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UK railway news round-up

25 Oct 2018

Chiltern Railways is to operate an Oxford Parkway to London Marylebone via Bicester Village service on December 26, when services do not normally run. ‘Although it’s unusual for the railway to be open on Boxing Day, we’ve found this service to be very popular with our customers’, said Commercial Director Eleni Jordan. ‘We’re delighted to once again offer this and give our customers another reason to leave the car behind and visit some of the amazing attractions on our route.’ 

Network Rail has issued an OJEU periodic indicative notice saying it wants to assess the capability of the supply chain for supporting critical signalling assets, using a framework ‘within which suppliers have the flexibility to use their knowledge of the signalling assets to design the best solution.’

On October 18 the Rail Accident Investigation Branch released its interim report into the loss of speed restriction data to trains on the Cambrian line on October 20 2017. Its findings and any recommendations will follow once the investigation is concluded.

Network Rail has awarded Engineering Support Group contracts worth £3·1m to supply overhead electrification monitoring systems for installation on its Mentor monitoring vehicle and a Virgin Trains Pendolino, and to provide 10 years of support.

On October 22 Network Rail began work to extend platforms three and four at Bradford Interchange station as part of the Great North Rail Project. Completion is planned by December 7.

West Midlands Rail Executive has begun consultation on its draft medium and long-term rail investment strategy. This 'outlines how we plan to deliver better rail services across the whole region over the next 30 years', said Councillor Roger Lawrence, Chair of WMRE and leader of Wolverhampton council. 'The strategy will support the exciting regeneration and growth plans that exist across all our partner authorities, recognising the role that rail plays in connecting people, communities and businesses.'

Southeastern has begun the roll-out of its Motion onboard entertainment system, accessed via on-board wi-fi. 'Motion will offer TV programmes from Amazon Prime Video and eBooks and audiobooks from Rakuten Kobo, the first such partnerships of their kind anywhere on a UK transport network', said Commercial Director Diane Burke.

Greater Anglia has introduced vegan sandwich, chocolate & orange cake and flapjack options in the buffet cars on its Norwich – London inter-city services. ‘They are going down a treat’, said Michael Wyatt, Business Manager, On-Board Catering.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch has released a safety digest regarding a near miss between a train and track workers at Dundee on July 10. RAIB said the incident demonstrated that processes and documentation surrounding safe system of work planning can be vulnerable to misunderstanding, particularly in areas where duplicate mileages on adjacent or nearby routes can cause confusion. The person in charge of the work activity needs to be actively involved in the planning process in order to minimise the chance of such misunderstandings occurring.