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Rail Express

Rail Express

February 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
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12 Issues

In this issue

2 min.
thanks for the memories

THE management and staff at LNER have to be congratulated for organising an outstanding farewell to HST operations on the East Coast route in December, both on the last day of timetabled services and the four-day farewell tour the week after. There was certainly no obligation to do any of it, certainly not for our sake, and yet they did anyway. You could just tell there was a genuine fondness amongst the crew and other staff for these iconic machines that have plied their way north from King’s Cross for more than four decades. The tour set was superbly turned out in original 1970s condition, at considerable expense, just for those four days – again a commendable thing to do. Yes the company gained a great deal of publicity and press around…

1 min.
hst tour goes forth

A fantastic shot of specially-repainted HST power cars Nos. 43312 and 43206 (carrying their original identities of E43112 and W43006 respectively) and the seven matching Mk.3s forming LNER’s ‘Let’s Go Round Again’ tour, the four-day marathon send-off to mark the end of regular East Coast Main Line HST operations. This was day one on December 18 as the tour headed north from Edinburgh to Aberdeen and Inverness at Burntisland (Fife), with the Forth rail and road bridges in the background. See pages 14-19 for more on the end of East Coast HSTs.…

2 min.
scotrail franchise to end early

THE Scottish Government has decided to end the present Abellio-run ScotRail franchise in March 2022, three years before the original agreement expires in March 2025. There is a break clause in the contract to allow such a termination, which includes the opportunity to change the level of support payments if the economic circumstances have changed since the franchise began on April 1, 2015. Abellio clearly expected a negotiation for a direct award to take place rather than being required to take part in a new bidding process. The original contract award was controversial because it required more subsidy than the rival National Express Group bid, but was deemed to offer a higher quality service. This was disputed by NEG, which proposed to provide new rolling stock for express services within Scotland rather…

2 min.
‘rats’ set for main line return

A PAIR of Class 25s owned by the Harry Needle Railroad company (HNRC) are set to return to main line activity some 33 years after last seeing use on the national system. No. 25057 has been returned from the North Norfolk Railway to HNRC’s new Worksop depot, where it is to receive major attention and fitting of the necessary GSM-R radio equipment and OTMR monitoring system. Mr Needle acquired the ‘25’ from the NNR in 2018. Over the Christmas period, the engine oil was drained and refilled and a start-up was scheduled for early 2020. Meanwhile classmate No. 25313 is also due to receive a considerable amount of remedial work to make a pairing with No. 25057 in due course. This ‘Rat’ had been based at the Llangollen Railway since 1988, moving…

3 min.
the north and midlands hope for transport boost

BORIS Johnson had a record of supporting public transport in his period as Mayor of London, and now as Prime Minister this can be expected to benefit areas of the country that ensured his election in December. Areas in the North, Midlands and Wales where he polled strongly are also those that have taken a back seat in terms of rail investment in recent years. It can be expected that big projects, such as the HS2 spurs to reach Leeds and Manchester and the proposed HS3 link between Manchester and York, will proceed along with line reopenings to improve connectivity in areas that have suffered economic deprivation as a result of heavy industry cutbacks. There are also immediate issues to address, with a collapse of timetable reliability for services operated by the…

2 min.
in brief

CARDIFF ELECTRICS GREAT Western Railway ran its first electric service from Cardiff on December 5, when No. 800031 formed the 08.50 Cardiff-Paddington – regular journeys following from January 6. Network Rail worked over the Christmas period to finalise the electrification project between St Brides (Newport) and west of Cardiff Central station. At the same time, a significant amount of track, switches and crossings, and platforms edgings were replaced at the east end of Newport station plus some adjustments to the overhead line equipment. Final testing took place in the Cardiff area in the first week of January. WARRINGTON WEST OPENS A NEW £20.5 million station at Warrington West has been officially opened. The station – funded by Warrington Borough Council, the Department for Transport, developer contributions and Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership – provides…