The first tram-train service in the UK is being given the go-ahead by transport minister Norman Baker today. The service, costing around £60 million, will run from early 2016 between Rotherham Parkgate and Sheffield city centre, using both the existing tramway and the national rail network. Three new dual-voltage tram-trains are being built by Vossloh.
Virgin condemns 'defeatist' Network Rail
The Office of Rail Regulation must decide whether Virgin Trains should be allowed to run its trains to Shrewsbury and Blackpool North, after Network Rail refused Virgin's request. Virgin said it was disappointed by the ruling, and described it as 'defeatist'.
Siemens confirmed as Thameslink winner
Siemens has been confirmed as the builder of a new £1.6 billion fleet for Thameslink, beating Derby-based Bombardier. The announcement has triggered a fresh debate about train-building in Britain. The Department for Transport said the deal was 'close to completion', although there will now have to be a ten-day standstill period before the contract can be signed.
The winning bid was first announced in principle two years ago this month, and the long delay is believed to have been caused by financial issues.
Passenger growth appears to have stalled
New figures released by the Office of Rail Regulation show that the total number of journeys on National Rail in 2012-13 just topped 1.5 billion -- a total which has not previously been reported since the 1920s. However, annual growth appears to have eased back slightly to 3 per cent, and there were actual falls in the last quarter of the statistical year.
Landslip line to reopen next month
The railway near Doncaster which was blocked by a colliery landslip in February is to reopen next month, Network Rail has announced. The route through Hatfield & Stainforth station was closed after a vast spoil heap moved towards the line, effectively demolishing the infrastructure.
Freight chief urges new working group
GB Railfreight's chief executive John Smith has welcomed an easing of proposed increases in railfreight charges, which has been published by the Office of Rail Regulation. He says the industry should now take further steps to move forward by creating a working group which would include the operators and the DfT.
The prospect of the increases had been causing concern in the railfreight industry, which feared that recent improvements in traffic could have been reversed under the impact of significantly higher costs.
ORR sets out £2bn of cuts to Network Rail budget
The Office of Rail Regulation has revealed that it expects Network Rail to save £2 billion during the five years from 2014, having published its draft determination of the company's next five-year budget. The Regulator said the £37.9 billion total was 'stretching, but achievable'. Borrowing will also rise by about a third. Train operators have welcomed the announcement in principle, but unions have claimed that safety would be put at risk by the reductions.
Most Popular Stories
Most Commented Stories