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News and Views

Nuclear power dash

Author: Ian Brown CBE FCILT - Published Mon 11 of Apr, 2022 18:50 BST - (0 Reads)
The UK government has announced eight new nuclear power stations for Britain, triggering reaction from many environmentalists. But what about a strategy for reducing demand? Railfuture policy director Ian Brown sets out the opportunity for rail. Nuclear fuel and nuclear waste has been travelling safely on our railways for a long time. Image by Reddit.

The Travelcard Add-on - A case for retention

Author: Neil Middleton - Published Wed 06 of Apr, 2022 19:35 BST - (0 Reads)
Neil Middleton, a Railfuture Director, takes a look at the London Travelcard Add-on, which is currently threatened by TfL's need to raise more fare income. He is unconvinced that abolition will lead to the expected revenue increase. Rather, he thinks it is frequently about convenience and certainty – abolition will mean some passengers will lose convenience and trust - and thus not travel – and the research others do will mean they realise they can now pay less. Thus, Railfuture believes that the Travelcard add-on should be retained – and improved. We have a survey to be completed to understand usage better - please complete it. Pic: Neil Middleton

Expected Ticket Office Closures

Author: Neil Middleton - Published Wed 23 of Mar, 2022 22:13 GMT - (0 Reads)
Neil Middleton, a Railfuture Director takes a look at expected Station Ticket Office closures and wonders if, looked at through wider viewpoints such as timing (vs fare simplification), inclusivity, attracting new passengers to rail they are necessarily a wise move. Pic: This is Money.

Prospects for rail freight

Author: Ian Brown CBE FCILT - Published Sun 12 of Dec, 2021 18:41 GMT - (0 Reads)
Ian Brown, Railfuture Policy Director and former rail freight manager, looks at the prospects for freight on rail in a world where addressing climate change is starting to matter following COP26, with the creation of Great British Railways. First New Silk Road train arriving on HS1 to Barking from Yiwo in China. Railfuture would like to see many more. Photo by morethanshipping.com.

Make IRP work

Author: Chris Page, Railfuture - Published Sat 04 of Dec, 2021 18:32 GMT - (0 Reads)
The Integrated Rail Plan has generated lots of adverse publicity, but how does it really compare with what people in the Midlands and North thought they were promised? Artists impression of the previously proposed Leeds HS2 station - image by HS2 Ltd.

Leeds metro

Author: Mike Rose and Chris Hyomes - Published Tue 16 of Nov, 2021 18:31 GMT - (0 Reads)
The Government’s Integrated Rail Review announced that Leeds and West Yorkshire will get their long overdue Mass Transit system. Proposed West Yorkshire mass transit network. Image by West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

COP 26, Hypocrisy and upcoming inflationary fare rises

Author: Neil Middleton - Published Wed 03 of Nov, 2021 08:06 GMT - (0 Reads)
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

Fares for the post Covid railway

Author: Neil Middleton - Published Sun 24 of Oct, 2021 20:08 BST - (0 Reads)
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

HS2E – a better alternative

Author: Ian Brown CBE FCILT - Published Sun 12 of Sep, 2021 18:00 BST - (0 Reads)
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.

Great British Railways

Author: Ian Brown CBE - Published Thu 27 of May, 2021 22:37 BST - (5375 Reads)
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.

Investment in the North

Author: Chris Page - Published Thu 27 of May, 2021 22:34 BST - (965 Reads)
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.

NPR impact on East Coast

Author: Keith Simpson - Published Sat 08 of May, 2021 18:27 BST - (1310 Reads)
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.

Liverpool and Manchester

Author: Trevor Bishop - Published Thu 06 of May, 2021 18:15 BST - (1314 Reads)
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.

Rail Decarb 21

Author: Chris Page - Published Thu 22 of Apr, 2021 08:00 BST - (2561 Reads)
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.

The march to devolution

Author: Railfuture Board - Published Mon 15 of Mar, 2021 15:26 GMT - (2740 Reads)
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.

Northern Powerhouse Rail

Author: Ian Brown CBE and Chris Page - Published Tue 09 of Mar, 2021 13:02 GMT - (3327 Reads)
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 Metro

Author: Nigel Rose - Published Sat 27 of Feb, 2021 18:36 GMT - (3744 Reads)
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.

HS2 update part 2

Author: Ian Brown CBE FCILT - Published Sun 07 of Feb, 2021 18:04 GMT - (3620 Reads)
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.

Trams for Bristol + Bath

Author: Dave Andrews, chair of BBATA - Published Sat 06 of Feb, 2021 17:39 GMT - (2859 Reads)
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.

Creating a flexible season ticket for 2021

Author: Neil Middleton - Published Thu 04 of Feb, 2021 08:16 GMT - (5913 Reads)
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


Railfuture’s campaigns, opinions and successes are often reported by the press and media, see Railfuture in the news.
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