A History of Britain's Railways
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21/11/2017 Discount railcard extended for people aged up to 30 [BBC News]
If you're 26 and annoyed about paying the full fare for your train travel, the Budget may offer a reprieve. The government has said people up to 30 years-old will now be able to buy a £30 railcard for discounted train travel. The move - set to be announced in Wednesday's Budget - would be an extension of the current young person's railcard for those aged 16 to 25. The so called millennials' card will be available from spring next year, and offer up to a third off non-peak fares. More
BBC News

18/11/2017 Strikes and Engineering Works to cause havoc during Festive Rush [Independent]
As pre-Christmas travel accelerates, rail passengers planning inter-city journeys face multiple problems from strikes and engineering works. Christmas markets are getting under way in London, York and Edinburgh this weekend, with those in Birmingham and Manchester already open. But trains will be disrupted on Sunday, with hundreds of miles of the CrossCountry rail network closed because of a strike by members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers about rostering and Sunday working. More

18/11/2017 Scotland-wide train station ban on torture law-breaching device used to disperse young gangs [Herald]
SONIC devices that violate EU torture laws and are used to disperse gangs of loitering youths have been banned from Scotland's train network. ScotRail confirmed it has barred the use of the 'mosquito' the anti-loitering device installed at stations including Hamilton Central, Helensburgh Central and Aberdeen stations. The device produces a high-frequency sound normally audible to under-25s in a bid to stop them congregating. More

17/11/2017 Blackpool to Preston railway line work will be worth pain says rail chief '[Blackpool Gazette]
Platforms have been demolished and tracks removed in the first week of work to upgrade the Blackpool to Preston railway line. The platforms at Blackpool North station have been removed to make way for an improved layout. Five signal boxes have been decommissioned and work has started on building a new platform at Kirkham and Wesham station. And, despite complaints of late-running replacement bus services, rail bosses claim the eventual improvements due to the 19-week project will make the pain worthwhile. More

The first visit of a Class 221 Voyager to Blackpool North. Voyager 221105 stands at platform 1 (left) on 25 November 2014 with a proving run from Preston in advance of the daily service to London, due to commence on 15 December 2014. With Blackpool Tower illuminated in the background, Northern Class 142, 150 and 156 units await their next turns.
Blackpool North
[John McIntyre 25/11/2014]

Looking towards Blackpool North station from the locomotive shed area on 26 December 1967. [See image 29212]. Black 5 no 45353 is just leaving the platform with the 2.30pm to Leeds via Manchester, with a BRCW DMU over on the left.
Blackpool North
[Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) 26/12/1967]

Blackpool North on 7th January 2008, with a mix or trains waiting their next turn of duty.
Blackpool North
[Graham Morgan 07/01/2009]
Blackpool Gazette

17/11/2017 Airport rail link will do more harm than good [Herald]
The latest scheme to build a multi-million-pound link to Glasgow Airport has hit the buffers after experts warned it would do more economic harm than good. Local and national government officials last year threw their weight behind a £144m tram-train connection from Central Station to Abbotsinch. The scheme was a cut-price alternative to the Glasgow Airport Rail Link or GARL axed by the Scottish Government nearly a decade ago amid grave concerns over its value for money. However, now consultants hired to review the business case for the new link have queried both the proposed costs - and benefits - of the new scheme. More

There^s no visible progress at Paisley St James on the GARL project as at the end of March. The new line will cross Greenhill Road by a second bridge, beyond this one, before turning north over the playing fields and M8 motorway to approach the Airport. View looks north.
Paisley St James
[Ewan Crawford 29/03/2009]

A Transport Scotland sign standing alongside the playing fields near Paisley St James in October 2009. This would have seen a new viaduct constructed as part of the now scrapped Glasgow Airport Rail Link project.
Paisley St James
[Colin Harkins 06/10/2009]

Grand entrance. Platform 11a at Glasgow Central in Sept 2007. After removal of the buildings in the centre of the picture this platform will be realigned and rerouted through the arch and into the train shed (taking over an area currently occupied by the station car park) it will eventually become the platform used by Glasgow Airport Rail Link services. Responsibility for the GARL project was recently handed over from SPT to Transport Scotland. [Plans now changed - see subsequent entries]
Glasgow Central
[John Furnevel 09/09/2007]

16/11/2017 Virgin West Coast rail workers to strike [BBC News]
RMT members working on Virgin West Coast have voted 9-1 to take action, including strike action, over pay. The union said nearly 1,800 workers including train managers and on-board catering workers on the West Coast route from Glasgow to Euston took part. The RMT said it wanted a 'suitable and equal' pay offer to the £500 one given to drivers. A Virgin Trains spokesman said they hoped to be able to run most services throughout any industrial action. The firm said: 'We are disappointed by the result of the RMT's ballot, but can reassure customers that we will be able to run the majority of services during any industrial action. 'We have offered a 3.2% annual pay increase at a time when the average increase across public and private sector employees is around 2%. We remain open to continuing talks with the RMT.' More
BBC News

16/11/2017 Apology after Japanese train departs 20 seconds early [BBC News]
A rail company in Japan has apologised after one of its trains departed 20 seconds early. Management on the Tsukuba Express line between Tokyo and the city of Tsukuba say they 'sincerely apologise for the inconvenience' caused. In a statement, the company said the train had been scheduled to leave at 9:44:40 local time but left at 9:44:20. More
BBC News

15/11/2017 Breich Station reprieved after outcry [Scotsman]
Closure-threatened Breich Station, which has fewer than three passengers a week, has been reprieved after a public outcry. Transport minister Humza Yousaf has also ordered more trains to call at the West Lothian stop to add to the current one train in each direction a day. Network Rail launched a consultation into its closure in the summer because of the high cost of upgrading work as part of electrifying the secondary Edinburgh-Glasgow line via Shotts. The rail body said replacement of a footbridge, platforms, waiting shelters and CCTV would cost £1.4 million. It would have been the first closure of a Scottish station for 31 years - after Balloch Pier in 1986. Breich served just 138 passengers in 2015-16 - an average of 2.6 passengers a week. More

15/11/2017 Signal failure! The train traveller's nightmare explained [BBC News]
Matthew Broad was waiting for a train at Reading station, England, which it seemed would never arrive. 'I was miffed. But then came the familiar excuse - signal failure.' Matthew wanted to find out more about the causes of signal failure so wrote to the BBC to ask us to find out. Last year in the UK there were more than 19,000 delays of 100 minutes or longer caused by signal failure. Here's what causes it and what Network Rail are doing to alleviate the problem. More
BBC News

15/11/2017 Video: Sack Abellio ScotRail call as hundreds of staff are asked to quit Scotland's railways [Herald]
HUNDREDS of ScotRail staff have been asked to consider quitting in a cost-cutting move condemned by one union as creating a 'climate of fear' amongst the workforce. All administrative, clerical, supervisory and managerial staff across Scotland, including its Glasgow headquarters have been asked to consider voluntary redundancy, a matter of weeks after Abellio ScotRail announced a loss of £3.5m in its first full year operating train services in Scotland. More

13/11/2017 Plan for underground line to run under Cambridge centre [Times]
Britains first new underground railway in decades could be built as part of a radical plan to run trains into the heart of Cambridge. Transport chiefs want to create a tram link that will travel through four miles of tunnels beneath the city. It is hoped that the line, which has the backing of senior figures in central government, can be built in six years and could be open by the middle of the next decade. More

12/11/2017 Building above London's open railway could solve capital's housing crisis [Evening Standard]
Building above Londons open-air railway tracks could be the answer to the capitals housing crisis, infrastructure experts have claimed in a major report. Research from WSP, the engineering group that delivered the Shard, suggests that such dramatic changes could pave way for about 250,000 new homes. About 10 per cent of the 1,142km of Londons rail lines could be enclosed to create space for enough new dwellings to meet housing need for five years, the firm claims. The railway lines would be enclosed beneath structures and then homes could be built on top, according to the report. More
Evening Standard

11/11/2017 Christmas rail delays: Work to shut lines across UK [BBC News]
Rail passengers are being advised to travel earlier to avoid disruption over the Christmas period, with more than 200 sets of engineering works planned. Routes across London, Kent, East Sussex, Lancashire, Essex and Glasgow are among the lines to be shut. Network Rail, which controls the UK's railways, says 95% of the network will be unaffected and it is the least disruptive time to do this work. Bus replacements are planned but journey times are likely to increase. More
BBC News

10/11/2017 Blairhill train station introduces brand-new ticket office and waiting area [Daily record]
A brand-new state-of-the-art ticket office and waiting area has opened at Blairhill train station. The new feature, which was part of £5m worth of investment into its facilities, opened to the public on October 31. The new facility replaces the existing ticket kiosk on the Blair Road bridge and feature a heated waiting area as well as an accessible ticket window and facilities for station staff. The building is located between the Glasgow-bound platform and the car park, right next to the dedicated parking bays for blue badge holders. More

The brand new ticket office and platform access facilities at Blairhill on 3rd November 2017, a great improvement on the old office and stairs.
[Alastair McLellan 03/11/2017]
Daily Record

10/11/2017 Multi-million-pound masterplan to create transport hub in Perth [Courier]
Council officers have revealed work is finally under way on long-awaited proposals for an 'integrated' hub on the edge of the city centre. The improved base will incorporate a new bus station, replacing the the much-maligned Leonard Street complex and creating a one-stop location for national and international travellers. It is hoped the redevelopment will attract more tourists and give them a warmer welcome to the city. More

09/11/2017 Tunnelling complete on Northern line extension [Rail News]
Tunnel boring machine (TBM) Amy has broken through at Kennington to complete the tunnelling programme on London Undergrounds Northern line extension. Two TBMs, Helen and Amy, have been used to construct a new 3.2km twin-bore tunnel connecting the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line at Kennington to Battersea Power station, via a new station at Nine Elms. More
Rail News

09/11/2017 ScotRail's delayed new trains not now expected until March [Scotsman]
ScotRail's new fleet of electric trains will not enter service on the main Edinburgh-Glasgow line until late March, The Scotsman has learned. The Japanese-designed Hitachi Class 385 trains were due to have been introduced on the route in September. More

09/11/2017 Ordsall Chord Preview [Manchester Evening News]
We took a look at the Ordsall Chord which will carry services between Piccadilly and Victoria from next month. The M.E.N was given an exclusive trains-eye view of the £85m project. Aimed at slashing railway congestion and allowing for faster trains and more frequent services, it will make way for future east-west links More

A view of the almost complete viaduct over the River Irwell on the Ordsall Chord on 18 September 2017. Since my last visit the trackwork has been completed over the viaduct and is connected up to the existing lines at both ends of the chord.
Ordsall Chord
[John McIntyre 18/09/2017]

The new Ordsall Chord, nearing completion, as seen from what is now the boundary of the Museum of Science and Industry on 8th October 2017. Liverpool Road station is immediately behind the camera with the now severed main line connection crossing the grey bridge in the foreground.
Ordsall Chord
[Mark Bartlett 08/10/2017]

A map showing the location of the proposed Ordsall Chord. See news item.
Ordsall Chord
[Network Rail 20/11/2012]
Manchester Evening News
Network Rail

08/11/2017 Aslef train drivers accept Southern rail deal [BBC News]
Drivers from the Aslef union have accepted a deal with Southern rail, bringing to an end an 18-month dispute. Members voted by 79.1% to accept the resolution which includes a five-year pay increase worth 28.5%. The dispute over safety came after Southern introduced driver-only operated (DOO), or driver-controlled operated (DCO) trains. The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, which is locked in the same row, described it as a 'shoddy deal'. More
BBC News

08/11/2017 Rail strikes: Five rail operators hit by RMT walkout [BBC News]
Five rail operators are facing disruption due to strike action by the Rail, Maritime and Transport union. Workers on Southern, Greater Anglia and South Western Railway are striking for 48 hours, while staff on Merseyrail and Northern have walked out for 24 hours. The union is in dispute over driver-only operated (DOO) trains, also known as driver-controlled operated (DCO). Aslef is also in dispute with Southern, and will give the result of a ballot of train drivers on a proposed deal later. The proposed agreement, announced last month, also includes a five-year pay deal worth 28.5%. The executive committee of the train drivers' union had recommended its members accept the deal. More
BBC News

07/11/2017 Train crew injured jumping from runaway train in Fife [Scotsman]
Two train crew were injured when they jumped from a runaway train in Fife last month, accident investigators revealed today. The incident happened after the DB Cargo train's brakes were damaged when it hit a fallen 1ft-thick tree branch and ran away for four miles. The driver and a colleague suffered 'minor injuries' when they jumped from the train as it started to roll backwards, the UK Government's Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) reported. More

07/11/2017 Claims Harry Potter line is being neglected [Press & Journal]
Members of the Lochaber Transport Forum believe the West Highland Line gets cast-offs from the rest of the network and have even dubbed it the Cinderella line. They claim that investment in high-speed trains and new stations is happening elsewhere in the region, but very little is being done to the line, which shot to fame thanks to its starring role in the Harry Potter films. More

Black 5 No.44871 tackles the 1 in 60 gradient up to Glenfinnan Viaduct on 22 July with the seven coach morning Jacobite service to Mallaig.
[John Gray 22/07/2013]

A Sprinter Fort William bound at the west end of Loch Eilt in 1996.
[Ewan Crawford //1996]

45231 The Sherwood Forester about to leave Mallaig for Fort William on a warm and sunny 1 June following arrival of the Glasgow Queen Street Super Sprinter service.
[Brian Smith 01/06/2009]
Press & Journal

06/11/2017 ScotRail reveals poppy appeal trains [BBC News]
ScotRail has joined forces with Poppyscotland to unveil specially-branded Poppy Appeal trains. Ahead of Remembrance Day, five trains in the ScotRail fleet have become the first to have their normal logos replaced with a special poppy design. The 'poppy trains' will be used on routes between the seven cities within Scotland. The redesigned logo will remain displayed on the carriages after the end of the remembrance period. Soldiers from the Royal Highland Fusiliers and the Highlanders, two infantry battalions of the Royal Regiment, helped unveil the trains. More

Poppy train: 1000 Edinburgh-Dundee at Haymarket.
[John Yellowlees 10/11/2017]
BBC News

06/11/2017 Aberdeen railway station marks 150th milestone with ceremony [Evening Express]
Aberdeen railway station, celebrated the milestone on Saturday with a ceremony in the station, where one of the very first high-speed trains to be built was officially named the Aberdeen Station 150th Anniversary train. Organised by ScotRail Alliance, the event included information on the planned redevelopment of the station, an exhibition on the history of the station produced by the Great North of Scotland Railway Association, as well as details on the ongoing improvement plans for the Aberdeen to Inverness line. More

The BR Scottish Region Last V2 Loco Excursion from Edinburgh Waverley stands at Aberdeen on 5 November 1966 behind a smart looking 60836. The souvenir ticket read... Out via Forth Bridge, Glenfarg & Forfar. Return via Montrose & Bridges. Fare 40/-
[G W Robin 05/11/1966]

A rather sorry looking A4 Pacific no 60034 Lord Farringdon prepares to leave Aberdeen in the mid 1960s with what is thought to be the 1.30pm service to Glasgow, Buchanan Street.
[Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) //]

Aberdeen, November 1972. A class 40 stands with a parcels train on platform 8 while a 47 prepares to leave platform 6 with a southbound service.
[John McIntyre /11/1972]
Evening Express

06/11/2017 South West Railways train derails near Wimbledon [BBC News]
A train has derailed near Wimbledon station in south-west London, South Western Railway has said. Nine fire engines were sent to the scene, where there was one minor injury, according to the London Fire Brigade The rear axle of the last coach of the eight-carriage train derailed at low speed as the train was coming out of Wimbledon station. The train was the 04:54 commuter service from Basingstoke. More

General view south along the main line platforms at Wimbledon in July 2004, with the LU District line to the right and the South London Tramlink platform on the extreme left at the far end of the station. [See image 5322]
[John Furnevel 03/07/2004]
BBC News

04/11/2017 Councillors give opinion on proposals for boost to North-east road and rail travel [Evening Express]
A RANGE of options to improve road and rail links to the north of Aberdeen have been unveiled and politicians today welcomed the proposals. Nestrans, the transport partnership between North-east organisations including Aberdeen city and Aberdeenshire councils, commissioned two reports to look at efficient ways of boosting travel routes over the next few years. More
Evening Express

02/11/2017 Five companies shortlisted to build trains for HS2 [Independent]
Five companies have been shortlisted to build 225mph trains for HS2. Rail minister Paul Maynard said the £2.75bn contract will create 'thousands of skilled British jobs and apprenticeships'. The companies vying for the right to design, build and maintain at least 54 new high-speed trains are Alstom Transport, Bombardier Transportation UK, Hitachi Rail Europe, Patentes Talgo and Siemens. More

01/11/2017 Electric train completes first Edinburgh to Glasgow trip [STV News]
ScotRail has completed a test of an electric train along the full route between Edinburgh and Glasgow for the first time. It comes after a successful trial between Edinburgh and Linlithgow in West Lothian in the early hours of October 18. One of the new Hitachi Class 385 electric trains has now travelled between Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Queen Street for the first time, making the trip at 12.30am on Wednesday. More
STV News

31/10/2017 Severn Valley Railway raises £2.33m for Bridgnorth revamp [BBC News]
Rail enthusiasts have raised £2.33m to revamp a heritage railway, hours before a year-long fundraising campaign ends. Bosses at the Severn Valley Railway (SVR), which runs between Shropshire and Worcestershire, offered shares for £1 each in a bid to raise £2.5m. Volunteer and board member Tony Bending said the amount raised was 'absolutely tremendous' and would help preserve its 'much-loved Bridgnorth station'. A late surge in share sales included £38,000 bought at Bridgnorth on Sunday. Midlands Live: Biker critical after van crash; plane stalled twice before crashing, inquest hears The campaign launched last November and work is already under way to create a new refreshment room and toilets at the station, as well as conserve the 155-year-old station building, which is Grade II listed. More

A view from the footbridge at Bridgnorth over the station and shed area in May 1979.
[John McIntyre /05/1979]

Bulleid Pacific no 34053 ^Sir Keith Park^ standing alongside the station at Bridgnorth on 2 August 2012.
[Peter Todd 02/08/2012]

Ivatt Class 4 Flying Pig 2-6-0 no 43106 at Bridgnorth in October, 1985. The locomotive is due to return to service in 2009 after 20 years out of action. [Built at Darlington in 1951 and withdrawn from 24C Lostock Hall in 1968, it is the only one of the 162 examples of the class to have survived into preservation.] [See image 39850]
[Andy Carr 26/10/1985]
BBC News

30/10/2017 Arriva Trains Wales drops out of Welsh rail franchise bid [BBC News]
The firm that runs most of Wales' rail network has pulled out of the contest to continue running it from 2018. Arriva has said Arriva Trains Wales was 'no longer participating in the Wales and Borders competition', adding it had 'not been an easy decision'. Transport for Wales said it was 'not uncommon' for bidders for major projects to withdraw. The Tories said Arriva's withdrawal 'raises questions' about government engagement with the process. An Arriva-owned company has run the franchise since 2003. There are three remaining bidders - Abellio, KeolisAmey and MTR. Responsibility for the process of finding a company to run the services is set to be devolved from 2018. More

A Central Wales Line service for Shrewsbury, formed by ATW 153367, calls at Llanelli in March 2012. Although this is normally the westbound platform, all Central Wales services use it to reverse before leaving for Swansea or Shrewsbury via a crossover just beyond the station.
[Mark Bartlett 24/03/2012]

The recommissioned platform 5 at Cardiff Queen Street is now fully operational [see image 45171]. Trains are segregated, with Taff Vale trains (Merthyr, Aberdare, Treherbert) using 5 and trains for Rhymney and Coryton using 4. View north on 6 March with ATW 150213 recently arrived at platform 5 with the 1442 Bridgend - Aberdare service.
Cardiff Queen Street
[John Thorn 06/03/2015]

57313 stands at platform 4 at Shrewsbury station on 9 November 2010 awaiting its 18.06 departure time. The train is the Arriva Trains Wales operated, Welsh Assembly funded, limited stop return service from Cardiff to Holyhead via Crewe.
[David Pesterfield 09/11/2010]
BBC News

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