Transport for the North has published an open message to political parties ahead of the start of the general election campaigns, calling on them to commit to ‘the full £39bn Northern Powerhouse Rail network and HS2, as well as devolved budgets and a clear pipeline of investment in infrastructure’.
The Railway Industry Association’s Senior Policy Manager Damian Testa said the recent publication of the final report of the EU expert group on the competitiveness of the European rail supply industry was ‘an important step forward in developing a competitive rail supply industry across Europe’, adding that ‘as the UK prepares to leave the EU, we hope we can continue to play a role in this work and to transfer the recommendations of this report into our future rail policy’.
Derby-based contractor Input Group is to start work this month on a £2·8m modernisation of Castleford station. This includes the provision of improved waiting facilities and a ticket machine, accessible toilet and sheltered cycle parking, as well as an upgrade of the subway link to residential areas south of the town centre. The Castleford Rail Station Gateway scheme is a joint initiative of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Northern, Network Rail and Wakefield Council, financed from the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund.
Vernon Everitt, Transport for London’s Managing Director, Customers, Communication & Technology, has joined Transport for Wales as a non-executive director.
The delivery of further Bombardier Transportation Class 710 Aventra EMUs will enable London Overground services between Watford Junction and London Euston to be increased to four per hour between 05.45 and 23.00 from November 17, building on the increased peak time service operating since September. ‘Providing a train every 15 min all day will offer greater capacity and make it even easier to get around’, said Rory O’Neill, TfL’s General Manager for London Overground.
TransPennine Express has launched a TV, radio, press and online advertising campaign developed by agency Engine to mark the ongoing introduction of its CAF and Hitachi fleets.
Heathrow Express has obtained RDI (UK) Friendly WiFi certification for blocking access to inappropriate content.
Network Rail is developing a strategic business case for improvements to services on the Far North Line, based on the findings of a Far North Line Review Group which was established in December 2016 by Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy, with a remit to identify potential opportunities to improve connectivity, operational performance and journey time. Once the business case is complete, Transport Scotland will assess the deliverability and affordability of the detailed options for potential implementation during Control Periods 6 and 7.
Greater Anglia began operating services on the Norwich – Sheringham line using its Stadler electro-diesel multiple-units on November 6. New trains are now in service on the routes from Norwich to Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Cambridge and Sheringham.
The High Speed Rail Industry Leaders group has published the HS2 North West Voices report setting out what it sees as the ‘transformational’ benefits HS2 would bring to northwest England. The authors say that HS2 will ‘tackle the capacity crunch on north–south railways‘, help achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and remove freight from roads; ‘smash the North-South divide‘; reduce journey times; improve business connectivity and productivity; boost jobs and skills; drive business growth and increase exports; increase tourism; and lead to more homes.