Rail Express November 2020

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
4,98 €(Inkl. MwSt.)
41,15 €(Inkl. MwSt.)
12 Ausgaben

in dieser ausgabe

2 Min
will the grass be greener?

THE Government has bitten the bullet and declared the age of the railway franchising system to be over, hinting that a concessions-based approach will be the way forward. The franchising model was already under pressure even before the coronavirus crisis, and it was widely predicted that the long-awaited Williams Rail Review would recommend abolishing them. But the pandemic has brought forward that change, as the massive drop in passenger numbers across the country – which are still only around one third of normal – have left railway finances in tatters. The first franchises took over services almost 25 years ago in early 1996, and it is fair to say there has been a mixed bag of success and failure since then. Pre-Covid, the private companies had driven passenger numbers to record levels,…

2 Min
why do we have franchises?

PRIVATISING British Rail was a determined effort by the Government to reverse the decline in passenger numbers that had followed failure of the postwar modernisation plan in the 1950s, and a reversal of the policy of managed decline that continued after the network surgery that followed the Beeching report in the 1960s. The closure of routes continued throughout the 1960s and 70s as regional general managers sought investment in core routes at the cost of being unable to afford the day-to-day maintenance of secondary lines. The 1968 Transport Act did acknowledge the need for revenue support beyond fare income for individual lines. This was focused mainly on urban areas and, as a result, important secondary routes continued to be closed – including the Oxford to Cambridge line (1968), the Waverley Route between…

1 Min
grand central scraps planned blackpool open access services

ARRIVA, which is owned by Deutsch Bahn, has decided to abandon its planned open access services under the Grand Central brand between Blackpool and London Euston. Originally due to start in May 2020, five trainsets have been refurbished comprising a DBC Class 90, six ex-LNER Mk.4 coaches, and a driving van trailer. It was announced on September 10 that Covid restrictions, and the likely length of time it will take for an acceptable demand from passengers to return, could not justify starting operations and that despite the investment and the employment of staff, the project would be abandoned. This is a blow for Blackpool’s economic prospects as it is one of the poorest population centres in Britain. Data from the Office for National Statistics shows the town had a gross value added…

6 Min
rip franchises as government moves to a concessions-based model

THE Department for Transport announced the end of rail franchising on September 21, as the Government took direct control of running and financing services while it looks to introduce a replacement approach long-term. This brings to an end 24 years of franchising since the former nationalised British Rail was split up in the mid-1990s. The Government said this is the first step to bringing Britain’s fragmented network back together. The franchise agreements have been replaced by Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements (ERMAs) for the duration of the pandemic, that prepare the ground for a new railway as part of its commitment to replace the current system. The ERMAs are claimed to have tougher performance targets for lower management fees up to a maximum of 1.5% of the cost base of the franchise before the…

2 Min
in brief

RE & RI BECOME SHEDMATES MORTONS Media Group Ltd, publisher of Rail Express, The Railway Magazine, and Heritage Railway, has added Railways Illustrated and Steam Days to its portfolio of rail titles. The monthly magazines were acquired from Key Publishing in September, with RI covering the present day scene and Steam Days pre-1968 history and nostalgia. Mortons’ chairman Ian Fisher said: “These have been very tough months for the industry, but I am in no doubt there is an appetite out there for great products aimed at an enthusiastic audience.” DART EXPANSION PLAN PHASE 1 of the planned DART+ (‘DART Plus’) expansion of the electrified network in the Greater Dublin area, from Connolly and Docklands to Maynooth and M3 Parkway, has now advanced to the public consultation stage. The work will include the elimination…

1 Min
cuts at irish rail operator

TRANSLINK has announced it is to make up to 100 redundancies, close the Ulsterbus tour business, and make other cuts including service reductions to regular services, write William Watson and Alan McFerran. The public sector company, which runs rail and bus services in Northern Ireland, was able to carefully manage its finances over the years. However, it has struggled since March following a significant reduction in passenger numbers because of the pandemic. Unlike the rail franchises in England, Scotland and Wales, NIR does not benefit from the Government’s Emergency Measures Agreements. Instead, it and Translink’s bus divisions Ulsterbus and Metro receive support payments from the Northern Ireland Executive via the Department for Infrastructure. The Executive has authorised emergency funding during the crisis, but Translink is now required to make savings of £20 million…