This week’s roundup of news from the UK railway industry.
Euston tunnel protest: HS2 protesters evicted from London park
Bailiffs from HS2 have started to evict protesters from Euston Square Gardens after they dug tunnels and set up a makeshift camp in opposition to the high speed rail project.
HS2 Rebellion activists occupied Euston Square Gardens claiming there were plans to build a temporary taxi rank over the small green space outside Euston Station.
Several protesters still remain in the area and can be seen sitting in tents, set up on wooden platforms high-up in trees, around the park.
A large, wooden makeshift camp remains in place on the south side of the green space, which is said to have been constructed over a 100ft network of tunnels.
Enforcement agents from the National Eviction Team have been patrolling the park, while dozens of police officers monitor the area. Click here to see more.
Over 100 year old steam locomotive returns to Doncaster
The first of two locomotives built in Doncaster over 100 years ago has returned to the town, thanks to an arrangement between the National Railway Museum and Doncaster Council.
The Great Northern Railway ‘Atlantic’ locomotive No. 251 built at Doncaster Plant in 1902, is the first exhibit to be formally announced for the town’s Danum Gallery, Library and Museum.
Retiring in 1947, the locomotive ran for 45 years, and returned to steam in preservation once in 1953 to celebrate the centenary of the Doncaster Plant Works. Click here to see more.
Projects to restore axed rail routes get £794m boost
Two projects to restore rail routes closed more than 50 years ago have been awarded £794 million of new funding.
The Department for Transport (DfT) said £760 million will support the next phase of East West Rail to reinstate services between Bicester, Oxfordshire and Bletchley, Buckinghamshire for the first time since 1968.
A scheme to reopen the Northumberland Line between Newcastle and Ashington – which closed to passengers in 1964 as part of the Beeching cuts – will be given £34 million to boost its development. Click here to see more.
Network Rail volunteers help set up mass vaccination facility in Exeter
Teams from Network Rail volunteered their time to unload around 100 pallets of equipment from articulated lorries and set it up inside the main building at Westpoint Exeter.
Volunteers worked tirelessly completing a range of tasks such as assembling furniture, laying out signage and constructing the vaccination pods to help ensure the facility, just off the M5 motorway in Exeter will be ready to open on January 26. Click here to see more.
Helicopter footage reveals Storm Christoph impact on railway
Network Rail helicopter footage shows the impact that flood waters caused by Storm Christoph have had across the North West’s railway network.
Thankfully, initial signs show that railway lines left submerged in over the past week in Cheshire, Lancashire, Merseyside and Cumbria have little or no lasting damage after the storms.
Eurostar: French government pledges financial support
France has said it is ready to give financial support to struggling Eurostar.
Junior transport minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari told a parliamentary hearing in Paris that he is in talks with the UK Government about ensuring the cross-Channel train operator survives the COVID-19 pandemic.
The French state will be “at Eurostar’s side in order to maintain this strategic link between our two countries”, he said. Click here to see more.
Police slam using East Sussex railway crossing for photographs
CCTV footage showing a woman lying down on railway tracks to pose for photographs despite the danger has been slammed by police.
A woman in a bright jacket can be seen sprawled across the rails at Tidemills level crossing near Seaford, East Sussex while her companion takes photos. Click here to see more.
London Transport Museum launch new Tube map face-covering sets
London Transport Museum has revealed two new sets of Tube inspired face coverings featuring design icons from London’s transport network and history.
The two new exclusive sets of face coverings are available on London Transport Museum’s online shop and cost £18 each, with every purchase helping to support the Museum.
The first set includes two masks featuring the modern-day diagrammatic Tube map design first created by Harry Beck in the 1930s. The third mask features a multi-coloured line-up of one of the world’s most recognisable logos: the London Underground Roundel. Click here to see more.
Latest service updates
CrossCountry – Train services are now able to run normally between Bristol Parkway and Newport.
Gatwick Express – Gatwick Express services remain suspended until further notice. Southern and Thameslink are still running to and from Gatwick Airport, and will provide journey options to both London and Brighton.
Grand Central – From Saturday 9 January until Sunday 28 February, Grand Central service will be suspended, as a result of the national restrictions that are in place. You can find more information here.
Great Western Railway – The railway line has now reopened between Bristol Parkway and Newport following an engineering problem that occurred earlier this month on a bridge near Patchway.
Hull Trains – The latest timetable can be downloaded here.
To help stop the potential spread of coronavirus, the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments have decided that the wearing of face coverings when travelling by train or other public transport is compulsory in all parts of Britain. So, if you travel by train, make sure you bring a face covering to wear.
We will continue to run as much of the network as possible and will update our website with any service changes. Please check before you travel.
We’re doing all we can to make sure those who need to travel can continue to use public transport safely and everyone must continue to take the simple steps of good hand hygiene, wearing a face covering in stations and for your whole journey, and social distancing wherever possible.
Due to Crossrail works the following services will be affected. Please check before you travel and plan your journey ahead of time.
|Circle Line: Minor delays due to train cancellations.|
Hammersmith and City Line: Severe delays due to train cancellations.
Waterloo & City Line: No service until further notice.
See the latest status updates on London Underground, including a map of closures.
From Monday 25 January, we will temporarily be running a reduced service during peak times on weekday London Overground services to and from Bush Hill Park and Enfield Town. There will now be two trains per hour throughout the day in place of the standard four trains per hour peak service. The following trains from Liverpool Street to Enfield Town will not run: 0645, 0715, 0745, 0807, 0845, 1615, 1645, 1715, 1745, 1815 and 1922. The following trains from Enfield Town to Liverpool Street will not run: 0654. 0724, 0754, 0824, 0854, 0924, 1707, 1737, 1807, 1837 and 1907. In addition, the 0800 train from Liverpool Street to Cheshunt and 0843 train from Cheshunt to Liverpool Street will not run.
Check before you travel and plan your journey ahead of time.
Metros around the country
From Tuesday 1 December, there will be no step-free access available at The Hawthorns stop as Network Rail begin work to replace the lifts that serve our tram stop. Once completed, in March 2021, the lifts will provide a more reliable step free access for train and metro customers using this stop.
National lockdown: Stay at home. Only use public transport for essential purposes. Avoid travelling at busier times if you can, wear a face covering (unless exempt), open train windows to help with ventilation, stay apart from others and wash or sanitise your hands frequently.
For more timetable information visit nexus.org.uk
Stay at home and avoid travel, except for work, education, or other legally permitted reasons.
Following the latest government announcement, we want to reassure customers that still need to travel with us during lockdown that we will be operating a full service during this time.
We are currently working towards reintroducing passenger services on a line-by-line basis this morning with the aim of running our timetabled service from approximately midday. Services may be subject to delay and passengers are advised to continue checking @merseyrail on Twitter and the website before they travel.
Due to the ongoing impact of the Coronavirus pandemic we are having to make short notice changes to our services.
All routes will operate to the current timetables but services will end at around 8pm every day. There will be no service on any routes after around 8pm.
The current frequencies of service are unchanged;
YELLOW & BLUE: Up to every 15 minutes during the day, every 20 minutes at other times and on Sunday
PURPLE: Every 30 minutes
TRAM TRAIN: Every hour
Please be aware that due to the short notice of these changes, timetables on tram stops may be incorrect until updated information can be posted. Additionally, some journey planning tools and websites may also offer incorrect journey information.
The first tram and last tram will run at their usual time, but customers should expect trams to operate every 15 minutes during the day with this being kept under constant review.
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About the Author
- UK railway news roundup - 30th July 2021
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- Rail unions call public meeting over future of Eurostar - 29th July 2021