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News and Views

Welcome back to our trains

Author: Ian Brown - Published Thu 27 of Aug, 2020 16:12 BST - (3187 Reads)
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 Mon 03 of Aug, 2020 23:31 BST - (4133 Reads)
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 Tue 28 of Jul, 2020 13:28 BST - (10286 Reads)
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 Tue 28 of Jul, 2020 12:32 BST - (2998 Reads)
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 Tue 28 of Jul, 2020 11:54 BST - (3088 Reads)
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 Thu 09 of Jul, 2020 18:19 BST - (2481 Reads)
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 Wed 01 of Jul, 2020 09:05 BST - (4588 Reads)
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.

Money for Ideas

Author: Chris Page - Published Thu 28 of May, 2020 20:10 BST - (5067 Reads)
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 Tue 07 of Apr, 2020 11:40 BST - (7268 Reads)
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 Wed 26 of Feb, 2020 12:41 GMT - (4402 Reads)
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 Thu 20 of Feb, 2020 19:46 GMT - (4157 Reads)
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 Thu 06 of Feb, 2020 18:58 GMT - (3467 Reads)
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 Fri 31 of Jan, 2020 20:56 GMT - (4956 Reads)
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 Fri 31 of Jan, 2020 19:53 GMT - (6190 Reads)
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 Fri 10 of Jan, 2020 14:37 GMT - (4968 Reads)
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 Tue 07 of Jan, 2020 13:57 GMT - (6398 Reads)
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 Fri 27 of Dec, 2019 13:08 GMT - (4656 Reads)
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 Fri 13 of Dec, 2019 22:38 GMT - (8332 Reads)
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 Tue 03 of Dec, 2019 17:16 GMT - (3715 Reads)
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.


Railfuture’s campaigns, opinions and successes are often reported by the press and media, see Railfuture in the news.