Transport Scotland has selected Jacobs UK to undertake a seven-month study into options for improving transport provision in the south of Scotland. This will include looking at the case for an extension of the Borders railway to Carlisle.

Great Western Railway and Bristol City Council are to launch a smart card for the Bristol Temple Meads – Severn Beach line, as a pilot for a plan which could see combined rail and bus travel offered through a single ticket. Users will be able to add weekly, monthly and annual season rail tickets to the ‘Touch’ branded card using an online account or at a smart card-enabled ticket vending machine. The pilot will run from May to September, but bus tickets will not initially be offered.

RSSB and ATOS have launched R2, a jointly-funded web-based integrated database to replace the Rolling Stock Library and Rail Vehicle Records System. Improving the efficiency of recording information for rolling stock maintenance and planning, component tracking and defect recording is expected to reduce the subscription charges paid by users from £1·8m to £1·1m per year. It should also avoid the need for companies to develop their own systems and facilitate easier exchange of data.

Arriva Trains Wales is running a two-month trial of FindMyLost, an online lost and found platform which lets staffs and passengers who find an item upload a description, photo and details of where and when it was found. Someone who has lost something can search on the site, and if it has been reported can contact the lost property office where the item is being stored.

Network Rail has obtained a Transport & Works Scotland Order granting powers to undertake a major redevelopment at Glasgow Queen Street station to increase passenger capacity and improve access.

Work has begun to build a £20m multi-storey car park to increase the number of spaces at Didcot Parkway station by more than 65% to 1 800, partly funded by the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership. 'Didcot Parkway is used by over three million customers every year, and offers quick and easy journeys to Oxford, Banbury, Reading and London, making it a key hub,' said Great Western Railway Regional Development Manager Tom Pierpoint. 'With London around 40 min away by train, a new multi-storey car park, complimenting new trains and more seats, will provide a better travelling experience for all those who use the station both now and into the future.'

On April 19 the ScotRail Alliance is hosting a rail awareness open day at Dundee station for customers who may need assistance to use trains. This is expected to be of interest to parents with young disabled children, older people with disabilities, elderly customers, carers and companions of people with reduced mobility and those with sight impairments. A train will be available for boarding and alighting, and staff available to explain the assistance available and discuss individual requirements.