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to give up keys to
National Express will have
to surrender its
The Department for Transport
announced in late November that it could have granted an extension until 2014,
but it declined to do so as NatEx had defaulted on
its East Coast Main Line franchise earlier this year. NatEx
said: "Whilst this decision was expected...the company is disappointed
given the excellent improvement in performance delivered by the group"
Less than a week earlier,
the company had laid out its vision for the
has begun the process to select a new franchise operator, ready for a handover
in April 2011.
Construction of a new rail
viaduct could begin at
At present many diesel-hauled
freight trains reach the
As part of the route
upgrading, the track from Soham to Ely could be
doubled, and Soham station reopened after a hiatus of
services between King's Lynn and London were cancelled on November 11,
Remembrance Sunday, after nearly all drivers on First Capital Connect's Great Northern route declined to work more than
their contracted 35 hours a week.
Although a pay dispute lay behind the drivers' move, a RMT spokesman denied
that workers had been taking industrial action; they were merely exercising
their right not to work on Sundays.
offered free parking and ran bus and taxi replacement services."We
are extremely disappointed that we were not able to operate a normal
service," said an FCC spokesman. He said the company had done its
best to ensure people could get to the Cenotaph for the Remembrance Sunday
'Betty' makes her
first trip East
newest class of locomotive has appeared for the first time in
December 3 Powerhaul class 70 no. 70001 worked 4L93
has ordered the Powerhaul class from GE
Transportation of Erie, Pennsylvania. The first two, nos. 70001 and 70002
arrived in the
Car derails freight
train on Felixstowe branch
Felixstowe branch was closed for several hours on November 12 after a car left
the road and partially derailed a Freightliner train.
driver of a Vauxhall Vectra lost control at the sharp
junction of Lindbergh and Cobham Roads in
said that a 36-year-old
and freight services on the Felixstowe branch were suspended until early the
following morning, causing container trains to
build up for miles around.
anew over NatEx merger proposal
prospect of a single company operating nearly all
had previously been associated with a takeover bid for NatEx
from private equity firm CVC Capital and NatEx
shareholder the Cosmen family, but that bid was
withdrawn on October 16. Stagecoach then suggested a merger in which NatEx shareholders would be limited to owning no more than
40% of the combined group. To Stagecoach's disappointment, this too was
ditched after a NatEx board meeting on October 28.
Midlands Trains, a Stagecoach subsidiary, already operates the
new year usually sees hefty rail fare increases, but
this January, in common with most TOCs, National
Express East Anglia and First Capital Connect have announced a price
fares (e.g. season tickets) are being reduced in price from January 2 by an
average of 0.4%. Other fares, including advance fares and off-peak
tickets, are being frozen at 2009 levels.
fares will fall by 0.4% and most unregulated fares, including off-peak returns,
will stay at current prices. Earlier this year, FCC made the Super-Off
Peak Day Return to
early November continuous welded rail and metal sleepers had been delivered in
preparation for track relaying between Gunton and Roughton Road, which then took place from December 7 – 11
inc. During the work, a bus replacement service operated between
FCC resumes Class 317 refurb programme
Capital Connect has resumed its programme to refurbish the interiors of the
class 317 units which run on the GN-line route from King's Cross to
a £450,000 project, the final six four-car Class 317 trains are being sent to Wabtec at
programme was halted in March after the first six units had been completed
because two Class 317s were required on the Thameslink
route. Now Thameslink has enough new Electrostars, and FCC can move the last of the 317s back to
the GN route.
Help promote our local
time to time the Bittern and Wherry Lines Rail
Partnerships have publicity stands at various locations, and volunteers are
being sought to help man them. Last year the stand appeared at
job entails describing the Partnerships' activities to visitors, unloading
display material and sometimes driving equipment between locations. A
free rail ticket is provided when events are away from
you enjoy railways and are interested in helping the Bittern and Wherry Lines promotional groups, you're invited to contact
the Community Rail Officer at Norfolk County Council (tel. 01603 224248).
NR holds out the hat
for Beccles loop
Rail says that the scheme to lay a passing loop at Beccles,
and thus provide an hourly service on the
Rail has withdrawn its planning applications for a footbridge at Downham Market station (NRS Newsletter Sep/Oct) Local people had commented that the large bridge
would dominate the Grade II-listed station. NR has told King’s Lynn &
Brodribb has stepped down from his post as Chairman
of the East Suffolk Community Rail Partnership.
lifelong rail enthusiast and campaigner, John served as a member of the Rail
Passengers Committee for
is retiring to the south-west, was presented with a carriage print of Beccles by James Steward, Area Manager Rural Routes for
a ceremony on October 23 hosted by NXEA Customer Service Director Andrew Goodrum, Wymondham won a
commendation in the Best Medium Station class (the top prize went to
Station Adopter Group was
New guides for railway
Rambles’ booklets with suggested walks from Bittern and Wherry
Lines stations were launched at
Heritage, Narrow-gauge and Miniature
We’ve got the money to
bridge the gap, announces NNR
North Norfolk Railway's scheme to reinstate the level crossing at
Tracklaying is scheduled
to start in late January. In preparation for the work EDF Energy
relocated underground cables at the crossing in October, leaving homes and
businesses in Sheringham without electricity for an
NNR is planning a grand opening of the link on March 11 when Britannia class
no. 70013Oliver Cromwell will be first across the road. The
crossing's past present and future is celebrated in Tales of Sheringham's Level Crossing, a new book by David Madden,
published at £7.99.
Grid leaves Dereham for a big lift
After two years under repair and just
one in working order, 'Grid' no. 56040 has left the Mid-Norfolk Railway.
Railfreight-grey-liveried loco needs to have two
traction motors replaced, work which cannot be done at Dereham
as two cranes will be required to lift the body from the bogies.
No. 56040 left Dereham by road on September 15 and
arrived at Shackerstone in time to appear at the
Battlefield Line's Diesel Gala on Sep 18-20 – and to win the Gala's 'Carry on Clagging' cup! No date has been set for its return to
WWLR wins funding for
Wells and Walsingham Light Railway is the first project
to receive funding under the
WWLR's Garratt Boiler
project has secured a grant of £38,300 towards the construction of a new steam
locomotive. The boiler will be built by Mervyn
Mayes' Yaxham workshop, and a combination of
commercial and college organisations will construct the rest. Founder of
the 101/4"-gauge railway, Lt Cdr Roy Francis, said that a second engine
would mean the line could cater more effectively for coach parties: the present
limit per train is 80 passengers, but a double-headed train could pull 110.
03 hauls scheduled
North Norfolk Railway passenger train had unusual haulage on December 12:
Andy Harlott's class 03 0-6-0DM no. 03063. The
two-coach – unheated! – train made two return trips
between Sheringham (dep. 11.00 and 14.00) and Holt
(dep. 11.45 and 14.45).
was built in 1959 and initially allocated to
Firebox progress on Wissington
inner firebox of Wissington, the M&GNJRS’s 0-6-0ST which used to work in west
saddle tank has been de-scaled and undercoated. The filler cap area is
receiving final repairs and the 'access hole' cut in
the end is being re-sealed.
NRS raised funds towards Wissington's restoration
in 2003/04 and 2007/08.
More awards for NNR
the 2009 National Railway Heritage Awards, the Holt signalling project,
completed and commissioned earlier this year, won the Invensys
Rail Signalling Award, while the Volunteers Award recognised the work of the
dedicated band of enthusiasts who over the past five years have realised this
very complex project.
The NNR was also shortlisted in two categories of
this year's EDP Tourism Awards.
Small engines at Wroxham