gb Northern Class 331 EMU

Live information about Northern services is now available from Realtime Trains’ Know Your Train function. It includes the type of rolling stock allocated, how many coaches a train has and the onboard facilities. ‘We operate 17 different types of train and have more than 370 trains running across our network’, said Northern’s Control Communications Manager Matt Clarke. ‘We’ve been working hard to refurbish our older trains and introduce 100 new trains and now our customers will be able to tell, before the train arrives at the station, what facilities will be available to them.’

gb Greater Anglia Aventra Southend Victoria

Greater Anglia has modified its September 2016 order for Bombardier Transportation to supply 22 10-car and 89 five-car Aventra EMUs. The 10-car variant has been dropped, and Bombardier’s Derby plant will instead supply the same overall number of vehicles but formed as a total of 133 five-car sets.


As part of its ongoing work with UK Power Networks Services to manage traction power assets on High Speed 1, Hitachi ABB Power Grids has been awarded a contract worth around US$6·6m to modernise the Static VAR Compensator Control systems and load balancer. The contract scope also provides for a long-term service agreement to maintain and manage software upgrades.

gb Blackfriars Arches_wide view

Dyer & Butler has completed the refurbishment of arches supporting the railway approaching the bridge over the River Thames at Blackfriars in London. This will facilitate a larger scheme for commercial use. The team completed works on two of the superstructure’s five longitudinal riveted arches that support a grid of spandrel posts, removing timber lintels within the portals and replacing them with steel to meet modern building standards. Original 19th century cast iron components of the end arch by the bridge’s south abutment were cleaned and painted.

HS2 Birmingham Curzon Street station impression (8)

Skanska Costain Strabag JV has awarded Herrenknecht a contract to supply two tunnel boring machines for the 8 km West Ruislip to Greenford section of High Speed 2’s twin-bore London tunnels. To be designed and manufactured specifically for London clay and chalk, the TBMs are scheduled to be delivered to the site by the end of 2021 for operation by between mid-2022 and the beginning of 2024.

gb GTR train driver waving

Govia Thameslink Railway says that a series of dedicated recruitment and marketing campaigns have managed to double the number of female train driver applicants from 413 in 2019 to 825 in 2020.


A survey of more than 11 000 passengers carried out between March and April by Transport Focus on behalf of the Department for Transport found that 37% of passengers claimed for their most recent delay, up by two percentage points from 2018. The survey found that 51% of eligible passengers that chose not to claim didn’t think it was worth bothering for the amount they would get back.

gb HS2 Lower Thorpe viaduct, artist impression, close up of piers

HS2 Ltd has released the latest designs for the 515 m Edgcote and 210 m Lower Thorpe Viaducts. The designs have been drawn up by main works contractor EKFB, working with design partners Arcadis and architects Moxon. ‘Set low into the landscape, the designs of both structures are heavily influenced by their location and our determination to reduce the impact of construction on the surrounding communities’, said HS2 Project Client Director Ambrose McGuire.

gb CrossCountry Voyager Bombardier Transportation

Following the direct award of the new CrossCountry operating contract to Arriva, Bombardier Transportation has signed a £248m three-year extension to its train services agreement covering the maintenance and cleaning of 34 Class 220 Voyagers and 24 Class 221 Super Voyager DEMUs owned by Beacon Rail. There is an option for a further extension of up to one year.

gb Euston track work Network Rail

Network Rail spent 35·6% of its total £7·1bn expenditure with SMEs in the 2019-20 financial year, exceeding the government target of 33% by 2022. The number of suppliers contracted directly by Network Rail was 4 246, of which 71·9% were SMEs. ‘We have focused a lot in the past two years to ensure Network Rail is more accessible to the SME market’, said Commercial & Procurement director Clive Berrington. ‘Since establishing our SME action plan in 2019, we have also launched several initiatives to make Network Rail easier to do business with and these results demonstrate we are on the right track.’