mega tent

Balfour Beatty is using a ‘mega tent’ as part of works to strengthen a road overbridge at London Paddington station. This provides a warehouse style environment with an integrated lifting equipment.

Tyne & Wear Metro Stadler Class 555 on test (Photo Nexus)

On May 15 Tyne & Wear Metro began daytime mileage accumulation testing of the Class 555 trainsets being supplied by Stadler. Signs and netting have been fitted to the doors to prevent passengers trying to board if a train stops at a station. Stadler has now built 23 of the 46 trainsets, and delivered seven.

FOR EV, The Bank and Network Rail

FOR EV and utilities contractor Energy Assets have installed electric vehicle charging hubs at Irvine and Cowlairs to support the electrification of Network Rail’s road fleet. The hubs can charge 56 vehicles simultaneously, with load-balancing to meet the requirements of the specialised fleet. Network Rail can also use FOR EV’s public charge points.

Aerial view of the proposed Eaglescliffe station, Network Rail (1)

Contractor BAM, working on behalf of Network Rail and the Tees Valley Combined Authority, has started work on multi-million-pound project to made Eaglescliffe station more accessible. A footbridge with lifts will provide access from a multi-storey car park to be built by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council. The existing footbridge and ramps will also be refurbished, and waiting areas and a taxi office added.

Grand Central train (Photo Arriva)

Grand Central has applied to the Office of Rail & Road for train paths which would enable a 30% increase in services on its existing routes from May 2025. Plans include four new daily calls at Seaham, providing a direct connection to London, and additional stops at Peterborough.

Upgrades completed to Duffield station footbridge, Network Rail

Network Rail and contractor Amco Giffen have undertaken a £900 000 refurbishment of the 1892 footbridge at Duffield station, with the Railway Heritage Trust providing a grant for repainting in authentic Midland Railway colours. This is ‘a prime example of a much-loved heritage asset being sensitively brought up to date’, said Network Rail Project Manager Shak Munshi.

ScotRail Class 153 and 156 DMUs (Photo ScotRail)

The pilot scheme making off-peak tickets valid all day on services priced by ScotRail has been extended to September 27. ‘By extending this pilot for a further three months, we can better understand its impacts in terms of encouraging people to choose rail’, said First Minister John Swinney. ‘It also helps tackle inequalities by making commuting, day trips and access to leisure activities even more affordable for all.’ Transport Scotland said the results of the pilot would be published following full analysis.

c2c train (Photo c2c)

c2c’s emissions reductions targets have been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative. The operator has committed to reducing absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 42% by 2030 from a 2022 base, and scope 3 GHG emissions by 51·6% per passenger-km. The long term plan is to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 90% by 2050 and scope 3 GHG emissions by 97% per passenger-km.

Logistics UK says the government’s proposal to reduce the minimum age requirement for train drivers to 18 is ‘a practical step to encourage younger people into the industry and address the ageing workforce’, but there are also shortages of engineers and technicians. The business group has called for ‘a clear national strategy to help address the skills gap’, including better signposting of the careers available and support for apprenticeships through government funding and ‘less complicated access’.

The key smartcard - now available available for free at all ticket offices 3

Govia Thameslink Railway has launched automatic weekly fare capping for passengers using the keyGo pay-as-you-go service with the Key smartcard. Users will never pay more than the cost of a weekly season ticket between two stations, and delays will generate automatic notification of compensation claims.

TransPennine Express Class 185 accessibility ramp at Scarborough

Transport for the North is seeking feedback on how to improve accessibility at stations across its region. The survey is open until June 7. ‘Give us your views now on your local station, or indeed any station that you may have tried to use, and help us to address these issues so we can make rail truly accessible for all’, said Chief Executive Martin Tugwell.

Translink Northern Ireland Railways DMU (Photo Department for Infrastucture)

Matt Taylor has been appointed as Business Engagement Manager for the Railway Industry Association in Northern Ireland. ‘Matt will support RIA Northern Ireland and our members while building a local network as we look to develop and support a strong and sustainable rail supply sector’, said Neil Walker, RIA Export Director and Northern Ireland lead.

Govia Thameslink Railway has awarded Hollywell Building Services two contracts totalling £75m to undertake reactive and planned maintenance and statutory inspections at depots, stations, office facilities, train crew accommodation and other locations.

c2c c2Sanitary from Grays Convent 2

c2c has worked with Here We Flo to install its first complimentary period care product dispenser at Grays station, with more to follow.

Kineton (Photo RAIB)

RAIB makes five recommendations in its report into the 2·4 km runaway of an empty wagon owned DB Cargo and leased to Kuehne+Nagel from Ministry of Defence sidings at Kineton munitions depot in May 2023. These are that MoD should review current arrangements to make sure that rail operations run on its behalf are being managed safely; MoD should work with statutory regulators to consider their strategy for defence operated railways; K+N should ensure that rail operations provided as part of the MoD contract are being managed safely; DB Cargo should review its maintenance procedures for this wagon type, and ensure brake components are scheduled for replacement at the end of their design life. A learning point reminds shunters not to rely on handbrake indicators as the sole source of information regarding the handbrake’s status.