Class 458_4 tables

Refurbished interior of the SWR Class 458/4.

On June 24 South Western Railway returned to traffic its first three refurbished Class 458 Juniper EMUs. Reformed back to four-car sets for use on longer-distance services, the trains are initially being deployed on services between London Waterloo, Weybridge and Twickenham pending the full roll-out of Class 701 Arterio units across SWR’s inner suburban network. The Class 458/4 EMUs have 234 seats in 2+2 formation, all fitted with seat back tables and charging points, as well as space for two wheelchair users. Each car also has two tables fitted with wireless charging points. The trains were refurbished at Alstom’s Widnes plant.

Tampers at Plassers - Alex Hall

The two newly accepted track machines at Plasser UK’s West Ealing base.

Colas Rail has accepted two newly built Plasser & Theurer 09-4x4/4S continuous-action tampers into its fleet. Assembly of the two machines began at Plasser’s factory in Linz in February 2023, and they were shipped to the UK earlier this year. They underwent final commissioning at Plasser UK’s base at West Ealing before being moved for trials at the Severn Valley Railway before entering service on Network Rail’s Western Region. The machines are fitted with Stage V-compliant engines.

In partnership with Great Western Railway, water bottle refill company Ape2o has launched a trial of its ‘Big Ape’ dispensing machines at Oxford station. According to Ape2o, the machines provide the highest quality chilled still or sparkling water priced at £0·25 per 500 ml. The aim is to encourage the use of reusable bottles and reduce plastic waste.

High speed line concessionaire HS1 Ltd has appointed Virginie Merle as Chief Financial Officer, replacing interim CFO Claire Howling who becomes Finance Director. Merle will join HS1 Ltd in September, joining from Keolis where she was CFO for the UK, Middle East and India.

Southeastern reports that a revised lost property management tool has more than doubled the number of items being returned to customers in three months since a digital tagging system was introduced in April. Items found on a train or at a station are tagged with a unique QR code, and then logged on a database which staff can use to match the item with lost property reports from customers. The operator says there has been a 78% increase in the number of items reunited with their owners since the tool was introduced.

Contractor QTS is to increase recruitment to support the planned opening of offices in Manchester, Leighton Buzzard, and St Helens. ‘We anticipate substantial continued growth throughout the rest of 2024 and beyond, opening doors to exciting opportunities across all our departments and divisions’, said Managing Director Andy Steel.

Boys Need Bins (Photo GTR)

Govia Thameslink Railway is supporting Prostate Cancer UK’s Boys Need Bins campaign by placing sanitary bins in all 495 male toilet cubicles at its stations, offices and depots. ‘This small but significant step aims to enhance the comfort and dignity of both colleagues and customers who may need these facilities’, said Accessibility Lead Carl Martin.

gb-TPA new factory Swindon

Temporary site access equipment company TPA has opened a depot in Swindon to serve rail and road customers in southwest England and south Wales.