Rail Express August 2019

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
a sting in the tale

LOVE them or hate them – and, to be fair, there are probably more in the latter camp than the former, even amongst enthusiasts – the ‘Pacer’ fleets have made their mark in railway history. Introduced in the mid-1980s, they were a low-cost solution for desperately needed new trains on rural routes. But the ‘bus body on a wagon frame’ idea was soon to be their downfall, as rough riding, poor reliability and the infamous wheel-squeal led to them gaining the wrong kind of reputation amongst the travelling public. Upgrades inside and out, plus a move to more appropriate routes, meant things got better in the 1990s until the booming passenger numbers of the post-Privatisation era saw them come into the spotlight again for overcrowding, particularly in urban areas across the…

3 Min
uncertainty halts the franchising process

A COMBINATION of the pending change of Prime Minister, Brexit uncertainty, bid compliance issues and potential recommendations from the ongoing Williams Review has curtailed the franchising programme. Nothing much has been said about rail policy by the Conservative party leadership candidates as to whether future policy will be continued if a new secretary of state is appointed. The most immediate task is to restore confidence in the franchise bidding process if the Train Operating Companies are retained in their current form. Stagecoach has already announced it is to withdraw from the market following the loss of the East Midlands contract, as it considers privately-owned companies cannot take on the risks required in new franchise agreements. This has come about because of the deficit that exists in the Railway Pension Fund, where an…

2 Min
northern’s newbies start work

NORTHERN launched the first of its new fleet of trains into service on July 1, seven months after they were originally planned to start due to technically difficulties found during testing. The first day saw seven DMUs and two EMUs start on the Manchester Airport-Liverpool/Cumbria and Leeds-Doncaster routes respectively, but the new trains will be rolled out to routes across the Pennines, South Yorkshire and Chester in due course. The rest of the 101-strong fleet will be phased in over the coming months as they are accepted for traffic. There will be 58 Class 195 DMUs (comprising 25 two-car and 33 three-car sets) and 43 Class 331 EMUs (as 31 three-car and 12 four-car sets). All are built by CAF based on its ‘Civity’ platform so externally look very alike and have…

2 Min
manchester’s mayor pushes for local control

THE Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, is pressing for more local control of rail and bus services so that a greater integration of public transport can be achieved. For rail, continuing dissatisfaction with the performance of the Northern franchise has brought a demand for local routes to be transferred to the mayor’s direct control, which would be similar to the situation in London. New tram-train routes have been proposed as extensions to the Metrolink light rail system, allowing services to access destinations reached by heavy rail lines. These are between Oldham and Heywood (East Lancs Railway), a link from Altrincham to Hale, and through-running from Manchester Airport to Wilmslow via Styal. TRANSFER PROBLEM The transfer of local heavy rail routes is problematic, however, as the Northern Rail Partnership has been created on…

1 Min
'hydroflex' unit heads for main line testing

PORTERBROOK and the University of Birmingham’s Centre for Railway Research and Education have announced its hydrogen-powered ‘Hydroflex’ unit is to be tested on the main line following a successful proof-of-concept. The test unit is former dual-mode EMU No. 319001 (now renumbered No. 799001), fitted with a hydrogen powerpack so it can run on non-electrified lines as well as third-rail or under the wires. Hydrogen from onboard tanks and oxygen from the air are combined to produce 100kW of electricity, with the only waste being pure water. Two Lithium-ion batteries are also used to store power as required. Dr Stuart Hillmansen, a senior lecturer at BCRRE, said: “Our prototype shows how hydrogen-powered technology can be incorporated within existing trains, without needing to modify the driver’s controls. It’s an exciting advance because it shows…

1 Min
first new tpe trains accepted

TRANSPENNINE Express has accepted its first 'Nova 1' (Class 802/2) and 'Nova 3' (Mk.5) trains for traffic, allowing them to enter public service traffic in the coming months. A fleet of 19 five-car 'Nova 1' bi-modes is being built by Hitachi for use on the routes from Liverpool/ Manchester Airport to Newcastle/ Edinburgh. The 14 CAF-built 'Nova 3' sets are being rectified after faults emerged during the testing process. These are now due to enter service towards the end of summer, powered by DRS Class 68s between Liverpool/ Manchester and Scarborough/ Middlesbrough, once staff training can be completed. CAF is also building 12 'Nova 2' (Class 397) EMUs for use between Liverpool/Manchester and Edinburgh/ Glasgow.…