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News and Views

The march to devolution

Author: Railfuture Board - Published At: Mon 15 of Mar, 2021 15:26 GMT - (1391 Reads)
Campaigns
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 At: Tue 09 of Mar, 2021 13:02 GMT - (1681 Reads)
Network
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 At: Sat 27 of Feb, 2021 18:36 GMT - (1993 Reads)
Network
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 At: Sun 07 of Feb, 2021 18:04 GMT - (2373 Reads)
Network
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 At: Sat 06 of Feb, 2021 17:39 GMT - (1478 Reads)
Light Rail
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 At: Thu 04 of Feb, 2021 08:16 GMT - (2730 Reads)
Passengers
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

Reopening campaign success

Author: Chris Page - Published At: Sat 23 of Jan, 2021 11:40 GMT - (2570 Reads)
Network
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 At: Tue 01 of Dec, 2020 10:33 GMT - (4481 Reads)
Network
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 At: Sun 27 of Sep, 2020 17:57 BST - (5433 Reads)
Network
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.

Attracting passengers back

Author: Ralph Hilsdon - Published At: Fri 25 of Sep, 2020 19:59 BST - (1935 Reads)
Passengers

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.

Spending Review 2020

Author: Neil Middleton - Published At: Wed 23 of Sep, 2020 18:15 BST - (2245 Reads)
Lobbying
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

Emergency Recovery

Author: Ian Brown CBE - Published At: Tue 22 of Sep, 2020 17:24 BST - (1792 Reads)
Campaigns
A briefing by Ian Brown, Railfuture Policy Director, on the Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements (ERMAs) with the train operators announced by the Department for Transport on 21 September 2020. Rail services are essential to connect people to work, education and a social life. Photo of Liverpool Street station by Rail Delivery Group.

Reconnect 1 million people

Author: Chris Page - Published At: Fri 04 of Sep, 2020 19:48 BST - (4891 Reads)
Campaigns
Twelve awards have been made so far from the Restoring Your Railway fund. Railfuture has identified a further 30 submissions which have the potential to deliver worthwhile benefits. If implemented, these 42 proposals would together reconnect over one million people to work, education and a social life via the rail network. Image Chronicle Live, which reported a petition to bring the Tyne and Wear Metro to Washington.

Welcome back to our trains

Author: Ian Brown - Published At: Thu 27 of Aug, 2020 16:12 BST - (2715 Reads)
Passengers
One of our Directors, Ian Brown, took out a camera to see if people were returning to rail for off peak shopping and leisure travel in East London on Wednesday 26 August. This is what he saw. Photo by Getty Images / Rail Delivery Group.

Waterside special

Author: Tony Smale - Published At: Mon 03 of Aug, 2020 23:31 BST - (3331 Reads)
Campaigns
On 28 July 2020 South Western Railway ran a special 'fact-finding' train to Fawley to mark the successful submission to the Department for Transport’s ‘Restoring your Railway Fund’ by Hampshire County Council, and approval by the New Forest National Park of the plan for up to 5000 new homes at Fawley. Left to right, SWR managing director Mark Hopwood, Network Rail chairman Peter Hendy and Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris ready to board the train at Southampton. Image by South Western Railway.

Electrification mix

Author: Ian Brown and Chris Page - Published At: Tue 28 of Jul, 2020 13:28 BST - (9586 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.

Fairer fares in future?

Author: Steve Wright - Published At: Tue 28 of Jul, 2020 12:32 BST - (2610 Reads)
Passengers
Better value fares, new ticketing options and aggressive marketing initiatives are needed to attract passengers back to rail after COVID-19. South Western Railway passenger won £5,500 in Touch Smartcard prize draw. Image by South Western Railway.

Welcome back to rail

Author: Jane Ann Liston - Published At: Tue 28 of Jul, 2020 11:54 BST - (2629 Reads)
Passengers
Jane Ann Liston, Secretary, Railfuture Scotland explains why we must attract people back to rail after COVID-19. ScotRail covers train faces to encourage passengers to do the same.

FlightFree UK 2020

Author: Anna Hughes - Published At: Thu 09 of Jul, 2020 18:19 BST - (2256 Reads)
Miscellany
Flight Free UK is passionate about low carbon travel. Flying less (and using the train instead) is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Could you pledge to be flight free in 2020?
Anna Hughes is Director of Flight Free UK.

Travel derailed

Author: Chris Page - Published At: Wed 01 of Jul, 2020 09:05 BST - (4231 Reads)
Passengers
Have our railways suffered another collective nervous breakdown with such strong messages so openly discouraging sustainable travel - by train? Since the DfT is funding all the franchises, has it lost all faith in its own services? The messaging is negative and inconsistent, even contradictory, not conditional encouragement – in sharp contrast to all other modes. Passengers may feel unwelcome or unsafe, and may be unable to travel. The comparison with air travel is stark.
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