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UK railway news round-up

18 Oct 2018

An 18-month £140m modernisation of Liverpool Lime Street station has been completed. Platforms across the station have been completely remodelled, two new platforms have been built, and extensive signalling enhancements completed.

On October 12 the Department for Transport published guidance on rail safety rules, technical standards, authorisations, certificates and train driver licences in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. This is intended to allow businesses to make informed plans and preparations.

Law firm Ashurst advised the KeolisAmey joint venture on the contract to operate Wales & Borders services from October 14.

Network Rail is to call competitive tenders for a contract covering all its general office supplies. Companies should express interest by November 5.

From October 31 Greater Anglia will no longer be automatically issuing new season tickets in paper format, instead it will be using plastic smart cards which can be ordered online or obtained from most of the operator’s ticket offices.

Translink has awarded SNC-Lavalin a £1·4m contract to provide professional support services, including technical, legal, procurement/commercial and safety approvals.

The West Midlands Rail Executive intends to set up a framework of advisers it can call on to provide advice on specific matters relating to the design of the next West Midlands rail franchise, including financing, fares, financial risk sharing and ‘pressing ahead with exploring opportunities for full rail devolution‘ for the West Midlands. The current franchise expires in 2026.

Southeastern has undertaken a £75 000 project to update its passenger information systems with a ‘bespoke, state of the art’ technology offering passengers ‘the most comprehensive passenger information available’ via displays and automated announcements. This includes the last known location of trains, warning of delays further along a route, recommended alternative itineraries, the status of Transport for London services and compensation announcements.

Network Rail is to replace a ‘dark and tired’ wooden roof over the southern concourse at Leeds station with a transparent ethylene tetrafluoroethylene roof.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch has released its report into extensive track damage over 40 km between Ferryside and Llangennech which was caused by the catastrophic failure of the braking system on a fully-laden oil wagon on October 30 2017. RAIB has made one recommendation to Touax Rail and other affected parties regarding a risk assessment of the facilities and processes used for maintaining wagons operating out of Robeston terminal, and has also identified three learning points about checking the security of brake blocks before permitting a vehicle to re-enter traffic, the application of general signalling regulation 19, and signallers and control staff being aware of the potential consequences of an incident involving dangerous goods.

Network Rail has published the Everyone Matters Guide to Inclusive Learning handbook setting out best practice, standards and guidelines for accessible and inclusive training design and delivery. This is intended to ensure that ‘the differences of the individuals being trained are valued, remove the barriers to learning, provide a better learning experience and achieve increased engagement.’