Declan Collier

On August 23 Secretary of State for Transport Mark Harper announced that Declan Collier would be reappointed as Chair of the Office of Rail & Road for a further five-year term running from January 1 2024.

Network Rail has awarded Progress Rail Inspection & Information, Voestalpine Signaling Siershahn and Wabtec Rail contracts to carry out trials to determine the effectiveness of their products for the remote condition monitoring of axle bearings and to grant approval for successful products. The project initially began in 2020, but was put on hold for funding reasons until being re-started in late 2022.

Gripple Rail Dropper

Gripple has obtained Network Rail approval for its Rail Dropper, which it says can be installed as part of overhead line equipment up to eight times faster than traditional designs. The Rail Dropper is the first product in the Gripple SwiftLine range of OLE products, and Unipart Rail is exclusive distribution partner in the UK.

On August 17 Buckingham Group Contracting announced that it was unable to continue trading, as a result of ‘deep losses and interim cash deficits’ on stadium and earthworks projects and a ‘sharp reduction in liquidity’. Attempts to secure investment had been unsuccessful, and the board had filed a Notice of Intention to appoint administrators while it explored a sale of all or part of the business.

School children on a c2c train

Trenitalia c2c has produced a short film to support pupils who will be travelling by train to school unaccompanied for the first time. The film guides people through a typical journey, including details on how to buy a ticket, obtain a child Smartcard and how to check train times and travel safely.

Transport for Wales train and Conwy castle

Transport for Wales and Visit Wales have launched a campaign focusing on Aberystwyth, Conwy, Chepstow and Tenby to encourage people to use the train to visit tourism hot spots and extend the season into autumn.

Jake Kelly 2

Jake Kelly has been appointed as Managing Director of Network Rail’s Eastern region from September 4, succeeding Rob McIntosh who is moving to become MD of the North West & Central Region. Kelly is currently NR System Operator Director, and was previously Managing Director of East Midlands Trains.

Northern Class 331 CAF EMU at Shipley station (Photo Northern)

A group of 12 people from across West Yorkshire that have been unemployed for a long period are set to begin a three-week training programme with Northern on August 29. Northern’s Get Into Rail scheme is being delivered in collaboration with Network Rail, Carlisle Support Services and Shipley College, and includes the opportunity to shadow operational staff and gain qualifications in employability and customer service. At the end of the course participants are guaranteed an interview for roles advertised at Northern.

c2c train (Photo c2c)

c2c has followed other train operators and announced a ban on e-scooters, e-unicycles and e-hoverboards on its trains from September 4 because of the fire risk.