The number of passengers using the Borders Railway has beaten the most optimistic predictions made for the rebuilt route, which opened on 6 September. The first statistics have caused one councillor who supports the project to admit that he has been 'taken aback' by the results. Two-car trains quickly proved to be inadequate, and ScotRail has been strengthening some units to three cars. Although it remains to be seen if usage drops back when the route has ceased to be a novelty, the early results tend to justify the warnings made by rail campaigners that too much of the line is single track.
Centro reveals details of Midland Metro changeover
Tram passengers in the West Midlands have been told that the stop at Birmingham Snow Hill will close permanently after the last trams on Saturday 24 October. From the following day Midland Metro services from Wolverhampton will terminate at St Paul's, the next stop down the line, for about six weeks, while a new junction is installed which is set to take trams onwards to the city centre and New Street station by the end of the year.
£44m transformation completed at Manchester Victoria
The rebuilt Manchester Victoria station has opened after a refurbishment costing £44 million. Victoria has now gained a new roof built of innovative ribs of curving steel as well as two more tram platforms to cater for the growth and expansion of the city's Metrolink network. The station is also a key component in the plans for Manchester to become a 'Northern Hub' at the heart of the region's rail network. Six years ago it came at the bottom of user satisfaction surveys, but Network Rail's Mark Carne said it must surely now be 'among the country's best'.
Rail campaigners welcome news of National Infrastructure Commission
NEWS that Chancellor George Osborne plans to set up a National Infrastructure Commission under the chairmanship of former Labour Transport Secretary Lord Andrew Adonis has been quickly welcomed by the group campaigning for the restoration of the railway between Stratford-upon-Avon and Honeybourne, on the North Cotswold route.