Rail Express June 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
you can’t keep a good train down

BACK in British Rail days, when a class was to be withdrawn there was a standard formula for seeing them off to retirement. The decision was made, withdrawals would start, there was a series of farewell railtours, a final run, and then that was that – history. Privatisation has made all of this much more fluid – in agood way for enthusiasts – as now when they disappear from one place, there is a chance they might pop up elsewhere instead – like the famous ‘whack a mole’ analogy. HSTs are a prime case in point. After big send-offs from inter-city services with GWR and LNER, many sets were repurposed for more regional workings in the West Country and Scotland, while others were snapped up for railtours, test train work and…

1 Min
oban from the air

A HIGHLAND TERMINUS: This stunning view of Oban from the air shows how the railway takes up a central position in the town on the west coast of Scotland, adjacent to the harbour with connecting ferries to many of the Hebridean islands. Much of the land to either side of the current station was previously taken up with further platforms and sidings, but at least the station is still there, and on May 1 it was visited by Type 3s Nos. 37610/37219 ‘top and tailing’ Network Rail’s ultrasonic test train – seen ready to form the 16.30 to Mossend.…

2 Min
hsts bow out on emr

EAST Midlands Railway withdrew its final HST sets at the end of the winter timetable on May 15, when it introduced Class 360 EMUs to services over the newly-electrified section from Corby to Bedford and onto St Pancras. HSTs replaced Class 45s from October 1982, and to mark the end EMR surprised many by repainting power car No. 43274 in its house colours of purple and white, making it a second celebrity power car after previously repainting No. 43102 into InterCity Swallow. A final week of EMR celebrations, such as those seen when GWR and LNER withdrew their Intercity HSTs in 2019, was denied by Covid restrictions – but nevertheless enthusiasts turned out where possible to see off the last few services as best they could. The final pair of weekday diagrams were:…

2 Min
iets withdrawn after cracks found

SERVICES on Great Western Railway, LNER, TransPennine Express and Hull Trains were disrupted from May 9 after hairline cracks were found in the chassis of Hitachi-built Class 80x series trains. Worst hit seemed to be the bi-mode sets, which carry underfloor diesel engines and fuel tanks, while the slightly older GWR fleet was also affected more. An Hitachi Rail spokesperson said: “Inspection has identified cracks on the lifting points under the carriage of some Class 800 trains. Safety is our number one priority and as a precaution, the decision was taken to halt the entry into service of our intercity fleets pending inspection.” May 9 saw widespread disruption and most services cancelled, although sets were released back into traffic after being cleared by inspection. Hull Trains managed to run a full service on…

3 Min
nao report investigates rail’s soaring costs

GOVERNMENT funding for rail services has increased from £2.6 billion in 2014/15 to £5.1 billion in 2019/20, according to a new report by the National Audit Office. The NAO is an independent organisation that scrutinises public spending to support Parliament in holding the Government to account. The investigation was focused on rail services in England, although some figures include money spent in Scotland and Wales. The report published on April 26 reviewed how much it costs to run the rail system, how it is paid for, and the opportunities for reform by an analysis of income and expenditure. The NAO has previously been highly critical of the decision made by the Department for Transport to procure rolling stock that demonstrated a lack of expertise. This resulted in higher costs and delivery delays…

2 Min
in brief

HRA AWARDS GOES VIRTUAL LOCKDOWN restrictions meant the Heritage Railway Association’s annual awards event had to be held online for 2021, with a simultaneous broadcast on Facebook and You Tube on the afternoon of April 28. Despite the pandemic, however, several categories saw a record number of submissions and shortlisted entrants. Three awards went to modern traction. The Morgan Award for Preservation was won by the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway, for its ‘Shredded Wheat’ locomotive; the new Diesel Locomotion Award was won by the Class 50 Alliance for 30 years of Class 50 preservation; and the Rail Express-sponsored Modern Traction Award went to the Engineering Team at Island Line, Isle of Wight (see also pages 82-85). In addition, Ian Smith of the Middleton Railway won The Railway Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award. The Awards Show…