Keep HS2 options open

Author: Chris Page - Published Wed 31 of Jan, 2024 19:23 GMT - (0 Reads)
The government must either proceed with HS2 Phase 2 or resolve the network pinch points exposed by the cancellation. If the discussions on privately funding phase 2 do not succeed, it is essential that options for the future are not closed for good so land must not be sold. The constraints must be mitigated - as an absolute minimum the Euston terminus and the delta junction east of Birmingham must go ahead. Sign installed at Crewe station, the planned destination for HS2 when phase 2 approved, was still in place after cancellation. Photo by Chris Page for Railfuture.

HS2 Phase 2 cancellation

Author: Ian Brown CBE - Published Wed 04 of Oct, 2023 17:57 BST - (0 Reads)
The Prime Minister announced his decision on HS2 on 4 October 2023, the last day of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, held at Manchester Central, ironically Manchester’s former Central station which hosted the prestige Midland Pullman train from Manchester to London. This is a factual briefing and will be updated when more is revealed on timescales and funding. Blue Pullman at Manchester Central in the sixties, from disusedstations.org.uk.

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.

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. Photo by RP Marks under creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/ via Flickr.

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. Photo by Ntandw, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

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.

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.

Reopening campaign success

Author: Chris Page - Published Sat 23 of Jan, 2021 11:40 GMT - (4394 Reads)
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.

HS2 update part 1

Author: Ian Brown CBE FCILT - Published Tue 01 of Dec, 2020 10:33 GMT - (5784 Reads)
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.

Project Speed

Author: Chris Page - Published Sun 27 of Sep, 2020 17:57 BST - (6508 Reads)
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.

Electrification mix

Author: Ian Brown and Chris Page - Published Tue 28 of Jul, 2020 13:28 BST - (10286 Reads)
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 BL1 at Gosforth Depot. Photo by Twiceuponatime, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons.

Money for Ideas

Author: Chris Page - Published Thu 28 of May, 2020 20:10 BST - (5067 Reads)
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 supplied by Ilkeston Advertiser.

Decision time

Author: Chris Page - Published Tue 03 of Dec, 2019 17:16 GMT - (3715 Reads)
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 Sun 17 of Nov, 2019 11:33 GMT - (3024 Reads)
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 Sat 19 of May, 2018 13:08 BST - (6739 Reads)
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 Wed 02 of May, 2018 20:32 BST - (4132 Reads)
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.Photos of Kenilworth station by Michael Tombs for Railfuture.

Curzon Street disconnected

Author: Phil Bennion - Published Fri 30 of Mar, 2018 19:33 BST - (7149 Reads)
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 Mon 12 of Mar, 2018 16:57 GMT - (5024 Reads)
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.