Rail Express February 2021

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
light at the end of the tunnel

AS this issue goes to press we are once again in a nationwide lockdown. We are advised not to travel unless it is an essential journey, while heritage lines and museums have been forced to close, so most of us are back to being armchair enthusiasts. But there is much to be hopeful for this time – light at the end of the tunnel, to use one of the railway metaphors so popular with the Government experts! 2020 was a horrible year, not least for the many people and families directly affected by the virus, or the knock-on economic effects of all the restrictions on jobs, businesses and trade. Now, though, the roll-out of the vaccination programme means that come spring – exactly a year after the first lockdown began – we…

2 Min
new rules for channel tunnel operation

THE UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement signed on December 30 has no specific measures that relate to domestic rail operations in Britain, but there has been a previous agreement about the continuation of services using the Channel Tunnel. It has been agreed there will be a nine-month extension to existing operating licences for railway undertakings that currently provide services, and a two-month timeframe to agree safety and interoperability rules that apply to operations. The original Channel Tunnel Intergovernmental Commission was set up to supervise, in the name and on behalf of the UK and French governments, all matters concerning the construction and operation of the Fixed Link (the Channel Tunnel). It has powers to provide permanent surveillance and control functions, including the requirement for a unified safety regime within the tunnel. These arrangements…

3 Min
whatever happened to promised channel tunnel rail freight?

ONE of the main justifications for constructing the Channel Tunnel was the ability to transport a much higher volume of direct freight traffic between Britain and Europe than was being carried on train ferries. In the run-up to opening the tunnel, British Rail conducted extensive market studies that predicted within 10 years some 11.6 million tonnes would be conveyed. It was also assumed that the two million annual tonnes of train ferry traffic would transfer, but this judgement proved misplaced – mainly because ferry consignments were carried on a wagonload basis, an operation that was dying out. The new cross-Channel arrangements would be based on trainload working using intermodal swap bodies of the type generally used in Europe. There was a warning this might not be straightforward, however, as Freightliner services between London…

1 Min
end for isle of wight ‘483s’

JANUARY 3 saw the final runs for the Isle of Wight’s famous Class 483 EMUs, the converted former London Underground Stock that dates back to 1938. The final working left Ryde Pier Head at 23.17 for the short trip to Ryde St Johns Road then onto the depot. The Island Line is now closed to trains until the end of March so it can be upgraded for use by the incoming Vivarail Class 484 EMUs – themselves based on heavily re-engineered former LU D78 Stock. £26 million is being spent upgrading the Island Line, including a new passing loop at Brading that will allow a regular 30-minute frequency service to run. Nine two-car units (plus one for spares) have been in use on the island since late 1989, but it had become…

2 Min
in brief

PRE-COVID RAIL TRAVEL HIGH FIGURES released by the Department for Transport show that rail travel in the year to March 2020 was the second highest on record at 1.7 billion journeys – and could have been even higher but for the impact of coronavirus on travel in the second half of March. The total is more than double that at the time of Privatisation in the mid-1990s, with annual trips per person up by more than half since 2002. Waterloo remained the busiest station in the country with 86.9 million entries and exits in 2019/20. The only station outside of London in the top 10 was Birmingham New Street (fifth place with 46.5 million entries and exits). Berney Arms in Norfolk became the official least used station (42 entries and exits in 2019/20),…

2 Min
dft grants further stays of execution

THE Department for Transport has granted dispensation for anumber of fleets that do not meet the PRM (persons with reduced mobility) legislation, to remain in traffic for five months beyond the expiry of their previous exemption on December 31. Six HST sets have been permitted to continue in service with East Midlands Railway until May 31. These are sets NL51/54-58, all of which are former LNER rakes. Of these, NL55 became the fifth to enter service with EMR on December 28, while NL54 was still receiving attention at Neville Hill. Six spare vehicles are also included. EMR has also been given dispensation to operate six Class 153s until May 31. A similar arrangement applies to Transport for Wales, which can run 13 non-compliant Class 153s (to be renumbered '153/9s) until the end…