Static testing of the first of Avanti West Coast’s Class 805 electro-diesel trainsets has begun at Hitachi Rail’s Newton Aycliffe factory, with entry into service planned for 2023. The order includes 10 seven-car Class 807 electric trainsets for use between London, the West Midlands and Liverpool, and 13 five-car bi-mode Class 805 sets for the London to North Wales route.
Transport for London has announced that the 4·5 km Barking Riverside extension of London Overground’s Gospel Oak to Barking line will open ‘this summer’. The previously-planned autumn opening date has been brought forward following good progress with station commissioning and testing. There will be 4 trains/h, with a 7 min journey time.
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street has announced that the two unnamed stations on the reopened on the Camp Hill Line in south Birmingham will be called Moseley Village and Pineapple Road, after almost 6 000 people responded to a consultation exercise. Transport for West Midlands said Moseley Village beat Moseley as it was ‘nicer and better reflected the location;’ while Pineapple Road supporters thought it was memorable and better explained the location than the alternatives of Stirchley or Hazelwell.
Jacobs, BWB Consulting, Ove Arup & Partners, Byrne Looby Partners, Mott Macdonald, Arcadis Consulting & BTTC Infrastructure have been appointed to Translink’s permanent way related professional services framework.
Kelly Warburton has joined the Welsh Government’s Global Centre of Rail Excellence as Chief Commercial Officer. She was previously Managing Director of UK & Europe for Unipart Rail, having begun her rail industry career with Alstom in 2001. Contracts have now been awarded for GCRE site preparation (Walters Group and Atkins), rail systems design (Arcadis), net zero energy planning (Mott MacDonald) and spatial planning (5th Studio, Expedition Engineering, Jonathan Cook Landscape Architects, Faithful & Gould, Fairhurst, PRD, Wildwood Ecology and Thirty 4/7).
The Institution of Railway Signal Engineers has contributed to a Department for Transport’s Improving Signage at Private Level Crossings project, proposing a ‘simple, modern, user friendly’ set of signs to reduce risks.
The first court hearing for the Office of Rail & Road’s prosecution relating to the 2016 Sandilands tram crash took place at Croydon Magistrates’ Court on June 10. Transport for London and FirstGroup-owned Tram Operations Ltd pleaded guilty to breaches of section 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by failing to ensure the health and safety of passengers, while the tram driver pleaded not guilty to a breach of section 7(a) covering reasonable care of passengers.
On June 13 Brodie Engineering officially reopened the Caledonia Works in Kilmarnock, which it acquired in August 2020.
QTS Group, AmcoGiffen and Carnell Group held a two-day event on May 31 and June 1 to bring leaders from Network Rail, Scotland’s Railway and Civil Engineering Contractors Association Scotland together with 10 local schools to discuss the future of the industry and how to better engage younger people in the industry, how to attract and retain talent and how to use innovation to drive decarbonisation.
Commenting on the Department for Transport’s consultation on the legislative changes needed for rail reform, John Larkinson, Chief Executive of the Office of Rail & Road, said ‘for Great British Railways to be successful as a guiding mind for the railway, it will need to be empowered and accountable, with clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Strong independent regulation is also at the heart of these proposals and ORR has an important role to play in supporting the railway to be a success, by evolving to provide robust independent scrutiny, while continuing to protect the interests of both users and taxpayers.’