First train over SAS 13 bridge

Skanska has completed the installation of a 92 m long, 2 600 tonne bridge taking the Stechford to Aston freight line in Birmingham over the future access to HS2’s Washwood Heath depot. The structure was assembled at the site and moved into place using remote-controlled vehicles.

ORR HM Railway Inspector at freight yard

The Office of Rail & Road has published data showing that Great Britain continues to have one of the safest railways in Europe, ranking first for ‘whole society’ safety risk, which combines the overall average of number fatalities and serious injuries across passenger, employee, level crossing user, trespasser and other risks. For passenger safety risk, Britain ranks eighth overall, but performs favourably in comparison to similarly large railway networks. For employee safety risk, Britain is third after Ireland and Finland. It is also third for level crossing user risk and fourth for trespasser safety risk.

RIA Scotland Chair Meirion Thomas (left) and Vice Chair Campbell Braid (right)

Meirion Thomas of Arcadis has been appointed Chair of the Railway Industry Association’s Scotland division, with Campbell Braid of Siemens as Vice-Chair. Thomas said plans included offering more events and networking sessions, and presenting the views of rail suppliers to Scottish policymakers and stakeholders.

Elizabeth Line Abbey Wood-CJ

The Thames Estuary Growth Board has reiterated its call for Elizabeth Line services to be extended from Abbey Wood to Ebbsfleet. The C2E Partnership of local authorities received government funding to explore transport improvement options between Abbey Wood and Gravesend at the beginning of 2020, and submitted a strategic outline business case to ministers in October 2021, outlining three options for further development, two of which incorporate the eastward extension of Elizabeth Line services with one being its preferred choice.

Marston Vale vinyls

Two Vivarail DMUs operating on the Bedford - Bletchley line have been given vinyls designed by Click Creative and installed by Stewart Signs. These mark the 175th anniversary of the line and promote the Greensand Country area of special landscape character.


Northern Ireland Railways has awarded SNC-Lavalin Rail Transit a £225 000 contract to provide annual independent vehicle condition inspections and reports for its entire fleet including on-track plant.


RAIB has made three recommendations in its report into the death of a track worker who was struck by a train near Surbiton on February 9 2021. Two addressed to Network Rail related to keeping workers on or near the line within designated safe limits when some lines remain open to traffic, and understanding the nature and reasons behind rule and behavioural non-compliances. A recommendation has also been made to Rail Delivery Group to work with the wider rail industry to improve the judgement of train drivers on whether track workers are in a dangerous position and to reinforce the use of the horn. There are also five learning points.