Lucchini Unipart Rail has awarded Houghton International a £1·3m 2½-year contract to undertake the scheduled maintenance and overhaul of traction motors.

Lucchini Unipart Rail has awarded Houghton International a £1·3m 2½-year contract to undertake the scheduled maintenance and overhaul of traction motors. ‘As passenger rail technology shifts from DC-powered motors to newer AC ones, this contract represents a milestone as the first volume AC traction motor workload for Houghton International’, said Chris Robson, Sales Director at the Newcastle-based electromechanical specialist.

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QTS Training is to expand its railway safety, small plant and tools, first aid and health & safety training facilities with the opening of a site in Knottingley. ‘Demand for training within the rail industry has never been higher, so we felt this was the perfect time to expand our offering within the north of England’, said Managing Director Lorna Gibson. ‘This dedicated training centre offers the space, both inside and out, to be able to run all our railway safety critical courses, as well as courses in health & safety, first aid and mental health first aid.’

Fareham Borough Council  - Credit on photo to Buckland Development Ltd

Fareham Borough Council has appointed SLC Rail to deliver a Strategic Outline Business Case for a proposed station at Welborne Garden Village. The work will be funded with a £65 000 grant from the government’s Garden Communities Fund.

Doncaster station

Cases for government funding to reinstate local passenger services on the Don Valley Line between Sheffield and Stocksbridge and the Askern Line between Doncaster and Knottingley have been submitted to the government by local authorities. The projects were included on the Restoring Your Railways shortlist in October 2021, and are being developed by Sheffield, Doncaster, Derbyshire, Northeast Derbyshire and Chesterfield councils.

ScotRail customers can get 24 h free bike hire in Inverness, Elgin and Oban by downloading the Brompton Bike Hire app, register their details with a bank card and ID and entering the promotion code ‘SCOTRAIL’. Bikes can be kept for longer periods at £5/day. ‘More than 90% of our bike hires are part of a multi-modal journey so this partnership makes a lot of sense’, said Brompton Bike Hire Managing Director Julian Scriven.

Northern train (Photo Northern)

Northern has banned e-scooters, hoverboards and e-skateboards from its trains and stations from December 1, citing the fire risk from the lithium batteries. ‘Most of these devices are not actually approved for use in the UK, and from today our staff will refuse travel to anyone attempting to board one of our trains, or access one of our stations with such a device’, said Chief Operating Officer Tricia Williams. Electric wheelchairs and e-bikes are exempt from the ban, as are mobility scooters registered with the operator’s Mobility Scooter Permit Scheme.


Hull-based rail infrastructure contractor Spencer Group has opened an office near York station to house its design, project management, commercial and planning teams, and to support its talent acquisition strategy by providing access to a wider pool of jobseekers locally and nationally.

Daniel Edwards

Daniel Edwards has been appointed as Business Lead & Director at Heathrow Express, rejoining from Heathrow Airport where he was Head of Retail Categories. He worked at Heathrow Express in 2018-19 as Commercial Customer Service Manager, and was previously Head of Customer Experience at Northern. Edwards replaces Sophie Chapman, who has been promoted to Surface Area Director of Heathrow Airport and will remain on the Heathrow Express board.

Martine Dodwell-Bennett

Martine Dodwell-Bennett has been appointed Divisional Director at rail software company 3Squared. Previous roles include Senior Business Consultant at AXA UK, Director of Sales Channel Operations at Lutron Electronics and Sales & Marketing Director at Steljes Ltd.

Transport for the North has appointed Darren Oldham as Rail & Roads Director and Deputy CEO from December 14. He joins from WSP where he is an Executive Director, having also held the roles of Head of Planning and Head of Transport Planning.