The Government’s much-leaked and soon to be published Integrated Rail Review is expected to announce that Leeds will get its long overdue tram network, whilst cutting back the HS2 Eastern leg. Proposed West Yorkshire mass transit network. Image by West Yorkshire Combined Authority.
COP26: “They cut air passenger duty for polluting aeroplanes, have frozen fuel duty for motorists again and again, but if you want to take the green option and travel by train, the government punishes you with eye-watering fare increases” said Chris Page, chair of Railfuture “It really is crazy that at a time when there is a real need to reduce our carbon usage, all the good news is for the more polluting choices. All rail wants is for it to be treated fairly as we go about reducing carbon usage in transport. Surely the time is right for a fares freeze, which would match the gift to car users and air travellers. Anything else would go totally against the goals of COP26” The Climate Train - image from Avanti West Coast
There is lots of talk of fares reform, but the detail, other than headline items like "Pay as You Go" and "Single Leg" pricing is missing. An appearance before the House of Lords Built Environment Committee gave us a great opportunity to set out our thoughts on improvements needed to fares and ticketing: we advocate both specific tactical improvements and some principles for fundamental reform. Thameslink train at Blackfriars - own image
The HS2 Eastern leg is looking increasing likely to be scrapped, leaving many major cities off the high speed network. However, Railfuture has a cheaper and better alternative plan. There could still be a return of 186 mph (or faster) trains to Leeds – image by RP Marks.
Ian Brown, Railfuture Policy Director, has prepared this comprehensive, and hopefully informed, critique on the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail to brief members and stakeholders on it and also the changes that led to it. Things may never be the same again. Image by The Times.
What infrastructure investment and innovation is needed to build back a smarter, faster, greener and more reliable rail network, improve the passenger experience, and accelerate decarbonisation? Artists impression of a through station for HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail at Manchester Piccadilly. Image by Weston Williamson.
Railfuture North East welcomes TfN’s publication of its outline preferences for Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR), and reviews the East Coast Main Line (ECML) aspects. Reinstating the Leamside line, seen here in 2009 crossing Victoria Viaduct over the River Wear 17 years after it ceased to be used but before the track was lifted, would create a 4 track route from NPR to Newcastle. Image from Wikimedia.
Transport for the North has published its proposals for the route of the Northern Powerhouse Rail project (NPR) between Liverpool and Manchester. The original Liverpool and Manchester Railway opened in 1830, can a new NPR route be built in time for its 200th anniversary? Image from Wikimedia.
An open letter to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, signed by more than 15 industry, business and campaign groups including Railfuture, urges the Government to begin an immediate programme of rail electrification now.
This briefing explains how devolution of responsibility for rail development and planning is evolving and what may be expected from the delayed Williams Rail Review, first announced in September 2018. It has been a traumatic ride since that time, but an announcement from government is expected soon on how our railways will be structured as, hopefully, lockdown continues to be eased.
The North’s leaders have agreed a final preferred route for Northern Powerhouse Rail: Transport for the North issued its final recommendations for the new Northern Powerhouse Rail on 2nd March 2021. This guide to the proposals also gives our view of how they should be prioritised and improved. Image by Transport for the North.
Oxford has ambitions for remodelling the station with additional platforms, and introduction of metro-style services in the area around the city, including to Cowley, Witney and John Radcliffe Hospital.
Railfuture’s HS2 update part 1 in December 2020 provided a comprehensive review of the development, and lessons learned in developing high speed rail. This update part 2 responds to the National Infrastructure Commission's Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North. Map of whole HS2 route. Image HS2 Ltd.
West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and Bath and Bristol Area Trams Association (BBATA) are working together to deliver a clean, efficient express public transport network for Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. A reminder of the original Bristol trams, still in place at Temple Meads. Image by Geof Sheppard under Creative Commons.
Railfuture sets out its views on how flexible season tickets might work for a mid-2021 launch date; we propose a flexible ticket providing 10 single journeys, to be used within 2 weeks and priced the same as a weekly season. This will meet the needs of the hybrid worker, who post Covid will split their time between home and the workplace. Image from Network Rail - Leeds station - plenty of passengers, one of the lifebloods of the railway
Over thirty years of Railfuture campaigning has culminated in success with the award of £794m by the government to construct and reopen East West Rail between Oxford and Bletchley, and to rapidly progress the plan to reopen the Ashington Blyth and Tyne line between Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Ashington. Clearance work on the mothballed section west of Swanbourne. Image by East West Rail/Phil Marsh.
Railfuture Policy Director Ian Brown explains the background to HS2 and our stance on the current Phases 1 and 2a and the ongoing consultation on integration with Northern Powerhouse Rail between Manchester and Leeds. Proposed Euston station. The original HS2 plan was to rebuild Euston station completely incorporating a major development. This was cut down following the Oakervee review into a more modest, but attractive facility for the 6 HS2 platforms at the west side of the station when the government was dithering about stopping at Old Oak Common on grounds of cost. Railfuture considers the London city centre station as essential but the focus must now be on improving passenger walkways to the Underground and to St Pancras (Thameslink). Image HS2 Ltd.
Thirteen programmes, with an emphasis on electrification, which Network Rail would progress urgently as part of the Project Speed initiative announced by the Prime Minister on 30 June 2020, have been revealed in the specialist rail media. Midland Main Line Upgrade. Image by Network Rail.
Register for Railfuture's free webinar 'Attracting passengers back to rail' at 11.00 on Saturday 3rd October 2020.
Speakers confirmed but subject to change.
We have made a representation to HM Treasury’s Autumn 2020 Comprehensive Spending Review consultation. In it, we emphasised the importance of the Railway to reducing carbon use (as it can be an efficient consumer of carbon) and to moving people and freight efficiently to help deliver economic growth, including ‘levelling up’. Image from Birmingham University
Railfuture’s campaigns, opinions and successes are often reported by the press and media, see Railfuture in the news.