Loading...
 

Railfuture in the news 2015

For examples of later news, click here.



2015


22nd December - Glasgow Evening Times

Ken Sutherland of Railfuture Scotland criticizes a lack of action in establishing a new Allander Station between Hillfoot and Milngavie. The new station would include 400 parking spaces.

He said: "The fact is that station parking in Milngavie is totally inadequate and a lot of people want to travel by train and can't because they can't get their car parked.This also applies to people coming from Strathblane and Blanefield, Killearn and Balfron and frustration has been building for years."

20th December - The Daily Telegraph

"Rail passengers are being ripped off by a bamboozling array of train fares, experts have warned." Railfuture president Christian Wolmar is quoted: “Passengers are getting ripped off. The pricing is completely incomprehensible.”

A similar story appears in The Independent.

17th December - Free Radio Birmingham

The radio station reports that Birmingham is the city most affected by morning train delays in Britain. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is interviewed and appears in several news bulletins.

16th December - Daily Telegraph

"Didn't book ahead? Expect to pay £50 more for Christmas train travel" reads the headline. Describing Railfuture as "a pressure group with 20,000 members", the paper quotes spokesman Bruce Williamson:

"We already have the most expensive fares in Europe, but the rail operating companies argue that we have the cheapest advance fares.....Passengers who want to buy tickets on the day risk being priced out because companies are not flexible about the availability of advance tickets."

14th December - Western Gazette

Trains will connect Yeovil Pen Mill and Yeovil Junction for the first time in 47 years. Picking up on our press release, the paper quotes Nigel Bray of Severnside branch: "It makes it increasingly possible to make rail journeys between Devon and South Dorset. And it will be much more convenient for people with luggage or pushchairs than using buses or taxis. We hope that in due course this will be extended to a regular all-day week-round service. Rail use is booming, so we're confident it will be a success."

A similar story, again quoting Railfuture, also appears the next day in the Western Daily Press.

14th December - Daily Express

India is buying new bullet trains. The article attacks British aid to India. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson "raged" : “Britain exported the railways to India and the rest of the world. Now we’re lagging behind. There’s a certain irony that India could now overtake Britain with modern high speed rail.”

He added (presumably not raging any more): “The two biggest gripes for passengers in this country are the level of fares and overcrowding. British passengers are paying sky high fares yet suffering chronic overcrowding. Passenger numbers are growing rapidly but our railways are not keeping pace with demand. We’re constantly playing catch-up. Passenger numbers have doubled in the last 20 years. But the number of stations and rail lines has not kept pace. Decisions take too long. Politicians don’t move fast enough.”

10th December - Cambridge News

The "Cambridge and District Railway" is a new proposal to introduce new local services to the railways around Cambridge. The article mentions Railfuture's similar "Cambridge metro" proposals, and includes a link to a Railfuture document with details of routes etc.

4th December - Yorkshire Post

Chris Hyomes of Yorkshire branch is quoted in a story about the impending rail fare increases. He said: “It just feels like we are seeing passengers here in the North paying for all the investment in the South. In the lifetime of the Northern franchise, awarded in November 2004, we’ve seen a 50 per cent rise in passenger numbers compared to around a five per cent rise in additional rolling stock.”

1st December - Rye and Battle Observer

"Winchelsea and Three Oaks will have trains passing through them seven days a week after 10 years of campaigning. Three Oaks and Winchelsea Action for Rail Transport (THWART) and others have worked with Southern to have Sunday train services resumed. Sussex Community Rail Partnership (Sussex CRP), the Marshlink Action Group, Railfuture and Amber Rudd MP were involved in getting the all-week services".

23rd November - The Scotsman

The UK's railways are lagging behind on electrification. New figures from ORR show that 33 per cent of the network is electrified, compared with 32 per cent in 2004/5.

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted: “We’ve got a lot of catching up to do. Switzerland has 100 per cent rail electrification and most of our European counterparts have a much higher proportion than we have.”

There were “a whole load of negative consequences” from the shortage of electrification, such as slower and less reliable journeys for passengers, and more expensive and inefficient trains.

The same story appears in Engineering and Technology Magazine.

18th November - Herts Advertiser

An article reports the welcome news that proposals to convert the Abbey Flyer line between St Albans and Watford into a guided busway have been dropped. It goes on to report that ABFLY - the Abbey Flyer Users’ Group - won the gold award for best website at Railfuture's annual Rail User Group Awards.

20th November - Sky News

A report by the Public Accounts Committee is very critical of Network Rail for delays and overspend on the Great Western electrification project. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is interviewed, and comments that part of the problem is a shortage of suitably skilled engineers.

9th November - Western Gazette

Two articles are written, reporting on Railfuture's Bristol conference and featuring two of its speakers.

The first features John Parry under the headline "Head of Parry People Movers says light rail could be answer for Somerton and Langport"

The second features James Freeman, managing director of First Bus West of England. He describes how bus services could link up with any potential new station for Somerton and Langport.

8th November - Bath Chronicle

The paper devotes an article to the Saltford Station Campaign, reporting that it won the Oliver Lovell Award for Best New Group at Railfuture's Bristol conference.

7th November - BBC Radio Bristol

On the morning of our Bristol conference, Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the morning news bulletins and is interviewed on the breakfast programme to promote the event. Listen here.

7th November - Lincolnshire Echo

In his regular column, David Harby, chair of Linconshire branch explains how "Lincoln trains are overcrowded but there are NO more services allocated in new rail franchise"

6th November - Siren FM

David Harby is interviewed on the "City Beat" programme about overcrowding on the lines around Lincoln. Listen here.

5th November - BBC Radio Wales

Long queues at Cardiff Central station after Rugby World Cup matches have led to criticism of the rail industry. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is interviewed along with Judith Woodman, leader of the Liberal Democrats Group on Cardiff Council. Listen here.

5th November - Lincolnshire Echo

The huge number of trains using level crossings in Lincoln is causing road traffic congestion.

David Harby, chairman of Lincolnshire branch, argues for a new diversionary route: "There is no realistic alternative route for the freight trains at present. Running more freight on the East Coast Main Line would mean less passenger train space, which would endanger our forthcoming direct service to King's Cross."

4th November - South Wales Echo

The headline reads: "Millennium Stadium Railway Station idea floated by rail bosses in wake of Rugby World Cup transport woes" Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted: “There is a shortage of capacity across the network. We need more trains, more lines and more stations.”

3rd November - Eastern Daily Press

Norwich to London routes will be heavily affected by engineering works over Christmas. Peter Wakefield, chairman of East Anglia branch, is quoted: “There is never a good time to carry out the work, but it has to be done. They always tell us that Christmas is one of the quieter times of the year, as people are not going to work. Hopefully it won’t be chaos and you will be able to get off your train and onto a bus.”

29th October - Western Mail

New figures from ORR show that Britain's trains are on average 20.2 years old, which is older than the average has been for 14 years. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted: “very long-term investment” is needed “without the stop-start, feast or famine we’ve seen in the past decades”. The story also appears in the Berwick Advertiser, Wirral Globe, Express & Star, Worcester News, Western Morning News and Cambridge News.

26th October - Cambridge News

A teenage girl is elbowed off a train in the morning rush hour - the latest victim of excessive overcrowding on the Fen Line between Cambridge and King's Lynn. East Anglia branch chairman Peter Wakefield is quoted: "This is one of the most crowded train routes in the whole of the East of England and something urgently needs to be done about it... To be fair to the railway, they do put lots of additional services on, but they are very short of trains. Even the extra train doesn't do the job anymore."

19th October - South Wales Echo

"A train passengers group..." (that'll be Railfuture Cymru) "...has criticised the rail authorities as a “shambles” as it emerged Wales’ new mainline electric trains may all have to be fitted with diesel engines because the tracks will not be ready in time"

Branch chairman John Rogers is extensively quoted.

19th October - BBC Three Counties Radio

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appeared on the breakfast show to talk about rail safety on the 15th anniversary of the Hatfield rail crash. Listen here.

11th October - Lincolnshire Echo

David Harby, chairman of Lincolnshire branch, writes an article entitled "Thank you Mr Beeching for Lincoln’s shocking rail service to London". Journeys from Lincoln to London would only be 80 minutes were it not for a lack of foresight in the 1960s.

9th October - Hastings and St Leonards Observer

A report states that a high speed rail link between Bexhill, Hastings and Rye would be worth more than £350million to the economy. The idea is supported by Railfuture. "Upgrading the current lines to London via Tunbridge Wells and Eastbourne would not be as viable as electrifying the Marshlink, according to the campaign group Railfuture."

2nd October - South Wales Echo

Although electrification to Swansea seems certain, with reassurances from politicians, the question is when it will happen. Railfuture’s deputy director of policy Norman Bradbury is quoted: “We are very much in the dark. All we can do at the moment is see what happens. Network Rail made the assumption that they could do this work very quickly by using a new idea – an electrification factory train. It would be very long and it could have all sorts of equipment on it. It’s taken them months and months to get this train to work properly. It is underperforming.”

21st September - Western Mail

Passengers in Wales can now buy tickets via a live video link at three Welsh railway stations.

John Rogers, chairman of South Wales branch, is quoted: “It sounds like an experiment that’s worthwhile trying because I must admit I’m a bit nervous myself about using a ticket machine. Sometimes I would rather stand in the queue at Bridgend station.”

“It (video assistance) sounds like a really good idea, as long as it’s not going to replace standing in front of a human being – as long as it’s not like the banks trying to get you to use online banking so that they can cut back on branches.”

20th September - BBC News website

An article about the changing face of Birmingham New Street station includes a quote from Peter Hughes. He said: "The concourse is the most wonderful, dramatic building, but we've always said there's nothing really new at platform level - no extra track and no longer trains"

20th September - Sky News

Following Jeremy Corbyn's proposal to renationalise Britain's railways, Bruce Williamson appears on Sky News to discuss the pros and cons.



18th September - Evening Standard

Syed Kamall, Conservatice MEP for London, has a letter published pushing for more rail schemes.

He wrote: "We need to make rapid progress on Crossrail 2 and even 3. And I’d like to see rail enthusiasts and knowledgeable voluntary groups such as Railfuture involved in these projects from the start."

18th September - Buxton Advertiser

"Should the Buxton to Matlock railway line reopen?" asks the paper. Not surprisingly, Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson thinks the answer is probably "yes".

He said: “Rail usage has sky-rocketed in the last 20 years, and while it may have been viable to close the line decades ago, now is the time to have it running again. This line has been well protected by the council and not recklessly sold off so it could be reopened fairly easily. With more working rail lines comes more options for passengers and would help ease the congestion on other lines and on the roads.”

9th September - BT news

The website picks up the story of overcrowding on the commuter lines into London. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson thinks that for many commuters, there's not much hope for improvements soon:

"We are constantly playing catch up here and it seems that the amount of new trains that are always being announced and then reannounced are not going to catch up with the rise and rise of passenger numbers on the network. If you look at any individual line, for some passengers there is little hope of an improvement in the near future because obviously there are certain lines that are getting new trains, like Great Western and Thameslink, but for other lines there is no prospect of extra trains in the medium term. So some passengers will certainly have to to grin and bare it whilst the number of new passengers wanting to join the line will continue to rise and rise and rise."

That should of course be "grin and bear it". The same story and typo also appear on AOL UK and ITV's website

9th September - Edinburgh Evening News

The paper reports that passengers at Waverley station have spent £750,000 over the past three years in toilet charges. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson argues that toilets should be run on a non profit making basis.

8th September - The Courier (Dundee)

In the light of the Borders rail reopening, the paper discusses the prospects for reopening the line to St Andrews. The article says: "Railfuture Scotland’s vice-chairman, Roderick McDougall, a retired chartered engineer, included it in his list of 23 short branches he considers necessary to provide a fit-for-purpose Scottish rail network."

7th September - Edinburgh Evening News

"A GANG of around a dozen drink-fuelled revellers launched an “appalling” campaign of intimidation and harassment on a busy train – with one even flashing at startled onlookers" says the article, which goes on to quote Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson:

“In terms of alcohol, there needs to be a sensible 
middle ground that allows responsible drinking but prevents irresponsible behaviour. I think there’s scope for a public debate on these problems in order to find a workable solution that prevents the worst excesses but still allows sensible drinking.”

28th August - ITV West Country

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is interviewed about RMT strike action and its likely effects.

27th August - Birmingham Mail

Toilets at New Street station raise £700,000 through passengers "spending a penny". Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson comments on whether Network Rail should be making a profit out of this service.

25th August - Stroud Life

Nigel Bray of Severnside branch has a letter published arguing for reopening Stonehouse Bristol Road station.

22nd August - Daily Mirror

"Network Rail bosses admit staff use cars for business as trains don't offer value for money" is the headline. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted: “This country has the most ­expensive train fares in Europe. The Government and rail operators argue that there are some advance-fare bargains out there. But most people don’t know what they’re doing three weeks in advance – they need to get on a train straightaway, and walk-on fares are just too high. The Government has been constantly raising fares above inflation and now they are so high they are driving people off the trains – including Network Rail staff themselves.”

18th August - Inflation figures

Our press release is picked up by The Guardian, Daily Mail, Evening Standard, Manchester Evening News , Newcastle's Chronicle and many more.

Coverage in the Cambridge News includes comment from East Anglia branch vice-chair Chris Burton

Railfuture's David Harby appears on BBC Radio Lincolnshire, and Bruce Williamson is interviewed on BBC 3 Counties.

10th August - Cambridge News

New Siemens Class 700 Desiro City trains will be introduced on the Cambridge and Peterborough lines in 2016.

Railfuture is described by the paper as "a pressure group battling for better rail passenger and freight services". Vice-president Peter Lawrence is quoted: "They are a big improvement on existing rolling stock. They will be a big improvement to the existing rail service and we look forward to the introduction of them."

3rd August - BBC Look East

East Anglia branch chairman Peter Wakefield is interviewed about the two route options for East-West rail.



1st August - Bedfordshire on Sunday

East-West rail: the paper weighs up the pros and cons of the route options.

"Peter Wakefield, chair­­man of Railfuture East Anglia, said the group had been campaigning for East-West Rail for 25 years and was 'very pleased' with the latest announcement. He added that his preferred route would be a completely new railway to run through Sandy, with major engineering works probably needed on the existing tracks for any route that came through Hitchin."

30th July - Western Mail

The Great Western electrification project may end up being as much as two years late.

Railfuture’s deputy director of policy Norman Bradbury is quoted: “We are very much in the dark. All we can do at the moment is see what happens. Network Rail made the assumption that they could do this work very quickly by using a new idea – an electrification factory train. It would be very long and it could have all sorts of equipment on it. It’s taken them months and months to get this train to work properly. It is underperforming.”

28th July - Bedfordshire On Sunday

Two routes have been shortlisted for East West Rail, passing through either Sandy or Hitchin.

Peter Wakefield, chair­­man of Railfuture East Anglia, is quoted: "The great thing about it is both routes will enable the building of Addenbrooke's station. Whichever route it goes west out of Cambridge, it will have to go south. This will link our East Anglian network to the rest of the railway network in the south, all helping to relieve pressure on the city and its other transport links."

28th July - The Scotsman

Changes to a Scotrail discount scheme have not gone down well with rail campaigners.

Railfuture Scotland spokesman Ken Sutherland said: “There is a whiff of arrogant complacency that those who are the losers from scrapping the 17-year continuity of Club 55 can still be ‘taken for granted’ and will continue to fork out for the eye-watering costs of much longer-distance train travel.”

This story was also picked up by the Falkirk Herald.

23rd July - BBC website

An article on parliamentary or "ghost" trains quotes Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson: “Ghost trains are there just for a legal placeholder to prevent the line from being closed”

This quote is also picked up by the website inverse.com.

9th July - BBC Radio Wales

Bruce Williamson discusses the FGW strike, guards and buffets. Listen here.

9th July - BBC Radio Lncolnshire

David Harby attempts to disentangle the issue of the new timetable and the missing new services to London. Listen here.

8th July - Southern Daily Echo

A rather bizarre letter is published, suggesting amongst other things that Railfuture should open a disused railway line with just £61,000!

6th July - BBC Hereford and Worcester

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is interviewed about the likely impact of the First Great Western strike. Listen here

6th July - Western Mail

Building new railway stations after electrification could be difficult and expensive.

John Rogers, chairman of South Wales branch, is quoted: “If you suddenly decide after electrification that you want to put a station platform somewhere, elements of the electrification system might have to be expensively moved. This is our first electrification in Wales and we don’t want to make a hash of it. The sums of money are immense. We will look pretty stupid if later on we say, ‘We want a new station’ and it hasn’t been provided for.”

In the same edition, he also gets a letter published arguing for political parties to give public transport a higher priority.

5th July - Lincolnshire Echo

In his regular column, David Harby of Lincolnshire branch questions whether Lincoln will be getting any extra train services to London.

2nd July - Sevenoaks Chronicle

There are proposals to bring Oyster Cards to Sevenoaks through a Transport for London takeover of Metro services.

"Three members of the London Assembly's transport committee visited Sevenoaks last Friday to discuss the future of the town's train network.

Valerie Shawcross, Caroline Pidgeon and Darren Johnson met representatives from the Sevenoaks Rail Travellers' Association (SRTA) and Sevenoaks District Council, as well as Railfuture Kent."

1st July - Haverhill Echo

The plan to reopen Haverhill station is gathering momentum. "Rail Haverhill has been helped in its cause by Railfuture - Britain’s only independent organisation campaigning for rail passengers and freight - which has financed the printing of 15,000 leaflets."

19th June - Cambridge News

A campaign group is aiming to bring the railway back to Haverhill. Peter Wakefield, Chairman of East Anglia branch, is quoted: "Haverhill is growing very rapidly, and it will reach 40,000 people within a few years. A high quality public transport link to take lots of people very fast into Cambridge would benefit Haverhill, Cambridge and everywhere in between."

12th June - The Scotsman

The closure of the Winchburgh Tunnel on the main line between Edinburgh and Glasgow Is causing major disruption. Campaigners argue that this could have been avoided by reopening a short length of track. Ken Sutherland of Railfuture Scotland is quoted: “The Scottish Government has a can’t do attitude on rail infrastructure, which is why the Almond Chord was never built.”

11th June - Newbury Weekly News

Newbury commuters are getting an extra train in the morning, and Railfuture is mentioned:

"Research from independent passenger group Railfuture shows that the overall number of passengers using Newbury railway station between 2005 and 2012 has increased by 61 per cent. Further research from the group revealed that more than 30 per cent of passengers who were quizzed in Newbury said they were unhappy with what they perceived as overcrowded carriages."

2nd June - BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Peter Wakefield of East Anglia branch joins Rupert Read from the Green party to discuss the idea of more new stations around Cambridge. Listen here.

1st June -Oxford Mail

Railfuture proposes tram-trains as a longer term solution to Oxford's transport problems. Richard Stow is quoted: “If this was Germany it would happen tomorrow morning but here there is little prospect of it happening within 25 years here. It would be a non-disruptive way of getting trams into the centre of Oxford.”

29th May - The Scotsman

Network Rail's New Measurement Train, nicknamed the Flying Banana, has itself actually caused some delays to the network over the years. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted: “This train does great work in monitoring the condition of the track and helping to keep the network running smoothly. It’s inevitable that occasionally, as with any other train, things go wrong and it causes some sort of problem. In the real world, we shouldn’t be surprised if the Flying Banana occasionally drops a bit of a banana skin itself.”

29th May - LBC

RMT's rail strike is back on, and on Nick Ferrari's breakfast show, Bruce Williamson offers his views. Listen here.

25th May - The National

An article entitled "£3.64bn ... how much Scotland may pay for a HS2 line that won’t go beyond the Border" reports SNP claims that Scotland may not get connected to HS2.

Ken Sutherland, from RailFuture Scotland, said these decisions are not always made on the basis of business cases: “In terms of the high speed project, the key driver to anything is political will.” There are many reasons behind any project being pursued said Sutherland: “The business case is one component of that. It’s a very flexible situation. You can use different consultant to prove different outcomes. Politicians can and do pursue projects that they think they want.”

22nd May - Cambridge News

News of the rail strike cancellation was welcomed by Peter Wakefield, chairman of East Anglia branch. He said: "I'm delighted to hear that – it will be a huge relief to the hundreds of thousands of people in East Anglia who will be using the trains this weekend. I just hope we don't have to go through events like this again in the near future which is very disruptive"

21st May - LBC

Both the RMT and the TSSA reached agreement with Network Rail and called off their proposed strikes. Bruce Williamson appeared on Shelagh Fogarty's programme and welcomed the news. Listen here.

18th May - Stray FM

Northern Rail has decided to start charging for car parking at some of its stations. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appeared on news bulletins throughout the day commenting on this story.

27th April - Kent Messenger

Southeastern services have been branded "awful" by Transport for London Boss Sir Peter Hendy, who also compared the firm's ticket inspectors to the Gestapo. But Railfuture believes there may be more to Sir Peter's comments than simple ire, and they could belie a desire to take a more active role in the county's transport service.

Railfuture director Chris Fribbins is quoted: "I think these comments should be taken in light of TfL's ambitions to take over the Metro services from Southeastern."

14th April - The Herald

Changes to a popular ScotRail discount scheme will see the cost of some journeys more than double. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted: "It's swings and roundabouts. Obviously we welcome the plus sides, but we're not too happy about the downsides. It's disappointing that some of the best aspects of it have been lost. Fares are always a big issue for passengers and we'd obviously welcome any reduction in prices, but sadly some of the best deals have gone. They're basically giving with one hand and taking away with the other."

6th April - Daily Mail

Ticket machines are still not offering the cheapest fares. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson said: ‘The major problem is the ridiculous complexity of our fares system. There are too many tickets out there and you would have to have screen after screen of fares covering all those with exceptions such as off-peak only, or those tickets limited to particular railway companies." The story also appears in the Bath Chronicle, Bristol Post and Gloucester Citizen.

2nd and 3rd April - Easter disruption

Engineering works cause disruption to the Easter getaway, prompting much media interest. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is interviewed on the BBC Radio Bristol and BBC Somerset breakfast shows on the 2nd, and LBC and BBC London's the next day. He also appears on BBC Radio Five Live in several overnight bulletins and on Morning Reports. Click on the links to hear the clips.

2nd April - The Independent

The Indy covers the Easter getaway in slightly more measured tones than the Express (28th March, below).

"A spokesman for the campaign group Railfuture said Network Rail had been “very badly stung” and “should be better prepared” now." This quote was probably taken from one of the radio interviews (above).

2nd April - Western Mail

John Rogers, chairman of South branch of Railfuture Cymru, writes that the railways of Wales are thriving and have a bright future as evidenced by the latest passenger figures.

1st April - BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Chris Burton of East Anglia branch is interviewed about reopening the line to Wisbech. £10 million has been found to fund a feasibility study. Listen here.

1st April - London Evening Standard

Railfuture director Chris Fribbins gets a letter published in the Standard, encouraging passengers affected by disruption at London Bridge to claim compensation.

28th March - Daily Express

"EXCLUSIVE: Rip-off Easter rail to take FIVE times longer but passengers will pay the price" is the headline.

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted: “This shows the madness of Britain’s railways. Rather than putting up fares for Easter, rail companies should be offering compensation for delays. Firms should be flexible and work together, allowing advance fare passengers to travel on other firms’ services if engineering works delay journeys.”

27th March - Rail Professional

Rail Professional magazine prints an article written by Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson. The article sets out the likely prospects for electrification after the next election. It's on page 77.

24th March - Cambridge News

The paper prints Railfuture's vision for a Cambridge metro. Peter Wakefield of East Anglia branch is quoted: "We want the money spent in Cambridge on the City Deal but we didn't want it to duplicate something that was happening anyway. Everything should be looked at in the whole mix. We really want everyone to be aware of what's happening, so we can make proper, informed decisions."

23rd March - Portsmouth News

The headline is "Campaigners grill rail boss over services", as the paper reports on the Wessex branch AGM where Phil Hutchinson from Govia Thameslink was one of the invited speakers.

20th March - Hampshire independent

The freesheet picks up on Wessex branch's press release and plugs the forthcoming branch AGM on page 11.

19th March - Uckfield News

George Osborne's final budget gives £100,000 towards a new study into reopening the Uckfield to Lewes rail line. "Pressure group Railfuture welcomed the statement and said it was a “major success” for its campaign and it would work to ensure the scope of the study captured all the potential benefits a re-opening could bring. The group had lobbied Rail Minister Claire Perry at a “rail summit” in Hastings at the end of January."

16th March - Daily Express

"Scots face Easter travel chaos on West Coast rail line" is the headline of a piece quoting Railfuture's spokesman Bruce Williamson: “Passengers will undoubtedly get annoyed by these works. Inconvenience is inevitable.”

A similar story appears in the Scottish newspaper The Herald

9th March - South Wales Echo

Transport experts in Wales are unhappy about proposals to split the Wales and Borders franchise, fearing Wales will get the raw end of the deal. John Rogers, chairman of South Wales branch, claims that the plan to transfer English routes is “diabolical”.

“It’s ill-thought-out. It’s something that should be discussed, not just unilaterally decided.”

7th March - Edinburgh News

Passengers on the busiest Edinburgh-Glasgow line will lose direct trains for six weeks. Roderick McDougall of Railfuture Scotland is quoted: “This is almost exactly what we had feared, despite assurances to the contrary. This disruption is totally unnecessary and could be avoided if the Almond chord were to be built first. The logic of closing the tunnel and causing such disruption to Scotland’s flagship rail service before building the chord, which we are told will still be built in the future, eludes us.”

6th March - Ipswich Star

Research by Railfuture’s East Anglia branch shows station usage has increased by an average of 12.5% in the region since 2009, and on other lines, particularly where train frequencies have increased.

Railfuture is calling for more train services in Suffolk to meet demand. Vice-chairman Chris Burton said the increased services created a “mental shift” in passengers’ perception of rail travel that made them more likely to consider it as a viable option. “That’s what’s driving the growth on the East Suffolk Line – it’s obvious that it’s made the difference”

3rd March - Railnews

Ken sutherland of Railfuture Scotland gets a letter published,, said praising our vice president Chris Green: "Despite subsequent structural railway fragmentation/privatisation, Chris Green is still today in Scotland, regarded as a giant of innovative and inspirational thinking : a railway legend in his lunchtime, successfully going where others were too timid or visionless to contemplate."

2nd March - BBC Radio Leeds(Twice)

Chris Hyomes appears on the breakfast show to discuss the transfer of the East Coast franchise to Virgin (listen here), and at lunchtime it's David Harby's turn to speak for Railfuture (listen here).

27th February - BBC Radio Leeds and BBC Radio York

Chris Hyomes of Yorkshire branch appears on the Radio Leeds morning show to talk about the withdrawal of Pacers (listen here) and then later in the day on BBC York's drive time programme (listen here).

27th February - BBC Somerset and BBC Radio Bristol

The BBC reports that Great Western electrification is over budget and behind schedule. Bruce Williamson appears on the BBC Somerset breakfast show, and a few minutes later, on BBC Radio Bristol along with shadow rail minister Lillian Greenwood. Listen here and here.

23rd February - London Evening Standard

Following on from the previous day's story in the Daily Mail, Railfuture is quoted in the London Evening Standard, and this in turn is picked up by The Spirits Business. This story originated in a report from the Rail Safety and Standards Board which says, on the subject of intoxication:

"A range of resources to support the safe management of intoxicated passengers will be piloted at all staffed stations and, where successful, will be implemented, SFAIRP (so far as is reasonably practicable). Work will also be undertaken to incorporate requirements for such resources into the design standards for new stations.The exploration of potential advancements in co-ordinated support between station staff, train staff, Network Rail, and the BTP carried out in CP5, will be turned into formalised agreements of roles, responsibilities, and processes for managing intoxicated passengers. This formalised agreement will be supported by investigation into additional legislation and policy that could be used to support the management of intoxicated passengers, for example banning the sale and consumption of alcohol on trains (similar to TfL)."

22nd February - Daily Mirror

Should alcohol be banned on UK trains to stop drunks having accidents? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson thinks this is a little drastic: “It’s absolutely right that they look at this problem but I think there is a sensible policy to be had. As with pubs, it is illegal to serve people that are drunk and that can be done on board trains. But people can and indeed do turn up at a railway station drunk."

20th February - Rail Technology Magazine

"Chancellor George Osborne has asked Network Rail to “look very seriously” at electrifying the main line between Bristol and Birmingham and between Derby and Birmingham" The article goes on to quote extensively from our press release.

20th February - Cambridge News

As if in response to the story three days earlier, George Osborne and Boris Johnson announce a plan to look at improved services for train passengers from Cambridge. Peter Wakefield, chairman of East Anglia branch, is quoted: “We would welcome any investment on the line. It isn’t as fast as it should be for such an important line. I hope that we would get faster trains from the initiative.”

17th February - Cambridge News

Cambridge rail passengers are among the least satisfied in the country, apparently. Peter Wakefield, chairman of East Anglia branch, is quoted: "There's so much investment going on and so much rebuilding this in itself leads to short-term pain – it's disruptive and people quite rightly don't want their journeys disrupted."

15th February - Lincolnshire Echo

In his regular column, David Harby from Lincolnshire branch welcomes an integrated rail and bus hub for Lincoln.

10th February - Haverhill Echo

"Haverhill railway proposals receive new help" - from Railfuture. The Haverhill & Cambridge to Colchester Rail Project is being helped by Railfuture to promote its latest concept statement identifying the potential route between Cambridge and Haverhill.

9th February - BBC Lincolnshire

Roadworks have caused a huge increase in rail passengers into Lincoln. David Harby is interviewed. Listen here.

5th February - Northants Telegraph

"Hopes for second line at Corby train station" is the headline. David Fursdon, of East Midlands branch, is quoted: “I am delighted to hear of this work being undertaken, and it is a clear demonstration we need these infastucture improvements to offer better passenger rail services to and from Corby."

21st January - Western Daily Press

"Speak up to stop us becoming rail's forgotten region" is the title of an article written by Nigel Bray of Severnside branch.

20th January - BBC online

The BBC Norfolk news website features the news that there will be no Norwich to London weekend trains for two months. Spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted: "Whilst some passengers have the option of travelling by train via Cambridge, this is another example of the lack of resilience in the railway because there are no alternative routes available."

16th January - Fife Today

It's "Full steam ahead for rail campaign" in the next phase of the St Andrews rail link campaign, one of the schemes supported by Railfuture Scotland.

16th January - BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Following the previous day's appearance (below), this time it's BBC Radio Cambridgeshire's turn. On the breakfast show, Chris Burton of East Anglia branch is interviewed over Network Rail's plans to improve connectivity in the region. Listen here.

15th January - BBC Radio Norfolk

On the breakfast show, Chris Burton of East Anglia branch casts a slightly sceptical eye over Network Rail's plans to improve connectivity in the region. Listen here.

12th January - BBC London

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson in interviewed about Network Rail's report into disruption over the Christmas period. Listen Here

12th January - Western Daily Press

Nigel Bray of Severnside branch has a letter published about the inadequacies of rolling stock in the West, and advocates the building of new diesel trains.

12th January - BBC Radio Kent

Railfuture director Chris Fribbins is interviewed on BBC Radio Kent about the disruption to passengers caused by works at London Bridge. The interview ends abruptly when the equipment fails. Listen here.

8th January - Lincs FM

Lincolnshire branch chair David Harby is interviewed on a number of topics including Gainsborough Central station. Clips of this interview will be broadcast over the next few days.

6th Jamuary - The Scotsman

Roderick McDougall, vice-chair of Railfuture Scotland, argues that the “Almond Chord” should have been built before closing the Winchburgh tunnel for electrificatoin works.

7th January - The Courier

There is ‘Grassroots support’ for the St Andrews rail link. The article continues: "Railfuture Scotland’s vice-chairman, Roderick McDougall, a retired chartered engineer, included it in his list of 23 short branches he considers necessary to provide a fit-for-purpose Scottish rail network. "

5th January - BBC Radio Leicester

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson discusses the possibility of renationalisatioin with Ben Southwood from the Adam Smith Institute and Ellie Harrison from Bring Back British Rail. Listen here.

4th January - BBC Radio Five Live

Railfuture director Chris Fribbins appeared on Five Live Investigates talking about rail disruption. Listen here.

4th January - BBC London

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is interviewed at length about fares policy. Listen here.

2nd January - Western Mail

The paper prints a letter from John Rogers, chairman of the South branch of Railfuture Cymru, arguing for a government-owned company to take over the services currently run by Arriva.



Click HERE for earlier examples of Railfuture in the media.


Apply to join Railfuture now - click HERE.
 

Rail User Express Rail Action