Southeastern is preparing to introduce the 30 Siemens Mobility Class 707 EMUs which were originally ordered by South West Trains through Angel Trains but became surplus to requirements after successor franchisee by South Western Railway ordered alternative Class 701 units from Bombardier. The Class 707s will be used from this autumn on routes from London to Dartford, Sevenoaks and Hayes, replacing some Class 465 and Class 466 Networkers which will go off-lease and are already being stored.

gb DB Cargo Class 66 First-HVO-Service-data

Rail Forum Midlands has launched its third SME Challenge as part of the Rail Supply Group’s Rail Sector Deal Midlands Pilots. The focus is on Depot Digitalisation & Sustainability for DB Cargo, which has depots at Crewe, Stoke and Toton. ‘Some of the areas SMEs could consider are digitally monitoring vehicle movements and work flow within the depot, depot emissions monitoring, asset mapping, intelligent lighting and heating and increased automation’, said Bob Hodgson, Engagement Manager at RFM.

Neil Thompson

Keltbray has appointed Neil Thompson as Managing Director, Rail, succeeding Martin Brown who will leave in September. ‘Neil brings a wealth of experience and considerable knowledge to Keltbray from his time at Network Rail in particular’, said CEO Darren James.

SWR logo on train

South Western Railway is to use a customer data platform from Acxiom and its technology partner Tealium to improve the targeting and efficiency of its marketing activities by consolidating customer data from various sources.

gb Sheffield Supertram tram and tram-train (Tony Miles)

The Urban Transport Group of transport authorities has commissioned Steer to provide a comprehensive analysis and summary of the benefits of light rail, as well as setting out the economic, environmental and social benefits that UK tram and light rail systems have brought. ‘Part of our role as Urban Transport Group is to articulate the benefits of investing in urban public transport’ explained Stephen Edwards, Executive Director of South Yorkshire PTE. ‘We intend this report to be a comprehensive but accessible account of what light rail can do for the city regions, which we will use in our ongoing dialogue with government about the need for continued investment and support for the sector.’

Following discussions with Wabtec, Rail Forum Midlands will be facilitating a jobs fair on July 20 for people seeking alternative employment as a result of the closure of the Brush Traction works in Loughborough.

GWR Class 387 coronavirus sign on window

After Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s July 5 announcement of plans to lift coronavirus legal restrictions in England from July 19, TSSA trade union General Secretary Manuel Cortes said ‘when it comes to public transport Johnson’s mixed messaging is the worst of all worlds. He wants to ditch masks but would still wear one if on a busy train. That hardly provides the certainty our industry and the public so badly need.’

Payments company Worldline has launched a ‘round up’ feature through its rail ticketing app redspottedhanky, enabling customers to round up the price to the nearest pound and donate the difference to charity when they buy a ticket. The first charity to benefit is Railway Children.


Dutch infrastructure manager ProRail and operator NS, Eurostar, Avanti West Coast and Youth for Sustainable Travel are to organise a ‘Climate Train’ service on October 30 to take young people, official delegations, mobility experts, NGOs and representatives of the railway sector from Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Brussels to Glasgow via London for the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow. However, the travellers will need to change trains in London, transferring between St Pancras and Euston stations.

Clayton Equipment locos in factory

Complete Cyber, Clayton Equipment, Network Certification Body and Centric Rail have become members of Rail Forum Midlands.