by Keri Allan
05 May 2021
Network Rail completed extensive upgrades to the line between Euston and Scotland over the early May bank holiday weekend.
Between 1 and 3 May, teams carried out a range of work to enhance passenger and freight services on the West Coast Main Line.
The improvements to Network Rail’s North West and Central region, part of Britain’s Railway Upgrade Plan, saw 103 precast concrete beams lifted into place to build a railway flyover deck for the East West Rail project at Bletchley. Track upgrades were completed to improve journeys between Preston and Penrith, Euston and Milton Keynes and on the Cumbrian Coast line.
There were also major signalling improvements at Trafford in Manchester, while ongoing work to upgrade Birmingham New Street station’s signalling system was also undertaken. During the weekend, the Siddick bridge at the Port of Workington in Cumbria was demolished, while further work was also carried out at Euston in preparation for Britain’s new high-speed link, HS2.
“I'm immensely proud of the hundreds of Network Rail staff and our contractors who continue to make the West Coast main line more reliable for our passengers and pave the way for HS2, which will bring much-needed extra railway capacity as the country builds back better from the pandemic.”
The bulk of the scheduled work is now complete but there will be some further railway improvement projects later this month over the late May bank holiday (29–31 May).
UK rail companies have added more than 2,500 daily services to their timetables, which come into play today.
HS2 has deployed the first of 10 tunnel boring machines (TBMs) that will be used during phase one of the UK’s new high speed railway.
In its update paper into the state of the British railway signalling market, the ORR has expressed concern about Siemens / Alstom dominance.
Hitachi Rail has issued a service recovery plan for reintroducing the Class 800 trains back into service, following the detection of cracks.
Greater Manchester’s fleet of 123 Metrolink trams has clocked up over one hundred million kilometres of service since its 2009 introduction.
FirstGroup, the company that owns the train operating company TransPennine Express, has agreed a termination fee with the DfT.
Edinburgh-based 7N Architects has won a Network Rail and RIBA competition to shape Britain’s future railways.
HS2 has confirmed that a team made up of Mace and Dragados will build Birmingham’s new city centre high speed railway station.
The UK's Class 800 high-speed trains have been withdrawn from service after cracks were found in their lifting blocks on the bogies.
Avanti West Coast has introduced a new service known as At-Seat Order that enables customers to have food and drink delivered to their seat.
Network Rail has been listed as a Times Top 50 Employer for Women for the year 2021 following steps by the organisation to be more inclusive.
Network Rail has invited private sector companies to invest £1 billion in telecoms infrastructure to upgrade the country's railway network.
Why Rail Electrification: the UK rail industry has written an open letter to government to urge for a rolling programme of electrification.
The University of Birmingham and Siemens Mobility have signed an MoU for a centre of excellence for rail research and innovation in Goole.
HS2 has presented its design of the Oxford Canal Viaduct that will measure 62.5m and span the canal and towpath between Banbury and Daventry.
Hitachi Rail has completed its acquisition of digital technology company Perpetuum, giving it a broader digital portfolio.
HS2 Ltd has published its shortlist of companies it has asked to tender for the high-speed railway's high-voltage power supply systems.
Greenbrier will build 100 60' intermodal twin wagons for GB Railfreight. Porterbrook will purchase the units and lease them to GBRf.
The Transport Committee has published a report, Trains Fit for the Future?, which calls for a 30-year rolling programme of electrification.
HS2 has cast the first of 112,000 wall segments for the high-speed railway's 10-mile Chiltern tunnel outside of London.
Network Rail has published an updated report on the resilience of the railways following the Stonehaven derailment.
Work has begun on what will be the UK's longest rail viaduct – the Colne Valley Viaduct to the northwest of London, measuring 3.4km.
HS2 will use retired wind turbine blades originally destined for the incinerator to make reinforced concrete that is carbon-friendly.
HS2 Ltd has started its search for a specialist contractor to deliver the high-speed railway's engineering management system (EMS).
Following the formal handover of the Heathrow Express depot to Network Rail, NR will begin its decommissioning work in preparation for HS2.
Following an 8.5 million GBP investment at its site in Newton Aycliffe, Hitachi Rail has started welding and painting UK passenger cars.
Transport for London and Siemens Mobility have unveiled the detailed design for the new trains for the London Underground Piccadilly line.
Railway staff in Britain are receiving disability awareness and equality training as part of requirements in the ORR accessibility guidance.
Collins Earthworks has completed the preparation of the HS2 site in Warwickshire in readiness for tunnelling to start this summer.
Network Rail completes the Southampton Freight Train Lengthening project, allowing freight trains of up to 775m to Southampton.
EMR is retiring its fleet of InterCity 125 trains, comprising Class 43 power cars and Mark 3 coaches, in May 2021.
HS2 Ltd has started its search for a contractor to build the rolling stock depot and control centre at Washwood Heath in Birmingham.
HS2 Ltd has revealed the design of the Euston tunnel headhouse that will sit alongside the West Coast Main Line in London.
Tottenham Court Road station has reached a major milestone: works are sufficiently progressed for final commissioning activities to begin.
HS2 Phase 2a, connecting the high-speed line from London to Crewe via Birmingham, has received royal assent in parliament.
Network Rail to begin works at London King's Cross station at the end of February as part of the 1.2 billion GBP East Coast Main Line.
The first of 270 Bombardier Electrostars has been overhauled and returned to passenger service for train operator Govia Thameslink Railway.
Following its annoucement of this plan in October 2020 the Welsh government has now taken the Wales & Borders franchise into public ownership.
HS2 has revealed its final design for the headhouse and vent shaft at Chalfont St Giles which will provide ventilation to the Chiltern tunnel.
Network Rail has announced Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) works to take place in the first two weeks of August.
Comments in the Commissioner's report stating the government is exploring cutting down platform numbers at HS2 Euston have sparked concern.
The first of five headhouses that will provide ventilation and emergency access to the HS2 Chiltern tunnel has gained planning approval.
Network Rail and Alstom have signed a two-year framework contract for the supply of CLever cantilevers to electrify railway lines in the UK.
The designs for the HS2 viaducts at Water Orton in Warwickshire have been unveiled following a public consultation in spring 2020.
The government has awarded 760 million GBP in funding for the construction of East West Rail between Bicester and Bletchley.
French transport minister confirms to the National Assembly that France would make sure it supported Eurostar and was in talks with Britain.
There are renewed calls on the UK government to provide support to Eurostar to prevent Britain's only international rail link from folding.
Network Rail and its partners have launched the tram train pilot learning hub, a "comprehensive body of learning" that is free to access.
During the Christmas closure of London King's Cross, Network Rail engineers lifted all four tracks going into the station to divert a sewer.
HS2 has started its search for a switches and crossings supplier for Phase 1 and Phase 2a of the high-speed line between London and Crewe.
The National Infrastructure Commission has published its Rail Needs Assessment report, causing widespread dismay over possible cuts to HS2.
Hitachi has partnered with Eversholt Rail to install batteries in a Class 802 Intercity Express Train, removing one of the diesel engines.
HS2 Ltd has revealed the first images of the north portal for the Long Itchington Wood tunnel site southeast of Birmingham.
The Mayor of London, TfL, the DfT and the treasury have agreed a funding and financing package for the final phase of Crossrail.
Northern has removed the last of its 102 Pacer trains from service, following regulations requiring rolling stock to be accessible.
Train operator Grand Central to resume services from December at a reduced level. These will be reservation-only to enable social distancing.
HS2 and the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) will work together on utility diversions in readiness of the metro eastside extension.
Railtex 2021, which was to be held jointly with Infrarail in May 2021, has been postponed to 7–9 September because of COVID-19.
Reearch by City & Guilds and the National Skills Academy for Rail says the rail industry will face a critical skills shortage by 2025.
Network Rail has announced major works at Euston for the construction of the HS2 terminus and on the West Coast Main Line in 2021.
Following the funding agreement reached between TfL and goverment, consultancy work on Crossrail 2 will end, safeguarding will continue.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's 10-Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution aims at incentivising driving and doesn't mention rail.
The University of Leeds has entered into a research collaboration worth 1 million GBP with the West Coast Parnership, which will operate HS2.
Midlands Voices report by the High Speed Rail Group says the eastern leg of HS2 up to Leeds is crucial for levelling up the country.
The second section of the Dawlish sea wall is being built using the 'Wavewalker', a floating barge that can withstand high tidal ranges.
Leeds University enters into a 10m GBP agreement with the REAL Alliance to research the electrical power supply on the East Coast Main Line.
The tunnel boring machines that will excavate the HS2 Chiltern tunnel will be equipped with robotic arms to help with the concrete segments.
A new UKRRIN research centre specialising in digital railways systems has opened at the University of Birmingham.
Eurotunnel has launched its 'Eurotunnel Border Pass' to help mitigate the impact of Brexit on cross-border freight operations.
TfL has reached a deal with the UK government over funding for the next six months following collapsed revenues due to the coronavirus crisis.
Network Rail will reopen the railway line between Aberdeen and Dundee which has been closed since August following the Stonehaven derailment.
HS2 Ltd has published the updated designs for the Canterbury Works vent shaft headhouse, which will sit above the Euston tunnel in London.
Bombardier has signed a 3-year contract extension with CrossCountry for maintenance and servicing of its Voyager and Super Voyager fleets.
HS1 Ltd has lauched its sustainability strategy, unveiling the goal of becoming the first UK railway run entirely on renewable energy.
The track repair works are getting underway at the site of the Stonehaven derailment, following the clearance of the wreckage.
London: TfL has agreed with the government that its funding package can be extended by 2 weeks as discussions about future funding continue.
Siemens Mobility has overhauled its 500th bogie at its Bogie Service Centre in Lincoln, which opened in November 2018.
The Edinburgh-Glasgow railway line was serious damaged by flooding on 12 August. Following repairs, it will reopen on 21 September.
Network Rail has published its interim report on the Stonehaven derailment as commissioned by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
Following preparatory works, including building a 900m road and bridge over farmland, the work of recovering the derailed train can begin.
Siemens Mobility has won a contract with Transport for Wales for the renewal and replacement of signalling equipment for the Valley Lines.
Network Rail has launched a weather action task force and an earthworks management task force following the recent Stonehaven derailment.
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has published an update on the Stonehaven Derailment that occurred in Scotland on 12 August.
The main line connecting Edinburgh and Glasgow has sustained serious damage following flooding from the nearby Union canal.
Network Rail Chief Executive Andrew Haines arrived at the Stonehaven derailment site and promised that immediate action would be taken.
3 people died when a Scotrail Inter7City service derailed at Stonehaven on 12 August. The BTP, ORR and RAIB are investigating the cause.
Siemens Mobility has completed the 2-year Hither Green Area Resignalling Project with the new signalling equipment now in service.
Siemens Mobility has won a contract to supply technology for the extension of the Edinburgh Tram from York Place to Newhaven.
The East Coast Main Line in the UK will become the first mainline in the country to go digital in its signalling system via ETCS.
Hitachi begins manufacturing the 5 Class 803 EMUs in its East Coast Trains order. The trains will run on the East Coast Main Line from 2021.
Transport for London (TfL) has received coronavirus bailout – a mixture of grants and loans from the government worth 1.6 billion GBP.
Network Rail is investing £113m on the West Coast Main Line as part of its Railway Upgrade Plan. This includes track renewal.
Vivarail has put its Class 230 through battery tests during which the train reliably and successfully travelled 40 miles many times.
One week after the cancellation of the new South Eastern franchise, DfT has awarded First Trenitalia with the West Coast Partnership.
The first of the 27 Class 175 DMUs manufactured by Alstom between 1999 and 2001 has been upgraded and has re-entered passenger service.
The UK government has agreed to contribute 11 million GBP in funding towards the new Institute for High Speed Rail and System Integration.
First nine trains for Northern will enter service on 1 July. These are from a total order of 101 trains with CAF, a mix of EMUs and DMUs.
CAF has been awarded a contract by TfL for 43 new driverless metro trains to operate on the DLR. The first trains will enter service in 2023.
Siemens Mobility joins Alstom and Bombardier-Hitachi in submitting a bid to design and manufacture the high-speed trains for HS2 in the UK.
Bombardier and Hitachi have unveiled the first image of their proposed HS2 train design. They will submit their bid to HS2 Ltd today.
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