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News Archive October - November 2012
Norwich - Ely Resignalling
The Greater Anglia website shows service alterations over the weekend of 1st - 2nd December. We understand this is for the commissioning of the second phase of the resignalling with buses running throughout. The website also shows that the last services Norwich to Cambridge and Cambridge to Norwich on Friday 30th November is replaced by bus. Perhaps the Wymondham Box will close that evening. Closure time of the other boxes (or perhaps de-manning them) might depend more on successful commissioning of the new level crossing arrangements.
GA Class 90s Reliability Boost
Through a series of exams and modifications reliability of Greater Anglia's Class 90 units has reached 73,609 miles per casualty. When combined with the rakes of Mark 3 coaches they are now the most reliable ex-British Rail inter-city stock in current use.
The locomotives have recently completed G exams, which has seen each unit stripped, the roof removed and the power unit taken out for repairs.
The locomotives are in the process of receiving F exams, undertaken at Crewe International electric Maintenance Depot, each one taking about four weeks.
GA needs 11 out of 15 Class 90s in traffic daily and plans availability of the class to include one at Crewe, with another undergoing an E exam at Crown Point. These take place every 54 days and takes the '90' out of traffic for five days.
The branch to the Ipswich Lower Yard has been permanently severed from the Great Eastern Mainline. The rails and gates across Ranelagh Road, Ipswich have been removed and a new road surface has been laid. The crossing, as it was, can still be seen on Google Maps
Best Station on the Greater Anglia Network
A mystery shopper exercise has named Diss station as the best for customer service on the Greater Anglia network. The assessment took place from 16 September to 13 October as part of a regular exercise to check that stations are meeting the standards that customers expect of them. Diss emerged as the best performing station on the network for customer service with an overall score of 96pc. Full Report
Punctuality figures from Network Rail show Greater Anglia achieved their best ever
performance during the same period with 95% of trains on time, up from 92.5% during the same period last year. This compares with a national average of 92.3%. Network Rail link and Greater Anglia website link
Key figures from a survey reported in Passenger Voice Autumn 2012 published by Passenger Focus show that overall satisfaction scores with the railways on individual routes varied from 97% (Merseyrail - Wirral) to 70% on Greater Anglia. Value for money satisfaction ranged from 75% (ScotRail - rural) to 23% on Great Anglia mainline. However figures from Network Rail show Greater Anglia achieved their best ever
punctuality between mid September and mid October with 95% of trains ran on time, up from 92.5% during the same period last year. This compares with a national average of 92.3%.
Future of Suffolk’s rail system to be discussed (EDP 22/10/12)
In the wake of Greater Anglia posting their best ever performance for the region with 95% punctuality in the four weeks up to 13 October, a Suffolk Rail Conference is being hosted by the County Council giving interested parties the chance to have their say on how services should develop over the next franchise period. Full Report
Will Network Rail's Work Affect Your Street?
Network Rail is making more of its data available to the public with the release of current and future road works information on an interactive website roadworks.org, provided by ELGIN, a company established to open up local road works data.
Now residents and businesses in England and Wales will be able to search a map in the user-friendly Google Maps format which will tell them whether any planned work by Network Rail will affect the roads in their area.
Ten years of direct rail services from Norwich to Cambridge (EDP 2/10/12)
At Norwich Station on the 1 October tens years of direct services to Cambridge were celebrated. Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman, who has campaigned for better infrastructure in the county, cut a cake at Norwich Station and birthday muffins were handed out to passengers on the 9.40am service. In the first year of the service, which started in September 2002, 300,000 passengers used the line, a figure which Greater Anglia said has risen to almost 1 million each year. Before the direct connection, passengers had to travel to Ely and change trains to reach Cambridge.
Heritage, Narrow Gauge
Do Preserved Railways Really Want Main Line Charters? (Railway Magazine)
THE headline above may seem difficult to contemplate given the great efforts by many preserved railways to rejoin the national network.
The most recent two to link up with Network Rail – the North Norfolk Railway and Swanage Railway – have both been constrained, as far as passenger-carrying trains are concerned, by various operating and safety issues. Read More
Mark 2s Delivered to the Mid Norfolk Railway
Eight air-conditioned Mark 2 coaches arrived at the MNR late September on a temporary basis. While there they will be assessed and allocated to a new pool (MNXX). They are to remain mainline certified. Their new owner, Eastern Rail Services, indicated they are happy to work with coaching stock providers but if no mainline work is found they could be used on the MNR.
For One Weekend Only
Nostalgia was the order of the day on Saturday 20 October with the operation of a return through services between Norwich and Dereham for the first time since the line closed to passenger services in 1969 (charters did run on the line after this time - see MNR History). Two return services operated on Sunday.
The Mid Norfolk Railway's 'Multiple Matters' weekend - a tribute to DMUs - featured the Norwich to Dereham services in association with East Midlands Trains, which provided a Class 158 Unit. An intensive timetable over the two days also saw Class 101 Sets 695 and L836 and Class 421 CIG hauled by Class 73 210 'Selhurst' in action.
Rolling stock boost for Southwold railway enthusiasts (EDP 23/10/12)
A trust dedicated to recreating a historic railway line through the north Suffolk countryside has taken delivery of two pieces of rolling stock built during the Victorian age. The Southwold Railway Trust seized the chance to take the 19th century coach and steam locomotive from the Isle of Man Railway & Tramway Preservation Society (IOMRTPS). The two organisations reached the agreement because both railways in the Isle of Man and Southwold were built with an unusual gauge of 3ft. Full Report
Mid Norfolk Shed Appeal
The Mid-Norfolk Railway's shed appeal is in full swing. Work has already started and an ambitious target has been set for completion during 2013. This essential project will provide undercover accommodation for the MNR's large fleet of locomotives, carriages, wagons and multiple units and allow restoration to continue during the winter months.
The project is divided into a number of phases and clearance of the site and construction of a 3-way point to give access to the shed is already well advanced with the 3-way point now virtually complete.
Fatal Accident at Grosmont - Report Published.
The Railway Accident Investigation Branch Report into the death of volunteer train guard at the North York Moors Railway on 21 May 2012 has been published. (Click here for full report) The guard was fatally injured at Grosmont station after becoming trapped between two coaches which had just been uncoupled when the steam locomotive that was reversing the uncoupled coach away from the stationary coaches changed its direction. The driver applied the brake as soon as he realised this, but there was insufficient distance to stop and avoid trapping the guard who had moved back between the vehicles to complete the work associated with the uncoupling. Full Report
Away from the Tracks
A Big Draw for Vauxhall Bridge Restoration? (EDP 26/10/12)
Images of Great Yarmouth’s transport heritage are set to brighten the area around the £630,000 Vauxhall Bridge restoration project. The mural has been made possible thanks to a £2,000 Fair Shares grant - and local people can contribute their designs at sketches at Vauxhall Station on Saturday 27 October. Full Report
King’s Lynn to Hunstanton 150th anniversary (EDP 3/10/12)
Campaigners were still hopeful the King’s Lynn to Hunstanton railway could be restored, as an exhibition celebrating its history opened. Full Report
Orbital railway plans boost for Holt (EDP 16/10/12)
The Melton Constable Trust is trying to raise cash towards securing the land necessary to complete the Norfolk Orbital Railway, taking North Norfolk Railway’s present station at High Kelling into and through Holt. They have had a major boost after being successful in the first phase of the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2012 - an annual funding event where online donations from the public will be matched by a combination of supporters and a Big Give Charity Champion. Full Report