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Railfuture in the news

Railfuture is frequently quoted by the media in newspapers, transport magazines, online and on radio and television.

Below are some recent examples of Railfuture being reported. If you know of any we've missed, then email media at railfuture.org.uk with details.



2020


21st May - Modern Railways

Railfuture director Roger Blake makes two appearances in this issue. He has a letter published detailing the success of the "Eastbourne overlap", a scheme supported by Railfuture and which has resulted in a significant jump in passenger footfall.

A six-page article in the same edition reports on the work of the Sussex Community Rail Partnership. Roger Blake is again quoted, reassuring travellers that their trains aren't about to disappear: "Users should not be concerned: unless Southern gets something else in the meantime, when the lease expires these trains will be subleased back to Southern"

10th May - Rail Professional

"Reducing car use in the West of England - can rail do the job?" is the title of an opinion piece by transport campaigner Christina Biggs. After listing the rail schemes being considered by the local authority, she writes: "Each of these schemes has been promoted for tens of years by the ceaseless work of many national and local rail campaign groups and individuals – Railfuture, Severnside Community Rail Partnership, Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways (FoSBR), Portishead Rail Group, Pilning Station Group, Transport for Greater Bristol Alliance, the rail columnist David Wood and the tireless David Redgewell"

27th April - Railstaff

The rail industry magazine publishes an article entitled "Reversing Beeching", giving a cautious and realistic analysis of prospects for reopenings. Railfuture gets a mention for its work: "Another useful resource for rail campaigners is the booklet jointly published by the DfT, Railfuture and the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT): “Expanding the Railways – how to develop and deliver a proposal”, which is available on the CBT website."

23rd April - Modern Railways

The magazine reports on new class 197 trains being introduced in Wales, and Railfuture gets two mentions:

"Railfuture Wales said one toilet per unit was not suitable for the nature of the routes the units will operate, including Manchester to Milford Haven" and

"However, Railfuture Wales and SARPA have concerns the seat chosen by TfW, without seeking any passenger feedback, may be unsuitable for long journeys."

23rd March - Rail Professional

Railfuture's Phil Smart writes an article for the magazine entitled "Our friends in the south". In an article focussing on freight, he argues that investment in the South of England benefits the North too, and that southern ports such as Felixstowe and Southampton will continue to be the preferred routes for freight companies to access the North.

23rd March - BBC Radio Bristol

Rail companies across Britain are running a reduced timetable in the light of reduced demand and lower staff availability. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the drive time show to discuss. Listen here or download here.

19th March - News Post Leader

"Rail campaigners have hit out at a decision to leave Northumberland off a panel to lead the Northern Trains franchise....The North East Branch of Railfuture, the independent voluntary group that campaigns for a bigger and better railway, says that it is not right that virtually every area across the Northern railway network is represented, apart from the areas that are managed by the North East Joint Transport Committee" reads the article.

It then goes on to extensively quote Railfuture North East branch chair Keith Simpson.

8th March - inews

"Britain's most-cancelled train revealed, and it's a Northern Rail service" - inews then quotes The Times, which in turn quotes Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson: “There has been a perfect storm of things going wrong on the railway, with poor management, flooding and faulty trains. It means disappointment and frustration for commuters.”

29th February - GWR commemorative leaflet

GWR published a leaflet for a special anniversary train to commemorate Henry Wicks, who died in a train accident on leap day 1892. Many rail industry bigwigs past and present were invited to travel. The leaflet reads: "This event was conceived by Roger Blake of Railfuture and put together by GWR, Network Rail and Sussex Community Rail Partnership".

27th February - BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

There are reports of cost overruns on the Ely area junction upgrade. Peter Wakefield of East Anglia branch is interviewed on the drive time show. Listen here or download here.

20th February - RailFreight.com

"UK needs terminal policy to stimulate growth" is the title of an article which reports on Railfuture's policy document for freight terminal development. "Railfuture makes a case for a modern network, and their policy document tackles the issues from the environmental angle, which is also playing an increasing part in the planning process, particularly in British urban centres" it reads.

16th February - BBC Radio Scotland.

The station dedicates half an hour to the topic of Beeching and reopenings in Scotland, with guests including Railfuture's honorary president Christian Wolmar and Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson. Listen here or download here.

14th February - Herald

The "Barnett formula" may mean that Scotland is in line for a windfall of up to £10 billion as a result of the HS2 rail project. Some of this money could be spent on other rail projects in Scotland. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted:

“Scotland has done much better than England in reopening lines. It’s not just the Borders Railway, there are a few others. They have all exceeded expectations. So you’ve got the proof of concept, that if you build it they will come. And rail is a much more environmentally-friendly form of transport. With the climate crisis, we need to reduce our carbon emissions and rail is a very good way of doing that.”

12th February - Iltalehti (Finnish newspaper)

Railfuture's reputation goes international as the Finnish paper reports on approval for HS2. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson's Finnish is a bit rusty, so his comments were made in English and then translated into Finnish. Translating back into English, it reads:

"British Railfuture - according to Bruce Williamson , a spokesman for the organization, it is primarily a matter of increasing rail capacity, but secondarily of speed. British railways are mainly built in the 1800s - century, and no matter how much we repair, we also need completely new rail connections, he tells Bristol by telephone to Iltalehti. New high-speed train lines must be much more direct than the routes on the old lines are planned, he continues."

11th February - The Gazette

Yet another Scottish newspaper reports on Railfuture Scotland's proposals for expanding Scotland's rail network. The headline is: "Experts at think tank call for Renfrewshire railway line to be resurrected", continuing: "A fresh call has been made to bring a “much-needed” rail line back to Renfrewshire. Think tank Railfuture Scotland has developed a map of service improvements across the country, which includes the restoration of a line through Elderslie, Bridge of Weir and Kilmacolm."

5th February - Falkirk Herald

The paper picks up on Railfuture Scotland's proposals for expanding Scotland's rail network: "Pressure is building to bring a railway station back to the town of Grangemouth and its local MSP is more than chuffed about recently announced plans to do just that. Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald welcomed a report from Railfuture Scotland about having a Scottish rail network fit for the 21st century which identifies a new rail station in Grangemouth as a key priority."

3rd February - Daily Record

The headline is "Scotland's rail network needs 90 new stations to keep it on track say transport experts" - those transport experts are of course Railfuture Scotland, as the paper reports on Railfuture's plans to expand and invest in Scotland's railways.

2nd February - Herald on Sunday

Railfuture Scotland gets major coverage in the paper for its proposals to expand Scotland’s rail network. An article entitled "Scotland's railway roadmap: think tank reveals wish-list for our train network" gives a detailed explanation of Railfuture's plans, and Jane Ann Liston of Scotland branch writes an opinion piece: "Bold vision for our railways is the only way to transform transport network". In addition, the paper prints a leader under the title "Revolutionary thinking that's long overdue", praising Railfuture's plans and saying "If we are to have a practical network that people actually want to leave their cars at home for, this kind of thinking is exactly what's needed."

31st January - Metro

"Soaring train fares ‘good value’, says rail minister, Chris Heaton-Harris" is the headline, as he is widely mocked for trying to claim that British rail fares aren't too high. "Bruce Williamson, of advocacy group Railfuture, said many tickets were ‘outrageously expensive’."

30th January - BBC Radio Five Live

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited on to the breakfast show to talk about the nationalisation of Northern. Listen here or download here.

30th January - Railway Technology

Under the headline "Sewage on the train tracks: will the rail industry clean up after itself?", there's analysis of the rail industry's failure to end the practice of dumping raw sewage onto the tracks. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted: “Quite clearly it’s a hideous, outmoded way of disposing of sewage and it should have been stopped years ago. Where a delay has happened in either electrification or upgrading procurement or testing or whatever for new rolling stock, then the old rolling stock still has to be used. And there’s no choice really, because obviously it’s better to run a train than to not run it at all even if it’s slightly unsatisfactory."

29th January - talkRADIO

Railfuture chairman Chris Page appears on James Whale's evening programme for a detailed discussion of the Northern situation. Listen here or download here.

29th January - Lincolnshire Echo

The paper reports on the impact of renationalising the Northern franchise. David Harby, chairman of Lincolnshire branch, said that Northern's problems stem from even before the current franchise was agreed.

"Bringing Northern under public control will mean absolutely nothing. It won't make a blind bit of difference at the moment to passengers in this area, for whom nothing will change."

29th January - BBC1

Nina Smith of Yorkshire branch is featured on BBC News at Ten in a report on the nationalisation of the Northern franchise, and she later reappears on the BBC News Channel. She is also included in a report on BBC Radio 4's 6 o'clock news. Listen here or download here.

Chris Hyomes of Yorkshire branch appears on Look North.

28th January - talkRADIO

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is interviewed by Matthew Wright about the £500 million fund for reversing some of the Beeching cuts. Listen here or download here.

28th January - BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Peter Wakefield of East Anglia branch is interviewed about the prospects for reopening lines in Cambridgeshire, in the light of the government's announcement of the £500 million fund for reversing some of the Beeching cuts. Listen here or download here.

28th January - talkRADIO

Railfuture director Roger Blake is interviewed about the £500 million fund for reversing some of the Beeching cuts. Listen here or download here.

27th January - talkRADIO

The troubled Northern franchise is strongly rumoured to be up for nationalisation. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited on to James Max's business breakfast programme for his analysis. Listen here or download here.

23rd January - Love Sport Radio

Kelvin MacKenzie interviews Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson about the ongoing question mark over HS2 and the situation on South Western. Listen here or download here.

23rd January - Modern Railways

The magazine picks up on our argument abut using CPI instead of RPI: "Campaigning group Railfuture and others say this is not playing cricket: they argue that the more commonly-used Consumer Price Index is a fairer index to use. Indeed, Railfuture says that if CPI had been used as the index since 2003, a £100 fare back then would be just £145.33 today. With the Government policy in England of RPI+1% from 2004 to 2013 and RPI thereafter, that fare of £100 in 2003 has gone to £181.33 now - leaving the customer £36 out of pocket....Railfuture reminds us that the Government has frozen petrol duty for almost 10 years now". They then quote Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson: ”The Government seems to be running scared of the motoring lobby but is happy to punish rail travellers”

22nd January - BBC1

Nina Smith, chair of Yorkshire branch, is interviewed about overcrowding on Northern. The same clip was later broadcast on Look North.

20th January - LBC

HS2 cost forecasts are now up to £106 billion. Should the project go ahead? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is interviewed alongside Penny Gaines from the Stop HS2 campaign. Listen here or download here.

20th January - Hastings and St. Leonards Observer

Ore station, in East Sussex on the Marshlink Line, has shown remarkable growth in passenger numbers. Roger Blake of London & South East branch is quoted: “The leap in usage is a vote of confidence by local residents and visitors around Ore in their local train service. It just goes to show what local activism can achieve when done in partnership with others, be it the train operator, Sussex CRP, Railfuture, and as a member of the Hastings & Rother Rail Users Alliance.”

16th January - Western Mail

Transport for Wales will pay almost £2m extra for more comfortable seats in its fleet of new trains.
Peter Kingsbury, chair of Railfuture Wales, is quoted: “The potential use of hard seats on the new trains running long distance services in Wales is wrong, and should not have occurred... Had interested parties been consulted on the design of the new trains, this issue could have been avoided... It is hoped that the seats align with windows to enable tourists using the new trains, which will operate on some of the most scenic Welsh routes, to enjoy the view.”

9th January - talkRADIO

Both South Western and Northern franchises look likely to end, but for different reasons. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is interviewed on Mike Graham's morning show. Listen here or download here.

8th January - Yorkshire Post

Nina Smith, chair of Yorkshire branch, has a letter published about overcrowding on Cross Country trains. She writes:

"The use of four carriage Voyager trains on these long distance services is completely unacceptable. LNER and Great Western Railway have recently handed back to leasing companies many excellent, if older, seven to nine carriage High Speed Train sets. The Transport Secretary should require Cross Country Trains to lease some of these, and modify their doors and lavatories to meet access and hygiene requirements."

6th January - Birmingham Mail

Chiltern has increased car parking charges at some of its stations. Colin Major of West Midlands branch is quoted:

"We are not really happy with inhibiting people from travelling by train although we recognise it costs money to build and maintain car parking. There is a shortage of car parking spaces at every station."

6th January - City A.M.

Crossrail has been delayed yet again. Railfuture’s Bruce Williamson said it was unacceptable and that TfL had “serious questions to answer” about the delay.

He added: “Londoners will be only too aware that the tube is under a lot of strain, and across the UK rail network there is a shortage of capacity.”

3rd January - Western Mail

John Rogers of Railfuture Cymru Wales has a letter published under the title "Full devolution of rail transport is needed." He says: "Transport for Wales is to be praised for bucking the fares trend by reducing some fares or implementing only lower increases than in England. The Welsh Government has had to battle with Westminster to achieve the partial levels of control of Welsh railways that it now has. Only when we have full devolution of rail transport can we take further the process of having a Welsh rail network truly serving the nation."

3rd January - Yorkshire Post

The Department for Transport is reportedly considering splitting the Northern franchise into two. Nina Smith, chair of Yorkshire branch, argues that this is not the solution in a letter to the paper.

2nd January - Fare rises

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is interviewed on the breakfast shows of LBC (Listen here or download here) and talkRADIO (Listen here or download here). Some of his comments are included in a news item on the talkRADIO website.
He then appears on BBC Radio Tees to talk about some of the ways of getting cheaper tickets (listen here or download here) and then BBC Radio London to talk about fare rises and other wider rail issues. Listen here or download here.

Nina Smith of Yorkshire branch appears on BBC Radio Leeds Listen here or download here.

Railfuture director Roger Blake appeared on Sky News.

Dave Richardson of Thames Valley branch is interviewed on BBC South evening news and again on the late news.

Our press release is picked up by many media outlets, with Railfuture being quoted by Sky, Evening Standard, Telegraph, Mirror, Daily Star, Daily Mail, Daily Record, The Sun, Scotsman, Guardian, iNews and the front page of the Metro , as well as many local papers.

2nd January - LBC

Railfuture director Roger Blake is interviewed about the future of the Northern franchise. Listen here or download here.

2nd January - BBC Midlands Today

Steve Wright of West Midlands branch is interviewed about some of the problems facing rail operators in the region.



Click HERE for previous examples of Railfuture in the media.

Media - For more information please contact:
Bruce Williamson, media spokesman
Tel: 0117 927 2954
Mobile: 07759 557389
Email: media at railfuture.org.uk

Apply to join Railfuture now - click HERE.



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