Following a competitive sales process, Network Rail has sold its National Logistics Centre in Ryton, Coventry to the West Midlands Pension Fund for £35m and will lease it back for 15 years. This follows an external analysis which suggested that a new inventory and order system would mean the site will eventually no longer be needed.

Transport for Wales held an event in Pontypridd in October 25 to inform potential suppliers how they could benefit from framework contracts worth £700m for the planned South Wales Metro project. A call for competition is to be issued in November. ‘There will be a requirement for larger suppliers to demonstrate how they will work with smaller suppliers across Wales’, Economy & Infrastructure Secretary Ken Skates told attendees. ‘They must also demonstrate a commitment to providing local employment and how they are investing in training and skills developments.’

Liverpool Lime Street station fully reopened on October 23 after Network Rail completed a 23-day project which included replacing 2 000 m of track, lengthening platforms and adding two platforms. Further work next year will enable an extra three trains per hour in and out of the station to be operated from 2019.

KeolisAmey Docklands has awarded a cleaning contract to ISS.

Great Western Railway has begun using three-car Class 166 DMUs transferred from Thames Valley routes on its Bristol Parkway – Weston-super-Mare services. ‘We know that our suburban Bristol services are some of our most in demand, and I am delighted to see even more of the improvements we promised coming into place‘, said Managing Director Mark Hopwood on October 25, adding that the DMUs would ‘offer a significant change in passenger experience’.

Network Rail has awarded BAM Nuttall a £4·4m contract to demolish an arch bridge and undertake embankment works, road re-alignment and drainage diversions at Cow Lane in Reading.

On October 24 leasing company Eversholt Rail announced that the return to service of its final modernised Class 318 EMU meant that all 133 of its trainsets in Scotland now meet PRM accessibility standards coming into force in 2019. This includes audio-visual passenger information, priority seating, wheelchair spaces, contrasting handrails and accessible toilets.

Work has begun to modernise facilities at Eastbourne station. The waiting room is to be remodelled with extra seats and a passenger information desk; the former information desk will make way for new toilets on the paid side of the ticket gates to reduce anti-social behaviour. The accessible toilet is to be refreshed, and a wider step-free entrance will be provided from the car park and taxi rank.

On October 23 RMT wrote to Network Rail Chief Executive Mark Carne ‘demanding clear assurances that the filthy and disgusting practice of dumping raw sewage on Britain’s railway tracks will end by a clearly defined cut-off point with no exemptions or derogations’. The union also wants assurances that operators will not be allowed to achieve this by removing toilets from trains.

A new building at Abbey Wood station in southeast London opened on October 23. The station was previously operated by Southeastern, and is now operated by MTR Crossrail on behalf of Transport for London. Elizabeth Line services are scheduled to serve the station from December 2018.

RSSB has published the updated Rail Industry Standard: Passenger Train Dispatch & Platform Safety Measures (RIS-3703-TOM) Issue 3, which provides more detail and clarity on requirements and legal obligations.