Railfuture in the news 2016

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

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

Click HERE for later examples of Railfuture in the media.


31st December - Cambridge News

In anticipation of the new year rail fare increases, the paper publishes an article based on the views of Railfuture.

Chris Burton, vice chairman of East Anglia branch, is extensively quoted, saying, amongst other things: "I don’t think anyone believes people get value for money for their ticket. I don't know. l can’t see anything changing at the moment."

29th December - Gloucester Citizen

Nigel Bray, secretary of Severnside branch, has a letter published. He backs comments made by Richard Graham MP, who wants more trains to call at Gloucester. Nigel writes: "In the longer term, we need a more extensive InterCity service not only from Gloucester, but also restoring through trains from the South West to areas such as Lancashire and Cumbria"

24th December - Falkirk Herald

Roderick McDougall of Railfuture Scotland is given an opinion piece in the paper. He outlines Railfuture's vision of what rail services in Central Scotland could look like.

22nd December - Modern Railways

The January edition features an article on two possible new railway stations in Wales - Magor Walkway and Cardiff Parkway. Railfuture gets a mention, as funding for the GRIP process has come partly from our fighting fund.

12th December - Oxford Mail

The paper reports on the opening of the new service between Oxford and London Marylebone: "Railfuture, a group which campaigns for better rail services for passengers and freight, said competition was good but fares would not necessarily drop."

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted: "The advantage of the new link is that it gives passengers more choice. I welcome this expansion of the rail network and hope it keeps ticket prices down but I'm not holding my breath for a bonanza of cheap fares."

11th December - Daily Record

ScotRail trains are skipping stations when running late, leading to protests from many quarters, including Railfuture Scotland. Spokesman Ken Sutherland is quoted:

“ScotRail are taking their passengers for granted. They are treating them like some sort of captive market. There should be some form of compensation for people who have been affected by skip stopping, for example a voucher for a free journey. They should show they value their customers. I have been travelling on the trains for decades and skip stopping appears to be a new phenomenon. Trains could be late but they didn’t miss out stations.”

10th December - Norwich Evening News

The paper picks up a story from Railwatch, showing our front cover picture of an almost empty carriage at peak time. It reads: "It is a situation highlighted by campaign group Rail Future (sic) on the front of its latest newsletter “railwatch” – featuring an InterCity train leaving Liverpool Street for Ipswich and Norwich on October 21."

9th December - talkRADIO

George Galloway interviews Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson about the Southern dispute and wider rail policy issues. Listen here or download here.

9th December - Cambridge News

Greater Anglia is rolling out new Oyster-style smart cards to season ticket holders. Railfuture director Jerry Alderson is quoted:

"A lot of people with annual season tickets complain that the ticket soon gets damaged after feeding it through the barriers. They have to get several replacements during a year. That will no longer be necessary with plastic smartcards."

9th December - BBC Radio York

Railfuture director Chris Hyomes appears on BBC Radio York's drive time show to welcome the first Hitachi Azuma train off the production line. Listen here or download here.

9th December - Bristol Community fm

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited on to BCfm's politics show to talk at length about Network Rail, TOCs, ROSCOs and electrification. Listen here or download here.

7th December - Leicester Mercury

Plans to modernise Market Harborough station, including straightening the track to speed up trains, have been postponed.

"Bruce Williamson spokesman for pressure group Railwatch" (well nearly right) said: "We fully support the electrification of the Midlands Mainline and the straightening of the line through Market Harborough. Any delay is a disappointment and we need to get a firm, revised timetable delivered as soon as possible."

7th December - Express and Star

New figures show a 7 percent increase in passenger numbers in Staffordshire and the Black Country. Steve Wright from West Midlands branch is quoted:

“We are very enthusiastic about rail in the West Midlands and it is generally accepted that the growth in the West Midlands is growing more quickly than anywhere else in the country. We are looking forward to the next franchise, which is due in July next year for October next year. That may see some significant improvements in (journey) frequency.”

6th December - BBC Radio Suffolk

Peter Wakefield of East Anglia branch appears on the drive time show to discuss the government's announcement about its proposals to integrate track and train management. Listen here.

6th December - BBC Three Counties Radio

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the drive time show to discuss government plans to hand control of tracks from Network Rail to the TOCs. Listen here.

6th December - BBC Radio Five Live

The second appearance for Railfuture on Five Live today, as Chris Austin, head of infrastructure and networks group, appears on the drive time show. Listen here.

6th December - Cambridge News

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has confirmed that East West rail will have a new unified body to operate and construct it.

Chris Burton, vice chairman of East Anglia branch, is quoted: "Railfuture is immensely enthusiastic about it. We want to see that line open as quickly as possible. It will need to be properly thought out, but it is perfectly possible. I see no reason why it shouldn't work."

6th December - BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the drive time show to discuss government plans to hand control of tracks from Network Rail to the TOCs. Listen here.

6th December - BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Chris Burton of East Anglia branch appears on the breakfast show to discuss the government's announcement about East-West rail and its proposals to integrate track and train management. Listen here.

6th December - Pontypool Free Press

Magor station took another step forward, with the county council and Magor Action Group on Rail ("MAGOR") launching a bid for the station to the Department for Transport. Railfuture's contribution is noted, as the article says: " A council report also recommends that the funding should be reserved to support further stages of the process if the Welsh Government agrees to reimburse the funding. Local contributions of £21,500 are also being put forward by MAGOR, Magor with Undy Community Council and the Railfuture Fund."

6th December - BBC Radio Five Live

The government is proposing to let the TOCs take on responsibility for track maintenance. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the Morning Reports programme to discuss some of the issues involved. Listen here.

5th December - Cambridge News

Fare rises are announced, with news of improved terms for compensation for late trains. Chris Burton from East Anglia branch is quoted:

“The fares will cost people more, but this is the Government’s policy, and it has been for several governments now. One good thing though is the suggestion that getting the money back for late-running or non-existent trains is going to be a lot easier, which could force them to run on time. If you look back to five or ten years ago there are improvements, but the one think that is slipping is punctuality.”

3rd December - talkRADIO

Alexis Conran interviews Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson about government plans to simplify the ticket pricing structure and force ticket machines to always offer the best deal. Listen here.

2nd December - BBC Radio Leeds

Railfuture director Chris Hyomes appears on BBC Radio Leeds. He agrees that the rail fare increases are a kick in the teeth for passengers. Listen here.

2nd December - talkRADIO

Rail fare increases averaging 2.3% are announced by the rail industry. Julia Hartley-Brewer interviews Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson. Listen here.

2nd December - LBC

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the LBC drive time show to discuss today's fare increases.
Listen here.

30th November - Southern Daily Echo

"Train operators in the south have been accused of overcharging passengers by “hiding” the cheapest fares for many routes." says the paper. It adds:

" Last night Railfuture, an independent organisation campaigning for better rail services, accused the government and train operators of hiding the split-ticketing system. Spokesman Bruce Williamson said: “Passengers shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to find these hidden savings, which can be considerable. It’s unfair that those in the know can obtain cheaper fares than other passengers who pay the full amount.” "

26th November - Oxford Mail

"Delays to the electrification of the railway line between Oxford and Didcot could provide an opportunity to improve rail links along Oxfordshire’s economic and science growth corridor, according to a rail campaign group." That group is Railfuture, of course.

Richard Stow, chairman of Thames Valley branch, is quoted: “It would be great if the Chiltern service could be extended to Didcot, providing a good cross-Oxford service as an interim measure and a rail service along the knowledge corridor from Bicester through Oxford to the Science Vale around Didcot.”

11th November - Oxford Mail

The paper reports on a meeting held to discuss problems of traffic on the A40.

"Architect and planner Raymond Hall, Roger Blake of Railfuture, and Stephen Joseph of Campaign for Better Travel, delivered talks on how to tackle the issues on the road in the wake of major expected growth across West Oxfordshire."

9th November - Somerset County Gazette

The headline reads "Railfuture group backs Minehead to Taunton train service plan", and goes on to quote Nigel Bray of Severnside branch:

"Young people in West Somerset are facing difficulties travelling to Taunton because fewer sixth form courses are on offer. An all year train service on the West Somerset Railway to give access to jobs and education in Taunton, Bridgwater, Bristol and Exeter, encourage more visitors and boost the local economy."

9th November - Bristol Post

"Why has the Government stuck two fingers up to Bristol and left the city in a transport backwater?" asks the paper, as it reports that electrification to Bristol has been deferred. The paper picks up our press release and quotes Nigel Bray of Severnside branch:

"We're very concerned that no firm revised date has been set for these essential works. It looks like the scheme is being pushed back further into the long grass with no government commitment as to when the wires will reach Bath and Temple Meads, if ever. The announcement did not mention what will happen to Metro West and other important improvements to Bristol's rail network. Is the government tried to get away with a half-finished electrification scheme? We need a clear indication of when it will be completed"

5th November - talkRADIO

Alexis Conrad, from the BBC TV show The Real Hustle, interviews Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson about fake tickets and the cost of rail travel. Listen here.

31st October - The Sun

The article reads; "Train firms’ ‘Delay Repay’ scheme repays passengers half their fare for unplanned delays of 30 minutes, and the full fare for delays of an hour. But the refund scheme will be suspended for Christmas journeys hit by engineering projects, as rail companies use a loophole allowing them to blame planned works."

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted: “There should be compensation or price reductions for journeys taking longer than usual – whether the delay is planned or unplanned.”

30th October - Mirror, Express, Daily Mail

The tabloids are outraged that passengers will be inconvenienced by engineering works over Christmas. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted:

"There's definitely more work this Christmas compared to a decade ago. There's no doubt disrupted services will cause annoyance and inconvenience. Network Rail must put a plan B in place to ensure works finish on time - unlike at Christmas 2014."

20th October - Cambridge News

Greater Anglia is promising to invest money to reduce disruption to services caused by leaves on the line.

Peter Wakefield, chairman of East Anglia branch, is quoted: “Last year it was very bad.... damage was done to the wheels of local trains in particular, so they were taken out of service and the timetable literally collapsed.”

25th October - Rail magazine

Enhanced Delay Repay will be introduced on Govia Thameslink Railway. "The news was welcomed by campaign group Railfuture, which says it is urging the Welsh and Scottish Governments to follow suit."

25th October - Aberdeen Press & Journal

"Leading transport campaigners have accused the Scottish Government of standing in the way of a “railway renaissance” in the north-east. Railfuture Scotland has suggested the only thing blocking a major transport overhaul in Aberdeenshire is a lack of funding from Holyrood."

23rd October - BBC News

The web page reports that plans to devolve the Wales and Borders rail franchise will include existing cross-border services.

"John Rogers, a committee member of railway campaigning group Rail Future (sic), described the idea of splitting up cross-border services as "completely stupid".

"Common sense has surfaced at last," he said."

17th October - Evening Telegraph

The Dundee paper reports on Railfuture Scotland's proposals for expansion of the Scottish rail network.

Roderick McDougall, vice-chair of Railfuture Scotland, is quoted: “Whereas it is Network Rail’s job to look after the network and Scotrail’s job to operate passenger trains on it, there appears to be no-one charged with looking at extending and improving the network. We’re offering a well-researched plan.”

16th October - The Herald

"Our broken rail system: now Transport Scotland joins Scotrail in the dock" is the headline of an article analysing what needs to be done to improve Scotland's rail system.

Railfuture Scotland vice-chair Roddy McDougall is extensively quoted and puts some of the blame with Transport Scotland. "They’re the ones that put the franchise agreement together and they did not anticipate the growth in railway usage.”

15th October - The Courier

Railfuture Scotland will be revealing its vision for future of Tayside and Fife rail services.

"In his revamped rail network, Roderick McDougall, vice-chair of Railfuture Scotland, a chartered civil engineer and retired transport professional, has added links between Perth and Comrie, between Perth and Laurencekirk via Forfar, between Leuchars and St Andrews and between Bridge of Earn and Cowdenbeath."

Two days later, The Courier again reports on the plans after they have been revealed: "Campaign group wants to turn Dundee into a “commuter” city."

13th October - Forfar Dispatch

"The restoration of the old Strathmore Line between Forfar and Laurencekirk has been proposed as part of an ambitious plan for Tayside’s future rail network." The article reports on Railfuture Scotland's proposals for expanding rail around Perth and Dundee.

11th October - talkRADIO

The Southern dispute drags on, and Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is interviewed by Julia Hartley-Brewer on the DAB station. Why are the RMT still on strike when they've called on their members to accept the new contract? Listen here.

3rd October - LBC

On the breakfast show, Railfuture chair Chris Page meets Joe Rukin from Stop HS2 on a train on HS1. What lessons for HS2 can we learn from the success or otherwise of HS1? Listen here.

28th September - Oxford Mail

Is there any prospect of improvements at Oxford station for cyclists in the near future? Andrew McCallum of Thames Valley branch is quoted:

"There were some really simple suggestions to improve things for pedestrian and cyclists. More cycle racks, better signage to show cyclists which routes to use and even more cycle racks. My concern is how much short term investment will be made available as in a few years the whole station will undergo redevelopment."

23rd September - talkRADIO

With a new series of strikes planned on Southern, Julia Hartley-Brewer interviews Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson for his perspective on the situation.

The interview appears on talkRADIO's website as a featured story. Listen here.

22nd September - Ely Standard

The new Abellio franchise promises to make passengers feel “a touch pampered”. The newspaper quotes Railfuture's own publication Raileast: “The future augurs well for passengers who might well feel a touch pampered by these new trains, even though four years will pass before they become widely evident. Let us hope the franchise bid proves realistic, operationally and financially. Some might argue that Abellio’s record does not justify the award - remembering especially autumn 2015 leaf fall debacle.”

21st September - Daily Mail

New proposals for seat designs, including flip-up seats, have been revealed with a view to increasing passenger densities on Britain's overcrowded trains. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson gave a cautious reaction:

‘We support imaginative solutions to overcrowding, but the bottom line (no pun intended!) is that most people want a comfortable seat. This sort of thing is not a long-term solution to the decades of underinvestment that have created capacity problems on trains."

The same story appears two days later in Brighton paper The Argus.

15th September - Rail Professional magazine

What does Brexit mean for the rail industry? Railfuture chairman Chris Page writes an article weighing up some of the risks and opportunities. The article starts on page 67.

12th September - BBC Radio Wales

The Severn Tunnel will be closed for six weeks to allow for installation of electrification equipment. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the breakfast show to discuss the short term pain and long term gain. Listen here.

7th September - The Guardian

New Thameslink trains will have more standing and less sitting. Railfuture director Chris Page is quoted:

“You don’t want standing to become a long-term solution to capacity problems,” says Page. “The risk is that it will become the norm for these longer journeys. If you’re commuting for over an hour and you’re paying a lot, it’s not unreasonable to expect a seat and a table.”

2nd September - LBC

Go-ahead group announced profits of £100 million the day after the government announced £20 million to help sort out problems on Southern. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on John Stapleton's show to discuss. Listen here.

30th August - Eastern Daily Press

Norwich has one of the lowest numbers of railway stations per head of population. Peter Bayless, of the East Anglia branch is quoted: “Norwich railway station has been made better but it is not excellent and there needs to be more services to Ely and Cambridge. Norwich would benefit from a station to the south of the city near the Thickthorn roundabout as it would mean people in the south and the west of the county wouldn’t have to go to the other side of the city to get access to a train to London.”

29th August - Lincolnshire reporter

"Inflation figures published in August have shown a never-ending rise in rail prices nationally – but what does this mean for Lincolnshire?"

As well as picking up on our press release, David Harby, chairman of Lincolnshire branch, is quoted:

“Where Lincolnshire is losing out is the shortage of rolling stock. The government say that the extra fares are bringing improved services. They are for London and the north but we haven’t seen any yet. Our big hope is when the East Midlands franchise is re-let next year.”

26th August - Oxford Mail

There are fears that the second phase of the East-West rail link could be delayed. The chairman of Railfuture's East Anglia branch, Peter Wakefield, is quoted as saying that further delays would be a "huge disappointment".

22nd August - Independent

A spike in the number of race hate crimes was reported on British railways following the Brexit vote. The paper quotes Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson: "Every passenger should be able to enter a station and board a train without fear of abuse or worse. These latest figures are very worrying, and they highlight the continuing need for staff presence at stations and on board trains."

The same story also appears in The Guardian, Daily Mail, Mirror, Rail Technology Magazine, on the Russian news agency website Sputnik News, and on the ITV website, and many other news outlets.

19th August - LBC

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited back to LBC onto Andrew Pierce's programme Most Talked About. The discussion included the introduction of the night tube and the feasibility of renationalising the railways. Other parts of the programme featured astrology and the Olympics, but these parts have been edited out. Listen here.

16th August - LBC

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on Clive Bull's programme on London station LBC to talk about overcrowding, fares, investment etc. Listen here.

16th August - Rail fares and inflation

July's inflation figures are released today, and these determine the level of fare rises in January 2017. The Guardian publishes a quote from our press release:

"Bruce Williamson from the independent campaign group Railfuture said: “Fares continue to outstrip real world price rises. Today’s CPI inflation figure is only 0.6%, but next January’s fares will go up by 1.9% because the government insists on using the higher RPI figure. It seems that the government is continuing to price people off the railways, reducing revenue and damaging economic growth. Meanwhile, motorists continue to enjoy a freeze on fuel duty.”"

This story, mentioning Railfuture, is featured on the website theweek.co.uk. We also get a mention in Your Local Guardian, the Surrey Comet, and The Argus:

"Transport Focus, Railfuture and the Campaign for Better Transport all called on ministers to use the Consumer Price Index (CPI) measure of inflation for setting fares, rather than RPI. CPI, which was 0.6% in July, is used for calculating pensions and most benefits."

There's a similar mention in the Daily Mail.

Chris Hyomes of Yorkshire branch is quoted in the Yorkshire Evening Post: “People don’t realise the huge knock-on effect rail fare rises have. It will reach the point where people will give up using the train. They will travel into Leeds by car, which does nothing for the environment. This could in turn cause gridlock in the city, which we know is the biggest city without a tram network, and longer-term will businesses say “is it worth investing in Leeds?”"

Chris is also quoted in the Yorkshire Post, which takes a national perspective on its stories: “The prices are going up across the country every year but for people in the North of England, we are always told that it is for investment in the railways but up until this year we have seen no investment in the North. Our trains are still 30 years old. With the new Northern Rail franchise we have been told they have ordered new trains but we continue to see investment in London and Crossrail, where as our rolling stock is getting older and older.”

The article continues: "Railfuture say fares go up unfairly because the Government makes calculations using RPI. They say it would be fairer to use the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which is used to determine inflation rises for benefits, tax credits, public sector pensions and the state pension."

National spokesman Bruce Williamson appeared on the BBC News Channel in the afternoon.

10th August - Abellio franchise renewal

Chris Burton of East Anglia branch had a very busy day as the media queued up to get his views on the renewal of Abellio's franchise. Click to hear him on the breakfast shows of BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, BBC Radio Suffolk and BBC Radio Norfolk.

He then did TV interviews for BBC Look East, ITV Anglia and Cambridge TV during the morning. In the evening he was at the BBC Look East Studio for a live interview, and his videoed interviews were played on ITV Anglia and Look East in the late-night bulletins.

He is quoted in the Cambridge News the following day:

“We certainly welcome the award and hope Abellio with nine years to prove themselves in a decent length franchise will do just that. It's certainly good for passengers in our area, with faster off-peak services promised from and to Liverpool St; the Norwich to Cambridge service extended to Stansted Airport, and the Ipswich-Ely-Peterborough service at long last to become hourly instead of every other hour."

10th August - BBC Radio London

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the drive time show to discuss the Southern strike. Listen here.

9th August - Portsmouth News

Railfuture chairman Chris Page is quoted on the Southern strike: "What Southern Rail is trying to do is a good thing because the on-board conductor, or door man will be able to focus on the passenger rather than the doors. The problem is that the company has failed totally to put this message across to the public and it has somehow became about safely opening a door. This (change) is actually a benefit to customers because it would mean time trains spend at stations would reduce. The key is that currently if a Southern conductor isn’t available then the train can’t go. Under the new proposals they still could depart and this would mean fewer cancellations."

8th August - talkRADIO

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is interviewed by Julia Hartley-Brewer on national digital station talkRADIO to discuss the industrial action on Southern. Listen here.

8th August - Telegraph

There's coverage of the strikes on Southern. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted: "there needs to be some serious banging of heads".

He added: "Commuters will suffer. It is not good for the rail industry. It does not inspire confidence in the rail industry as a transport mode and it damages the credibility of the network as a whole. There is generally a problem with overcrowding and resources on the railway, so then adding on a strike is a double whammy for customers."

Similar quotes appear in the North West Evening Mail and the Daily Mail

1st August - The Courier

The vice chair of Railfuture Scotland, Roderick McDougall, gets a letter published arguing that re-opening the Glenfarg line is feasible. This was in response to another letter a few days earlier describing this as n "unattainable vision".

30th July - Mirror/Sunday People

"The Office of Rail and Road has decided to act after research suggested at least one in 20 passengers are overpaying" reads the article.

"Campaign group Railfuture has been at the forefront of the crusade to prevent passengers being ripped off by the self-service ticket machines. The group’s Bruce Williamson said: “We’d like to say thanks to the Sunday People for highlighting this important issue as the newspaper coverage has really helped push it up the agenda.”"

28th July - BBC Radio Kent

Chris Fribbins, head of Railfuture's Passenger Group, is interviewed on BBC Radio Kent's drive time show about overcrowing on Southern trains. Listen here.

26th July - Dunfermline Press

"Railfuture Scotland want direct Fife trains to Glasgow and new stations at Kelty, Valleyfield, Kincardine, Culross and Cairneyhill." is the headline of an article dedicated to Railfuture Scotland's aspirations for new and improved passenger services.

22nd July - The Courier

Picking up on our press release, the paper says "An ambitious vision of what Tayside and Fife rail services could look like in the not-too-distant future has been unveiled by a national campaign group. Railfuture Scotland, which represents train users across Scotland, said a rethink of the local rail network would greatly enhance the opportunities for fast, frequent and environmentally friendly travel within the area and further afield."

21st July - Telegraph

Rail companies are planning to use digital technology to constantly update prices of tickets to manage demand for congested trains. Railfuture director Jerry Alderson said that the move could be beneficial to many travellers, as train fares could be reduced but he warned such a system would need to be "optional" to work well, and that firms would seek to maintain profits meaning unregulated ticket prices could go up.

The same story appears in the Express with the headline: "REVEALED: Train companies plan to track YOUR movements & make you PAY MORE for standing up"

18th July - Lancashire Evening Post

The paper reports that it's cheaper to go for a five day break in New York than to buy a return rail ticket between Preston and London. Railfuture president Christian Wolmar is quoted: “Passengers are getting ripped off, the pricing is completely incomprehensible.”. He didn't just say this, apparently he "stormed".

16th July - Scotsman

Industrial action on ScotRail runs the risk of passengers taking some sort of direct action in protest, claims the paper.

Railfuture’s spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted: “There’s no doubt that ScotRail passengers are growing more and more frustrated. Everyone has a limit: these strikes and disruptions cause considerable upset to commuters’ lives. Passengers want a reliable railway, and unless rail bosses sort themselves out we could be in for a summer of discontent.”

11th July - BBC Look East

Peter Wakefield is interviewed on the local TV news programme about delays to the franchise renewal caused by Brexit.

8th July - BBC Suffolk

East Anglia chairman Peter Wakefield appears on the breakfast show to discuss the effect of Brexit on franchise renewal. He also gets quoted on their website: "The bids are all made on the basis of a premium that they will have to pay eventually back to the government. These premiums are based on the fact that there's going to be growth and the referendum result now has probably changed that in the minds of many financiers so they've had to go back to the drawing board I would imagine." Listen here.

7th July - Northants Telegraph

The Kettering to Corby line will be closed from September 10 to October 24 for line improvements. David Fursdon, from Railfuture East Midlands, is quoted:

“I am pleased to learn the booking office and Loco Coco Cafe will remain open while this essential work is carried out to install a second railway line between Corby and Kettering along with signalling works in the area. The rail replacement bus service between Corby and Kettering will enable passengers to connect with rail services at Kettering. I would suggest checking rail replacement bus times well in advance of travel plans. With Corby station booking office remaining open I am pleased through ticketing to destinations will continue as normal to and from Corby. Hopefully disruption will be kept to a minimum until the work is completed.”

1st July - Bristol Community FM

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited to talk at length about Railfuture's work and some local rail related issues. Listen here.

24th June - Daily Telegraph

Paper train tickets could be retired in the next eight years, under industry plans to move towards electronic ticketing using contactless cards and smartphones. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is “concerned” about paper tickets disappearing completely.

“There are a number of people who aren’t in the 21st century and I think it is important that the rail industry keeps those options open,” he said. “It is very wise to take a step-by-step approach and phase things in gradually. Batteries die, phones die, people don’t have them - these are all problems that need to be looked at.”

18th June - Radio Borders

Today's conference in Newtongrange is featured in news bulletins, with Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson being interviewed. Or was it Ben Williamson? Listen here.

17th June - BBC News website

The BBC picks up on our press release about the Scotland conference, and quotes conference organiser Allison Cosgrove extensively.

8th June - European Railway Review

What would Brexit mean for railways? Many industry groups are interviewed, along with Railfuture Director Jerry Alderson. Speaking in a personal capacity, he said: “The days immediately after the referendum will see market volatility (after a Brexit). Clearly any longer-lasting macro-economic impact caused by Brexit would affect the railway. However, the global recession in 2008 hardly affected Britain’s railway (just two quarters of passenger reduction, unlike all previous recessions) and today’s railway does appear to be largely recession-proof."

7th June - BBC local radio

East Midlands Trains is getting rid of quiet carriages. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the Mark Forrest show on BBC local stations in England to discuss. Click here to listen.

7th June - Rail Technology Magazine

"Improving rail passenger experience should be based on engaging with train operating companies (TOCs), not enforcing regulation, the interim chief executive of the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) said yesterday."

The article goes on to mention Railfuture: "Chris Fribbins, head of the passenger group at Railfuture, said existing moves to make rolling stock more disability accessible needed to be matched with funding to upgrade priority stations.He warned disabled passengers currently risked being “faced with a situation where they pull into a station and can’t get off”."

5th June - The Guardian

Railfuture's president Christian Wolmar writes an article arguing that there are better ways to spend money on the railways than HS2. We get a mention: "Railfuture, the campaign group that fights for rail expansion, reckons that in the half-century since the Beeching cuts, 370 stations and 500 miles of railway have been reopened. Many of these are now vital parts of the rail network, used by hundreds of thousands of passengers annually, raising the question of why they were ever closed in the first place".

31st May - The Star (Sheffield)

Railfuture Yorkshire is calling for HS2 to be extended into Sheffield city centre. Branch chair Nina Smith is extensively quoted, saying, amongst other things; “Sheffield is the economic powerhouse and hub of a city region that goes south to Chesterfield and has close links with Derby, as well as its links to Barnsley, Rotherham and Doncaster to the North. From this perspective, a High Speed station in central Sheffield makes most sense".

13th May - BBC Radio Lincolnshire

ORR has awarded paths on the ECML to Virgin Trains. What are the implications for services to Lincoln? Lincolnshire branch chair David Harby does his best to explain. Click here to listen.

13th May - Evening Standard

Lea Bridge station is to reopen after 31 years. The paper includes a quote from our press release, where Railfuture director Roger Blake says: “The initial spark was in 2011 when transport officers in neighbouring Hackney council, working on London 2012 and its legacy, found there was £5 million funding available from the developers of Stratford City’s Westfield who were keen to expand their rail catchment northwards up the Lea Valley.”

The press release is also quoted extensively by the subscription website transportbriefing.co.uk

13th May - BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

The consultation on the next WCML franchise suggests that there might be fewer trains stopping at Coventry. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the breakfast show to discuss. Click here to listen.

12th May - Northamptonshire Telegraph

Corby station is to close for two months in the autumn to allow the track to be re-doubled. David Fursdon of East Midlands branch is quoted:

“This major investment is welcomed and the success of Corby Railway Station, which opened in 2009, is a key factor to these much-needed improvements to infastructure which are going ahead. Yes, there will be some disruption for passengers in the short-term but the work is vital to ensure better passenger services are delivered in the future. I hope that during the period of closure Corby station will remain open to allow all through-ticketing facilities to continue as usual, although East Midlands Trains have yet to confirm this.”

4th May - Northern Echo

An article entitled "Rail passenger treated 'like a criminal' after travelling on Newcastle to Leeds ticket - but getting off at Darlington" highlights examples of passengers falling foul of the complex rules on ticket validity.

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson said: "This is another example of our ridiculously complicated fares structure which works against the passenger. This is terrible PR for the rail company as it makes them look evil. There's lots of work to be done to make the system much simpler and more reasonable."

26th April - The Argus

There's industrial action on the Southern Railway network over plans to and introduce more conductor-less trains.

Bruce Williamson, a "rail expert from Railfuture", comments on the technological feasibility and public acceptance of increasing automation and replacement of human beings.

25th April - The Courier

Railfuture advocates roadbuilding!

Highland Spring has won permission for a rail freight depot, but heavy lorries between the plant and the railhead would have to drive through Blackford. A new slip road could be built to enable lorries to bypass the village. Railfuture vice president George Boyle is quoted: “Now that the new rail container depot at Blackford has been authorised, the residents of that village need to adopt a plan that is more than simply objections to its construction.”

22nd April - Rail Engineer

"After Borders, what next?". Railfuture gets a brief mention in this article, which also contains a map of possible future reopenings with a list of the benefit cost ratios for various schemes.

18th April - New Style Radio

Railfuture West Midlands Chairman William Whiting explains on Mid Morning In Conversation With CeeCee what Railfuture does to improve rail services around Birmingham, covering topics from the new New Street station through the West Midlands rail franchise consultation to toilets and overcrowding on Virgin trains. Listen here.

14th April - Bexhill-on-sea Observer

The article plugs the forthcoming Marshlink Action Group AGM. Railfuture has strong links with the group, and amongst the speakers is "Roger Blake, Director of Railfuture who will have an independent view on rail opportunities and development, noting that the stated role of Railfuture is ‘to campaign for a bigger, better railway in Britain’."

10th April - Sunday Post

Crime on the railway doesn't seem to be falling. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson said transport police should be protected from Government spending cuts.

“It’s perverse to cut the police when crime figures such as these are rising,” he said.

30th March - BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Chris Burton of East Anglia branch appears on the breakfast show to talk about ha new rail link for Wisbech. He also comments on the announcement of the route for East-West rail. (Listen here)

21st March - Daily Express

A large amount of very welcome investment in the railways will inevitably cause disruption. The Express sees it in a very negative light, stating: "Britain faces travel chaos over the Easter weekend with the “worst ever” scheduled engineering works threatening to bring the rail network to a standstill." Still, we get a mention:

Campaign group Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson warned: “Greater inconvenience is inevitable.”

18th March - The Courier

"Rail experts have recommended reopening the St Andrews branch line" - those experts being Chris Austin and Richard Faulkner, in their latest book Broken Links in Britain’s Rail Policy.

A spokeswoman for the St Andrews Rail Link (StARLink) campaign said: “This recommendation is a powerful endorsement, coming as it does from the head of infrastructure and networks at Railfuture, the former director of public policy at the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) and the former public affairs director at the British Railways Board.”

15th March - Northern Powerhouse

Various transport schemes for the North are announced in advance of the budget. Chris Hyomes of Yorkshire branch had a very busy day talking to the media:

First stop was Wake Up To Money on BBC Radio Five Live (listen here) where he was joined by Lord Haskins and talked about overcrowding and the need for investment.

Next was the breakfast show on BBC Radio Sheffield (listen here). The topics are trans-Pennine transport options, HS2 and trams.

On the drive time show on BBC Radio York (listen here) Chris talks about HS3, trans-Pennine links again, and other investment options.

He was next interviewed on Bradford community station BCB 106.6fm, and finally appeared on Made In Leeds TV.

Some of Chris's comments found their way onto the BBC News website, under the headline "HS3 and M62 work: Transport improvements too little, too late."

13th March - Sunday People

The paper continues its series of articles about the rail passenger experience with the headline "Rail firms pocket £81million from their own train delays by failing to pass on compensation to passengers"

It states that rail firms can claim payouts if trains are delayed just five minutes, but most refuse to compensate customers until the service is at least half an hour late.

Bruce Williamson from Railfuture is quoted: “We need to fix that anomaly. And companies should provide automatic refunds online where possible.”

9th March - Northern Echo

The boss of the Tyne and Wear Metro is to be quizzed by members of Railfuture.

Damian Bell, a spokesman for Railfuture, is quoted: “Tobyn Hughes has a very wide remit and the future shape of public transport across the North-East will depend a lot on the decisions he has to make through the coming months. Our members will have lots to ask him.”

7th March - Northamptonshire Telegraph

Passenger numbers have increased again at Corby station. David Fursdon, of Railfuture East Midlands, is extensively quoted. He said: "The year on year increase since the station was re-opened in 2009 proves it is a well used service to the town", and goes on to discuss some future developments.

29th February - Daily Mirror

The headline reads: "Easter misery for train passengers as Network Rail announces weekend of shutdowns"

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted: “There is a huge backlog of upgrades. We’ve got decades worth of catching up to do thanks to years of underinvestment in our railways. We’ve got a long way to go before we get the cheap and efficient network we want.”

29th February - Daily Telegraph

"Thousands of Easter train passengers set to see journey times treble as 450 engineering projects delay all main line routes" is the headline.

The article continues: "Bruce Williamson, spokesman for campaign group Railfuture, acknowledged that "engineering works cause inconvenience and customers don't like them" but said that they are a "necessary evil" and have been "overdue for decades."

He told the Telegraph: "Easter is one of the least busy times compared to when commuters are using the trains. The works will affect leisure travellers, but there's no other time to do this. There's no time that will inconvenience no one."

He also said it is important the works will finish on time - unlike at Christmas 2014, when 115,000 passengers were hit as works over-ran and Kings Cross and Paddington remained shut."

The same quote also appears in an article in The Independent.

28th February - Sunday People

Easter engineering works will cause disruption for the travelling public. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted: “There is a huge backlog of upgrades. We’ve got decades worth of catching up to do thanks to years of underinvestment in our railways. We’ve got a long way to go before we get the cheap and efficient network we want.”

25th February - Rail Professional

The March edition of the magazine focuses on ticketing. Railfuture director Jerry Alderson has written a 1000-word article outlining some of the pitfalls of moving towards newer forms of smart tickets. Is there a danger that some people might get left behind?

You can read the article here, or read the whole magazine online here. The article starts on page 44.

24th February - Doncaster Free Press

Crowle railway station saw the unveiling of seat in memory of the late Brian Hasting, former chairman of Lincolnshire branch. The seat was sponsored by Railfuture, and Brian's successor, David Harby, was in attendance.

24th February - Western Daily Press

Nigel Bray from Severnside branch has a letter published, responding to an earlier editorial that argued that railways were heavily subsidised.

He said: "The Treasury makes a substantial profit from the railways. Rising passenger numbers mean that the Government needs to subsidise the network less and less. You rightly conclude that passengers, many of whom are paying historically high fares, expect better value for money. Whilst electrification will bring new and faster trains to the West of England, as well as releasing better diesel rolling stock currently used in the Thames Valley, overcrowding is a regular occurrence on many Bristol commuter services."

23rd February - BBC Radio Leicester

East Midlands Branch vice chair Ariadne Tampion is interviewed on the breakfast show about connectivity in the region. She mentions the Leicester-Burton freight line reopening to passenger to complete a triangle around three cities, and the need for better connectivity between East and West Midlands. Listen here.

21st February - Sunday People

The paper compares fares in the UK unfavourably to those in Europe. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted: “We have to invest long term in our railways, like our European neighbours have done. This government is trying to increase ticket prices because they want to spend less taxpayers’ money on railways than other countries. Passengers in Britain are forking out thousands a year and often don’t even get a seat. It’s not good enough.”

17th February - BBC Radio Bristol

Track lowering in preparation for electrification between Bath and Bristol will mean several days of closure in April. Railfuture features in the lead story on the breakfast show and spokesman Bruce Williamson is interviewed. Railfuture is included in news bulletins throughout the day. Listen here.

17th February - The Barry Gem

Conservative politicians in Wales are supporting a feasibility study into restoring the rail link to Porthcawl. The article links to a "comprehensive" report produced by Railfuture Wales identifying two possible route options.

14th February - Sunday Mirror

The paper highlights some of the problems with Britain's complex ticketing system.

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is extensively quoted. He said “There are all sorts of anomalies in the system and there’s a very strong case for simplifying it. Bargains are available if you’re prepared to jump through hoops but most people want to turn up and buy a ticket at a price which won’t force them to get a new mortgage."

11th February - Cambridge News

Services between King's Cross and Cambridge were severely disrupted by a points failure. Paul Hollinghurst of East Anglia branch was quoted: "Shepreth branch junction is the very busy junction just south of Cambridge where the Liverpool Street and King's Cross lines diverge so any problems there rapidly result in delays. This junction is generally reliable so the problems are more a reflection of how many services are using it – a train every four minutes at that time of the day, supporting the 36 per cent growth in Cambridge passenger numbers over the last five years."

9th February - Sky News

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson gives a telephone interview regarding on the German fatal rail crash. He comments that rail travel remains "spectacularly safe".

His comments were also used on the Sky News website and several others.

He told Sky News that, despite the crash, trains still had an enviable safety record, adding: "I would travel on a German train tomorrow. We (also) have a spectacularly safe railway (in Britain) and we're just coming up to the eighth anniversary of the last passenger to be killed on Britain's railways and that's an all-time record."

7th February - Cambridge News

Campaigners are hopeful of reopening the line between Cambridge and Haverhill, despite "City Deal" money not being available to fund it.

Railfuture East Anglia secretary Paul Hollinghurst said "This is a longer term project and we would urge that Cambridgeshire County Council and the City Deal now works with Suffolk County Council the LEPs and businesses that would benefit from the link to establish more benefits for the railway. The initial BCR is a good start and shows that rail scores better than the non-public transport based road options so far studied. We congratulate all concerned."

6th February - BBC Radio Northampton

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is interviewed about HS2 on the breakfast show. Listen here.

3rd February - South Wales Echo

The Westminster government has now promised not to split cross-border Welsh rail franchises, but does that now mean that they will be controlled from England?

"John Rogers, chair of passenger campaign group Railfuture Cymru, said breaking up the Wales and Borders network would turn some Welsh railways into backwaters of large English franchises and reverse productivity gains which followed the launch of the all-Wales franchise in 2003."

3rd February - Daily Telegraph

Campaigners warn that new "m-tickets" could leave senior travellers subsidising cheaper fares for younger people. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted:

"It is important that elderly travellers are not left behind and discriminated against because of the rise of modern technology. ensuring stations are manned with staff is especially important for senior travellers who may require assistance."

2nd February - Ely News

A new group has been set up to push for the re-opening of Soham station. The paper notes that Railfuture East Anglia has also confirmed its support for the proposals.

1st February - Doncaser Free Press

Brian Hastings was chairman of the Lincolnshire branch of Railfuture for over 10 years. He died in February 2015 at the age of 80, and Railfuture is sponsoring a memorial seat in his memory on Crowle station.

The unveiling ceremony will take place on Crowle station at 2pm on Tuesday February 23rd.

30th January - BBC Radio Wales

John Rogers of Railfuture Wales appears on the breakfast show to discuss proposals to split cross-border services into separate franchises, meaning that passengers might have to change trains at the border. Not surprisingly, John thinks this is a really bad idea. Listen here.

John also appeared on BBC1 TV the following day, and is quoted in the Western Mail, Daily Post and the South Wales Evening Post.

26th January - Rail Professional industry reference book

Rail Professional's annual supply chain directory features a two-page article written by Railfuture, highlighting some of the positives and causes for concern in the coming year for the rail industry. It's on page 43.

25th January - Oxfordshire Guardian

Direct trains between Oxford and Marylebone may now be delayed until December. Richard Stow of Thames Valley branch is quoted: “Unfortunately, the delay was inevitable given the strident opposition that has faced the project from residents in North Oxford. I think you’ve got to take into account that it’s not a huge delay and it was expected. However, of course, we are disappointed that the works won’t be completed sooner... There have been a lot of fears with the route in terms of the construction of the tracks and the noise and vibration from the works.”

25th January - Free Radio Coventry & Warwickshire

Railfuture is featured in news bulletins throughout the day commenting on on the story of ticket websites not listing Coventry Arena and Bermuda Park, a week after they opened. Listen here.

24th January - Cambridge News

With Transport for London taking over London's suburban rail network, how will services around Cambridge be affected? Railfuture East Anglia chairman Peter Wakefield is quoted:

"Railfuture certainly does support the notion that local authorities such as Cambridgeshire County Council and its partner Cambridge City Council and South Cambs District Council and other East Anglian authorities should have an important and direct say in the specification of train services that operate into and through Cambridge."

23rd January - Wales On Sunday

"Why does your commuter train never seem to have enough carriages?" asks the paper. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson offers some suggestions:

“The difficulty for rail operators is they don’t have room for manoeuvre because they are micro-managed by the Department for Transport, and they don’t have any spare carriages. So the answer to the question of why more carriages are not put on is that they do not have them."

23rd January - Daily Telegraph

The Daily Telegraph picks up on our press release. The headline is "New stations missing from ticket websites".

The story is also picked up by the Daventry Express, Leamington Spa Courier, Rugby Advertiser, Warwick Courier, Yahoo! News and iwantoread.com

23rd January - BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the breakfast show to discuss the two new Warwickshire stations that can't be found on some ticket websites. Listen here.

19th January - BBC Radio Bristol

A petition calling for the reopening of Ashton Gate station has been handed in to Bristol City Council. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson discusses this with councillor Simon Cook on the breakfast show. Listen here.

15th January - Press Association

PA issues a daily "Transport & Travel Briefing". This one features Railfuture with a link to the article in Rail magazine mentioned below.

15th January - Swindon Business News

Former Railfuture director Philip Bisatt has been elected chairman of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

14th January - South Wales Argus

Several local politicians criticise rail fee increases. In addition to these, the paper quotes Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson.

13th January - RAIL magazine

"Rail fares “divorced from reality”, claims Railfuture" is the headline, as the magazine picks up our press release.

8th January - Kirkintilloch Herald

"Campaigners have renewed their calls for a new train station with park and ride facilities at the Allander Leisure Centre in Bearsden". Ken Sutherland of Railfuture Scotland is behind this, and is extensively quoted.

5th January - Left Foot Forward

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett writes: "...it was the campaign group Railfuture that really was on-the-money in its explanation of the direction of travel of rail fares, saying fares were “increasingly divorced from reality”."

4th January - More fare rise coverage

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson was interviewed by BBC Coventry & Warwickshire. Railfuture's press release was also picked up by Rail Professional Magazine who tweeted it.

2nd January - Fare rise coverage

Our press release on fare increases is picked up by the Telegraph, Financial Times, Scotsman, Daily Mail, Independent, Evening Standard, BBC News, Sky News, ITV, Guardian and many more, including the Sunday Express a day later.

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the BBC Radio Wales breakfast programme, and later appears on BBC Wales Today on television.

1st January - BBC Wiltshire

Rail fare increases kick in on the 2nd, and spokesman Bruce Williamson discusses the impact and explains why Railfuture thinks these increases are unfair.

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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