Chris Milner

  • West Coast looks forward with Avanti

    West Coast looks forward with Avanti

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    Words: Ben Jones NEW trains, more services and a better customer experience are the priorities for Avanti West Coast (AWC), which replaced Virgin Trains on December 8.  First-Trenitalia’s West Coast Partnership joint venture will operate the country’s busiest inter-city railway until March 31, 2031, during which time it will also become the shadow operator for…

  • Plan to relieve Edinburgh western approaches: Transport Scotland revives project for Almond Chord

    Plan to relieve Edinburgh western approaches: Transport Scotland revives project for Almond Chord

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    SCOTTISH Transport Secretary Michael Matheson has approved a £15million preliminary project to prepare for the construction of a new chord to the Dalmeny to Winchburgh Junction line, west of Edinburgh. The scheme will enable Transport Scotland and Network Rail to develop three options for the Edinburgh Waverley Western Approaches (EWWA) project, which is designed to…

  • Class 195 roll-out continues – but ‘Pacers’ will run into 2020

    Class 195 roll-out continues – but ‘Pacers’ will run into 2020

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    DELIVERIES of new DMUs and EMUs to Northern by CAF are running late, although the company introduced a further nine Class 195s over the Calder Valley line between Leeds and Chester via Manchester and Warrington in October.  It takes the number of ‘195s’ in traffic to 29, exactly half the order.  Northern has said because…

  • ‘Azuma’ trains improve direct Lincoln services

    ‘Azuma’ trains improve direct Lincoln services

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    LNER launched its new Lincoln to King’s Cross ‘Azuma’ service on October 21, increasing the single daily service to five per day.  A sixth service will be introduced at a later stage.  A five-car bi-mode ‘Azuma’ will provide a two-hourly Monday to Friday service departing London at 10.06, 12.06, 14.06 and 16.06.  Southbound services will…

  • Railway Accidents: Lamentable Failures

    Railway Accidents: Lamentable Failures

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    Thirty-one people lost their lives on Tuesday, October 5, 1999, when a Thames Trains Class 165 ‘Turbo’ collided with a First Great Western InterCity125 at a combined speed of 130mph at Ladbroke Grove, two miles from London Paddington. Fraser Pithie and The Railway Magazine look back over 20 years to one of Britain’s worst post-Privatisation…

  • No Greater Anglia ‘Aventras’ before 2020

    No Greater Anglia ‘Aventras’ before 2020

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    By Ben Jones GREATER Anglia (GA) has confirmed it will not be able to introduce its Class 720 ‘Aventra’ EMUs before the end of 2019.  Production and testing of the new trains is running significantly behind schedule after Bombardier experienced delays with the introduction of Crossrail Class 345s and London Overground Class 710s.  However, the…

  • East Midlands franchise taken over by Abellio

    East Midlands franchise taken over by Abellio

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    AUGUST 18 saw the take over of the East Midland franchise by Abellio, with the brand name East Midlands Railway replacing East Midlands Trains (EMT), the Stagecoach brand.  EMT had run services since November 2007 Abellio formally launched the franchise and new brand in Derby the following day, unveiling reliveried ‘Meridian’ set No. 222104 in a…

  • First and Trenitalia to run West Coast Main Line

    First and Trenitalia to run West Coast Main Line

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    By Tony Miles OPERATION of the West Coast Partnership (WCP) will be in the hands of First Group and Trenitalia from December 8, under what will be the first of a new franchise partnership model.  With a 70/30 partnership in favour of First, the pair will end Virgin Trains’ domination of the flagship route, which…

  • Droning on: Drones bring new dimension to rail photography

    Droning on: Drones bring new dimension to rail photography

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    Words: Chris Milner, Photography: Geoff Griffiths The availability and affordability of a ‘drone’ for the average person has brought a new dimension to all types of photography. Until a few years ago the use of a drone was usually limited to military applications, but miniaturisation, coupled with portability, affordability and the fitment of a decent…

  • New Stock Focus: CAF – Class 195 DMUs and 331 EMUs

    New Stock Focus: CAF – Class 195 DMUs and 331 EMUs

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    Passengers using Northern services have endured a torrid time, travelling in trains which are overcrowded and past their ‘best by’ date. On July 1, the first of a fleet of 101 Class 195 and 331 trains was introduced, which is expected to start and alleviate some of the problems. Chris Milner samples both trains. FOR…

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