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Old April 25th, 2012, 04:34 PM   #1281
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Old April 25th, 2012, 09:25 PM   #1282
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Old May 1st, 2012, 01:35 PM   #1283
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Express and Star
Trains back at Cosford station




Trains called at Cosford railway station today (Monday 30th April) for the first time in more than six months after work on a new platform was completed. Work began in October to replace the old station and platform, which were made almost entirely of wood.

Network Rail, which was carrying out the project, had been due to hand over the station seven weeks ago.

But the £2.2million scheme was delayed twice because of complications and a mix-up in how much of the project had to be completed before the station could be reopened. However, work on the 75-year-old station has now been completed to the satisfaction of train operator London Midland, with new platforms, waiting facilities and electronic information boards.

Mike Dalton, London Midland spokesman, said: "The station opened as scheduled this morning. We’re delighted that it’s back in operation".
Source:- Express and Star
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Old May 20th, 2012, 01:08 AM   #1284
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AOL Travel
Teen girl thrown off train for sex tape conversation on mobile phone

A teenage girl has been thrown of a train in Kent after holding a sexually explicit phone conversation about making a sex tape. The girl was captured on video by a fellow passenger as she spoke loudly on her phone, using "highly offensive" language, on a train travelling to Tunbridge Wells.

After a number of passengers complained, the girl was ordered off the train by a guard – but not before she had threatened to put his "head through the window." An anonymous passenger said he was "disgusted" by the woman's antics. Not surprisingly, the girl has already been branded a "real life Vicky Pollard".
Story with embedded video, Here
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Old July 14th, 2012, 03:30 PM   #1285
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Network Rail Press Centre






Network Rail has today released new photographs from the air of many of its biggest projects in London which have undergone or are undergoing major redevelopments.

They include views rarely seen by the general public of the stunning new concourse roof at King’s Cross, the development of Farringdon where Thameslink and Crossrail services will meet the tube, and the changes at Stratford in the shadow of the Olympic stadium. The newly completed Shard also looms large over London Bridge (above, pictured) and Borough viaduct which is being redeveloped as part of the Thameslink project.

Images taken last month were captured by the Network Rail helicopter which flies daily to monitor the network checking for faults or potential issues before they arise. Here it also enabled engineering and architectural teams on the London stations see project development from a unique perspective.

What’s new?:


Blackfriars: Half of the photovoltaic roof panels have now been installed on the first station to span The Thames

Stratford: Massive redevelopment by Olympic Delivery Authority, Transport for London, Westfield and Network Rail including new station entrance at Westfield shopping centre and platforms lengthened

Farringdon: A new ticket hall for Thameslink passengers, future proofed for Crossrail passengers is nearly complete. From the air you can see its brown roof which provides a new habitat for the redstart bird

King’s Cross: The new concourse is the size of three Olympic swimming pools. From the air you can see some of the 1,200 triangular panels which make up this new structure.

Borough viaduct: A new viaduct, over Borough Market has been built providing an extra two tracks to unlock the bottleneck at London Bridge. This section of track will link into London Bridge station once it is complete.

London Bridge: Is the country’s fourth busiest station and it is full. Today 50m passengers use the station a year. When completed, the redeveloped station will see more than 90m passengers travel through each year.
Taken from Here, with more pictures
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Old July 14th, 2012, 09:31 PM   #1286
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Some major projects should be soon getting the go ahead...

Quote:
Rail network to see 'biggest investment' since the Victorians

n to the east Midlands and Sheffield. Photograph: Roger Bamber
David Cameron and Nick Clegg will join forces next week to declare that the government is to embark on the biggest investment in the rail network since the Victorian era as ministers move to demonstrate their commitment to boosting economic growth.

In an attempt to show a renewed sense of purpose, after last week's bruising rows over Lords reform, the prime minister and his deputy will announce the electrification of a series of lines and the symbolic reversal of some closures imposed in the 1960s by the Beeching axe.

Richard Beeching, the late chairman of the British Railways Board, became a hate figure for rail enthusiasts when he compiled a report that led to the closure of 2,363 stations and 5,000 miles of railway lines. Fifty years later, Clegg and Cameron will confirm plans to reopen part of the Varsity line, from Oxford to Bletchley.

The plans, which are likely to involve £10bn of capital investment between 2014 and 2019, are likely to involve:

• The electrification of the Midland mainline from London to the east Midlands and Sheffield. Clegg is MP for Sheffield Hallam. The Great Western line from London to Swansea, via Cardiff, will be electrified. The Cardiff Valley Network will also be electrified. Electrification is favoured by the rail industry because electric-powered trains are lighter than their diesel-powered counterparts and can accelerate more quickly. They are also less susceptible to breakdowns.

• New projects, to be named the Northern Hub, around Manchester to improve services across the north of England.

• Upgrading part of the east coast mainline from London to Newcastle and the spur to Leeds.

• Investment for improved railfreight to key ports such as Southampton and Felixstowe.

Stephen Joseph, executive chairman of the Campaign for Better Transport, said: "We welcome this programme, which with HS2 [the High Speed Two line from London to Birmingham] amounts to the biggest rail investment programme since the Victorians. It will make rail journeys quicker, smoother, quieter and greener and give more people a choice in how they travel.

"But we are concerned that rail users will face even higher fares to pay for it – the government is still committed to RPI+3% fares increases for the next two years. These projects will benefit the whole country and should not be paid for by already hard-pressed commuters who are already paying some of the highest fares in Europe."

The government's claim of record investment will be based on two politically contentious sources of finance to repay the investment needed: fares and the taxpayer. The farepayer is the biggest contributor, with inflation-busting fare increases helping generate £6.6bn for the railways last year.

The 2009-2014 programme said passengers should foot more of the cost of expanding the network, with farepayers nearly doubling their contribution. Ministers have expressed hopes that a more cost-efficient railway will result in lower fare increases from 2014, but there is no sign of that happening. Fares are expected to rise by 3% above inflation until 2015 at least, despite the government targeting a £1bn cut in the annual cost of operating the network by the end of the decade.

The state provided a further £4bn in grants last year, but the taxpayer underpins the massive debts that fund the improvement work. Network Rail, which owns, operates and maintains tracks and stations, has borrowed £27bn over the last decade to fund its investment programme – a deficit underwritten by the taxpayer.

The complex funding arrangements will allow the government to say that it is embarking on the biggest investment project since the Victorian era. The £10bn investment in new rail projects is around £2bn smaller than the current five-year spending plan, for 2009-2014, which included a £5.5bn upgrade of the Thameslink route through central London.

The reference to the Victorian era will provide a sober reminder of the risks of relying too heavily on private companies and passengers to pay for the work. Many Victorian railway entrepreneurs were driven to ruin by the high cost of the engineering work. This often happened after they battled against traditionalists, immortalised in the recent Cranford television drama based on the Elizabeth Gaskell novels.

The reopening of part of the Varsity Line, or the Brain Line, between Oxford and Bletchley, will be welcomed by traditionalists and by business leaders who believe it covers a crucial growth area. The line, which used to link Oxford and Cambridge, escaped the Beeching Axe but was closed in 1967.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/ju...?newsfeed=true
Quote:
Midlands line 'to be electrified'

A £500m scheme to electrify the Midland Main Line rail route is expected to be announced by the government.

Transport Secretary Justine Greening is due on Monday to outline plans to complete the electrification of the route between Sheffield and London.

At present the line is electrified only between St Pancras station and Bedford.

The new decision over the Midland Main Line, if confirmed, would mean extending overhead wires to Sheffield via the east Midlands.

However, it is not yet known if track improvements will also be announced, especially at Derby and Leicester stations.


Meanwhile, the Department of Transport has refused to confirm or deny reports that the Midland Main Line announcement forms part of a far wider rail network investment programme to be announced next week.

The Guardian reports that further plans include electrification of the Great Western Line from London to Swansea via Cardiff; a "northern hub" of new projects around Manchester; and an upgrade of parts of the East Coast Main Line from London to the north of England.

The Midland Main Line decision comes after business groups and politicians in South Yorkshire and the East Midlands campaigned for the line to be upgraded.

BBC Radio Derby political reporter Chris Doidge said the Varsity line linking Oxford and Cambridge could also be reopened; most of it was closed to passengers following the Beeching Report in the 1960s.

The Derby-based train-maker Bombardier, which was threatened with closure after missing out on a contract last year, is likely to be a beneficiary of the government's plans, he said.

'Political hot potato'
Ministers say electric trains are lighter and more energy efficient, cutting the running cost and environmental impact of train services, and have faster acceleration.

Rail expert Christian Wolmar said the expected announcement was "terribly good news".

"This implies that there might be trains that are transformed from diesel trains into electric trains," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"That work will be done either at Derby or Preston so there will be jobs for British workers."

He said it was not clear if the scheme would be paid for "by heavily above-inflation fares rises" or "more money from the taxpayer".

"Fares have become a big political issue - they're supposing to be going up by 3% above the rate of inflation, which will be something like 6 or 7% in all, in January," he added.

"But I somewhat suspect this is a political hot potato so they might try and say: 'This investment is all happening, it's great news but I'm afraid that fare payers have to pay for it.'

"But there will be a lot of political flak over that."

A spokesman for the Derby and Derbyshire Rail Forum said: "If the Midland Main Line is upgraded, the supply chain waits ready to meet the needs of the industry.

"We hope it is not just electrification - there are great benefits to be found in upgrading the current infrastructure."

In June, Conservative MP for Kettering Philip Hollobone told MPs that while £12bn had been spent in recent years on Britain's rail network, just £200m had gone to the Midland Main Line.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-18839483
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Old July 16th, 2012, 10:11 AM   #1287
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Some news from the guardian on the West Coast mainline contract....

Quote:
FirstGroup vies with Virgin in west coast rail bidding war

Aberdeen-based group is frontrunner, along with incumbent, in battle to secure 14-year franchise contract

150m to the government. Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian
FirstGroup has emerged as a frontrunner for the multibillion-pound west coast rail franchise alongside incumbent Virgin Trains, with the contest now a two-horse race between the experienced operators.

Aberdeen-based FirstGroup is vying with Virgin despite announcing last year that it is handing back its Great Western rail contract three years ahead of schedule, avoiding more than £800m in payments to the government.

The Department for Transport is expected to bank a considerable windfall from the new 14-year west coast contract, with Virgin currently paying an annual premium of about £150m to the state. Both bidders are expected to promise an even bigger number over the life of the new franchise. The winner is expected to be announced next month.

It is understood that FirstGroup and Virgin are still in talks with the DfT, but two foreign-owned bidders on the four-strong shortlist are no longer considered likely contenders. They are a joint venture between public transport operator Keolis and SNCF, the French state rail group, and a bid from Abellio, which is controlled by the Dutch national rail operator.

SNCF had been hoping to use west coast as a bridgehead into the UK rail market but is now expected to focus on the prestigious, if perennially troubled, east coast franchise that runs from London to Edinburgh.

According to one rumour circulating within the rail industry, the SNCF bid considered using extended Pendolino trains that would be longer than station platforms in some cases. This would require passengers to shuffle down the train in order to alight at certain stops – a process known as selective opening. It is not known, however, whether selective opening formed a serious part of SNCF's pitch for the route.

The west coast route, which runs from London to Glasgow via Birmingham and Manchester, is already undergoing an expansion. By the end of the Virgin contract in December, it will have 35 trains made up of 11 Pendolino carriages, with a further 17 trains made up of nine carriages.

The franchise carried 30 million passengers last year and the contest between FirstGroup and Virgin is thought to be close. Industry sources expect FirstGroup to offer a slightly higher premium number, based on its strong record on cost management, while Virgin is expected to emphasise passenger growth and service.

Both contenders have reportedly considered tough cost-cutting measures. According to the RMT trade union, some bidders have been mulling changes to onboard services, which could see the removal of catering and onboard shops, threatening up to 800 jobs, although Virgin is thought to be considering less severe changes.

RMT general secretary, Bob Crow, said: "It is disgraceful that bidders for the prestige west coast route are looking at ripping out catering and shop facilities to cram in extra seats so that they can jack up profits at the price of both jobs and passenger service, and we are calling for this scandalous suggestion to be killed off right now."

FirstGroup's chances have not been endangered by its early exit from the Great Western franchise, which runs from London Paddington to Wales, the West Country and the Thames Valley. The group had arranged a clause in the £1.1bn contract that allowed it to walk away three years ahead of schedule, ensuring it could end the franchise early without legal redress.

If it wins the west coast franchise, FirstGroup could become a dominant player in the UK rail industry. It already operates the First Capital Connect, Scotrail and First TransPennine franchises and is shortlisted for the Thameslink and Essex Thameside franchises, as well as the successor to the Great Western contract that it is relinquishing.

The DfT, mindful of the plight of the east coast franchise, after National Express reneged on a £1.4bn contract, is understood to be seeking beefed-up insurance policies from west coast bidders. This could include a large "performance bond" that will be paid out if there is a default.

Another possibility is a cross-default clause, which would see an operator forced to hand over other rail contracts if their franchise goes sour. Virgin Rail Group is co-owned by Stagecoach, the public transport operator, and Sir Richard Branson's Virgin empire.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2...anchise-virgin
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Old July 16th, 2012, 03:51 PM   #1288
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Copied from the London Transport forum in case anyone here knows...

Can anyone clarify something for me... am I right in thinking that Harringay and Hornsey Rail stations are both 6-car maximum?

Locals are seeking clarification of the affect of segregating the Hertford Loop service, which will leave Harringay and Hornsey with fewer trains as they don't have platforms on the new Hertford Loop passenger line.

There is talk of this being compensated for by the introduction of additional Thameslink services to Welwyn from 2018. But I don't think H&H can handle 8-cars. Also, would a Thameslink Welwyn service replace or supplement the existing service?
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Old July 24th, 2012, 10:07 PM   #1289
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Old July 28th, 2012, 10:07 PM   #1290
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Hour long 'route-learning' video for Thameslink drivers between Blackfriars and Brighton.

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Old July 29th, 2012, 01:50 AM   #1291
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Thanks.
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Old August 2nd, 2012, 11:11 PM   #1292
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Old August 2nd, 2012, 11:26 PM   #1293
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulo Magalhães View Post
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Old August 16th, 2012, 11:08 AM   #1294
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Virgin Trains has lost out to First Group in its bid to renew its franchise on the West Coast Mainline, the UK's biggest and busiest intercity route.

First have offered to pay the government £5.5bn over the 15-year franchise period which was well in excess of what Virgin was willing to pay.

More details...
http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/2012/...franchise.html

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Old August 16th, 2012, 11:44 PM   #1295
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Soke-on-Trent?

So what becomes of Virgin's Pendolino stock?
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Old August 17th, 2012, 10:00 AM   #1296
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They stay exactly where they are.
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Old August 17th, 2012, 01:56 PM   #1297
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Will ERTMS level 2 be installed on the GWML as part of the electrification scheme? If so, what sort of line speeds can be expected?
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Old August 17th, 2012, 11:21 PM   #1298
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I suppose First will be donning the Pendolinos a new livery; is that how TOC transfers work there? I'm curious how --pfft-- Branson might react, losing his babies ...
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Old August 19th, 2012, 04:04 PM   #1299
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreiB View Post
Will ERTMS level 2 be installed on the GWML as part of the electrification scheme? If so, what sort of line speeds can be expected?
Yes eventually. But the ECML is getting ETRMS before iirc - I think the GWML will persist with conventional signalling for the moment, but I may be wrong. The electrification will be done to permit 140mph - as in catenary specification, so this will be the highest line speed for the foreseeable future.
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Old August 20th, 2012, 01:17 AM   #1300
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makita09

Yes eventually. But the ECML is getting ETRMS before iirc - I think the GWML will persist with conventional signalling for the moment, but I may be wrong. The electrification will be done to permit 140mph - as in catenary specification, so this will be the highest line speed for the foreseeable future.
So will 140 mph running finally come on the ECML after ERTMS? Can the Intercity 225 locomotives be updated to use incab signalling and thus finally live up to their full potential?
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