UK railway round-up

This week’s roundup of news from the UK railway industry.

Rail firms pledge to create thousands of new apprenticeships

Selhurst drivers apprentices

Rail firms are marking National Apprenticeship Week by offering thousands of placements in jobs ranging from engineers to technicians.

The number of apprentices recruited by rail firms Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern last year exceeded its target of 200 by almost 20%, it was announced.

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Competition launched to find new ‘home of the railways’

A competition has been launched to find the new “home of the railways”.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the central headquarters of Great British Railways (GBR) could be built “anywhere in the country” outside London.

Trackside fire leaves hundreds of rush-hour commuters stuck as 70 trains delayed

Hundreds of commuters have been stuck on trains into London during rush hour following a trackside fire and services are still severely delayed.

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Trains to Paddington and Heathrow in the west of the capital were stopped for around 90 minutes just after 6:30 am and Network Rail said 70 journeys were cancelled.

HS2 ramps up work on UK’s longest railway bridge

Work on the UK’s longest railway bridge ramped up this week as HS2 began producing 1,000 enormous concrete segments.

The Colne Valley Viaduct will stretch for 2.1 miles (3.4km), carrying high-speed trains some 33ft (10m) above a series of lakes and waterways just outside north-west London.

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RIA responds to ScotRail public ownership announcement

The Railway Industry Association (RIA), the voice of the rail supply community, has responded to the confirmation that ScotRail services will transfer into public ownership from April.

Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth confirmed the transition of ScotRail services into public ownership will take place on April 1, 2022.

UK’s first 100mph battery-diesel hybrid train enters passenger service

The UK’s first 100mph battery-diesel hybrid train is entering passenger service to cut carbon emissions and boost air quality.

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It was developed by adding a powerful battery to a 20-year-old diesel train to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 25%, according to owner Porterbrook.

Latest Service Updates

Gatwick Express  – Gatwick Express services remain suspended until further notice.
Hull Trains – Hull Trains are currently running a reduced service, in line with passenger demand and current government advice.

Transport For London Status

If you need to travel this weekend, here are planned works that may affect your journey.

  • RMT STRIKE ACTION: There is planned strike action every Friday and Saturday night between 2030 and 0429 the following morning until Sunday 19 June.
  • CIRCLE LINE: Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 February, no service between Hammersmith and Tower Hill (via Kings Cross St Pancras) and between Edgware Road and High Street Kensington.
  • DISTRICT LINE: Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 February, no service between High Street Kensington and Edgware Road.
  • HAMMERSMITH & CITY LINE: Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 February, no service on the whole line.
  • METROPOLITAN LINE: Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 February, no service between Wembley Park and Aldgate. Please use Jubilee line connections
  • NORTHERN LINE: From Saturday 15 January until mid May 2022, no service between Moorgate and Kennington due to major upgrade works. 

Our transport network has never been cleaner. Imperial College London run monthly tests for coronavirus on the transport network and found no trace. You can read their recently published report.

Air continuously flows through all our trains, trams and buses. For example, on average, air in a Tube train changes every few minutes. Buses are fitted with air extraction and ventilation systems and we also leave windows open throughout the passenger area to keep a flow of fresh air.

Please continue to walk or cycle part of your journey where possible. If using public transport, travel during quieter times if you can. This will make social distancing easier. The quieter times to travel are:

  • Between 08:15 and 16:00 and after 17:30 on weekdays
  • Before noon and after 18:00 on weekends

Our TfL Go app can help you plan your journey and show the quieter times to travel. 

You must continue to wear a face-covering over your nose and mouth at all times when on the transport network, unless exempt. The overwhelming majority of people are complying with this requirement, and the British Transport Police, the Metropolitan Police and our own officers are on the network to check compliance. Fines of up to £6,400 exist for anyone who does not comply. 

Please also wash or sanitise your hands before and after travel.

London Underground Status

Due to the coronavirus, the following service changes will be in place until further notice. Please plan ahead and check before you travel.

  • NORTHERN LINE: From Saturday 15 January until mid May 2022, no service between Moorgate and Kennington due to major upgrade works. 
  • WATERLOO & CITY LINE: Service operates between 06.07 and 10.13 and between 15.23 and 19.11 on weekdays only. There is no service on Saturdays and Sundays.

London Overground

  • Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 February, no service between Highbury & Islington and Dalston Junction.
  • Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 February, no service between New Cross Gate and West Croydon / Crystal Palace. 
  • Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 February, no service between Romford and Upminster. 
  • Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 February, no service between Willesden Junction and Stratford.

Check before you travel and plan your journey ahead of time.

Railway Reads

From the history of steam through to 21st century rail transport news, we have titles that cater for all rail enthusiasts. Covering diesels, modelling, steam and modern railways, check out our range of magazines and fantastic subscription offers.

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About the Author

Shannon Butcher