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News and Views

Prospects for light rail

Author: Ian Brown CBE FCILT - Published At: Wed 26 of Feb, 2020 12:41 GMT - (956 Reads)
Light Rail
Railfuture’s European Passenger Group is structured to understand international best practice and use it to advance our argument that railway development can help address economic, social and environmental concerns and opportunities in Britain. Light rail is a case in point where Britain has not exactly been a world leader. A Tram Train about to leave Sheffield Cathedral Station (left) for Meadowhall on the Supertram network then onto Network Rail tracks to Rotherham (the only example in Britain so far) and Britain’s first modern light rail line, Metrolink to Bury from Manchester (right).

A Tale of Two Cities

Author: Ian Brown CBE FCILT - Published At: Thu 20 of Feb, 2020 19:46 GMT - (1108 Reads)
International
Go and Compare: Eurostar 25 years on, a Tale of Two Cities with new Rail/Air links, and how rail connections for foreign travel can help the environment. The British Royal Eurostar meets the French Presidential Eurostar nose to nose for the opening ceremony at Calais on 6th May 1994. Ours got there first!

Easy stations

Author: Martin Cooper - Published At: Thu 06 of Feb, 2020 18:58 GMT - (994 Reads)
Passengers
A Railfuture scheme to encourage further investment in making stations user friendly for all, initiated by our East Anglia branch. The new waiting room at Audley End station, our category 1 winner.

Bed - Cam route chosen

Author: Phil Smart - Published At: Fri 31 of Jan, 2020 20:56 GMT - (1705 Reads)
Campaigns
The East West Rail Central Section route was announced on 30 January 2020. This is a huge step forward for the Railfuture campaign, but there is still a long way to go. Central Section Preferred Route Option taken from the East West Railway Company website.

Hoo - rail victory

Author: Chris Fribbins - Published At: Fri 31 of Jan, 2020 19:53 GMT - (1658 Reads)
Campaigns
The Hundred of Hoo branch that last saw services pre-Beeching in 1961 is set to see new services introduced to the Hoo Peninsula, a victory for this Railfuture campaign in North Kent, with £67m funding awarded. Reinstatement of passenger services is justified by major growth in housing and industry as part of the Medway Unitary authorities Local Plan (2012-2035) in 2024.
The original Sharnal Street station, where the fields and lack of passengers show why it was closed, but that will all change - image Wikipedia.

Northern franchise

Author: Railfuture Board - Published At: Fri 10 of Jan, 2020 14:37 GMT - (2504 Reads)
Lobbying
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has stated that he will take action on the Northern franchise, but will not decide until end January 2020 exactly what that action will be - either an Operator of Last Resort or a direct contract. Railfuture analyses the causes of Northern’s poor performance and recommends what action the Transport Secretary should take. Insufficient time was allowed between letting the franchise and the PRM compliance deadline for procurement, delivery and testing of new trains such as these class 195 units. Image by Geof Sheppard under CC by SA 4.0.

Railfuture 2030 manifesto

Author: Railfuture Board - Published At: Tue 07 of Jan, 2020 13:57 GMT - (2712 Reads)
Lobbying
Our 10 year manifesto for the new government and the rail industry represents a distillation of the electorate’s wishes, published manifesto commitments and expectations for a developing railway for the UK. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, pictured (left) launching the extension of Oyster and contactless cards to Potters Bar and Radlett, has the job of delivering these expectations. Image oliverdowden.com.

Rail 2019 year end report

Author: Railfuture Board - Published At: Fri 27 of Dec, 2019 13:08 GMT - (2391 Reads)
Campaigns
In promoting a bigger and better railway, Railfuture issued a 10 point challenge to the rail industry and government for 2019 to rebuild public trust in its service delivery. Here is our end of year report on how well we think the rail industry performed as a whole in 2019. Did the rail industry rise to Railfuture’s challenge? Christmas is traditionally the time when the railway undertakes major remodelling projects such as at King's Cross throat – image Network Rail.

High Speed 2 Review

Author: Ian Brown CBE FCILT - Published At: Fri 13 of Dec, 2019 22:38 GMT - (5263 Reads)
Campaigns
Ian Brown, Railfuture’s Policy Director, explains the purpose of the HS2 Review commissioned by the new government, and Railfuture’s position.

Decision time

Author: Chris Page - Published At: Tue 03 of Dec, 2019 17:16 GMT - (1830 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.

Party manifestos for rail

Author: Ian Brown CBE FCILT - Published At: Fri 29 of Nov, 2019 23:22 GMT - (2898 Reads)
Lobbying
This is Railfuture’s guide to the 2019 election manifestos. Transport commitments are quoted verbatim in red italics. A commentary is provided in black, non-italics giving Railfuture’s position or observation on each. Our analysis includes other modes, both to illustrate emphasis but also to ascertain how changes to other modes may benefit railways, such as integrated travel. The most important issue to be tackled by the next government is to provide capacity for double the number of passengers, both to resolve the overcrowding (despite new trains) illustrated at Manchester and Euston, and to address climate change by modal shift from road to rail.

Building for future users

Author: Chris Page - Published At: Sun 17 of Nov, 2019 11:33 GMT - (1367 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.

South East Rail Strategy

Author: Chris Page - Published At: Fri 08 of Nov, 2019 14:29 GMT - (1782 Reads)
Lobbying
Transport for the South East (TfSE) has recently published its draft transport strategy to achieve sustainable growth in the region. Railfuture invites your comments on how this objective should be achieved. Image by Sherlock Holmes Lending Solutions - Dollar Photo Club.

Levenmouth on track

Author: Jane Ann Liston - Published At: Fri 09 of Aug, 2019 12:40 BST - (3742 Reads)
Scotland
On 8 August 2019 the Scottish Transport Secretary, during his visit to Levenmouth, announced the green light for reopening the rail line to Levenmouth to passenger services, with an estimated cost of £75m. It's great news for this long running saga, which will benefit a deprived area of Fife. Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson on the mothballed track - photo by Transport Scotland.

Britain back into rail

Author: Jerry Alderson - Published At: Thu 08 of Aug, 2019 16:40 BST - (1801 Reads)
Passengers
On Wednesday 7 August 2019 Britain’s Rail Delivery Group (RDG) announced that it would be withdrawing from membership of the highly-valued and long-standing Interrail Europe-wide rail passes for European residents, along with the Eurail equivalent for non-European residents. Protests were loud and clear, many on Twitter. A day later the RDG backed down. Railfuture looks at what happened and why.

First step to Berwick

Author: Dennis Fancett - Published At: Thu 30 of May, 2019 18:17 BST - (3449 Reads)
Campaigns
SENRUG, the Railfuture-affiliated rail user group that campaigns for better rail services in South and East Northumberland, has secured funding for a feasibility study which will look at the possibility of running a local rail service between Morpeth and Berwick. Could local trains soon be running over Berwick’s Royal Borders Bridge? Photo (adapted) by Clive Nicholson / Steve Miller.

Rails back to Brierley Hill

Author: William Whiting - Published At: Mon 13 of May, 2019 22:04 BST - (3471 Reads)
Light Rail
Railfuture welcomes the news that funding has been secured to extend the Midland Metro from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill. The metro will serve Dudley Zoo and Castle – image by Midland Metro Alliance.
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