Rail Express June 2018

RAIL EXPRESS is Britain's favourite modern rail enthusiast title. Undoubtedly the best for modern traction photography, the magazine keeps readers informed and entertained with undiluted coverage of Britain's railways in the diesel and electric era. First produced in 1996, RE has set a new standard for the hobby, with a clean design, high quality paper and the best reproduction. January 2008 saw the magazine relaunched in an innovative 'supersize' format, showing off the ground-breaking contents to the best advantage. Every issue includes news and analysis covering the present day railway scene, plus the latest preservation developments. Also inside: RAIL EXPRESS Modeler - Diesel & Electric era modeling magazine

United Kingdom
Mortons Media Group, Ltd
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12 Ausgaben

in dieser ausgabe

2 Min
what a day!

I HAVE to start this month by thanking Pathfinder Tours, the Class 50 Alliance, Riviera Trains and GB Railfreight for a fantastic day on April 14 that saw many Rail Express readers join our ‘Cumbrian Hoovers’ tour from Birmingham to Carlisle. Locos Nos. 50049+50007 ran faultlessly throughout, perfectly matched with Riviera’s blue/grey stock, and the only hiccup was a delay watering the stock that was outside any of the organisers’ control. The outward journey via the Settle & Carlisle line provided its own brand of grey weather for much of the journey. However, the highlight was the return via the Cumbrian Coast route, a line rarely visited by ‘50s’ and therefore ahaulage-first for many onboard – myself included. Not only that, but the sun came out too, and once back on…

4 Min
government management of rail franchises ‘completely inadequate’

AN investigation by the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) into elements of rail franchising found that the performance of the Department for Transport has been completely inadequate. The all-party PAC investigates Government spending and policy so that conclusions can be drawn on the effectiveness of its decisions. The PAC looked into the operation of the Thameslink Southern & Great Northern (TSGN) and InterCity East Coast franchises in terms of what the train operating companies were required to deliver in the franchise contract. It found the DfT can be blamed for much that has gone wrong with Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), which operates the TSGN franchise. “The truth is that concessions to the union demands were difficult to make” THAMESLINK TROUBLE A central point of the TSGN contract was to support the delivery of the…

4 Min
new hydrogen fuel technology could help eliminate diesel traction

AS part of the Government’s drive to improve air quality through a policy of decarbonisation across the economy, railway diesel traction has been identified as a source of pollutants that can be eliminated in the long term. New technology will be required, however, as it is unrealistic to expect that electrification can be extended throughout the network in the next 22 years to the proposed 2040 deadline. Trains will continue to need a source of power for traction motors, and a pointer to the future is the development of hydrogen fuel. The technology has been branded as ‘Hydrail’ and Alstom has already produced a fleet of 14 Coradia iLint two-car multiple units for use in Germany. The system requires fixed charging points at depots to provide energy for roof-mounted hydrogen power cells,…

1 Min
in brief

ISLE OF WIGHT FLEET TO BE REPLACED WITHIN TWO YEARS THE former London Underground 1938 Stock, which has been used as Class 483 EMUs on the Isle of Wight since 1989, could be replaced within the next two years. Franchise holder South Western Railway announced at an IoW Council meeting on May 3 that the current fleet would be replaced not with brand new trains, but ones that are ‘significantly newer’. SWR added: “Although they [the Class 483s] are an interesting historic experience, we don’t think that they give proper, modern transport experience on the Island.” The plan will be put to the Department for Transport by the end of May for approval. There were no further clues as to what the new trains could be, although they have to fit through…

2 Min
three more overseas firms gain rights to bid for new franchises

THE Government has added three new overseas rail companies to the list of firms that are authorised to reply to invitations to tender for rail franchises and concessions. The ‘passport’ process establishes that potential franchise holders have sufficient operating expertise and financial resources to apply. The newcomers are Italian open access operator NTV, Spanish National Railway RENFE, and French firm Transdev. It means there are now 18 potential bidders, but only five are British companies – First Group, Go-Ahead, National Express, Stagecoach and Virgin. National Express has already said it will not bid for franchises in the future after selling its interest in Essex Thameslink operations to Trenitalia in 2017. It will instead concentrate on bids to operate regional services in Europe where profit margins are higher than the average 3% in Britain. Investors…

1 Min
‘grid’ rebuild on the cards

THE long-mooted re-engineering of the UKRL Class 56 fleet looked a step closer in late April, writes Simon Bendall. Nos. 56081, 56098 and 56104 were lined up ready for collection at its Leicester depot and joined by former DCR examples Nos. 56311 and 56312. Although seemingly not yet a done deal, the project is being driven by GB Railfreight’s future motive power requirements, and would see up to 10 ‘Grids’ receive General Motors power units. However, GBRf is also said to be still considering doing a deal with Colas for the hire of Class 70s, both projects having now overtaken the one-time plan of overhauling Class 60s acquired from DB Cargo.…