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26/02/2015 Plan to upgrade Inverness Railway Station [BBC News]
Abellio has committed to an upgrade of Inverness Railway Station which will cost between £2m and £3m. The Dutch rail operator will run ScotRail services from April after securing the franchise in October. It will take over from Aberdeen-based FirstGroup, which has run most Scottish rail services for the past 10 years. Representatives from Abellio met with members of Highlands and Islands transport body Hitrans in Inverness earlier. A feasibility study into how best to upgrade the station is to be completed by March of next year.

Looking across the concourse at Inverness on 19 November 2014. The train waiting to depart from platform 6 is the 12.17 local service to Dingwall. The 32 minute journey includes stops at Beauly, Muir of Ord and Conon Bridge.
[Andy Furnevel 19/11/2014]

Looking out from the station concourse at Inverness in September 1975. The 08.20 train to Edinburgh, headed by a Class 24 and 26, is poised to depart. With a near 4-hour journey time (via Stirling) this was for many years the fastest service on the Highland Main Line.
[Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) /09/1975]

Motive power line up under the trainshed at Inverness in March 2009 comprising (L to R) 158702, 158731 and 158741. On the far left 170403 can partly be seen having arrived from Glasgow.
[Mark Bartlett 30/03/2009]
BBC News

25/02/2015 China to Spain cargo train successful first 16,156-mile round trip [Independent]
The first train to complete a journey on the world’s longest railway line, connecting Spain and China, has returned home. The 16,156-mile round trip on the new Yixin’ou cargo line through China, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Poland, Germany, France and Spain took four months. The train arrived laden with cheap goods and returned to China with expensive olive oil. [From Mark Bartlett]

25/02/2015 Let the train take more of the strain [Scotsman]
WE need more joined-up thinking if we are to succeed in switching Scotland’s freight traffic from road to rail, writes David Spaven. Everyone wants to see more freight on rail – the potential benefits to the economy, environment, climate and road safety are substantial – but in practice how can we achieve a significant modal shift from road haulage? The terms of competition between road, rail and sea have to be fair, of course – not least in terms of providing rail-route infrastructure which is fit for modern purpose, allowing cost-effective, long trains to convey the modern generation of tall containers across the trunk rail network. However, good routes are not enough, as rail – like sea transport, but unlike road haulage – also needs a comprehensive network of terminals to provide access to the system. [From David Spaven]

25/02/2015 California train derails after collision with lorry [BBC News]
A commuter train has hit a lorry which had driven on railway tracks, causing four carriages to derail northwest of Los Angeles. The vehicle was engulfed in flames and 28 people were injured, train operator Metrolink said, four critically. The collision happened at a level crossing in Oxnard, after the lorry stopped on the tracks, officials said. The 54-year-old lorry driver was detained a mile (1.6km) away and has been charged with felony hit-and-run.
BBC News

25/02/2015 Last chance to save rail services say SAYLSA [Carrick Gazette]
There are just ten days left to save direct rail services between Carrick, Wigtownshire and Glasgow which are planned to be all but axed. Incoming ScotRail franchisee Abellio plans a major shake up of rail services in December. Under the proposals there will be only one through train in either direction via Paisley, a service leaving Stranraer after 9pm at night, and at other times passengers will need to change trains at Ayr.

The driver of the 1102 to Stranraer has collected the token from the Girvan signalman on 26 May and is ready to set off south with unit 156 514.
[Colin Miller 26/05/2010]

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]

A Sunday morning service for Glasgow Central leaving Stranraer Harbour in August 2003.
[John Furnevel 17/08/2003]
Carrick Gazette

24/02/2015 Tree damages windscreen on Inverness-Edinburgh train [BBC News]
A train travelling from Inverness to Edinburgh was struck by a tree, damaging the engine's windscreen. The driver and passengers were unhurt in the incident which happened at about 07:30 near the Slochd Summit south of Inverness. The train, Scotrail's 06:50 service, returned to Inverness and the line was closed until about 08:40.
BBC News

24/02/2015 Great Western electrification scheme 'one year behind schedule' [BBC News]
Plans to modernise railways in the Thames Valley are a year behind schedule after they proved to be 'dramatically more expensive' than first thought. The predicted cost to transform the old Great Western route has climbed from £640m to £1.74bn, the BBC has learned. Senior industry executives have said the plans to complete the work by the end of 2016 will not be met. Network Rail said work was 'progressing well' but schedules could change.
BBC News

23/02/2015 Investigation after railway worker shot with air rifle [BBC News]
British Transport Police are investigating after a railway worker was shot with an air rifle in High Bonnybridge. The 48-year-old was struck in the leg while working in the Greenhill area at about 08:00 on Sunday. He attended Glasgow Royal Infirmary for treatment. [From Richard Buckby]
BBC News

21/02/2015 All change as Swindon's 1960s signal box departs for museum [BBC News]
A signal box, which has kept trains in the West of England on track for the past 50 years, is to be preserved as a piece of railway history. The panel, at Swindon railway station, controls trains over more than 200 miles of track. But from the end of May, a computer in Didcot will take over and the panel will head to a transport museum.
BBC News Video

20/02/2015 Ambitious plans for £4.8m Leith Walk bridge [Evening News]
PLANS for a £4.8 million “bio” bridge have been drawn up under radical blueprints aimed at bringing a touch of New York to the streets of Leith. Proposals for the lightweight timber structure have been hatched in a bid to create an eco-friendly “icon” for Leith Walk at the site of an old viaduct demolished in the 1980s. Project leaders at Edinburgh and Lothian Greenspace Trust (ELGT), who have submitted a full feasibility study to the city council, said designs by architects Biomorphis were inspired by the New York Highline and Paris’ Viaduc des Arts – major regeneration projects which have transformed old elevated railways into urban landmarks. The bridge will also provide the “missing link” in a cycle path and pedestrian walkway between Portobello and Leith, which it is hoped will boast wild grass and woodland, as well as spaces for contemporary art. [From David Panton]

Remains of the old Caledonian Railway bridge on the west side of Leith Walk, complete with tribute pub alongside, photographed in April 2004. Leith Walk West goods depot stood beyond the bridge abutment [see image 18453].
[John Furnevel 26/04/2004]

Site of the Caledonian^s proposed Leith Walk station on the ^Leith New Lines^, photographed looking west along Manderston Street towards The Walk on 31 October 2009. One of the platforms of the partially built but never opened station is incorporated in the stretch that sticks out into Manderston Street.
[David Panton 31/10/2009]

Looking north along Leith Walk towards the Forth in September 1978. The view is dominated by the bridge built to carry the Caledonian Railway^s ^Leith New Lines^ across the Walk en route to the eastern docks.
[Bill Roberton /09/1978]
Evening News

19/02/2015 Rebuilding Farnworth Tunnel [Network Rail]
To electrify the Preston-Bolton-Manchester line we need to close one of two tunnels at Farnworth between Manchester and Bolton. The work will involve widening one of the tunnels to accommodate both railway lines and electrifying the route to provide a better, more reliable train service. [From Richard Buckby]

A Wilmslow to Blackpool North TPE service exits the smaller bore of Farnworth Tunnel on the afternoon of 5 February 2015. Major reconstruction work starts here in May 2015 to make room for overhead power lines in connection with the electrification of the Manchester - Preston via Bolton route.
[John McIntyre 05/02/2015]
Network Rail

19/02/2015 Plans for more 24-hour trains are unveiled in London [Railnews]
PLANS to extend all-night services to the subsurface lines of London Underground as well as the DLR and part of the Overground have been announced by the Chancellor and the Mayor of London. All-night services at weekends on most tube lines are already set to begin in September. Trains will now run all night on the Metropolitan, Circle, District, and Hammersmith & City Lines as well once modernisation has been completed. 24-hour operation will be extended to the Highbury & Islington to New Cross Gate section of London Overground in 2017 and to the Docklands Light Railway by 2021.

18/02/2015 Serco signs GB Railfreight to run Scots sleeper services [BBC News]
Rail sleeper services between Scotland and London are to be handled by a freight specialist firm as part of the new franchise. GB Railfreight has been signed up by Serco to provide locomotives and drivers when it takes over the Caledonian Sleeper service from April. The trains run between London Euston and five Scottish destinations. The contract, to run in both directions six nights a week, is worth around £100m spread over 15 years.

92036 departs from Platform 1 for Polmadie with the empty Glasgow Central portion of the Caledonian Sleeper on 4 July 2008.
[Graham Morgan 04/07/2008]

GBRf electro-diesel no 73961 (ex-73209, 73120, E6026) converted to Class 73/9 by Brush Traction during 2014, standing in the GCR sidings at Loughborough on 2 October. The locomotive is currently undergoing a running-in test programme on the Great Central.
[Peter Todd 02/10/2014]

A Caledonian Sleeper Lounge Car emerging from the car park area at St. Rollox by road on 16 April 2013. The shiny new red springs suggest it has been receiving attention at RailCare.
[Colin McDonald 16/04/2013]
BBC News

18/02/2015 Victoria Station transformation nears completion [MEN]
ONE look at the Victoria Station building site and it’s clear to see its engineers have reached the final furlong. The sound of drilling and hammering fills the air, hard-hatted staff walk with purpose and a look to the roof reveals fitters on abseiling ropes. There are currently around 200 workers on site at any one time - on shifts spanning all day and night. After five years of industry, this is a crucial stage of the transformation, especially for Metrolink. From 5.30am on Wednesday passengers from Bury and Rochdale will be able to alight at the Victoria Metrolink stop - for the first time in a year. And from February 21 , services through Victoria to Shudehill, Market Street and beyond, are expected to resume. By Monday, it will become fully operational again. [From Mark Bartlett]

A Metrolink tram on a Bury service heads though the construction site which will re-establish Manchester Victoria as a station on the system when new island platforms are completed. To the left Platform 1 on the main network is awaiting the arrival of a train from Leeds which will terminate here.
[Malcolm Chattwood 31/10/2014]

One of the unique class 504 Bury dc electric units stands at Manchester Victoria in August 1990. The system, based on 1200v dc third rail with side contact current collection, was abandoned in 1991 when the line was closed to make way for the Manchester Metrolink light rail system. An example of the class is preserved on the East Lancs Railway.
[Ian Dinmore 18/08/1990]

48476+73069 at Manchester Victoria on 4 August 1968, ready to play their part in the RCTS ^End of Steam Commemorative Railtour^ due in from London Euston.
[K A Gray 04/08/1968]
Manchester Evening News

16/02/2015 Fiery train crash forces W Virginia towns to evacuate [BBC News]
Two West Virginia towns have been evacuated after a freight train carrying crude oil derailed and burst into flames. Local websites published images of large flames and a thick plume of black smoke near a partly frozen river. At least 14 cars were affected and one plunged into the Kanawha River, state officials said. [From various contibutors]
BBC News

15/02/2015 More commuters, fewer seats for squeezed ScotRail [Scotsman]
COMMUTERS face being crammed into fewer carriages because ScotRail is set to lose a number of trains. Four trains will be moved to England in April, at a time of rapid passenger growth and new lines being opened. The ScotRail fleet is likely to be further stretched from September by having to cover the new Borders Railway. The single replacement train will comprise old-style coaches hauled by a locomotive. This is also expected to be significantly more expensive to operate than the rest of the diesel fleet, whose engines are under the carriages.

14/02/2015 Mind the doors: Manchester commuters 'could soon be going to work on old London Tube trains' [MEN]
Old London Underground trains could soon be running on the tracks around Manchester. Rail bosses in the region want to replace the 30-year-old Pacer trains. Now a firm which kits out old Tube trains with new diesel engines and seat covers is offering them as a ‘cheap and comfortable’ alternative.

Penny for them... The driver of a morning District line train studies his newspaper during turnaround at Kensington Olympia on 22 July 2005, the day after the failed bombing attempts at Warren Street, Shepherds Bush and Oval stations.
[John Furnevel 22/07/2005]

View from the low-level (East London Line) platforms at Whitechapel on 27 May as an Eastbound District Line train leaves the high level station for Upminster. There were formerly four District Line tracks spanning the ELL here but the centre pair have been removed to make space for Crossrail works.
[John Thorn 27/05/2014]

The eastbound District Line platforms 1 and 2 at Earl^s Court in July 1994. Note the antiquated train departure indicators.
[David Panton 14/07/1994]
Manchester Evening News

14/02/2015 York to Seamer rail line closes for repairs to railway bridge [BBC News]
Trains between York and Seamer will not run for more than a week to allow repairs to a Victorian railway bridge in York. A replacement bus service will operate until the 23 February. The closure is to allow repairs to the Scarborough Rail Bridge, including replacing the bridge deck. Engineers will be working 24 hours a day on the bridge and parts of the River Ouse will also be closed to river traffic at certain times.

The 1347 Scarborough – Liverpool Lime Street First TransPennine Express service crosses the River Ouse on the eastern approach to York station on 21 March 2010. Part of York Minster can be seen in the right background.
[John Furnevel 21/03/2010]
BBC News

13/02/2015 Full steam ahead to lay Torrington railway tracks [North Devon Gazette]
Members of the Tarka Valley Railway Group have been busy getting ready to lay tracks in the footsteps of the old Tarka line in Torrington. In March 2013, the Gazette revealed how the group was granted planning permission to lay 267.68m of track alongside the Tarka Trail. Now, nearly two years on, volunteers have cleared the land ready, and the lease should be in their hands within weeks. The aim is to turn the station, situated at the Puffing Billy, into a tourist attraction, offering passengers rides. [From Richard Buckby]

Ivatt 2-6-2T no 41314 stands at Torrington, Devon, in August 1960. The milk tank loading facilities can be seen on the right. Torrington lost its scheduled passenger service in 1965 and the last milk tanks left in October 1978.
[K A Gray 11/08/1960]

Looking north over the former level crossing at Torrington station, Devon, on 3 July 2008. The old station building is now the Puffing Billy public house and the area under the platform canopy has been enclosed.
[John McIntyre 03/07/2008]

The end. The ^Last Train to Torrington^ railtour about to depart from Torrington station on 6 October 1982 to return to Bristol Temple Meads.
[Ian Dinmore 06/10/1982]
North Devon Gazette

13/02/2015 NS fined €2.75m for unsatisfactory service, again [Dutch News]
Junior transport minister Wilma Mansveld is fining Dutch Rail (NS) €2.75m because passengers were not satisfied with the service in 2013. It is the second year running that the train operator has been given the maximum fine for passenger dissatisfaction. [From Richard Buckby]

Vlissingen bound (westbound) double decker service boards at Schiphol Airport in March 2014.
[Ewan Crawford 08/03/2014]

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]
Dutch News

12/02/2015 Borders Railway track laying complete [BBC News]
The longest domestic railway to be built in the UK in more than 100 years has reached a significant milestone. Track-laying has been completed for the new link between the Borders and Edinburgh. The operation began at Shawfair station, south-east of the capital, in October. Engineers have used a specialist rail installation machine to lay the track along the 30-mile route to Tweedbank.
BBC News

12/02/2015 Residents' misery over reopened Stirling railway line [BBC News]
Residents living close to a reopened stretch of railway line, used by freight trains, say their lives have become a misery. Stirling Council is to make a decision on whether it will take legal action.
BBC News

11/02/2015 Anniversary of Quintinshill rail tragedy to be remembered [BBC News]
A series of events will mark the 100th anniversary of the UK's worst rail disaster later this year. A total of 227 people died when three trains crashed at Quintinshill Bridge near Gretna Green on 22 May 1915. Plans have been drawn up to open a new roll of honour at Gretna Old Church and to plant a commemorative tree at Gretna Green war memorial. A descendent of one of the survivors is expected to lay a wreath at the bridge.

Gretna station...and the spot where, one fateful May morning in 1915, signalman James Tinsley boarded the local to ride up to Quintinshill to start his shift.
[John Furnevel 3/08/2007]

Standard Class 9F 2-10-0 no 92233 powers a freight north past the loops at Quintinshill in November 1964 as the signalman looks out from the open window of Quintinshill signal box.
[Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) 28/11/1964]

Bridge 32 overlooks the site of the Quintinshill disaster. A memorial was unveiled at 3pm this afternoon by the late Denis Muir^s daughter.  A hymn, a prayer and a minute^s silence were followed by a lament - the Flowers of the Forest. A moving ceremony.
[Bruce McCartney 26/09/2010]
BBC News

10/02/2015 Scottish Labour commits to funding of Glasgow Crossrail scheme [BBC News]
Scottish Labour has committed to funding the Glasgow Crossrail scheme if it wins the 2016 Scottish election. The party's leader, Jim Murphy, told a conference in the city new Holyrood borrowing powers should be used to fund the project. The multi-million pound scheme would link services from the north and east of the region to those in the south and west. Mr Murphy described the project as the 'missing link' in the rail network.
BBC News

10/02/2015 CAF signs Caledonian Sleeper car contract [Rail News]
Spanish manufacturer CAF has finalised a €200 million agreement to supply 75 coaches for the new Serco-operated Caledonian Sleeper service between Scotland and London. CAF will supply five types of vehicle which will form four 16-car trains, including 11 spare carriages. Serco will begin the new 15-year franchise from April, taking over from incumbent operator FirstGroup. [From Richard Buckby]
Rail News

10/02/2015 Tube drivers go on strike in defence of colleague caught 'drunk at the wheel' twice [Telegraph]
Drivers on London Underground have voted to strike over the sacking of a colleague. Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union backed industrial action by 299 votes to 221. General secretary Mick Cash said: 'Our members have voted for industrial action and the union will now consult extensively with our representatives before deciding on our next moves in this dispute. [From Mark Bartlett]

09/02/2015 Railway police fight Scottish control proposals [Scotsman]
POLICE officers who patrol Britain’s railways are fighting a rearguard action against plans to switch them to Scottish control under new post-referendum powers. The Scottish Government will take over British Transport Police (BTP) north of the Border if the Smith Commission proposals are implemented. The move has sparked fears among officers, believed to be shared by the force’s leadership, that its expertise would be harmed if BTP is split up.

WPC of the Transport Police doing checks on a Pendolino on 30 June 2007. This was the day after the car bombs had been left in London and the same day as the Glasgow Airport attack
[Graham Morgan 30/06/2007]

British Transport Police officers board a Docklands Light Railway service at Canning Town on 22 July 2005. This was part of a public reassurance exercise following the abortive bombing attempts in London the previous day.
[John Furnevel 22/07/2005]

A football match....really....step this way please... Quiet Saturday afternoon in Dundee in the 1990s on the occasion of a Dundee United v Aberdeen game.
[John Furnevel //]

08/02/2015 National Railway Museum unveils luxury dining carriage [The Press]
A RAILWAY carriage which transported post, cider and golfers across the country during its lifetime will now spend its retirement hosting cream teas in York. The National Railway Museum has opened its newest attraction The Countess of York, a fully refurbished 1956-built carriage, restored to mimic 19th century travel. To celebrate the launch of the carriage, which will be servicing lunches and cream teas, staff at the museum donned costumes in keeping with the era. [From Richard Buckby]
The Press

07/02/2015 Heathrow rail link plans to go on show [BBC News]
Plans for a new £500m rail link connecting the main line into London from the west with Heathrow Airport are going on public show. The proposed link, subject to planning permission, includes a 3.1 mile (5km) tunnel from the Great Western Main Line to Heathrow Terminal 5.
BBC News

07/02/2015 Britain in a day: the longest train route in the country [Telegraph]
Notebooks in hand, Andrew Barrow and his teenage son journey the length of Britain in a single day using the country’s longest rail route from Aberdeen to Penzance. And the pair find plenty to interest them, both outside and inside the carriage. [From Richard Buckby]

Currently the UK^s longest scheduled end-to-end railway journey. A CrossCountry Voyager pauses at Cupar on 2 October with the 0820 Aberdeen - Penzance. The train is scheduled to complete its 722 mile, 13 hour 23 minute journey at 2143.
[Andrew Wilson 02/10/2014]

A CrossCountry Voyager leaving Haymarket on 29 October with the 08.20 from Aberdeen to Penzance.
[Bill Roberton 29/10/2013]

Britain^s longest scheduled train service, the CrossCountry 08.20 Aberdeen – Penzance, runs south towards Edinburgh on 22 August 2011, having just crossed the Forth and passed through Dalmeny station in the background. Next stop will be Haymarket, the 11th of 45 intermediate stations served during the train^s 13 hour 23 minute marathon journey.
[John Furnevel 22/08/2011]

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