Rail Express December 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 pivotal point

THE election gun was fired as this issue went to press and, while the parties’ official manifestos were still to be published, the two biggest hinted at their views on how our railways should be run. Both the Conservatives and Labour want to move away from the current franchising model, which they see as broken, and both also want to set up a new body to oversee operations. They disagree, however, on how that should be done. The Conservatives are in favour of private companies running passenger services under fixed fee contracts, which transfers much of the financial risk to the Government – risk that has increasingly put off private firms from bidding for franchises in the face of shrinking profit margins. The contracts approach is a kind of ‘back-door’ nationalisation, but Labour…

4 Min
tories and labour propose new overseeing rail bodies

PARTY manifestos for the general election on December 12 had not been published by the time this issue went to press, but media briefings have already been revealing the rail industry strategies that are likely to be followed by the two main parties. The Conservatives are proposing a new nationwide organisation described as ‘Rail for Britain’, which infers that the devolved powers given to Scotland and Wales will be brought back under the control of a single rail body that would award future contracts to provide services. A concession model, similar to that used for Merseyrail and London Overground, is favoured over franchising. This results in the operator holding a contract to run services at an agreed price without responsibility for fare revenue, which is paid to the authority granting the concession. The…

3 Min
derogations are essential to maintain services in 2020

THE TECHNICAL Specification for Interoperability covering the use of heavy rail services by Persons with Reduced Mobility (PRM) was adopted by the European Railway Agency in 2014, to come into effect at the beginning of 2020. In the intervening period, new rolling stock in Britain has been built to the standard required, with the intention that older vehicles would either be converted to comply with the regulations or withdrawn from service. The franchised operators have been required to adopt one of these options, but planning went astray when the Government cancelled a number of electrification projects as a result of cost overruns, which meant the use of intended vehicle types on the routes concerned changed. MML SUFFERS The principal route affected is the Midland Main Line, which has a fleet of non-compliant High Speed…

3 Min
northern blamed for inherited problems

THE Government is under pressure to terminate the contract held by Arriva Rail North as a result of continuing poor performance of the Northern franchise, and transfer operations to the Department for Transport’s Operator of Last Resort. The issues that have arisen date back long before the current operator took over on April 1, 2016, as the earlier franchise (held by a consortium made up of Abellio and Serco from December 2004) was regarded as a steady state operation where little growth was expected – which proved to be an incorrect assumption. Ad hoc measures were taken to provide greater rolling stock capacity given that passenger numbers grew from 40 to 134 million in the North West alone during the two decades from 1997. Although the TransPennine Express franchise did acquire new…

2 Min
‘142s’ to be retained into 2020

NORTHERN has confirmed that a number of its Class 142s will continue to be used in service in the North West during the first few weeks of 2020. The late delivery of Class 195 ‘Civity’ units, which has caused knock-on delays in staff training, means that Northern needs to retain a number of units to prevent a large number of services from being cancelled or short-formed. The Class 142s are expected to be used primarily on four routes: Rochdale to Blackburn/Clitheroe (via Manchester Vic); and Manchester Picc to Sheffield (via Hope Valley), New Mills and Rose Hill/Marple. The retention of the ‘142s’ around Manchester is in addition to the Class 144s being kept until May for use on services in West and South Yorkshire. As of late October, just one Class 142 had…

2 Min
in brief

NRM LOOKS AT FUTURE OPTIONS FOR 41001 HAVING made the decision to reclaim prototype HST power car No. 41001 from its long-term loan to the 125 Group (see page 78 for full story), the National Railway Museum is now assessing the loco to determine its possible future location and use. It is currently at Derby Etches Park after being stopped at the KWVR gala in May. An NRM spokesman said: “The next step will be to determine the exact mechanical condition of No. 41001, which will affect the timescales of any vehicle movements. It is not operational at the moment and our engineering team is preparing a report following a recent visit. In the short term, the power car is likely to go on static display at Locomotion, but we have not…