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Old February 12th, 2014, 10:25 PM   #1741
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See NR enquires http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/servic...indicator.aspx
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Old February 12th, 2014, 10:44 PM   #1742
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 437.001 View Post
Has the weather ever been so disruptive for rail?
...
Wind speeds in the North West / North Wales were recorded at 108mph this afternoon (174kph) which are hurricane force winds, enough to uproot trees.
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Old February 13th, 2014, 12:47 PM   #1743
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandblast View Post
Wind speeds in the North West / North Wales were recorded at 108mph this afternoon (174kph) which are hurricane force winds, enough to uproot trees.
It's so windy up here in Nottingham that the internal walls of my building are moving!!!
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Old February 13th, 2014, 10:17 PM   #1744
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Near Bridgwater, photo from Network Rail:

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Old February 14th, 2014, 01:18 AM   #1745
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandblast View Post
You reference to "Network Rail metals" will be lost on people abroad. Trams in Birmingham run on the same gauge track as the rest of the UK network ...



Old style Midland Metro tram approaching St. Paul's in the Jewellery Quarter after leaving Birmingham Snow Hill in the distance.
It might be the same rails but they have been re-profiled so that tram wheels sit better on the track.
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Old February 14th, 2014, 04:53 PM   #1746
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Slightly off topic but, I've just seen a 3 car FGW 166 in Hereford, ready to work the 15:14 to Paddington. I've never seen this before, is it a rare thing?
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Old February 20th, 2014, 08:47 AM   #1747
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The first Class 374 at Temple Mills Depot:
http://paulbigland.zenfolio.com/p613...03D5#h1b88f535

http://paulbigland.zenfolio.com/p613...03D5#h238403d5

http://paulbigland.zenfolio.com/p613...03D5#h2e503e71
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Old February 20th, 2014, 05:32 PM   #1748
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From Global Rail News, the archeologists found an incredible discovery:

Quote:
http://www.globalrailnews.com/2014/0...worlds-oldest/

Derbyshire rail tunnel named world’s oldest
20 FEB, 2014


Photo courtesy of Forgotten Relics

The Guinness World Book of Records has awarded a rail tunnel unearthed by archaeologists in Derbyshire the title of world’s oldest.

Located in Fritchley near Crich, the tunnel is thought to date back to around 1793 – at least two years younger than the previous record holder.

Archaeologists reopened the tunnel last year for the first time in over 30 years as part of the Heritage Lottery-funded Butterley Gangroad Project managed by the Derbyshire Archaeological Society.

After creating a virtual model of the tunnel, the team from Wessex Archaeology were able to prove that it was part of a short horse and gravity worked mineral railway dating back to 1793.

The line carried limestone down from quarries at Crich to the Cromford Canal at Bull Bridge until 1933.

During the 1850s the southern half of the tunnel was reconstructed when the railway was re-aligned but the northern half remains as built.

Another Derbyshire rail tunnel, this time at Chapel Milton on the route on the Peak Forest Tramway, had been thought to be the world’s oldest surviving tunnel.

Trevor Griffin, the manager of the Butterley Gangroad Project, said: “Its brilliant that we have gained a world record for this tunnel which had been lost and overlooked in the past.

“The success is a great credit to the many individuals, firms and organisations including the Heritage Lottery Fund, who have supported the project.”
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Old February 21st, 2014, 08:06 PM   #1749
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Official from Network Rail:

Quote:
http://www.networkrailmediacentre.co...-Hub-1ff6.aspx

Plans submitted to improve the railway between Manchester and Liverpool as part of Northern Hub
Wednesday 19 Feb 2014



Network Rail has submitted plans for a new section of railway near Huyton station as part of the £600m Northern Hub investment to provide faster, more frequent services across the north of England.

Work is already underway to improve capacity between Manchester and Liverpool to increase the number of tracks through Huyton and Roby from two to four.

An application has been submitted to the Secretary of State for Transport, following successful consultation last year, to gain consent to complete work on the fourth track on adjacent land currently occupied by a telephone exchange and bus station.

Planning permission is required - through a Transport and Works Act Order - to construct a new 240m section which will allow additional non-stopping services to run on the line without being held-up behind local stopping services and freight trains.

Martin Frobisher, area director for Network Rail, said: “The Northern Hub will transform the railway in the north of England. It will create space for up to 700 more trains every day which will boost capacity and provide better journey options for passengers. The plans at Huyton and Roby are a key part of this investment and will help to increase capacity on the line between Liverpool and Manchester.”

Subject to consent, work is expected to be complete by the end of 2017. More information is available at www.networkrail.co.uk/huytonroby.

The Northern Hub is due to be completed by 2019. More details are available at www.networkrail.co.uk/northernhub.
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Old February 24th, 2014, 09:45 AM   #1750
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From official website of Windsor Link Railway - the new rail link through Windsor and to Heathrow Airport:

Quote:
http://windsorlink.co.uk/pre-plannin...ion-submitted/

Pre-planning application submitted
February 13, 2014

The Windsor Link Railway has today reached an important milestone: it has submitted its vision statement and pre-planning application to RBWM.

WLR hopes that the council will be able to respond as follows:
  • At a full council level, responding to the petition previously submitted, by affirming support for and collaboration with WLR (policy ASF1 of the Royal Borough’s Local Transport Plan inter alia)
  • As part of the emerging Borough Local Plan, as requested by the Central Windsor Neighbourhood Plan, to ensure provision is made within the document to support WLR and the associated development to come forward within the plan period.
  • As pre-planning advice, to respond to this document with the Royal Borough’s feedback.
  • Once feedback has been received from the council and, although much of the information is already published on this website and elsewhere, WLR hopes to be able to publish the document here. Anybody interested in seeing the document before then should get in touch.
If any other people have feedback for the council on the Borough Local Plan (Preferred Options) document, the deadline is 7 March 2014. Also on 25 March, there WLR is on the agenda for the full council meeting.

It should be noted that this is advisory as the planning authority for the railway will be the Secretary of State for Transport rather than the local council. However, WLR wants to keep local stakeholders fully involved and part of the plans as they develop.
And explonation:

Quote:
http://windsorlink.co.uk/geographical-map/



PHASE 1

Phase 1 of the Windsor Link Railway connects the two branch lines that already serve the town. These were built by different railway companies at the height of their competition. Unlike in other towns, such as Reading, the lack of connectivity between the two was never corrected and we are left with an historical anomaly.

To correct this, phase 1 of the Windsor Link Railway proposes a new tunnel to connect the two lines. Connecting these had been proposed before but failed to resolve the problem of the two existing stations being at such different levels. The Windsor Link Railway resolves this by ignoring the two existing stations and proposing a new station in between the two with a tunnel connecting them. As the two lines enter the town at similar levels this results in less steep gradients than on the existing lines. Also, by proposing a cut-n-cover tunnel under an existing road, construction time and cost are minimised, as is the environmental impact. This new tunnel is shown in red in the phase 1 circle on the above map. This is the tunnel in Windsor (shown in red in the phase 1 circle).

Whilst the lines in and out of London in the area are quite good, orbital links are almost non-existent. This new line route would therefore be a major addition to the rail infrastructure of the region and allow many more journeys and more frequent services.

The capital cost of this phase has been assessed by Network Rail and found to be in-line with WLR’s estimates, putting the cost at between £75-150 million, excluding contingency and property returns.

PHASE 2

This is the link to Heathrow (shown in red in the phase 2 circle on the above map).

It takes advantage of the fact that the existing Windsor Line (shown in black) goes within a few miles of Heathrow Terminal 5. It is therefore a relatively simple engineering challenge to connect the two. Rather than use an expensive tunnel, as proposed by Slough BC (the blue dotted line to the north, called WRAtH) or by BAA (the grey dotted line to the south), the WLR preferred solution is for an alignment that exits the station under terminal 5 and then climbs to a bridge over the M25. West of the motorway, there are several route options that could be designed to minimise the environmental impact, e.g. by hugging the side of the reservoir and following the route of an existing quarry. The red line shows one such possibility although the precise route is to be finalised.

Another option is a modification of BAA’s Airtrack proposal with a small additional chord allowing trains via Windsor to reach Heathrow direct. This is more expensive but has the advantage that it has been through a detailed design and is therefore less risky at this stage. WLR doesn’t expect to use this route but it is a useful fall-back if for any reason the bridge route is not possible or turns out to be more expensive than expected.

The cost of the northerly and southerly direct connections are estimated at about £500 million each (by Slough Council and BAA respectively). The cost of the bridge option over the M25 is estimated by WLR to be about £250 million excluding contingency. This cheaper price combined with a many more journey options provided by phase 1 and future phases means that although the slightly longer route will add a few minutes to journey time (plus 6 minutes from Slough, for example) the business case is many times stronger. That is, it will bring more net benefit and to many more people.

Integration with Crossrail

This phase would also allow Crossrail to be easily extended to both Slough and Staines (and beyond) bringing the advantages of this massive investment to millions more people in this economically important area.

Integration with HS2

The Windsor Link Railway improves connectivity throughout the region. One of the nice results of this is that it makes HS2 accessible to many more people. Without the WLR, people from the south-west of London wishing to travel on HS2 would have to go via London using already overcrowded trains and tubes. With the WLR, they can go via the new track to Heathrow to connect with HS2 at Old Oak Common. This would reduce journey times from this important economic area by over one hour.

Future phases

Future phases are also planned, such as a new chord at Staines, allowing direct connections to Heathrow from Ascot and the south (shown by the number 8 above). Other possibilities include a direct connection from High Wycombe, by re-opening the line to Maidenhead, and rebuilding the chord at Farnborough, which would allow direct trains from Basingstoke and the south to Heathrow.

These future phases also enable further better integration with the road network. Just as phase 1 enables a park-n-ride and parkway station of the M4, future phases could allow similar facilities off the M3 and M40.

Each new link gives cumulative returns, building on the advantage of the previous additions. Thus, whilst the individual phases are relatively small compared with some of the other engineering projects undertaken by Network Rail, taken as a whole they would have very substantial economic benefits.
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Old February 25th, 2014, 06:22 PM   #1751
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From Global Rail News:

Quote:
http://www.globalrailnews.com/2014/0...treet-station/

New images show future of Glasgow Queen Street station
25 FEB, 2014




Images: Network Rail

Network Rail has released two new images of a transformed Glasgow Queen Street station to mark the launch of a public consultation into the £104 million redevelopment.

The project is part of the £650m Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) which will deliver a series of upgrades on the railway line between the two cities.

Between 2014 and 2019, work is expected to be completed on a major overhaul of Queen Street to accomodate the additional eight million passengers a year projected to use the station by 2030.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “Queen Street station is at the heart of Glasgow’s railway network and passengers using the station should enjoy an experience befitting of that role.

“The EGIP scheme will result in 30 per cent more seats and around 20 per cent faster journey times on our flagship route. It’s already delivered the stunning new-look £25 million Haymarket station in Edinburgh and this complete transformation of Queen Street means passengers will benefit at both ends and at all points in between.”

The consultation will last for three months.
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Old February 26th, 2014, 10:08 AM   #1752
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Happened in mid-February:

Quote:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england...shire-26173793

Last train to run on Oxford to Bicester line before revamp
14 February 2014, Last updated at 07:37 GMT


The revamped Bicester Town Station will have two new platforms and a car park

Train services on the Bicester to Oxford line are stopping for two years so work can start on a high speed line to London.

Chiltern Railways is to start work to link the line to the London Marylebone mainline, due to open in summer 2015.

The company said it would be the "first new rail link between two major British cities for 100 years".

Replacement buses are in place from Saturday with ticket prices remaining the same and with room for bicycles.

New stations


An embankment for the line was created using 80,000 tonnes of recycled rail ballast

The last services will be the 23:12 Oxford to Bicester Town and the 23:42 Bicester Town to Oxford.

Bicester Town station is being rebuilt and a new station called Oxford Parkway will be constructed to serve the north and east of the city.

The line between Oxford Parkway and London Marylebone will open in summer 2015.

The full line between Oxford and London Marylebone is expected to open in spring 2016 once upgrades to Oxford railway station are completed.

Approval for the £130m route was granted in May after the High Court turned down a bid to block it on environmental grounds.

The Oxford to Bicester Rail Action Group (OBRAG) had concerns about having enough buses during peak hours while work is carried out.

Chairman Ian East said commuters "face a significantly longer journey time by bus, with the prospect of getting stuck in traffic jams".

But Chiltern Railways business development director Graham Cross said the firm had worked hard to meet passenger demand.

On completion the train journey times between Oxford and London Marylebone are expected to be 66 minutes.
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Old February 27th, 2014, 04:31 PM   #1753
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Flythrough of new Glasgow Queen Street station building:

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Old February 28th, 2014, 07:35 PM   #1754
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Timelapse of restoration service in Cornwall:

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Old March 7th, 2014, 08:29 PM   #1755
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Today:

Quote:
http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/s...to-oxford.html

Contract awarded for Chiltern to Oxford
07 Mar 2014

UK: Network Rail announced on March 7 that it had awarded a contract worth £87m to a joint venture of Carillion and Buckingham Group Contracting, covering the infrastructure works required to introduce direct Chiltern Railways services between London Marylebone and Oxford.

As well as the construction of a 1 km chord to connect the Chiltern main line between London and Banbury with the Oxford – Bicester Town route, the contract includes doubling 18 km of track between Oxford and Bicester where the line speed is to be raised to 160 km/h. The project also involves the closure of 37 level crossings, resignalling, upgrading Bicester Town and Islip stations, and the construction of a new station at Oxford Parkway.

Chiltern services are due to start running between London Marylebone and Oxford Parkway in summer 2015, and would serve Oxford station in spring 2016 once upgrading work has been completed.
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Old March 10th, 2014, 05:22 PM   #1756
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Today:

Quote:
http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/p...o-windsor.html

South West Trains launches 10-car services to Windsor
10 Mar 2014


A 10-car Class 458 EMU at Windsor & Eton Riverside


SWT is negotiating to reopen more platforms at Waterloo International


The interior of the remodelled 458/5 EMUs is designed to optimise seated and standing space for outer-suburban operation


Transport Minister Stephen Hammond and SWT Managing Director Tim Shoveller launched the 10-car trains at Waterloo on March 7

UK: Franchise operator South West Trains began running 10-car electric multiple-units on its outer suburban route between London Waterloo and Windsor & Eton Riverside on March 10, marking a key step in its programme to introduce 108 additional vehicles onto its suburban services over the next 12 months.

Speaking at an event on March 7 to launch the service at the reopened Platform 20 in the former Waterloo International station, Managing Director of the SWT/Network Rail Alliance Tim Shoveller said the Windsor Lines service group covering routes to Richmond, Twickenham, Hounslow, Windsor, Ascot, Bracknell and Reading were now carrying as many passengers in a year as the entire West Coast Main Line. This was why the alliance had embarked on a programme to extend many of its inner and outer suburban services from eight to 10 cars.

Working with rolling stock leasing company Porterbrook, SWT has taken over the eight Class 460 Juniper EMUs built for Gatwick Express services. Vehicles from these eight-car sets are being rebuilt by Alstom and Wabtec to create six new five-car Class 458/5 EMUs, with other vehicles used to lengthen the operator’s 30 older Class 458s from four to five cars. Three converted sets have now been delivered to Wimbledon depot, releasing existing units for lengthening. SWT expects to get its first lengthened set back by the end of March.

SWT has also leased 26 two-car Class 456 EMUs displaced from Southern by the delivery of new Bombardier Class 377/6 sets. The Class 456s are being refreshed by Knorr-Bremse Rail Services in Wolverton and will be used to lengthen eight-car inner-suburban services worked by the similar Class 455 units. Some unrefurbished sets have already been put into use on local trains between Ascot, Aldershot and Guildford, releasing four-car Class 450 Desiro EMUs to strengthen other services.

Although the Class 458/5s only have standard-class seating at present, they have two small saloons designed for use as first class. According to SWT Engineering Director Christian Roth, this would be needed if the trains are deployed on London – Reading services after 2017, were they to be displaced from the Windsor route by a new build of five-car EMUs.

Transport Minister Stephen Hammond said he was ‘delighted’ by the arrival of the extra EMUs, thanks to an ‘innovative solution’ which would be ‘good news for passengers’. The additional vehicles would give capacity for another 23 000 passengers, he said, adding that SWT ran ‘some of the country’s most crowded peak time trains’. As MP for Wimbledon, Hammond said he looked forward to the remodelling at Waterloo, which would see platforms 1 to 4 lengthened to take 10-car trains on his local routes.

The alliance has lengthened more than 60 platforms on the Windsor Lines, although selective door operation is still required at eight or nine locations. One key station yet to be tackled is the important gateway hub at Feltham which serves Heathrow Airport. Here the platforms are constrained by a level crossing at one end and a road bridge at the other; Network Rail is reportedly seeking funding to extend the station during the current five-year control period.

Shoveller confirmed that the alliance was in discussion with London & Continental Railways about reopening another two platforms at Waterloo International for domestic services by the end of this year
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Old March 11th, 2014, 10:44 PM   #1757
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Today:

Quote:
http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/p...-proposed.html

Five-year direct award Great Western franchise proposed
11 Mar 2014

UK: The Department for Transport is considering directly awarding incumbent FirstGroup a five-year contract to operate the Great Western franchise, which covers passenger services linking London with southwest England and south Wales.

Plans to tender a new long-term Great Western franchise were put on hold following the collapse of the InterCity West Coast competition in October 2012. Instead, DfT exercised an option to extend the existing Great Western franchise by 28 weeks, and then directly awarded without competition a new short-term franchise running from October 2013 to September 2015. DfT had intended to negotiate a second short-term direct award contract to cover the period after this expires, enabling it to hold an open competition for a longer-term franchise of seven to 10 years which would start in July 2016.

However, DfT now says that a direct award with a duration of up to five years could offer better overall value and 'further facilitate the effective administration of a sustainable and well-resourced programme of franchise competitions'. DfT is to 'engage with the supply chain to explore the viability and any advantages to a longer direct award', which would start on September 20 2015 and run for 60 months.

The number of services operated would be similar to current levels, with a total of approximately 9 000 a week, but the new contract may include an alliance arrangement with infrastructure manager Network Rail.

Great Western franchise timeline:
  • 2 October 2012 - All refranchising put on hold following collapse of InterCity West Coast process.
  • March 2013 - Great Western franchise was due to expire; DfT exercises an option to extend the franchise by 28 weeks to October 2013.
  • 3 October 2013 - DfT announces a new 23-month direct award franchise, with plans for a second direct award franchise to run from September 20 2015 to July 2016.
  • 11 March 2014 - DfT begins consultation on a five-year direct award franchise.
  • 20 September 2015 - First direct award franchise due to expire.
  • July 2016 - End date of the initially-proposed short-term second direct award franchise, which was to be replaced by a new competitively tendered franchise.
  • September 2020 - Proposed 60-month direct award franchise would end and be replaced by a competitively tendered franchise.
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Old March 13th, 2014, 08:28 PM   #1758
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From Global Rail News:

Quote:
http://www.globalrailnews.com/2014/0...iltern-in-2015

FTPE Class 170s to move over to Chiltern in 2015
13 MAR, 2014


Photo: Matt Buck/CC BY-SA 2.0

First TransPennine Express’ (FTPE) fleet of nine Class 170 Turbostar trains are to be cascaded to another operator at the end of the current franchise.

Leasing company Porterbrook has offered the Class 170 Turbostar units to Chiltern Railways when its contract with FTPE expires with the end of the franchise on April 1, 2015.

MPs have since raised concerns about capacity after FirstGroup confirmed that it is in talks with the Department for Transport (DfT) to extend the current term to February 2016 – the predicted start date of the new long-term franchise.

However the impact of losing the Class 170s could be offset by the introduction of 10 new four-car Class 350/4 Desiro trainsets from Siemens – the first of which arrived in Ardwick, Manchester, in December 2013 – freeing up some of the Class 185 diesel trains to operate on non-electrified sections of the network.

In a letter to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, chairman of the Commons Transport Committee Louise Ellman MP was critical of the DfT’s handling of the transfer, writing: “The TransPennine Express is a vital artery for the north of England. Services are already overcrowded and it makes no sense whatsoever to reduce the size of the company’s fleet.”

She added: “Given the current strong demand for rolling stock there is a risk that the trains cannot adequately be replaced, which could lead to reductions in service levels and a worse service for passengers.”
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Old March 19th, 2014, 05:45 PM   #1759
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From Global Rail News:

Quote:
http://www.globalrailnews.com/2014/0...astal-railway/

Network Rail to consider re-routing coastal railway
19 MAR, 2014


Photo: Network Rail

A new Network Rail-led taskforce it to consider re-routing a coastal rail link between Devon and Cornwall after the route was devastated by winter storms.

The group, which will be made up of experts from the Department for Transport, the Environment Agency, train operators and local authorities, is to meet to consider the line’s long-term future, including proposals to re-route the main line or build a second line.

Paul Harwood, strategy and planning director for Network Rail, said: “The railway in the south west has been helping move people and products for more than 175 years. We are taking action today to safeguard the railway for the next 175 years and beyond.

“The catastrophic destruction of the Dawlish sea wall by the storm in February has made clear the need to re-think the long-term strategy around changing climate and extreme weather.

“A robust railway is integral to national resilience and we are committed to keep passengers moving, every day and in every situation.

“We need to review what viable alternatives exist – otherwise there will be severe implications for local and national economies, mobility and connectivity across the region and the wider UK.”

Network Rail has said a study considering the future of the line is due to be completed by early summer.
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Old March 21st, 2014, 09:57 PM   #1760
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InterCity East Coast ITT released today
https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...4/icec-itt.pdf
Key features of the ITT include:
- supporting the roll out of the new IEP fleet.
- Continuation of services to all current destinations (securing the highland services)
- Faster and more frequent services to and from King’s Cross by May 2020 (I assume this will be down to the implementation of ETRMS on the southern ECML)
- Faster average journey times to Leeds and Edinburgh from May 2020
- The potential for improved services to destinations such as Lincoln (not Hull though?)
- An opportunity for bidders to serve five new routes including Huddersfield, Scarborough, Harrogate (via York), Middlesbrough and Sunderland (via Newcastle) and deliver long-term benefits for the franchise and wider rail industry (two of which are already operated by Grand Central, hinting at something perhaps?)
- Transfer of York and Newcastle to Network Rail management
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