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News and Views

Money for Portishead

Author: Nigel Bray - Published At: Wed 17 of Apr, 2019 22:59 BST - (4061 Reads)
Campaigns
After a long hard campaign by Railfuture and affiliated groups, the government has stumped up the extra £32m needed to reopen the railway line to Portishead. New Portishead station as proposed in 2015. Image by North Somerset Council.

Electric alternatives

Author: Chris Page - Published At: Sun 07 of Apr, 2019 18:40 BST - (5630 Reads)
Campaigns
The government cut electrification projects in favour of alternative technologies for rail traction but in response to the Transport Select Committee, the Rail Industry Association has published the Electrification Cost Challenge report showing that electrification costs could be cut by more than 50%. This briefing explains how the alternatives stack up. Proposed hydrogen-powered "Breeze" conversion of class 321. Image by Alstom.

Balkan bustitution

Author: Ian Brown CBE FCILT - Published At: Thu 28 of Mar, 2019 20:31 GMT - (2688 Reads)
International
In the latest of our Go and Compare series, Ian Brown takes a bus from Zagreb to Ljubljana and compares it with the rail alternative, then travels from Ljubljana to Trieste by train and compares it with the bus alternative. The competition - the Flixbus on the properly signed stand on arrival at Ljubljana, going through to Florence arriving late the same evening.

Welborne station campaign

Author: Alan Mayes - Published At: Wed 20 of Mar, 2019 20:14 GMT - (2841 Reads)
Campaigns
Railfuture Wessex continues to campaign for a railway station at Welborne near Fareham at the site earmarked for 6,000 new homes. A single platform station could be built at Welborne at economical cost on the single track railway line.

Multifranchise disservice

Author: Dennis Fancett - Published At: Sun 10 of Mar, 2019 12:29 GMT - (2582 Reads)
Lobbying
In the first of a series focusing on individual topics raised by the Railfuture response to the Williams review, South East Northumberland Rail User Group (SENRUG) chair Dennis Fancett highlights the lack of a coordinated timetable on routes served by multiple train operators. Arriva Cross Country and East Coast (now LNER) trains at Newcastle Central - photo by Russel Wills reproduced under Creative Commons.

Williams Rail Review

Author: Ian Brown CBE FCILT - Published At: Fri 18 of Jan, 2019 13:43 GMT - (4383 Reads)
Lobbying
Railfuture has submitted its initial response to the Williams Rail Review, with the theme of incentivising the rail industry to work efficiently on behalf of its customers. These passengers at Euston want to feel that the industry cares for them, and that disruption is a rarity rather than the norm. Photo Network Rail.

Blueprint for the North

Author: Ian Brown CBE FCILT - Published At: Fri 11 of Jan, 2019 13:22 GMT - (4526 Reads)
Campaigns

The initial strategic challenge

Railfuture Policy Director Ian Brown contends that rail cannot make any meaningful contribution to growing the North’s economy, or even realise the benefits of new rolling stock and services about to be delivered, without investment in core routes and core stations to enable a further doubling of journeys over the next 15 years. Crowds on the only two through platforms at Manchester Piccadilly demonstrate the need for investment in extra capacity linking Chester, Liverpool, Preston, Manchester, Sheffield, Bradford, Leeds and Hull – photo by Maria Whelan, from Twitter.

Ticket gateline furore

Author: Tony Smale - Published At: Mon 07 of Jan, 2019 13:49 GMT - (2849 Reads)
Passengers
New ticket gates cause a furore in Portsmouth. Portsmouth Harbour gateline: pass down to the end and turn left to access the ferry terminal.

Rail Challenge 2019

Author: Railfuture Board - Published At: Tue 01 of Jan, 2019 00:01 GMT - (5551 Reads)
Campaigns
Signal interlocking, whether mechanical or computerised, underpins public trust in the safety of the railway. But the industry has lost public trust in its service delivery, with the ongoing industrial dispute and the timetable fiasco. Image Network Rail. Railfuture challenges the rail industry and government to rebuild that trust in 2019 by fulfilling ten customer demands.

Go and Compare Athens

Author: Ian Brown CBE - Published At: Mon 17 of Dec, 2018 16:16 GMT - (3673 Reads)
International
Athens is a great city to visit and travel around. Despite the debt crisis but stimulated earlier by the 2004 Olympics the city has an excellent transport system with innovation precipitated by the lack of finance. We can learn from this for the Rail Review. The Athens card is all mode and comes as a contactless ticket for single journeys and day tickets and longer periods. Note the pictogram of modes available and the Metro showing at a lower level. It includes bike parking.

Tram-train open for traffic

Author: Andrew Dyson - Published At: Fri 07 of Dec, 2018 13:39 GMT - (3233 Reads)
Light Rail
The new tram-train service between Sheffield and Rotherham opened to passengers on 25 October 2018. Cathedral-bound tram-train 201 pauses to change from train-mode to tram-mode on the new Tinsley chord. The former Great Central line from Woodburn Junction to Rotherham Central can be seen in the background - photo by Robert Pritchard.

The 2018 Rail Review

Author: Ian Brown - Published At: Wed 31 of Oct, 2018 13:51 GMT - (3711 Reads)
Lobbying
The Rail Review – what are the facts? A briefing by Ian Brown CBE FCILT, Railfuture Policy Director, on the Rail Review announced by Chris Grayling on 20 September 2018. Image: DfT.

UN Climate Change report

Author: Ian Brown - Published At: Wed 10 of Oct, 2018 21:12 BST - (2737 Reads)
Lobbying
Briefing by Ian Brown CBE FCILT, Railfuture Policy Director, on the effects of climate change and the need for investment in rail to provide sustainable transport which will help to reduce climate change. Image by iStock.

Impossible timetables

Author: Toby Hart - Published At: Sun 26 of Aug, 2018 19:43 BST - (3626 Reads)
Passengers
Toby Hart was a Network Rail train planner based at Leeds. This letter is his submission to the Rail Delivery Group and the Office of Rail and Road inquiry into the disruption following the May 2018 timetable changes. It backs up Railfuture’s contention that Network Rail’s reorganisation of the timetable planning function to reduce costs (at DfT’s direction) and centralise at Milton Keynes contributed to the failure of the timetable through a loss of expertise and insufficient iterations of the timetable process to resolve conflicts in the proposed timetable. Image: Official TfGM Twitter announcement on 19 May 2018.

Next step forward on EWR

Author: Ray King - Published At: Sat 28 of Jul, 2018 22:11 BST - (3771 Reads)
Campaigns
The next major step in restoring rail links between Oxford and Cambridge was taken this week (27 July 2018) when Network Rail applied for legal permission to rebuild a railway across central England.
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