Welcome tour an ad-hoc review of what's happening on the railways, produced from information we receive. We hope that you will find the information of interest.
Guards on trains dispute continues
Rail union RMT has announced the next round of strikes in its dispute with train operators as it seeks assurances over the future of guards on trains. Five train operators are involved with strikes announced for Greater Anglia, Southern, South Western Railway on November 8th and 9th with a 24 hour stoppage on Merseyrail and Northern on November 8th.
Travel barriers removed
News reaches us that Virgin Trains, those of the East Coast operation, have removed the automatic ticket gates at Grantham, Newark and Retford. The company has recently appointed a number of Revenue Protection Inspectors whose roles include ticket checks on trains and also at stations.
On board showers mar GWR IEP launch
Great Western Railway, a First Group operation, launched its IEP trains into service on October 16th. The launch was marred with a later departure from Bristol to London Paddington, which didn’t leave until 0626. At one stage GWR had even considered substituting the IEP for an HST. IEPs 800005 and 800006 worked the train but problems with the air conditioning system saw water cascade from roof onto customers. There was also problems with the electric traction after Reading and the Bi-mode train was forced revert to diesel power. A second train in service on the same day was formed 800008 and 800009. Train makers Hitachi apologised for the problems and GWR was forced to take the sets out of service for a few days while software mods were made.
New trains for the West Midlands
New diesel and electric trains have been ordered for the new West Midlands franchise. Bombardier will supply 36 three car 90mph electric units for inner suburban services and 45 five car 110mph electric units for outer suburban longer distance routes. CAF will build 12 two car and 14 four car diesel multiple units.
Gospel Oak-Barking set for further closure
The route between Gospel Oak and Barking will be completely closed between November 18th and January 14th next year as Network Rail sets to work to complete the electrification of the route which it failed to complete earlier this year. New electric multiple units are due to be introduced onto the line in the first half of 2018.
Deltics up for sale
Two of the six Deltics currently preserved have been put up for sale. Martin Walker is selling D9016 Gordon Highlander and the class pioneer D9000/55022 Royal Scots Grey. D9016 is at Washwood Heath where it requires body overhaul whilst D9000, currently in the guise of 55018 Ballymoss, is at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway but requires engine repairs following failure earlier this year. D9000/55022 is mainline registered.
Steven Knight is a Transport Specialist who has over 40 years experience in the bus and rail industries as well as in specialist transport journalism. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists.