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News and Views

Money for Ideas

Author: Chris Page - Published At: Thu 28 of May, 2020 20:10 BST - (312 Reads)
Network
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 by Ilkeston Advertiser.

Relieving Castlefield

Author: Phil Smart - Published At: Tue 07 of Apr, 2020 11:40 BST - (1847 Reads)
Freight
The Castlefield Corridor – a great opportunity for freight, and a way to enable reliable passenger services across Manchester. A Trafford Park to Southampton Western Docks freight train approaches Platform 13 at Manchester Piccadilly. To the left is the rear of a train to Trafford Park from London Gateway. Without these two trains, four more passenger trains could cross Manchester every hour.

Prospects for light rail

Author: Ian Brown CBE FCILT - Published At: Wed 26 of Feb, 2020 12:41 GMT - (1889 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 - (2093 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 - (1638 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 - (2566 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 - (2440 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 - (3276 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 - (4534 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 - (3017 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 - (6544 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 - (2298 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 - (3299 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 - (1746 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 - (2221 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 - (4137 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 - (2177 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.

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