UK railway news round-up

Captain Sir Tom Moore

This week, it has been revealed the cost of HS2 could rise by an extra £800 million due to “more significant challenges than anticipated.”

Cost of HS2 high-speed rail line could rise by £800m

HS2 should be scrapped according to a free market think tank.

New concerns over the cost of HS2 have been identified just six months after its budget was increased.

HS2 Ltd, the Government-owned firm developing the high-speed railway, reported that two components of Phase One between London and Birmingham could cost a total of £800 million more than planned.

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In a written statement to Parliament, HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson said half of this figure is due to preparation of the route for construction involving “more significant challenges than anticipated”. Click here to find out more.

Captain Sir Tom Moore presented with first veterans railcard

Captain Sir Tom Moore

Captain Sir Tom Moore was presented with the very first new veterans railcard, which will see military veterans of every generation benefit from discounted travel.

An estimated 830,000 veterans who are not eligible for existing railcards will be able to get up to a third off all rail fares from November 5, as well as discounted travel for adult companions and children.

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At his home in Bedfordshire, Sir Tom, who served in the Second World War, was presented with the very first card by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. Click here to find out more.

CrossCountry handed new three-year deal to run train services

The Government has awarded a new contract to Arriva CrossCountry to continue running train services until October 2023.

The agreement will see the Government take on the revenue and cost risk associated with the franchise, in line with Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements announced in September.

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Rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “This agreement ensures that vital train services will continue across the UK’s most extensive rail network, as the country continues to fight and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.” Click here to find out more.

Transport for London defends enforcement of face covering rules

Face covering rules

Transport for London (TfL) has defended its policy of not fining the vast majority of passengers caught without a face covering.

The organisation insisted that offenders who are let off with a warning are likely to follow the rules on their next journey.

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It has been mandatory to wear a face covering on public transport in England since June 15, in a bid to tackle the spread of COVID-19. Click here to find out more.

Heroic train driver recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Queen’s Birthday Honours: Jolene Miller

A train driver who volunteered to work as a paramedic treating coronavirus patients during the initial crisis has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Jolene Miller, 42, left her role driving for Northern Rail and worked in triage at Darlington Memorial Hospital, assessing patients as they came in for treatment. She had previously worked as a paramedic for about 13 years before becoming a train driver, and had kept her registration by working at events. Click here to find out more.

Network Rail joins campaign to highlight abuse of staff

Network Rail has joined a campaign to highlight abuse suffered by customer-facing workers.

The rail infrastructure company said attacks on staff happen “all too often”.

The Together Against Hate project launches with a television advert featuring employees reflecting on why they love working for the public, overlaid with recordings and CCTV footage of severe abuse. Click here to find out more.

Swanage Railway aim to raise £5k in five days in public appeal

Swanage

As part of Swanage Railway’s ‘Save Our Service’ appeal, the new appeal has a slight twist. Should the Railway reach its £5,000 target, a generous anonymous donor will match that £5,000, to give a total £10,000 boost to the Swanage Railway.

Launched at the end of March, 2020, the ‘Save Our Service’ appeal total so far stands at £300,208, some money short of the £360,000 target.

Volunteers from Swanage Railway are appealing to the public to help them raise £5,000 in five days – starting from Friday, October 16. Click here to find out more.

Car lands on train tracks at station in Scotland

Car on rail tracks in Stirling

Two people have been taken to hospital after a car landed on train tracks at a railway station.

A Renault Clio was pictured on the line in Stirling on Wednesday afternoon. It is believed the vehicle was in the station’s car park beforehand.

Emergency services attended the scene shortly after 12.15pm and two people were taken to Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert. A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesman told the PA news agency: “We received a call today to attend an incident at Stirling train station.

“We dispatched an ambulance crew to the scene and transported two patients to Forth Valley Royal Hospital.” Click here to find out more.

£17m government boost for Southampton’s rail freight capacity

Southampton

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris has announced a £17 million investment into a major rail upgrade to freight services in Southampton, as the government looks to support the seamless flow of goods across the country and strengthen links into Southampton’s docks.

Freight services are currently restricted to a length of 520 metres in the Southampton area. This investment will see this rise to 775 metres, increasing capacity and allowing an additional seven trailers to be transported on a single service.

The upgrade to freight capacity will give a boost to the nation’s economy and the country’s second-busiest container port, increasing the volume of goods transported to and from the Midlands. Click here to find out more.

Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway receives lifeline grant from Culture Recovery Fund

Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway is one of 445 heritage organisations across the country set to receive a lifesaving financial boost from the government thanks to the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.

445 organisations will share £103 million, including Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway to help restart vital reconstruction work and maintenance on cherished heritage sites, keeping venues open and supporting those working in the sector. Click here to find out more.

LNER mark charity milestone with new Azuma face mask

London North Eastern Railway (LNER) has passed a milestone fundraising target for charity partner Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) with over £230,000 now raised for the mental health charity since October 2018.  

LNER customers and staff united to raise £200,000 for CALM through a combination of fundraising events, along with the Delay Repay Donation scheme pioneered by LNER in 2018. Since launching, more than £138,000 has been donated by the 3,234 customers who have opted to gift their Delay Repay compensation to the charity.

Following the requirement of face coverings to be worn on public transport due to the Coronavirus pandemic, LNER launched a series of regionally inspired face coverings, with proceeds from sales going to CALM. Click here to find out more.

Swanage Railway receives substantial government grant

The Swanage Railway is one of 445 heritage organisations across the country set to receive a life-saving financial boost from the government – thanks to the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.

A total of 445 organisations will share £103 million – including the Swanage Railway – to help restart vital work and maintenance on cherished heritage sites, keeping venues open and supporting those working in the sector. The Swanage Railway will receive £223,200 which will allow the award-winning heritage line to improve its systems and support COVID-19 requirements. Click here to find out more.

Latest service updates

As of midnight this Friday, London will move to High Covid alert, Tier two of the Government’s new three-tier system.

Across our network we’ve put measures in place to keep everyone safe. Find out what safety measures. When travelling you must wear your face covering over your mouth and nose for your entire journey including inside stations and on platforms. Keep in mind, some customers might be wearing an exemption badge as they are not able to wear a face covering for reasons that may not always be visible. Unless you are  exempt , you could be refused travel or face a £200 fine which doubles with every violation up to £6,400. Plan your journey and find the quiet times to travel.  

Closures on National Rail services

On Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 October, there will be no National Rail services from King’s Cross and Moorgate, or between St Pancras and Finsbury Park.

Customers travelling to Peterborough or Cambridge should use Thameslink between St Pancras and St Albans then use replacement buses. Customers travelling north of Peterborough should use Thameslink to Bedford and change for replacement buses from there. Customers for Great Northern stations should use the Piccadilly line and take replacement buses between Turnpike Lane and Gordon Hill, or from Oakwood/Cockfosters to Potters Bar.

For more information, please visit National Rail.

London Underground

Due to engineering work the following services will be affected. Please check before you travel and plan your journey ahead of time.

District line: On Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 October, trains will not stop at Whitechapel station. Change at Aldgate East or Stepney Green and walk, if you can, or use local bus services.

Hammersmith & City line: On Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 October, trains will not stop at Whitechapel station. Change at Aldgate East or Stepney Green and walk, if you can, or use local bus services.

Northern line: Old street station will be exit only on weekdays between 07:00 and 10:00 from Monday 2 November until summer 2021. This is due to works at Old Street roundabout.

Please consider using Moorgate station for the Northern line and Great Northern services, Angel station for the Northern line, or Liverpool Street station for alternative tube routes. Find out more information.

No Night Tube or London Overground Night Service and limited Night Bus services are running.
See the latest status updates on London Underground, including a map of closures.  

London Overground

Due to engineering work, the following London Overground services will be affected. 

On Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 October, there will be no service between: Highbury & Islington and New Cross/New Cross Gate. Use alternative Tube or local bus services. Rail replacement bus service X will run between Dalston Kingsland and New Cross Gate New Cross Gate and Crystal Palace or West Croydon. Use Southern Railway services on Saturday and Southern Railway services, rail replacement or local bus services on Sunday Surrey Quays and Clapham Junction. Rail replacement bus service M will run between Canada Water and Clapham Junction Gospel Oak and Barking. Use alternative Tube or local bus services. Rail replacement bus service J will run between Gospel Oak and Seven Sisters and bus service T will run between Walthamstow Central and Barking

On Sunday 18 October, there will be no service between: Liverpool Street and Cheshunt, via Seven Sisters until 10:30. Use alternative Tube, Greater Anglia services, or local bus services. Rail replacement bus L2 will run Liverpool Street and Chingford until 10:30. Use alternative Tube or local bus services. Rail replacement bus L3 will run Liverpool Street and Enfield Town until 10:30. Use alternative Tube or local bus services. Rail replacement bus L1 will run Romford and Upminster. Use local bus services.

From Monday 19 October until Thursday 22 October, there will be no service between: Sydenham and West Croydon after 23:30. The last trains to West Croydon from Highbury & Islington at 23:17 and from Dalston Junction at 23:38 will be diverted to Crystal Palace. Use local bus services Hackney Downs and Enfield Town after 22:45. Use alternative Tube or local bus services. Rail replacement bus L1 will run Hackney Downs and Cheshunt, via Seven Sisters after 22:45. Use alternative Tube, Greater Anglia services or local bus services. Rail replacement bus L2 will run No Night Tube or London Overground Night Service and limited Night Bus services are running. Check before you travel and plan your journey ahead of time.

DLR

Due to track work on Saturday 17 October and Sunday 18 October there will be no service between West Ham and Woolwich Arsenal. Use local bus services or rail replacement bus service A will run between Canning Town and London City Airport. 

TfL Rail  

Due to track work on the Sunday 18 October, the following services will be affected: No service between Liverpool Street and Shenfield. Rail replacement bus service C will run from Romford to Stratford and bus sevice D will run between Shenfield and Newbury Park

No westbound services will stop at Burnham and Taplow from 09:00 until 19:00. Alight at Maidenhead and use eastbound services to access Burnham and Taplow No services will stop at Burnham and Taplow after 20:00. Rail replacement W1 will run See an overview of planned track closures for the next six months.

See the latest status updates on London Overground, DLR, TfL Rail and Trams, including a map of closures and information about rail replacement buses.


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