Network Rail has issued its most comprehensive apology yet for its failure to make level crossings as safe as possible. The company was rebuked by a judge in January who said that the directors should ‘pay much greater attention to their duties’. Now Network Rail is under fresh fire from the Commons Transport Committee, which has issued a withering assessment of Network Rail’s record.
Dawlish restoration now set for early April
Network Rail has brought forward the date of reopening the severed main line at Dawlish by almost two weeks, to 4 April. But one of the company's route managing directors has warned that there is still 'a great deal of work' to be done elsewhere.
New Railcard to be launched for couples
A new Railcard is to be introduced from Monday. Backed by a publicity campaign on tv, radio, print and digital media, the Two Together Railcard is aimed at pairs of adults travelling together who will be able to save a third off leisure trips.
TfL prepares for driverless tube with new trains order
Transport for London has unveiled plans to buy 250 new tube trains for the Bakerloo, Central, Piccadilly and Waterloo & City Lines. They may be able to run without drivers -- although no decision has been made, with TfL saying only that the new trains would be 'capable of full automation'. Some of the fleets which the new air-cooled fleet will replace go back to the 1970s. TfL has dubbed its procurement plan as ‘New Tube for London’, and said that the new fleet would boost capacity by at least 25 per cent.
Birmingham unveils major HS2 development scheme
Birmingham city council has unveiled a major development around the proposed HS2 station near Curzon Street which it says could create up to 14,000 jobs. Regeneration of the 141-hectare site in Birmingham city centre would include around 2,000 new homes and more than 360,000 sq metres of office space. The council has estimated that the development could boost the local economy by £1.3 billion annually.
New franchising group confirmed at DfT
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has confirmed changes at the Department for Transport which will include the creation of a new Rail Executive. The move is a reaction to the Brown Report into the collapse of the Intercity West Coast franchise competition. Mr McLoughlin said: "Creation of the rail executive will support the drive to strengthen our focus on passengers; build an enhanced culture of commercial expertise and innovation; and ensure greater coordination of improvements."
New franchising executive to be created at DfT
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin is poised to reveal more changes at the Department for Transport, which will include the creation of a new Rail Executive to take charge of rail franchising, following the Brown Report into the collapse of the Intercity West Coast competition. Mr McLoughlin told a House of Commons committee that the change would "bring in some more commercial elements, which I think were needed".