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Electrification mix

Author: Ian Brown and Chris Page - Published At: Tue 28 of Jul, 2020 13:28 BST - (3661 Reads)
Network
Reducing the cost of operating rail services and meeting the government's zero carbon objectives for transport require a sustainable electrification programme for Britain’s railways using a mix of technologies including overhead wiring, third rail, battery and hydrogen. Tyne and Wear Metro battery electric locomotive running under the wires at Whitley Bay.

Money for Ideas

Author: Chris Page - Published At: Thu 28 of May, 2020 20:10 BST - (2568 Reads)
Network
The country may be in dire straits at the moment, but fortunately the government is pressing ahead with its Restoring Your Railway initiative by announcing the ten successful bids in the first round of the Ideas Fund on 23 May 2020. A common factor of the successful bids, if delivered, is that they will connect significant numbers of people to the rail network. Ilkeston Station was successfully reopened in 2017 – after 40 years of Ilkeston being the largest town in England without any train service. Image by Ilkeston Advertiser.

Decision time

Author: Chris Page - Published At: Tue 03 of Dec, 2019 17:16 GMT - (2883 Reads)
Network
The snap general election is with us as expected and we have to wait until afterwards to find out what the recommendations of the Williams and Oakervee reviews of franchising and HS2 will be – as amended to make them acceptable to the new government. Enter our competition to propose a new name for HS2 which will capture the public imagination. Image HS2 Ltd.

Building for future users

Author: Chris Page - Published At: Sun 17 of Nov, 2019 11:33 GMT - (2271 Reads)
Network
Rail capacity must be doubled by 2050 to achieve net zero carbon with growth and deliver a sustainable lifestyle. The new Meridian Water station will enable 10,000 homes and 6000 jobs - photo courtesy Enfield Council.

Market-led proposals

Author: Chris Page - Published At: Sat 19 of May, 2018 13:08 BST - (5441 Reads)
Network
The invitation by the Department of Transport on 20th March 2018 for investors to invest in rail infrastructure ‘made it real’ for the promoters of privately financed lines such as Heathrow Southern Railway and London & Southern Counties Railways.
Image: Service opportunities, by Heathrow Southern Railway.

The Nuckle saga – déjà vu

Author: Michael Tombs - Published At: Wed 02 of May, 2018 20:32 BST - (3311 Reads)
Network
After 6 different opening dates, the new service at Kenilworth station finally started on 30 April – good news for frustrated Kenilworth residents at last. However the delays and cost overrun does raise the question of whether local authorities are yet equipped to manage rail development projects.

Curzon Street disconnected

Author: Phil Bennion - Published At: Fri 30 of Mar, 2018 19:33 BST - (6068 Reads)
Network
HS2 must be integrated with local transport networks, otherwise congestion, not economic growth, will be generated. However in Birmingham, the HS2 terminus at Curzon Street will be remote from local rail services, even though they run alongside. Phil Bennion, a past MEP for the West Midlands, has a solution. Image: Curzon Street station between existing rail line and new development area.

Riding sunbeams

Author: Chris Page - Published At: Mon 12 of Mar, 2018 16:57 GMT - (3886 Reads)
Network
10:10, the climate change charity, is working with the Energy Futures Lab at Imperial College, London, to develop a viable solution for solar-powered railways. The graphic by 10:10 Climate Action illustrates the principle. It is ironic that the artist has depicted a diesel unit but we like the picture so used it anyway.

HS2 connectivity

Author: Chris Page - Published At: Fri 02 of Mar, 2018 16:53 GMT - (3688 Reads)
Network
HS2 will create massive extra rail capacity, but unless it is integrated with local transport networks to create connectivity with city centres and their surrounding city regions, congestion not economic growth will result. Image: proposed colocation of HS2 platforms and existing city centre station at Leeds.

Why wiring went wrong

Author: Jerry Alderson (Source: Phil Smart) - Published At: Sat 09 of Sep, 2017 20:40 BST - (5384 Reads)
Network
Railfuture has long campaigned for much of Britain’s railway to be electrified, not as an end in itself but because of the benefits it can bring to passengers (and also freight users). Electrification fell out of favour in the early 1990s but came back around 2009 partly thanks to the lobbying of Railfuture’s distinguished Vice President Adrian Shooter. However, Network Rail’s inability to deliver the government’s challenging programme of electrification, not least because vital skills and experience including project management had been lost, is a major set-back. Electrifying the Gospel Oak to Barking line has been a Railfuture aspiration for a long time. Pictured above is a stanchion minus overhead wires at South Tottenham station on the GOBLIN line, where the electrification work overran. Photo by Jerry Alderson.

Electric plug

Author: Ray King - Published At: Fri 08 of Sep, 2017 22:20 BST - (3001 Reads)
Network
Ray King presents the Derbyshire Times report on a stunt by 10:10 and Campaign for Better Transport calling on the Transport Secretary to reverse his decision to cancel Midland Main Line electrification. Railfuture supports electrification but sees the way forward differently; our article Why electrify shows how this can be achieved.

Why electrify?

Author: Chris Page - Published At: Thu 31 of Aug, 2017 18:58 BST - (5796 Reads)
Network
On 20 July 2017, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling shocked rail campaigners and stakeholders by announcing that planned electrification of the Midland Main Line north of Kettering, the Great Western Main Line west of Cardiff, and Oxenholme to Windermere is cancelled. Photo Network Rail.

Expanding the Railways

Author: Chris Austin and Chris Page - Published At: Wed 05 of Jul, 2017 18:34 BST - (8643 Reads)
Network
This new guide was launched today. ‘Expanding the Railways’ will help local authorities, developers and communities develop plans for adding new stations and lines to the network.

Swanage back on the map

Author: Chris Austin - Published At: Sat 17 of Jun, 2017 17:31 BST - (4634 Reads)
Network
Chris Austin was lucky enough to travel on the first public passenger train from Swanage to Wareham for 45 years, at the start of an experimental service running until September. The first public through train from Swanage at Wareham on 13 June 2017. From London, same platform interchange makes for an easy journey - photo Peter Milford.

Never-never railways

Author: Chris Page - Published At: Wed 28 of Dec, 2016 18:34 GMT - (11082 Reads)
Network
Investment in new rail infrastructure is essential to provide extra capacity to deal with increasing passenger numbers and promote economic growth. However Network Rail has maxed out its capacity and budget for rail enhancements because the lack of skilled and experienced rail engineers has driven up NR costs, so the government is looking for innovative ways to finance, resource and share risk on more new rail infrastructure projects than Network Rail can handle. The government has given East West Rail the green light, whilst two other potential privately-financed projects, Heathrow Southern Railway and London and Southern Counties Railway, are also vying for government attention.

Fixing Network Rail

Author: Chris Page - Published At: Mon 05 of Dec, 2016 18:27 GMT - (6668 Reads)
Network
Britain needs to invest in its transport infrastructure to promote economic growth, but further electrification delays show that Network Rail does not have the capability to deliver its expansion programme in the timescale needed. Railfuture analyses the cause of the problems at Network Rail and suggests a way forward.

HS1 lessons for HS2

Author: Chris Page and Ian Brown - Published At: Tue 04 of Oct, 2016 10:43 BST - (6605 Reads)
Network
There were many objections to HS1 when it was being planned, but it now carries 80% of London – Paris travellers, whilst domestic HS1 services are full and standing during peak hours. The success of HS1 has lessons for HS2, on which construction is planned to start in 2017. Javelin domestic HS1 train at St Pancras - photo reproduced under Creative Commons.

SUAWOOX campaign

Author: Fraser Pithie - Published At: Mon 13 of Jun, 2016 17:51 BST - (5313 Reads)
Network
Fraser Pithie, the Secretary of the Shakespeare Line Promotion Group, explains why the Stratford-Worcester-Oxford (SWO) campaign deserves public and political support.

Cambridge North progress

Author: Peter Wakefield - Published At: Thu 14 of Apr, 2016 17:26 BST - (8868 Reads)
Network
Cambridge North station is well underway to completion. It is due to open in May 2017.
Photos courtesy Network Rail

Keeping London moving

Author: Chris Page - Published At: Thu 24 of Mar, 2016 21:12 GMT - (7212 Reads)
Network
By the 2030s London will be a megacity of more than 10 million people. Even allowing for planned investment and the imminent arrival of the East-West Crossrail line, the capital will grind to a halt unless significant further improvements are made. That’s why London needs Crossrail 2 as quickly as possible.
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