Rail Express

February 2022

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
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min
a year of reflection – and kindness

Avery Happy New Year to you, our readers and contributors, who, year after year, help keep Rail Express fresh and brimming with a relevant mix of news, features, modelling, nostalgia and top-notch photography – we literally couldn’t do it without you. Relevant, of course, means different things to different people. I was reminded of this at the start of January, when on January 2 many of us commemorated the ‘Deltic Scotsman Farewell’ railtour, the last day of Deltics in BR service, now incredibly 40 years ago. For those of us fortunate/old enough (depending on your point of view!) to be at a freezing King’s Cross Platform 2 when No. 55022 Royal Scots Grey brought down the curtain (and the house) on an era, it was a momentous occasion, the like of which…

2 min
government rejects network rail’s traction decarbonisation network strategy

THE ambitious Network Rail plan to electrify the greater part of the national network to deliver net zero carbon emissions by 2040 will not be adopted in its current form due to uncertainties about post-Covid passenger demand and what is seen as an unacceptable outlay of £30 billion, based on anticipated wiring costs of £2.5 million per single track kilometre (stk). There are many lessons from history about electrification as the investment has regularly proved to be contentious and it has made matters worse that the industry muddied the playing field with a shocking cost overrun of the Great Western Main Line project that had to be reduced in scope. There is no doubt that in terms of energy efficiency 25kV AC overhead wiring as a method of providing traction current is…

1 min
drs heritage diesel sell-off

DRS is selling its next tranche of older rolling stock, including three Class 37s (Nos. 603, 604, 609), six Class 57s (Nos. 004, 008-012), five Mk.2f DBSOs (Nos. 9704, 9705, 9707, 9709, 9710), two Mk.3 DVTs (Nos. 82101 and 82126), plus Class 37 and coaching stock spares. The vehicles are currently based at MoD Longtown and sale is by tender, with a closing date of February 3. In October 2021, DRS put up its remaining Class 20/3s for sale, along with Class 37s, 57s and coaches, many of which were bought by HNRC and LSL (see Power by the Hour, p24). A number of ‘37s’ remain on DRS’ books for now.…

1 min
special dmu event at swanage

The Swanage Railway welcomed in 2022 with a special event to mark the 50th anniversary of the last British Rail train from Wareham to Swanage, running its three-car Class 117 DMU from January 1-3, 2022. Retired signaller Bob Richards, who signalled the last train on the evening of New Year’s Day 1972 welcomed the DMU at Corfe Castle, driven by Peter Frost, a dedicated Swanage Railway volunteer for 45 years, who was also a teenage passenger on that last British Rail train 50 years before. For passengers travelling on the line during the event, a special commemorative heritage Edmondson card ticket was produced.…

1 min
cool move for new rail freight flow

DRS has partnered with supermarket giant Tesco to provide a new rail freight service, distributing chilled goods from Tilbury, outside London, to Coatbridge in Scotland. It is the first time Tesco has used refrigerated rail freight in the UK, and two trains will run each day, seven days a week. Each journey would require the equivalent of 40 HGVs if road transport was used. DRS’ bi-mode Class 88s will provide traction, running mainly in electric mode for the 415-mile journey, although a surge in energy prices in late 2021 saw many operators temporarily opting to run diesel powered trains as these were cheaper. It is unclear whether further hikes in electricity prices would result in similar action being taken, which would lessen the green credentials of the Tesco operation. Currently…

1 min
werrington diveunder opens to traffic

ON December 9, 2021, LNER ‘Azuma’ bi-mode No. 800107, with the UK rail minister and invited guests on board, ran from London through the Werrington diveunder near Peterborough (believed to be the first passenger train to do so) to mark the completion of a significant rail infrastructure project that will improve capacity and traffic flows on the East Coast Main Line, by removing conflicting movements between slow freight trains and high speed passenger services on a former flat crossing. The image shows No. 800107 forming the 1Z80 09.03 London King’s Cross-Spalding, climbing the gradient from the diveunder on the brand-new two-track section. The new line on which it is travelling was formerly a small road, Hurn Road, which led to, and formerly crossed, the East Coast Main Line. A new…