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The Railway Magazine

The Railway Magazine October 2020

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The Railway Magazine has been published since 1897 and is now the UK's best-selling general interest rail title. Every month, The RM provides enthusiasts and professionals with authoritative and informed news coverage of the following: - Network Rail and the train operating companies - Locomotives, multiple units, carriages and wagons - Steam, heritage and the preservation world, inc narrow gauge- Metro and underground systems - In addition, the magazine carries frequent items of overseas interest. The Railway Magazine is also renowned for its wide-ranging and innovative feature coverage, encompassing up-to-the-minute developments as well as historical, nostalgic and foreign subjects. The magazine is also renowned for its award-winning photographic content.

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United Kingdom
Mortons Media Group, Ltd
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
time for innovation in the rail tour market?

THE tremendous success of the ‘Staycation Express’, a six-day-a-week, three-times-a-day charter operation spanning eight weeks and running over the most scenic sections of the Settle-Carlisle line, has highlighted a number of positive factors, which could bring changes to the railtour market. These trains have proved, with the right route and traction, demand is there for a short operation, meaning customers are not cocooned inside a carriage for hours on end. Had it not been for Covid-19 and the need to break lockdown boredom, this operation might not have been conceived. While I am not suggesting the appetite for these ‘mega’ railtours of 16-18 hours duration are past their sell-by date, having myself been involved in several charity railtours, a repeat operation over the same route several times per day could actually be…

1 min.
end of the franchising era - tough times ahead for tocs

SO, AFTER 24 years, franchising has finally ended. Train operators will now have to work under tough new contracts known as Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements or can go down the road of negotiating their exit from the rail market. Since Covid-19 took hold, life for everyone, including how we undertake the simplest tasks, has changed – possibly forever. Under the proposals in the Williams report, the preference was a move to concession, where a fixed fee is paid. However, the new emergency agreements come with far tougher terms and penalties for late or dirty trains. Such agreements give the operator far less latitude than hitherto enjoyed, and raises a question as to how many current companies plan to stay in railways for a measly maximum of 1.5% of the cost base of the…

2 min.
‘phenomenal success’: rcs boss gives thumbs-up to s&c charter trains

EIGHT weeks of main line charter trains running six days per week three times per day over the Settle & Carlisle line under the banner of the‘Staycation Express’has been a ‘phenomenal success’, Rail Charter Services owner Adrian Quine told The RM. “It has exceeded all expectations and provided such positive feedback,”he added. ‘Lockdown blues’ The‘Staycation Express’was conceived as a way of escaping the‘lockdown blues’after so many restrictions on foreign travel and subsequent quarantine, with many taking holidays in the UK and closer to home. The five-coach Skipton to Appleby trains operated from July 20 to September 12. They were formed of four ex-Greater Anglia Mk 3s, modified with internal screens for safety and distancing plus a BFK, and were hauled by locos from the Locomotive Services Ltd stable. The use over the eight weeks of…

2 min.
carmont wreckage clearance work continues after august hst tragedy

WORK to clear the wreckage of the derailed HST at Carmont, near Stonehaven, has continued throughout September, with the final carriage being removed on September 21. The HST was derailed on August 12, with two vehicles plunging down an embankment after hitting a fresh landslip following the train being forced to reverse direction because of a landslip on the Up line near Laurencekirk. Two train crew and a passenger were killed and six others injured. RAIB investigators have spent a lot of time on site gathering evidence before allowing Network Rail engineers and recovery teams access to prepare to remove the wreckage of the HST. Access road As the derailment occurred in remote landscape, a 900metre-long access road has been built across farmland to permit heavy lifting equipment and low loaders to be brought onsite. Work…

1 min.
nr commits to improved forecasting and earthworks monitoring technology

IMPROVED forecasting and more widespread use of technology to monitor vulnerable earthworks are the two key recommendations of Network Rail’s interim report into the impact of extreme weather on the resilience and safety of the railway following August 12’s tragic derailment at Carmont. NR’s report is not intended to pre-empt the findings of the formal investigations by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB), Office of Rail and Road (ORR) or the police, but sets out immediate and long-term action to improve resilience to extreme weather events. Sensors It highlights the need for greater deployment of technology such as movement sensors and CCTV to predict failures, and investment in better forecasting to enable local decisions for imminent weather events. Rules for reporting and responding to heavy rainfall will also be improved, helping signallers to manage…

2 min.
franchising is officially over!

TRANSPORT Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed on September 21 franchising has officially ended after 24 years. The coronavirus pandemic has played a big part in hastening the end of how Britain’s railways were operated. As passengers slowly begin to return to rail, new contracts known as Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements (ERMAs) have been introduced and will last until March 2022. The ERMAs are an extension of the Emergency Measures Agreements introduced from March 23. North of the Border, the Scottish Government said it has extended its support for ScotRail and Caledonian Sleeper operations for another six months. Open access operators are unaffected by the changes. Stepping to the transitional ERMAs is part and parcel of preparing the ground for the likelihood of concessions for a fixed fee rather than a franchise. Concession fees could include…