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The Railway Magazine

The Railway Magazine March 2021

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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

1 min.
light at the end of the tunnel

So after 11 months and three lockdowns, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a cautious lifting of the coronavirus restrictions that have impacted every facet of our lives. The Government’s plan – aiming to lift all restrictions by June 21 – has many caveats, but after so many wrong or delayed decisions, it cannot afford to get this plan to restore freedoms wrong. It will be a difficult path over the next four months, but there does appear to genuinely be light at the end of the tunnel. What Mr Johnson has called a ‘road map to freedom’ will be definitely welcomed by the railway heritage movement, railtour operators and by thousands of RM readers. Whether it goes to plan all depends on the public remaining sensible, while at time of going…

1 min.
britain’s electrification record... simply shocking

WITH decarbonisation remaining high on the environmental agenda, the fact that in the past five years this and previous Conservative administrations have managed to electrify just 686 single track miles of the rail network is shocking. That’s less than 140 miles per year. I am not making a political point here. It is fact. Train operators, Network Rail and leading rail industry figures are adamant electrification is the right way forward, yet plans are being distracted by thoughts of hydrogen trains which need far more electricity to make the gas in the first place as part of a complex infrastructure requirement. As the country begins to emerge from the pandemic, it will be some time before we begin to establish what the long term impacts are, but as Network Rail has produced…

1 min.
should we name locos after our great pioneers and inventors?

MOST of us enjoy seeing a name on a locomotive, and while we know the importance of the names on the sides of ‘Castles’, ‘Halls’, racehorses, regiments, poets, writers and even birds, one genre never properly honoured by locomotive or unit namings has been British pioneers and inventors. So which pioneers and inventors might deserve such an honour? Perhaps jet engine inventor Sir Frank Whittle, DNA profiling pioneer Sir Alec Jeffreys, cypher and coding expert Alan Turing, world wide web creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee, microbiologist Sir Alexander Fleming, television inventor John Logie Baird, fellow Scottish inventor Alexander Graham Bell or women’s rights campaigner Emmeline Pankhurst are possible suggestions. The nearest we’ve ever had was the four Hull Trains Class 222 ‘Pioneers’, but the names used were more of a local nature. What…

4 min.
franchise termination negotiations pass revised january deadline

NEGOTIATIONS between the Department for Transport (DfT) and passenger franchise owning groups over termination payments to bring franchises to an end failed to be concluded by January 29, the revised date set for the process to be concluded. This was already a revision to the December 14 deadline set by the Government. Currently most franchises are operating on emergency contracts termed either EMAs or ERMAs and, as previously reported, the ‘termination sums’are based on the DfT’s calculation of the total losses incurred by each franchise, which would have been payable at the end of the franchise period had Covid-19 not intervened and the contract had run to its conclusion. Once the payment has been agreed the DfT engages with the owning group to agree terms for a new Direct Award contract which will…

1 min.
app for northern staff to help passengers taken ill

NORTHERN is trialling a mobile phone app which will provide on-train staff with step-by-step instructions to help passengers who become ill or are injured. Currently in the first phase of testing, the app uses both GSM mobile signals and GPS positioning together with a digital interface which allows colleagues, control teams and operational staff to simultaneously liaise with each other and, if required, the emergency services. The £300,000 trial was funded by Innovate UK and will be developed further. A second phase will look at automating the app by including tracking which train the user is on, as well as the exact location of the train on the network making it easier for emergency services to attend to a passenger. Additionally, it will be integrated with the train’s communications – meaning the customer…

1 min.
second blue pullman charter train set planned

ALTHOUGH the Locomotive Services Limited (LSL) Blue Pullman HST has had just one outing because of the imposition of a third lockdown, RM understands LSL plans have moved forward to create a second HST charter train. On February 9, a rake of six Mk3 trailer cars was moved from Crewe to Arlington Eastleigh to be refurbished. Also moved was vehicle 41169 from the Blue Pullman set for remedial work. The cancellation of Pullman tours in January and February could, if lockdowns are lifted, see the set working to Whitby on March 20. Four of the Blue Pullman’s first six tours have already sold out.…