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Old March 25th, 2014, 09:50 PM   #1761
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From Global Rail News:

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http://www.globalrailnews.com/2014/0...open-in-april/

Ipswich chord to open in April
25 MAR, 2014


Aerial views of the Ipswich Chord Project

Network Rail and Spencer Rail have completed a 1.2-kilometre stretch of railway near Ipswich which will remove a major bottleneck on the Great Eastern main line.

Built on the former Harris bacon factory, Ipswich chord, which will open to traffic in April, will link the East Suffolk Line and the Great Eastern main line, removing a need for freight trains from the Port of Felixstowe to use sidings at Ipswich station as a turning point.

The £59 million link includes four new bridges, two new embankments, a 413-metre retaining wall and 1.2-kilometre of new track and signalling equipment.

Rail Minister Stephen Hammond visited the site on March 21. He said: “We are investing record amounts into transforming our railways because we recognise they are a key engine for growth.

“It is great to see that investment taking shape on the ground through projects like the Ipswich Chord. This will deliver a real boost to the freight industry, driving forward our economy and freeing up capacity to improve passenger services.

“In addition, it will help remove lorries from our roads, delivering safer journeys, a cleaner environment and relieving congestion.”
And from Network Rail:

Quote:
http://www.networkrailmediacentre.co...ader-1e9e.aspx

Signal box moves home as part of £21m investment in Arun Valley line
Monday 24 Mar 2014


Billingshurst signal box is lifted onto the back of a low-loader

A Victorian signal box took to the skies under a crane in the early hours of Sunday morning, marking the culmination of a £21m investment in the railway through the Arun Valley.

Billingshurst signalbox is one of three to have been taken out of use last week as signalling is upgraded on the line between Horsham and Arundel.

By replacing Victorian-era signalling systems with the most modern equivalent, Network Rail has been able to shorten the distances between signals, which means that trains can safely run closer together.

Network Rail’s route managing director for Sussex, Tim Robinson, said: "The work we have completed in the Arun Valley increases the capacity of the railway, giving us more room to run trains, and do that more reliably.

"It also replaces old, and in some cases, Victorian equipment with their modern equivalent, offering new standards of reliability and efficiency."

The railway through the Arun Valley is now controlled from the area signalling centre at Three Bridges and will shortly move into a state-of-the-art control centre which recently opened at Three Bridges.

Billingshurst signal box, which is thought to date from 1868, moved to the Amberley museum on the back of a lorry on Sunday. Pulborough and Amberley signal boxes have also been taken out of use but will stay where they are.
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Old March 26th, 2014, 08:29 PM   #1762
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From Railway Gazette:

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http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/t...wheelsets.html

Voith to retrofit Pacer DMU final drives and wheelsets
26 Mar 2014


Class 142 diesel multiple-unit

UK: Rolling stock leasing company Angel Trains has awarded Voith a contract to supply 188 final drives and cardan shafts to improve the reliability and reduce the maintenance costs of Class 142 diesel multiple-units operated by Northern Rail and Arriva Trains Wales.

Voith has modified the design of its KE-485 final drive to provide a drop-in replacement for the two-car Class 142 Pacer DMUs, which date from the 1980s. Voith is to deliver complete new wheelsets comprising a modified gear unit, axle, wheels and axle bearings, and will also supply a new cardan shaft; the final drive and cardan shaft should not require overhaul before 1·6 million km in service.

Voith's factory at Heidenheim in Germany was recently certified for wheelset assembly by the UK's Railway Industry Supplier Approval Scheme, and the company is in the process of obtaining RISAS approval for ultrasonic axle testing
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Old March 28th, 2014, 01:02 PM   #1763
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From Railway Gazette:

Great !! Just what we need. Can't these heaps be "cascaded down" to the scrap yard. I somehow can't see the commuters of Surrey putting up with this so why should we ?
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Old March 28th, 2014, 02:27 PM   #1764
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I'm appalled that they're still running, much more that the government seems to feel that they're a viable means of transport in modern Britain
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Old March 28th, 2014, 02:41 PM   #1765
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What's wrong with them? An average train has a service life of about 35 to 40 years and according to Wikipedia these are less then 30 years old.
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Old March 28th, 2014, 03:06 PM   #1766
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Originally Posted by dimlys1994 View Post
From Global Rail News:
That must be a joke: 59 million pounds for 1.2 km of double track railway on embankment with 4 bridges?
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Old March 28th, 2014, 07:22 PM   #1767
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Quote:
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Great !! Just what we need. Can't these heaps be "cascaded down" to the scrap yard. I somehow can't see the commuters of Surrey putting up with this so why should we ?
Exactly either the chronic lack of stock, especially DMUs, ensuring that trains can run until the wires arrive is a very sensible thing to do. Somehow I don't think that it's be a good thing since all of the lines in Kent except for Marshlink are electrified!

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I'm appalled that they're still running, much more that the government seems to feel that they're a viable means of transport in modern Britain
Like it or not the 142s are needed right now, if the DfT suddenly decided to withdraw them (for the purpose of this lets pretend that the ROSCOs didn't own them and the government could withdraw them without consulting them) then Northern would lose the bulk of its fleet. It's unsustainable to construct new build DMUs since current and future electrification programs can cover for them. A gradual withdrawal is likely to happen following NW wires culminating probably in the 2020s.

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What's wrong with them? An average train has a service life of about 35 to 40 years and according to Wikipedia these are less then 30 years old.
The ride quality of a pacer is rather crap and some northern 142s still have bus bench seating. That 'rule' isn't very accurate since very few trains stick to it with some being withdrawn before that age and some many years later.
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Old March 29th, 2014, 03:25 PM   #1768
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From Global Rail News:

Quote:
http://www.globalrailnews.com/2014/0...nverness-line/

Scotland to invest £170m on Aberdeen-Inverness line
28 MAR, 2014

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond has announced a plan to invest £170 million to improve the Aberdeen-Inverness line.

Projects will include redoubling the track between Aberdeen and Inverurie, platform extensions to accommodate six-car trains at Insch and Elgin, signalling improvements at Elgin, a new relocated station at Forres and a loop extension of the track at Forres.

The work will be completed over the next five years, supporting an hourly service between the cities with average journey times of around two hours.

Salmond also confirmed that ScotRail had been given the green light to launch a new timetable in May which will include a new hourly Sunday Aberdeen/Glasgow service, more weekday services between Inverurie and Aberdeen and a new early-morning peak service from Huntly to Aberdeen.

The First Minister said: “I am determined that we continue to seek improvements to Scotland’s train infrastructure, ensuring that we have an efficient, reliable and comfortable service for passengers in communities across the country.

“That is why today’s announcement is so important – a huge £170 million investment on the Aberdeen-Inverness line that will make journeys shorter, more frequent and more comfortable for those who use this important line regularly.

“These improvements – which will increase the number of trains, improve signalling and lay the infrastructure necessary for new stations, will be welcomed by passengers, who will also be pleased to hear of the service enhancements that will see their timetable improve in the coming weeks.

“This investment is all part of our programme to ensure Scotland has a railway fit for the future and our £5 billion commitment to rail infrastructure and services is addressing decades of neglect on the railways throughout Scotland.”

Steve Montgomery, managing director of ScotRail, said: “We are seeing strong demand for Sunday services between Aberdeen and Glasgow. Adding four express trains in each direction will give people many more journey opportunities throughout the day.”

David Dickson, Network Rail acting route managing director for Scotland, said: “Increasing capacity across the network and offering passengers a wider range of services is a key priority for Network Rail and we look forward to working with the Scottish Government to deliver this much-needed enhancement of the line.”
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Old April 8th, 2014, 07:43 AM   #1769
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Absurd rail crossings in UK

I'm shocked that things like these exist in UK

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Old April 8th, 2014, 03:28 PM   #1770
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Why bother with the barriers at all if you have the warning lights?

And this might sound very Eastern European but do schoolchildren hide in the bushes, wait for a car to be on the tracks and then quickly pull the lever to block the car from leaving the crossing because it is funny?
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Old April 8th, 2014, 07:28 PM   #1771
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Nice bit of hysterical spin there - that is NOT a High Speed line, and while it has Javelins that can go at 140mph, they go at 90 at most (though it isn't far from the station, so they probably hadn't reached that speed) across that level crossing.
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Why bother with the barriers at all if you have the warning lights?
To act as a failsafe to stop you risking entering the railway on red and causing a big mess.
Quote:
And this might sound very Eastern European but do schoolchildren hide in the bushes, wait for a car to be on the tracks and then quickly pull the lever to block the car from leaving the crossing because it is funny?
Any child that did that would end up in big trouble and can easily be caught.

Also this is going to be a very lightly trafficked road* (links to a small farm, and there's another entrance route to it that avoids the level crossing), so it would be a long wait for anyone trying to do some harm. I imagine that this one was chosen for the video as it is only about a mile from Civilisation - others will be more remote.

I'd imagine that there's sensors to stop trains hitting cars trapped by this sort of mess as we really don't like level crossing deaths. Certainly an open barrier would be linked to the railway signals - I can't imagine that they wouldn't also have stuff for preventing suicide-by-train, which is a costly experience for rail companies, especially if the person is in a car and might cause a derailment.

I'd imagine that if it was up for too long, someone would come from one of the stations and lower it (or they can do it remotely).

*The main reason why this is user operated is that there might be a couple of uses a day, meaning ~100 wasted opening and closing the barriers each day.
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Old April 8th, 2014, 07:52 PM   #1772
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It should at least be made mechanically automated, you press a button and it opens. Requiring someone to physically raise it is taxing on older drivers, let alone disable drivers.
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Old April 8th, 2014, 07:56 PM   #1773
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It should at least be made mechanically automated, you press a button and it opens. Requiring someone to physically raise it is taxing on older drivers, let alone disable drivers.
It's likely that the crossing will be replaced by a modern one where it is controlled from a ROC which can be many miles away. There are lots of crossings on little used farm tracks where there is a sign with the number of the signaller who will inform you when it is safe to cross.
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Old April 9th, 2014, 09:48 PM   #1774
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A look on new-look Birmingham New Street station from sky, first picture taken from Birmingham Post:



And other taken from helicopter by NPAS Birmingham:

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Old April 10th, 2014, 12:41 AM   #1775
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Crewe-Holyhead line.
Conwy station.

Not the only place in the Old World where there´s archaeological problems concerning the rail network, but definitely one of the best known...
I wonder what would happen in case of electrification...

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Old April 14th, 2014, 07:38 PM   #1776
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Official from Network Rail:

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http://www.networkrailmediacentre.co...cess-205b.aspx

Carlisle passengers to benefit from better station access
Monday 14 Apr 2014

Passengers using Carlisle station are benefitting from a £1.8 million investment to provide step-free access to platforms for the first time.

Network Rail has refurbished a disused subway which is linked to the platforms by two new lifts as part of the national Access for All programme.

The scheme will provide better access for passengers with reduced mobility, luggage and children and was funded by the Department for Transport.

Councillor Ray Bloxham, Mayor of Carlisle, will officially open the new facilities at Carlisle station at 11am on Tuesday 15 April.

Rail minister Baroness Kramer said: “We are committed to improving access to our rail system and offering disabled people the same opportunities as the rest of the travelling public.

“Improving access and providing step-free routes will really make a difference to passengers’ journeys, opening up access to work and leisure and helping to secure the UK’s long-term economic growth.”

Ian Joslin, Network Rail acting area director, said: “These vital improvements to Carlisle station will make life easier for everyone to use the train, especially those with luggage, reduced mobility or children. The new facilities will improve Carlisle station and allow it to better handle the demands of an increasing number of passengers who use it every day.”

The lifts have been clad to match the station environment and complement the station’s listed-building status. As well as access improvements, work has also taken place to restore existing sandstone and brickwork, create a new fire escape, install new lighting, improve CCTV coverage and provide a passenger help point.

Mark Green, Virgin Trains' station manager at Carlisle, said: "We're really pleased to see these lifts open and look forward to the benefits they will bring to passengers. It's an important victory for disabled people who will be granted a degree of independence that other passengers take for granted. Rather than having to rely on passenger assistance to help them gain access to platforms one to three via the footbridge, the lifts will enable them just to turn up at the station and make their own way there."

The plans were developed in consultation with Carlisle City Council with input from the Carlisle Disability Action Group and the Friends of Settle and Carlisle Line.

Councillor Ray Bloxham, Mayor of Carlisle said: “I am delighted that Carlisle City Council has been able to support this project, in assisting with the development of the scheme. It now means that Carlisle station enjoys full step-free access to all platforms – a benefit to everyone."

John Stevenson MP for Carlisle added: “I am delighted that the improvements to Carlisle station have been completed. It is very important that everyone is able to access public transport in our city and these improvements make that possible. I hope that more people are encouraged to take the train from Carlisle station as a transport option now it has become more accessible."
Quote:
http://www.networkrailmediacentre.co...-air-2050.aspx

Rochester's new station takes to the air
Monday 14 Apr 2014


The underpass at Rochester, from the air

A crucial part of Rochester’s new station will be slid almost 40 metres on a bed of air this Easter as part of a £147m scheme to improve the railway through the Medway Towns.

The underpass will provide a public link between Corporation Street, Rochester and the river Medway, as well as access to the new station's platforms.

A hole will need to be cut into the railway embankment for the pre-constructed underpass to be slotted into place. As a result no trains will run through the Medway Towns over Easter, with a full bus service being provided between Meopham and Gillingham.

Network Rail’s head of communications for London and the South East, Nicky Hughes, said: “The work we are doing at Rochester will result in a fantastic new station and a more reliable railway – however we also realise that the disruption will not be welcome for passengers travelling over Easter. We have to do the work when the railway is less busy, and Easter gives us four full days and nights where we can undertake big engineering projects while affecting the least passengers.

“We appreciate people’s patience while we do the work and look forward to delivering their new station next year.”

Michelle Ulyatt, customer relations manager at Southeastern said: “The work taking place at Rochester this Easter is the latest in a programme of improvements that will bring long-term benefits to passengers in terms of better stations and more reliable infrastructure.

“If your journey will take you through the Medway area over the Easter weekend please check before you travel for full details of the alternative arrangements we’ve put in place to help ensure your journey goes without a hitch.”

The underpass will be put on air-jacks, which will then be pumped full of compressed nitrogen. After rising up on a nitrogen cushion, like a hovercraft, the concrete box will be pushed along tracks and into final position.
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Old April 16th, 2014, 04:52 PM   #1777
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From Railway Gazette:

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http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/p...se-agreed.html

Greater Anglia direct award franchise agreed
16 Apr 2014


Abellio will also work with fleet owner Eversholt Leasing to evaluate options for starting refurbishment of a small number of Class 321 EMUs before the end of the short-term franchise, photo by Tony Miles

UK: The Abellio Greater Anglia subsidiary of Dutch national operator NS is to continue operating passenger services between London Liverpool Street and eastern England under a new 27-month franchise agreement announced by the Department for Transport on April 16.

The short-term direct award franchise runs from July 14 2014 to October 16 2016. DfT plans to hold a competition next year to award longer-term Great Anglia franchise.

The short-term agreement includes a £20m package of improvements which includes:
  • A ‘major refresh’ of MkIII coaches operated on the Norwich – London route, which are to receive new power sockets, carpets, seat covers and lighting;
  • Fitting controlled-emission toilets to the MkIII fleet and Class 321 electric multiple-units;
  • Accessibility improvements to 12 Class 321s ‘as a precursor to further rolling stock improvements which would be agreed as part of the next Greater Anglia franchise’. Abellio will also work with fleet owner Eversholt Leasing to evaluate options for starting refurbishment of a small number of Class 321s before the end of the short-term franchise;
  • New off-peak weekday Cambridge – Stansted Airport services from July 2014, and enhanced Sunday services on the routes to Sheringham, Sudbury and Lowestoft from 2014-15;
  • New on-line compensation arrangements for season ticket holders;
  • Additional cycle parking spaces, with all stations to have cycle parking by October 2016;
  • A 20% increase in funding for Community Rail Partnerships;
  • Completion of station upgrades at Bishop’s Stortford, Cambridge and Chelmsford.
‘This deal delivers much-needed and very welcome service improvements for passengers who have already experienced the limiting effects of one short-term franchise’, said Abellio UK Managing Director Dominic Booth.

‘The extension also sets the course for future development’, he added. ‘We look forward, therefore, to starting a dialogue with stakeholders soon about the requirements for the long-term franchise, and the investments required to create a rail service that will unlock and support the long-term economic development of this important part of the country.’

Abellio has dismissed media reports that it is to end its strategy of bidding for rail operating contracts outside the Netherlands. The company says that it will submit its bid for the ScotRail franchise on April 17, is awaiting the outcome of current bids for the Thameslink, Southern & Great Northern and Essex Thameside franchises, and will ‘continue to assess opportunities in the UK, Sweden and Germany.’
Quote:
http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/t...-contract.html

Financial close on £2·7bn East Coast IEP contract
16 Apr 2014


Hitachi Super Express Train

UK: Financial close on the £2·7bn contract for 65 Hitachi Super Express Trains to operate on the East Coast Main Line was announced on April 16.

The trainsets are being procured from the Agility Trains consortium of Hitachi Rail Europe and John Laing under the Department for Transport’s Intercity Express Programme, which includes financing, design, manufacture and maintenance over a 27½ year period.

The ECML order covers 497 cars due to enter service between September 2018 and February 2020, to be maintained at a new depot at Doncaster. The deal is being financed by the European Investment Bank which is providing £235m, as well as Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ, Development Bank of Japan, HSBC, Lloyds, Mitsubishi Trust, Mizuho, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, Société Générale and Crédit Agricole. The operators of the new fleet will make leasing payments totalling £2·7bn over the duration of the contract.

An initial batch of 369 coaches is due to begin entering service on the Great Western Main Line from 2017, under a contract signed by DfT and Agility Trains in 2012.

‘We are delighted that the success of the programme to date has attracted interest by world-class financiers and we look forward to building these trains in our new manufacturing plant in County Durham’, said Hitachi Rail Global CEO Alistair Dormer
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Old April 17th, 2014, 09:04 AM   #1778
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Japan-based Fujitsu has upgraded ticketing systems at Merseyrail stations in the UK to enable contactless payment, as part of a new a partnership with Ingenico.

Read More>>

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Old April 17th, 2014, 02:05 PM   #1779
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 437.001 View Post
Crewe-Holyhead line.
Conwy station.

Not the only place in the Old World where there´s archaeological problems concerning the rail network, but definitely one of the best known...
I wonder what would happen in case of electrification...
Good candidate for third rail electrification. A lot of the south east has third rail electrification and it has done it no harm.
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Old April 17th, 2014, 02:39 PM   #1780
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Good candidate for third rail electrification. A lot of the south east has third rail electrification and it has done it no harm.
Third rail land exists in the NSE area because it was installed in the 20s and 30s mainly with extensions added all the way throughout BR up into the 90s. Think the last bit done was the ELL but only so that expensive dual voltage track wouldn't need to be installed at New Cross / New Cross Gate. No third rail electrification can happen now it's agreed industry wide that 25kV AC OHLE is more efficient and cheaper to run because less electricity is lost and you can run longer, more tph on the line. Furthermore you'd have a random third rail island and trains from London would still run diesel since any benefit of running electric services would be lost since the ICWC operator would need a fleet of dual voltage 125mph tilting trains. Then you have ATW services which would still run diesel since even if all of the Manchester - Llandudno route was wired you'd need the EMUs to be dual voltage which isn't ideal since the only third rail in the region is 1970s vintage on MerseyRail which is pretty self contained.
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