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Rail Express

Rail Express

September 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

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Mortons Media Group, Ltd
Frequency:
Monthly
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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
staying safe and viable

IT is great to see heritage lines and railtour companies finding a way to start operating again, although there is clearly still a long way to go. The problem for both is how to carry passengers again in a safe and viable way. However you approach it, 'safe' means carrying fewer people on board than normal, which ultimately affects the viability. Some lines have looked at the constraints and taken the difficult decision to stay closed for the rest of the year. Those that are reopening are doing so in a very different way to normal - either by offering a straightforward out and back round trip, with trains being cleaned between sets of passengers, or by exclusive use of booked seats for the whole day. The Severn Valley Railway, for example,…

3 min.
£30 billion cost for a carbon-neutral railway

ELECTRIFIED track currently makes up 39% of the national network, and Network Rail believes that at least 12,500 additional single-track kilometres (8000 miles) will be required to deliver future carbon neutral operations. This will leave some 2500 kilometres of more lightly-used lines for which trains are expected to be powered by a mix of hydrogen and battery technology. Government enthusiasm for electrification was severely dented by the delay and cost over-run of the Great Western Main Line project, which resulted in plans for wiring a number of routes to be cancelled - including the Midland Main Line to Nottingham and Sheffield and a decision to use diesel trains for the new East West Rail route between Oxford and Cambridge. Since then industry suppliers have devised catenary designs that will reduce installation costs…

1 min.
post covid-19 boost for charter operators?

THE May 2020 timetable is unlikely to be restored in full if the predicted fall in passenger demand becomes a reality. It is estimated that 85% of services are currently running, but these provide greatly reduced capacity given social distancing rules, and many trains are carrying just a handful of passengers. Social distancing regulations do not look likely to end soon, and may well continue until a vaccine is available. Although trains running in urban areas can be justified for essential travel, cutbacks elsewhere can be predicted to reduce the cost to the Government of running them. It may well be a taste of things to come that timetabled trains, like those being operated by Locomotive Services Limited for an eight-week period from July to September on the Settle and Carlisle line…

2 min.
trans-pennine diggle route investment confirmed

THE Government announced on July 23 that funding for enhancement projects worth £589 million has been agreed to improve connectivity in northern England. A new Northern Transport Acceleration Council has also been created that will report directly to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, with representation by the elected mayors in the region and a hub of Department for Transport staff working locally rather than in London. A key project will be improvement to the Diggle route between Leeds, Huddersfield and Manchester, which is based on previous work by Network Rail to improve TransPennine Express services. It involves the restoration of four tracks over critical sections to remove the impact that stopping services have on point-to-point timings of express services. Electrification is also to take place, with the wiring extended from Leeds to York…

3 min.
in briefs

'483s' SEEK NEW HOME WITH the impending arrival of the Vivarail Class 484s, South Western Railway has invited expressions of interest from groups wishing to acquire one of the Class 483 '1938 stock' units which have been used on the Isle of Wight since 1989. Organisations interested in adopting a unit will need to demonstrate the capacity and financial security to remove and look after the train, as well as a suitable long-term physical location for the vehicles. Following the news, the London Transport Traction Group has been formed with the aim of preserving a Class 483 unit and converting it for self-powered operation, potentially at the Epping Ongar Railway. NIR UPGRADES THE station building at Belfast Yorkgate is to be replaced by a larger building. The plans also include widening of the platforms,…

3 min.
welcoming back travellers

HERITAGE lines have had it tough this year, with many months of precious fare income already lost due to coronavirus lockdown - and even as restrictions have eased, some have still decided it is not worth reopening. The problem is mainly one of capacity: how to carry enough passengers safely yet still make it viable for the railway. Some of the shorter lines have opted to offer a straightforward out and back journey, with the train being cleaned between trips. Others, like the Severn Valley, are taking more of a 'day out' approach. The SVR has reopened with three trains a day: two start from Kidderminster and one from Bridgnorth, all covering the full length of the line and all calling at Highley at some point to allow visits to the Engine…