets make the £38.5bn plan untenable. He blamed Network Rail, saying it should have foreseen the improvements would cost more and take longer.
BBC News

24/06/2015 Network Rail funding gap puts brake on five-year plan [Guardian]
The catalogue of delay, missed targets and overspending at Network Rail is set to force ministers to admit that the vaunted biggest investment in the railway since Victorian times will not deliver the projects promised in a £38.5bn five-year plan. The electrification of the Midland mainline linking London to Sheffield, described as “critical to maintaining a reliable railway”, is likely to be axed from the schedule as ministers attempt to get to grips with Network Rail’s soaring costs. [From Mark Bartlett]
Guardian


23/06/2015 Portishead railway reopening consultation begins [BBC News]
A public consultation into plans to reopen a Bristol railway line has begun. The Portishead branch line shut in 1964 but is now part of the MetroWest Phase 1 project which aims to reopen the line to passenger services by 2019. Work will involve opening a new station in Portishead, reopening Pill station, building new footbridges and doubling part of the track. A six week consultation will run until 3 August. When complete the line will link Portishead with Bristol Temple Meads and the Severn Beach Line. [From Richard Buckby]

EWS 66016 running west light engine towards Portbury coal import terminal on 9 February 2010.
[Andy Kirkham 09/02/2010]

A coal train from Portbury import terminal, destination Rugeley power station, passing Ashton Gate on the western approach to Bristol on 4 August 2010. The locomotive is Freightliner class 70 no 70003.
[Peter Todd 04/08/2010]

This new station in Portishead, photographed in the summer of 1960, had a life of only ten years, (1954-1964). It was built to replace the previous station (shared with the Weston, Clevedon and Portishead light railway) which had been closed to make way for a new power station.
[John Thorn /07/1960]
BBC News

22/06/2015 First Virgin liveried HST enters service on East Coast [Rail News]
The first Intercity 125 to sport the Virgin Trains East Coast livery went into passenger service in Edinburgh over the weekend. Departing Edinburgh Waverley on Saturday morning, it is the first HST to carry passengers in Virgin colours since the operator took over the franchise with Stagecoach in March. The Mark 3 fleet is being incrementally updated at Craigentinny depot by Stewart Signs. All 14 trains are set to be completed by October. [From Richard Buckby]

Virgin East Coast HST line-up at Kings Cross on 13 April 2015, with 43317; 43312; and an unidentified classmate awaiting their next turns.
[Andrew Wilson 13/04/2015]

National Express liveried HST power car 43312 draws to a halt in the Up platform at Wakefield Westgate at the head of a Leeds to Kings Cross service on 4 September 2009. Although Westgate station has only two platforms they are signalled for traffic in both directions, as is the through road, with the station handling a frequent train service.
[Mark Bartlett 04/09/2009]
Rail News

20/06/2015 Bombardier wins contract to build new Overground fleet [Rail News]
TRANSPORT FOR LONDON has awarded a contract with a capital value of around £260 million to Bombardier Transportation to build at least 45 more Overground trains in Derby. The award is provisional, and is expected to be confirmed after the normal 10-day standstill period.
BBC News

20/06/2015 London Tubes: Unexpected locations of underground trains [BBC News]
London's underground Tube trains are one of the capital's best-known symbols. And yet, the flash-by streaks of red, white and blue can be found in unexpected places up and down England. BBC News Online finds why Tubes are in such high demand. From its iconic map to its crisp passenger announcements such as 'mind the gap', the Tube train is indelibly associated with London. So, to find one rushing past grazing sheep and wooded hillsides in the heart of rural Leicestershire comes as something of a surprise. [From Mark Bartlett]

37520 has just left the Procor works at Horbury Junction in February 1997 with a rake of refurbished London Transport tube stock heading towards Wakefield Kirkgate. The signal gantry for the junction can be seen centre right.
[David Pesterfield 05/02/1997]

Former LT Tube stock in use on the Isle of Wight standing alongside a wet platform at Shanklin in February 1988. [See image 39454]
[Ian Dinmore /02/1988]

More cranes have appeared in the background as work on the new connection from Bishopsgate goods yard to Kingsland viaduct continues apace as part of the East London Line extension. Note the ex Tube stock bottom right in use as part of an arts centre.
[Michael Gibb 09/08/2007]
BBC News

19/06/2015 Ilkeston station work set to start in the autumn [BBC News]
Work to build a railway station in Derbyshire could start in September, following delays due to flooding and the discovery of protected newts. Ilkeston station was initially given the go-ahead in 2013 and had been expected to be in operation by now. Great crested newts, which are protected by law, were found at the site in the winter halting work while they were moved elsewhere. Derbyshire County Council said the station should open next year. [From Richard Buckby]
BBC News

19/06/2015 Tickets for new Borders Railway finally go on sale [BBC News]
Tickets for travelling on the new Borders Railway have finally gone on sale, ScotRail has confirmed. They were expected to be available from the train operator's website from last Sunday. However a glitch with the site meant travellers were unable to make their purchases. ScotRail said customers are now able to buy tickets for journeys from 6 September - the first day of the new service. They are available from its website.
BBC News

18/06/2015 Minister signals possible return of parcels by train [Rail News]
RAIL minister Claire Perry has admitted that successive governments have failed to invest sufficiently in infrastructure, and declared herself 'determined to turn things round' in response to rapidly rising demand. She also signalled that new ways of using rail are being actively investigated, including the carriage of parcels and other low-bulk goods on passenger trains. [From Richard Buckby]

A2 Pacific 60514 Chamossaire and one or two parcels stand at Newcastle Central in the early sixties.
[K A Gray //]

A BR Western Region ^Express Parcels Service^ diesel unit that spent its days calling at stations between Paddington parcels depot [see image 42682] and Reading in the 1970s and 1980s.
[John Furnevel //]

The multi-purpose railway at Kyle of Lochalsh in the late 1960s – passengers, parcels, mail, freight, and direct interchange with MacBraynes buses - plus of course the Skye ferry.
[Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) //]

18/06/2015 Tube drivers vote for strike action over 24 hour Tube [BBC News]
London Underground (LU) drivers have voted to strike for 24 hours over pay and the introduction of a new all-night service, union Aslef said. The strike will be on 8 July from 21:30 BST, BBC London's Tom Edwards understands. It comes after the union rejected a 0.75% pay rise, a £500 bonus and an extra £250 bonus for all workers for the night service.

A Wimbledon - Barking District line train approaching West Brompton station on a warm and sunny afternoon in July 2005. West London Line platforms 3 & 4 stand to the right beyond the metal fence.
[John Furnevel 22/07/2005]

King^s Cross St Pancras westbound Piccadilly line platform on 14 July 1994.  The poster in Spanish reads ^There^ll be someone at home waiting to hear your voice^.  It goes on to compare the cost of a call to Spain with that of a hot chocolate and pastry, and reminds us ^It^s good to talk^.  You^ll have to imagine a Spanish Bob Hoskins.
[David Panton 14/07/1994]

London Underground C Stock, stabled at Edgware Road sidings in September 2008.
[Michael Gibb 12/09/2008]
BBC News

17/06/2015 Train carriage from 1882 at heart of Cornish bungalow [BBC News]
A bungalow constructed around a refurbished 19th Century railway carriage is going on the market. The First Great Western carriage was placed on a site near Helston in Cornwall in 1930 by Elizabeth Richards, who lived there until she died in 1966. Master carpenter Charles Allen restored the carriage, from 1882, and built a bungalow around it with help from his son-in-law Jim Higgins. The estate agent in charge of the sale said the construction was 'unique'. [From Mark Bartlett]
BBC News

17/06/2015 Rail firm ‘breaks promise’ on reviving village station [Edinburgh Evening News]
Rail bosses have told 
campaigners they can’t keep a promise to reopen a mothballed East Lothian station next year – because there aren’t enough trains in Scotland. Campaigners say they are “very concerned” after being told by ScotRail that the planned reopening of East Linton station will be delayed by up to two years.

The down platform buildings at East Linton on 16 May 2007 standing alongside the ECML. Beyond is the fine looking 1846 main station building [see image 15003].
[John Furnevel 16/05/2007]

The 0800 East Coast Kings Cross – Edinburgh service runs north through Reston, Berwickshire, on 8 March 2010. The train is passing the site of the island platform once shared by down trains on the main line and local services on the Berwickshire Railway^s cross-country line to St Boswells. The station house stands alongside the former main entrance in the left background. Reston, which lost its passenger service in 1964, is one of the locations identified as a possibility for reopening as part of a future improved Edinburgh – Berwick rail service.
[John Furnevel 08/03/2010]
Edinburgh Evening News

15/06/2015 Borders Railway tickets affected by website glitch [BBC News]
A website glitch has meant many people trying to buy some of the first tickets for the new Borders to Edinburgh railway were unable to do so. Most of the new stations were not recognised by the ScotRail website. Galashiels to Edinburgh tickets could be booked but at almost three times the previously announced price. ScotRail said it was due to a technical glitch with the Thetrainline website which they were working to correct as soon as possible.
BBC News

13/06/2015 Delays kick in on Edinburgh and Glasgow rail line [Scotsman]
TRAIN passengers yesterday faced 44 days of rail chaos as work began on the Winchburgh Tunnel to pave the way for new electric trains between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Travellers in central Scotland are bracing themselves for more than six weeks of crowded trains and replacement bus services on some routes due to the disruption. Trains between Edinburgh and Glasgow were yesterday running slower than usual, with typical journey times lasting around 90 minutes rather than the usual 55, while other services in central Scotland were also affected.

An Edinburgh Waverley - Glasgow Queen Street DMU photographed heading west through Saughton Junction on 23 June 1958.
[A Snapper (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) 23/06/1958]

The final push-pull configuration on the Edinburgh - Glasgow shuttles utilised modified class 47 locomotives. Here no 47707 ^Holyrood^ is seen looking west from Waverley Bridge in the 1980s awaiting its departure time with an afternoon service to Glasgow Queen Street.
[John Furnevel //]

Haymarket A3 Pacific no 60089 Felstead speeds west through Saughton Junction on Thursday 1 August 1957 at the head of the Edinburgh Waverley - Glasgow Queen Street leg of the down North Briton ex Leeds City.
[A Snapper (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) 01/08/1957]
Scotsman

12/06/2015 Network Rail faces regulator grilling over reliability [BBC News]
Britain's Rail regulator is to investigate Network Rail's performance, accusing the company of delivering poor punctuality and reliability on some of its busiest commuter routes. Routes run by Southern, Thameslink and Scotland were 'below requirements' for reliability, the Office of Road and Rail (ORR) said.
BBC News

12/06/2015 Borders Railway is handed over to Scotrail Alliance [BBC News]
The new Borders Railway is due to reach another major milestone when it officially transfers into the ownership of the ScotRail Alliance. It will mark the formal completion of the contract by BAM Nuttall. The developer said the £294m project, linking Edinburgh with Tweedbank by rail, has been delivered 'on time and within budget'. From Sunday the new 30-mile railway will be taken over by a group formed from Network Rail and Abellio. [From Richard Buckby]
BBC News

11/06/2015 How will Winchburgh tunnel rail works affect passengers? [BBC News]
On Saturday, the Winchburgh railway tunnel in West Lothian will close for 44 days causing delays to Glasgow-Edinburgh train services. Staff will be working round-the-clock in the 330m-long tunnel to lower two lines of track to create space for overhead power lines for the new trains.

The western portal of Winchburgh tunnel on 19th May 2015, photographed through the chainlink fencing. Work is due to start here shortly. [See recent news item]
[Colin McDonald 19/05/2015]

A Metro-Cammell dmu bursts out of Winchburgh Tunnel on what is probably the 15:08 Stirling - Edinburgh Waverley service, thought to be in April 1972.
[Bill Jamieson /04/1972]

A Dunblane - Edinburgh Waverley 158 runs through the deep cutting at Winchburgh in August 2006.
[John Furnevel 11/08/2006]
BBC News

11/06/2015 Transpennine electrification delayed indefinitely [Rail News]
ELECTRIFICATION between York and Manchester across the Pennines has been delayed indefinitely. Network Rail has explained that it is putting the scheme on hold so that further development can be worked out first to yield the maximum benefits, but industry observers claim that problems encountered in electrifying the line between Manchester and Liverpool are also a factor. [From Richard Buckby]

The trainshed at Huddersfield sees 142042 and 158902 on a centre road between turns whilst through trains go on the opposite side of the island platform. This picture looks north from outside the Head of Steam buffet bar, which, in addition to being on the Rail Ale trail, has a remarkable collection of nameplates, number plates, station signs and pictures.
[Mark Bartlett 04/04/2009]

Stalybridge station underwent a transformation in 2012 and now has five platforms. On 5 July 2014 a terminated Northern service from Wigan is waiting at platform 5 to return as far as Manchester Victoria. In Platform 4 TransPennine 185143 is about to continue its journey to Leeds. Thanks to Adrian Morgan for the correction on the year that the alterations to the station took place.
[John McIntyre 05/07/2014]

47555 The Commonwealth Spirit is dwarfed by the retaining wall west of Marsden station as it passes with a westbound Trans-Pennine express for Liverpool Lime Street in October 1982. The spectators are awaiting the imminent arrival of preserved A4 Sir Nigel Gresley with ^The Pennine Pullman^ [see image 34607].
[Bill Jamieson 09/10/1982]
Rail News

11/06/2015 UK light rail usage on the up [Rail News]
Passenger journeys on light rail systems around the UK have risen by 5.6 per cent in the past year. Almost 240 million passenger journeys were made last year, with Docklands Light Railway, Tyne and Wear Metro, and Manchester Metrolink recording the biggest increases. Passenger satisfaction levels were at 90 per cent. [From Richard Buckby]

Docklands Light Railway Unit 31 leaves Heron Quays station on 28 July 2014.
[Bill Roberton 28/07/2014]

A Metrolink tram calls at Derker on a Rochdale to East Didsbury service on 31 July 2013.
[John McIntyre 31/07/2013]

A Tyne & Wear Metro train calls at a leafy South Gosforth station on 14 May 2010 with an afternoon service to South Hylton.
[Bruce McCartney 14/05/2010]
Rail News

10/06/2015 Call for ScotRail deal inquiry after boss sacked [Scotsman]
A UNION yesterday called for an inquiry into rail company 
Abellio being awarded a £2.5 billion ScotRail franchise after it was embroiled in a scandal in the Netherlands. Jeff Hoogesteger, its Scotland-based chief executive, was dismissed because of “irregularities” over the Dutch firm winning a public transport contract.
Scotsman

09/06/2015 Proving Train runs on Borders Railway [Network Rail]
A proving train ran on the Borders Railway on Sunday 7 June. The train – which is used to measure stepping distances from the train to the platform – stopped at all the stations along the route, from Newcraighall to Tweedbank. It did a similar run on its return journey. ScotRail were able to provide the Borders Railway liveried train for the journey.
Network Rail

KML version