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UK railway news round-up

17 Aug 2017

Govia Thameslink Railway has offered jobs to 10 young people from Luton, Cambridge, Stevenage, Brixton and Bedford after they completed the Prince's Trust‘s four-week Get into Railways course. This included including first-hand experience working as customer service assistants.

Network Rail is seeking to discuss procurement options for the overhaul of wheelsets on its rail vehicles. This could include overhaul at a supplier's premises or at Network Rail's Holgate Depot in York

One of the 65 Hitachi trainsets being supplied to Virgin Trains East Coast under the Intercity Express Programme was tested in Scotland for the first time on August 16, when it ran from Newcastle to Dunbar before returning to Doncaster.

Commenting on the August 15 release of July’s Retail Price Index figure of 3·6%  which is used by government to set the January increase in regulated rail fares, Rail Delivery Group CEO Paul Plummer said ‘many major rail industry costs rise directly in line with RPI’. In Scotland the maximum permitted increase for selected regulated peak fares is set to RPI, and 1% below RPI for regulated Off-Peak fares, while in Wales regulated fares are capped at RPI.

Network Rail has established framework agreements for the supply of insulators for overhead line equipment with Allied Insulators, Sicame UK, Pfisterer, Arthur Flury UK, Siemens and EB Rebosio.

Online retailer Amazon has ‘adopted’ London Midland’s Rugeley Town and Rugeley Trent Valley stations, supporting new planters and a planting scheme. ‘The investment in the stations will make them more welcoming to visitors and commuters and is a great example of what businesses can do to support their local community’, said local MP Amanda Milling.

Datum Monitoring Services has been awarded a Network Rail framework agreement covering support for remote track void measurement.

In consultation with the Health & Safety Executive, the Office of Rail & Road is carrying out a Post Implementation Review of the Health & Safety (Enforcing Authority for Railways & Other Guided Transport Systems) Regulations 2006 as amended. Stakeholders‘ views are being sought on the extent to which the EARR achieved the original objectives, and whether they should remain as they are or be revoked or amended.

Network Rail is seeking interest in contracts for the operation and maintenance of the Rail Innovation & Development Centre near Melton Mowbray (previously known as the Old Dalby Test track). Lot 1 would cover operation of the facility and the facilities management of the offices and workshops, while Lot 2 would cover maintenance of the railway infrastructure.

On August 10 the Rail Accident Investigation Branch released its report into the derailment due to a landslip, and subsequent collision at Watford on September 16 2016. It makes six recommendations: four are addressed to Network Rail relating to the improvement of drainage, identification of locations vulnerable to washout, access by the emergency services, and to expedite a project intended to identify all drainage assets; one recommendation is made to the Rail Delivery Group, in conjunction with RSSB, to promote a review of the circumstances when bogie or infrastructure design could provide derailment mitigation; one recommendation is made to train manufacturer and maintainer Siemens covering the securing and location of emergency equipment which came loose in the driving cabs of both trains. RAIB has also identified three learning points relating to issues identified during the investigation.

Transport for London has awarded ABM UK a contract to provide cleaning services for Underground stations and trains, bus depots, head office buildings and the London Transport Museum. The contract runs for five years from September 17, and is one of six facilities management contracts that have been consolidated from 50.

Southampton City Council has rejected Network Rail‘s application for planning permission for two sidings at Redbridge Wharf Park which would support the use of longer freight trains at the port of Southampton.

Network Rail is seeking rail defect clamps which would allow trains to operate at a maximum speed of 200 km/h instead of the current maximum of 80 km/h.