New station and freight spur at Rackheath are part of eco-town project
The preliminary map shows a freight spur running north-east from Salhouse to an industrial area, but it is not clear what type of business could produce traffic suitable for rail.
NXEA laid low by two-day strikes...
In dispute with NXEA over salary
demands, rail unions called four 48-hour strikes in July and August.
The first stoppages, on July 30/31 and August 6/7, saw ASLEF and RMT pickets out in force.
Andrew Chivers, NXEA’s managing director, described the unions’ demands as unrealistic in the current economic climate. 'Among a variety of demands', he said, 'ASLEF wants a minimum pay increase of 2.5% and a four day working week for all members. Bob Crow, RMT general secretary, said his members were determined to secure a fair deal on pay and conditions.
Meanwhile, at East Midlands Trains, ASLEF decided to suspend a series of two-day strikes planned for July while it considered a revised pay offer from EMT.
...while another strike hits
As well as leaving thousands of
Euro approval for Felixstowe –
In July EU government officials in
The upgrading work would include gauge enhancements to cater for larger containers, capacity improvements and the removal of speed restrictions imposed on freight trains between
A Committee of MEPs is likely to give final approval in September.
Extra trains for the Air Show
Traction photographers gathered for the
Lowestoft Seafront Air Show on July 23 and 24 – but their quarry was NXEA's Class 47-hauled extra trains between
Could NatEx lose
Following the July 1 announcement that
National Express's loss-making East Coast franchise will soon revert to
operation by the state, there has been speculation that NatEx
may lose its
The debt-laden bus and train operator has been struggling to make the
NR fined for Croxton crossing errors
Network Rail has been fined £70,000 and
ordered to pay £25,000 costs for inadequately maintaining a level crossing
which resulted in a derailment in September 2006.
More and longer GEML trains in prospect – but more changing trains at
In April this year NXEA agreed with the Department for Transport that it would introduce extra capacity to comply with the DfT’s High Level Output Specification (HLOS) plans. Under the agreement NXEA will, by the end of 2012, receive 120 new and 68 refurbished carriages (i.e. 30 Class 379 emus and 17 Class 321 emus respectively), which represent a 17% increase in the size of its train fleet.
With the extra rolling stock NXEA could make a raft of improvements. For example it could:
- provide additional train service
London Liverpool Streeton a weekday morning for an additional 16,000 passengers (11,000 seats and 5,000 standing) passengers between 07.00 and 10.00, and an additional 5,000 passengers between 08.00 and 09.00 by December 31 2011;
- introduce 120 new electric vehicles
for the Stansted Express route, but also on some
– Cambridge services; London
- redeploy 84 Stansted Express Class 317 electric multiple unit vehicles to other NXEA routes;
- introduce 68 more Class 321 EMU vehicles on the Great Eastern Main Line;
- extend most GEML peak outer suburban services to 12 carriages;
- provide extra stops at
, especially in peak hours; Stratford
- introduce an extra carriage on
– Norwich intercity services; London
- introduce extra capacity on
off-peak Ipswich/Colchester –
- extend most
– Norwich services from two to three carriages; Cambridge
- extend most
Ipswich– services to two carriages; Cambridge
- introduce an hourly
Ipswich– Saxmundham service; and from December 2012 an hourly Ipswich– Lowestoftservice (providing Beccles loop is installed);
- introduce an extra morning and
evening peak service between
and Gt Yarmouth; Norwich
- provide an increase of over 4,000
seats and 6,000 total capacity on main line off-peak services to and from
by replacing Class 170 DMUs with Class 321 and Class 360 EMUs between London Ipswichand ; London
– Norwich morning service (probably around 07.40 with a journey time of around 1hr 45 minutes), in addition to the fast 17.00 London – London service. Norwich
NXEA stresses that the HLOS plans do not include any additional diesel trains, so these major improvements are only possible if the current
The changes are likely to be phased in between December 2009 and December 2012. Passengers are invited to send their views to the company before September 11.
Wisbech named in ATOC reopening plans
The moribund March – Wisbech line, which the Bramley
Line group is dedicated to reopening, has been named as a line where passenger
trains could be reintroduced.
In a report entitled Connecting Communities, the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) demonstrates an outline economic case for trains to return to a number of English towns that were once served by rail, and calls for fourteen routes to be safeguarded. ATOC says a station at Wisbech would also serve a catchment area of villages and towns such as Long Sutton. An hourly Wisbech – March –
Two-for-One Theatre Deal
Under a scheme launched jointly by NXEA
and Cromer’s Pavilion Theatre, people who travel by train to Cromer this summer
can also buy two tickets to the theatre's Seaside Special show for the price of
one. To promote the offer, unit no. 156409 was given a ‘Cromer Pier Seaside
Special’ vinyl nameplate at
Local operators’ punctuality improves
During the four weeks to May 30, NXEA
recorded its highest punctuality figure since it took over the franchise in
April 2004. NXEA trains notched up an average punctuality of 94.3%, 2.3 points
higher than the same period last year. East Midlands Trains’ punctuality went
up to 93.5pc, but First Capital Connect drifted back slightly from 93pc to
Peter Lawrence, NRS member and president of RailFuture was quoted as saying “....there will always be occasions where there will be problems, but this is cause for great optimism.”
Updated rail info for cyclists
In conjunction with the Bittern and Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnerships, NXEA launched a
new edition of its CycleRail leaflet on June 16. The
first batch of leaflets arrived at
NXEA stations are tops for cafés
Refreshment facilities at three NXEA
stations have found a place in the ‘Ten of the Best Railway Cafés’, published
on The Guardian’s website. They are The Whistlestop
Heritage, Narrow-Gauge and Miniature
B12 goes to Lancashire
The NNR reports that B12
The railway’s WD Austerity
Sponsor a chain and help 37003
December 1960 saw the first class 37
loco enter service with
The Class 37 Group has also announced that Bachmann is to produce a limited edition of 512 models of no.37003 in BR corporate blue, priced at £79.95 each plus £4 p&p. Details of the appeal and the model can be found at www.c37lg.co.uk/
The North Norfolk Railway has released
details of three steam locos which are scheduled to visit the line this
GWR 0-6-2T no. 6619, based at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and a previous visitor to the NNR, arrived in mid-July and will operate during the summer season and at the autumn steam gala (Sep 4-6). Also arriving in time for the gala is
These three visitors – and possibly a fourth – will join the home fleet for the gala.
Class 24 takes on Sheringham diesel turns
With no. 25057 out of traffic for
repairs, the NNR is, unusually, hosting a visiting diesel locomotive.
Privately-owned no. 24081, built by BR at
No.24081 will be on the NNR until mid October. Before returning to the G/WR it is hoped to pair it on a train with no. 25057.