News Archive March - April 2011 Back to News Archive Index
ruled out of new
National Express East Anglia, which has run the Norwich - London main line and rural services for the past seven years, says it is 'very disappointed' to have been excluded from the shortlist for the forthcoming interim Greater Anglia franchise.
The franchise will begin on
The three short-listed companies are Eastern Railway Limited
(Go-Ahead Group), Stagecoach Anglia Trains Limited and Abellio
'We believe we put forward a very positive and high quality submission building on the significant improvements delivered on National Express East Anglia', said a NatEx spokesperson. 'We are therefore seeking further clarification from the DfT.'
Green light for Hitchin flyover
To the delight of west
At present down trains heading for
Richard Lungmuss, Network Rail
route director, said: "As passenger numbers continue to rise it’s
essential that we maintain investment in our rail network to provide extra
capacity and support economic growth. The new rail link at Hitchin will benefit
passengers across Cambridgeshire, bringing quicker and more reliable journeys
on the line to
Work on the flyover is planned to start later this year. Trains should start to use the new line in early 2014.
'IEP will serve
At a meeting in early March with local MPs and
representatives from the Fen Line Users' Association, the Minister of State for
Transport, Rt Hon Theresa Villiers
MP, confirmed that 'Intercity Express' trains will
operate Kings Lynn –
The Intercity Express Programme, whose future was reaffirmed
by the Government in March, is an initiative to replace the InterCity
125 fleet on the
A new voice for NXEA passengers
National Express East Anglia is to create three Passenger Panels across its regional network. The aim is to give rail passengers greater involvement in company development plans and customer service improvements.
The Passenger Panels will cover the North, South-East and West areas of the NXEA network. The company will shortly announce how people can apply to become a member of one.
More comments on
Network Rail is once again inviting people to comment on its
plans for a new 1km chord north of
In June 2010 95% of people expressed support for the scheme in a public consultation, many indicating they would like to see the chord double-tracked. With designs more advanced, NR has again sought views via a questionnaire which remained on line until 13 March. A public exhibition was also held at Ipswich Corn Exchange on February 1 and 2.
NR will submit final plans later this year. If approved, work on the scheme should start in 2012 and be complete by 2014.
Cambridge City Council has given Network Rail permission to
build a new island platform at
Work should begin on the £16.7 million scheme in April, with completion scheduled for December.
Woman killed by freight train
A woman lost her life when she was struck by a DB Schenker freight train between Thetford and Brandon.
On the evening of March 14 the driver of no. 66133 reported
that his train, 6M43 Trowse to Mountsorrel,
had hit a person close to a level crossing near Santon
Downham. Buses were brought in to work a Thetford –
Tracey Henman, who lived on a barge on the river Little Ouse, died at the scene. Suffolk Police and BTP set up an investigation into the circumstances surrounding her death.
Heritage, Narrow-gauge and Miniature
Oystermouth goes for scrap
A locomotive which began its life in preservation on the Mid-Norfolk Railway has succumbed to the cutter's torch.
Class 56 no. 56040 Oystermouth moved to Dereham in 2006 from storage at Immingham and began hauling MNR trains two years later. In 2009 it moved to the Battlefield Line, and subsequently went out of service to Barrow Hill as its roof and bodysides had corroded and two defective traction motors needed replacing.
Meanwhile its owning group Class 56 Locomotives Limited has seized an 'unmissable' opportunity. It has purchased classmate no. 56301 (formerly no.56045 British Steel Shelton) from the administrators overseeing the liquidation of the assets of Fastline Ltd. No.56301 was overhauled by Brush Traction around five years ago and is reported to be in excellent condition, having been stored undercover. It is intended to move it to the Group’s Dereham base, with privately-owned no.56101 likely to return to Barrow Hill for repairs which have proved difficult to undertake at Dereham.
But the purchase comes at a cost. Fund-raising efforts have fallen far short of what Class 56 Locomotives Ltd needs to keep both its locomotives. To pay for no.56301 the group has been forced to strip Oystermouth of re-useable parts at Barrow Hill and sell the remainder for scrap.
The company regrets having to sacrifice no.56040, which will, it says, 'be fondly remembered'. However the move will yield numerous spare parts which will help guarantee the future of both nos. 56301 and 56101.
The benefits of a main-line connection were again
demonstrated on Saturday March 26 when
An estimated 500 people turned out at Sheringham
to watch Britannia Pacific no. 70013 Oliver Cromwell
haul the Railway Touring Co.'s Broadsman
Meanwhile The Mid-Norfolk Railway took advantage of its Wymondham link with the national network when it played
host to vintage '
In the 1990s no.1001 regularly operated Wherry Lines trains for Anglia Railways when rolling stock was in short supply.
Theft setback for Bramley group
Bramley Line volunteers, who are aiming to restore a working railway between March and Wisbech, were dismayed to discover that in early March around 30 chairs and some fishplates from the track between Waldersea and Coldham had been stolen, as well as a further 300 chairs and more fishplates between Waldersea and the A47. Even though the rails had been left behind this theft has effectively severed the line in two places.
Anyone with knowledge of the thefts is asked to contact British Transport Police.
Dock tank heads for
The heavy overhaul of NER 0-4-0T no. 68088, owned by the Y7
Preservation Society, has been completed at Weybourne
works. Now in LNER guise, with unlined black livery and numbered 985, the dock
tank left the NNR for
Cash sweetener helps Wissington's restoration
The restoration of Hudswell-Clarke
0-6-0ST Wissington (NRS NL 56/1) has received a further boost with a £400 donation from British Sugar. Wissington spent its working life at the sugar factory at Wissington, near Kings
Wissington is the largest beet sugar factory in the world and produces over 400,000 tonnes of sugar annually.
New club aims to keep locos running
The M&GN Joint Railway Society owns six locomotives, and to help raise funds to maintain and overhaul them it has launched 'The Loco Club'.
In return for a regular monthly contribution of £2 or more, Loco Club members receive a membership card, a newsletter with exclusive updates on all Society locomotives and tours of Weybourne shed. They are also entered in a regular draw with prizes that include footplate rides, gift vouchers, books, DVDs and NNR train tickets.
Members can specify which of the M&GNJRS's
locos their contribution will help, the candidates being: B12
Norfolk Heritage Steam Railway Ltd, whose members are restoring Hunslet 0-6-0ST no.3193 at Yaxham, has leased a strip of land alongside the Mid-Norfolk Railway at Yaxham. The group hopes soon to take delivery of enough track for a 600ft. siding from the MNR on which no. 3193 can be stored, steamed and tested. The next stage will be to provide covered accommodation for the loco, which will carry the name Norfolk Regiment.
Bradenham supporters take the 'Footex' to the match
The days of local football excursions – 'Footex'
in railway parlance – have been revived on the Mid-Norfolk Railway. On March
26, around fifty supporters of Bradenham Wanderers
FC, bedecked in orange and black scarves, chartered a train to travel to Wymondham for a Gleave &
Associates Anglian Combination match against
9F on long-term loan
David Shepherd's 9F no. 92203 Black
Prince is to spend three years at the North Norfolk Railway. The railway
feels that the 140-ton
Mr Shepherd bought no. 92203 straight out of BR service in 1967. Normally based at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, it should arrive at the NNR at the end of May.
Away from the Tracks
'Roadshow' valuer to open homestead carriage
The opening ceremony for a house made out of an ex-GER carriage is to be performed by Paul Atterbury, a presenter on BBC TV's Antiques Roadshow.
After its railway service the 1899-built vehicle served as a home until just a few years ago. It was moved to the North Norfolk Railway's Holt station last June (NRS NL 55/4), and has been restored to its 1930s residential appearance. Dr Atterbury will formally declare it open on April 30.
The concrete nameboard at
Tree prop provides rails for Southwold group
About 20 lengths of original rail, thought to have come from the 3ft-gauge Southwold Railway which closed in 1929, have been donated to the Southwold Railway Trust. The rails were used many years ago to hold up a larch tree on the nearby Henham Estate, but the structure has now collapsed and the rails will be replaced with a fresh support.
The Southwold Railway Trust is working towards reinstating a portion of the old line near the original Wenhaston station site.
Tramway goods office restored
A small brick building at Outwell is the last surviving goods office of the Wisbech and Upwell Tramway. Almost 70 years after the tramway closed, the unassuming slate-roofed structure, listed Grade II, has a fresh lease of life after being restored by Carole Day and her partner Ian Mansell.
Mrs Day's house was built in 1993 on a new road called 'The Tramway' which follows the W&U's track, and the goods office lies at the end of her garden. She told the Eastern Daily Press that she decided to restore the historic building, retaining the original windows and doors. The building has attracted a steady number of visitors after it was described in a model railway magazine.
Passenger services on the W&U ended as long ago as 1927, but the tramway continued to carry agricultural traffic until 1966.