by Keri Allan
07 Jun 2021
Transport for Wales (TfW) has said goodbye to its last Pacer trains after more than 30 years of service, marking a positive step for Britain’s railways.
The last Class 143 trains – 143601 and 143609 – ran their final services on the South Wales valleys network on 29 May, and have now been replaced by larger, more modern trains.
TfW is also pressing ahead with building brand new trains for the Wales and Borders network and the South Wales Metro, which will enter service in 2022.
“The end of of the long service of our Pacer trains marks a key step in the transformation of the Valley Lines, as part of the development of the South Wales Metro. While the Pacers have worked hard over the last 30 years, our customers deserve more modern trains that provide better facilities, improved accessibility and a more comfortable ride.
“We’re working hard behind the scenes to deliver brand new trains to replace the existing fleet, which will provide more capacity and faster, greener journeys in years to come. In the interim, we have introduced the larger Class 769 trains which provide increased capacity and an improved customer experience.”
TfW began withdrawing its Pacers back in December 2020, but not all are heading to the scrapyard. One train has already been donated to the Llanelli and Mynydd Mawr Railway in Carmarthenshire, and several more will be donated to heritage railways and community projects in the coming weeks.
Transport for London (TfL) has announced that the Bond Street Elizabeth line station will open on 24 October.
Stadler presented its IPEMU - independently powered EMU - at InnoTrans today in the presence of Liverpool Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram.
Stadler formally presented its FLIRT tri-mode and CITYLINK tram-train for Transport for Wales at InnoTrans today.
ETCS testing for Class 43 trains has been complete, marking the achievement of a new milestone for the East Coast Digital Programme.
The Birmingham Eastside Metro extension has reached a new milestone with the installation of 45 metres of double track.
A new DLR timetable will be introduced on 26 September in response to changes in passenger use of the network since the Elizabeth line opened.
Network Rail has opened a new entrance building with step-free access for Elizabeth Line passengers using Ilford station in London.
Transport for London (TfL) has reached a funding agreement with the UK government to support its transport network until March 2024.
Stadler has completed its first two Class 555 metro trains for Nexus, the owner and operator of Tyne and Wear Metro.
Refurbishment of Romford station has been completed as part of a programme to upgrade existing stations providing Elizabeth line access.
The first JNA-X Box Wagon prototype for GB Railfreight and Porterbrook has rolled off Greenbrier’s production line in Romania.
Avanti West Coast has been in the news, more so than other TOCs during this period of rail strikes. Jonn Elledge looks into what's going on.
The UK Transport Secretary has signed a new partnership agreement with Israel to share expertise on large scale rail projects.
Abellio UK has announced a management buyout deal that will pave the way for a new UK-based company to take over its existing UK services.
Lines from Reading, Heathrow and Shenfield will connect with the central Elizabeth line section from November.
HS2 has commenced work on the thirty-eight cross passages that will link the northbound and southbound Chiltern tunnels.
Oxford station will undergo a 161 million GBP upgrade that will enable more freight and passenger services.
Eversholt Rail and Vivarail have signed an agreement to develop a battery power and range extension system for Class 321 ‘Renatus’ trains.
At the Future Mobility Showcase Day hosted by WMGC, Coventry City Council presented its ongoing Coventry Very Light Rail Project.
Network Rail has signed a contract with EDF Renewables UK for the supply of 49.9MW of solar power for non-traction power requirements.
South Western Railway (SWR) has begun a three-month trial of a new app designed to improve station accessibility.
Network Rail has formally begun the legal consultation process with the necessary trade unions regarding its planned maintenance reforms.
Stadler has started production of the Class 93 locomotive fleet for Rail Operations UK at its plant in Valencia, Spain.
Dorothy, HS2’s 2000-tonne tunnel boring machine, has made its first breakthrough on the UK's high-speed rail line from London to Birmingham.
Transport for London (TfL) is trialling a cooling panel solution to reduce platform and tunnel temperatures at deep Tube stations.
Network Rail is investing 30 million GBP into reducing platform congestion and improving accessibility at London Victoria station.
Off the back of Europe’s latest record-breaking heatwave, Network Rail has commissioned a new resilience taskforce.
The UK Government is more than trebling its investment into the Transpennine route upgrade (TRU) to nine billion GBP.
Passenger tram services have now begun on the Birmingham Westside Metro extension from Library to Edgbaston.
The UK rail industry lags behind that of aviation, roads and energy when it comes to maintenance of infrastructure and key assets.
In a recent poll more than 2,000 respondents were asked their views on the recent rail strikes, pay and modernisation reforms.
The ORR, the safety regulator of Britain's railways, has published its annual health and safety report covering April 2021 to March 2022.
New electric overhead wires have been installed on a Yorkshire mainline for the first time in 25 years thanks to upgrade project.
Jonn Elledge considers some of the railway lines that were cut due to the Beeching Report that might reopen under Restoring Your Railway.
HS2 Ltd has contracted Laing O’Rourke to build the HS2 Interchange Station in Solihull at the heart of the high-speed rail network.
The Barking Riverside station is due to open to the public on 18 July, ahead of schedule, as it was originally expected to open this autumn.
Northern is using the same light detection and radar (LIDAR) scanning technology as NASA on its fleet to improve safety and efficiency.
Network Rail is investing more than 120 million GBP of Scottish Government funding to increase the power supply of Scotland’s railway network.
The Secretary of State for Transport has approved Network Rail's plans to carry out multi-billion-pound rail upgrades in West Yorkshire
Network Rail will carry out essential upgrades in the Severn Tunnel between South Wales and Bristol during July and August 2022.
The UK Government will provide funding of over £1bn to install digital signalling along the entire East Coast Mainline South.
Hitachi Rail is installing a world-first monitoring system on GWR's high-speed fleet to provide digital data on train wheelset performance.
TfL has launched a Power Purchase Agreement tender as the first step for powering the London Underground with 100 percent renewable energy.
The first design images have been revealed for HS2’s maintenance and control centre at the Washwood Heath Depot in Birmingham.
Transport companies have to have resilient cybersecurity systems in place so they can protect their assets and detect and respond to incidents.
Rail upgrades at the end of July will extend platforms and provide power for the Elizabeth Line in preparation for its next stage of opening.
Birmingham City Council has granted planning permission to HS2 Ltd to construct two viaducts in Birmingham.
More people are returning to rail travel post-pandemic according to the latest figures from the UK’s Office of Rail and Road (ORR).
Static testing has begun on the first of Avanti West Coast’s new fleet of trains at Hitachi Rail’s Newton Aycliffe factory.
A new project has begun that will help Reading station lower its carbon emissions and optimise its energy performance by approximately 20%.
HS2 has begun construction of the first of five ‘green tunnels’ that have been designed to blend into the landscape.
Network Rail has moved all signalling equipment from the outdated signal box near Philips Park to Manchester’s modern rail operating centre.
Balfour Beatty VINCI Joint Venture is trialling an electric, high-capacity drilling rig for construction in Warwickshire.
All signals at Birmingham New Street station have now been digitalised to meet 21st Century signalling standards.
Phase two of work on Nexus’ Gosforth Metro depot has been completed with the installation of three more sections of line on the site.
Testing of the Northern City Line’s new digital signalling system has begun, marking a milestone in the East Coast Digital Programme.
HS2 has announced that OpenSpace Group Ltd is using artificial intelligence (AI) and LiDAR sensors to develop future train stations.
Porterbrook has completed successful Level 2 testing on three Class 43 power cars retrofitted with the European Train Control System (ETCS).
Construction of the Colne Valley Viaduct has now started, overseen by HS2’s main works contractor Align JV.
More than one million passengers have used London's new Elizabeth line during its first week of operation.
Jonn Elledge wonders what the largest city in Great Britain is that doesn't have a direct rail link to London and what even is a city?
Balfour Beatty will begin upgrades on London Underground’s Piccadilly line this month, renewing ageing switchboards and installing HV cables.
DB Cargo UK launches new campaign to promote safety excellence throughout the business called 'Together. We’re Safer. Together. We’re DB’
Works have started on the Metro Flow track dualling project that will see an existing freight line upgraded and electrified in Tyne and Wear.
The Elizabeth line has officially opened to the public, increasing central London’s rail capacity by 10 percent.
Network Rail will begin its 145 million GBP (170.93m euros | 182.36m USD) upgrade of the Hope Valley railway line at the end of May.
Alstom has carried out the first testing of a train retrofitted with European Train Control System (ETCS) equipment at Network Rail's RIDC.
Network Rail's new safety scheme will equip more than 15,000 British freight trains with technology to monitor the condition of wheelsets.
ORR has issued authorisations to all Elizabeth line stations due to open on 24 May, confirming the infrastructure is ready for passenger use.
An Office of Rail and Road (ORR) Investigation has led to Network Rail being fined 1.4 million GBP for a health and safety breach.
Network Rail joins with freight rail industry to tackle freight rail delays and safety risks with launch of new programme.
HS2 has reached an agreement to purchase Square One on Travis Street, Manchester from property provider Bruntwood.
TfL's Northern line Bank branch will re-open on 16 May following a 17-week closure as part of the Bank Station Capacity Upgrade project.
The ORR has launched its business plan for 2022/23, with details on how it plans to more closely scrutinise the work of Network Rail.
A new tool has been launched to help measure the social value of rail investments, infrastructure projects and day-to-day operations.
BREAKING: Transport for London (TfL) has announced the opening date for the Elizabeth line (Crossrail).
Stadler has introduced its Class 99 bi-mode Co’Co’ locomotives to the UK, following a successful rollout across Europe.
Jonn Elledge looks at the story behind Andy Burnham's pointed comments about the exorbitant costs of rail fares in Britain.
HS2 has unveiled updated environmentally-friendly designs for the Cubbington, Warwickshire section of the new high speed line.
Priority Seating Week marks five years since Transport for London launched its ‘Please Offer me a Seat’ badge.
Siemens Mobility’s train-borne conditioning monitoring system is one of six solutions being tested in Network Rail’s Lot 1 Operational Trial.
Network Rail will start engineering upgrades on parts of the Dartmoor Line next week, ahead of the introduction of new hourly services.
Network Rail and the Office of Rail and Road are collaborating to increase competitiveness and lower costs in the rail signalling market.
Siemens Mobility and Network Rail are celebrating the milestone of having upgraded 10,000 of 11,700 cab radios to the latest V4.0 version.
Over two thirds of suppliers (67%) have committed to Network Rail’s science-based targets initiative aimed at limiting carbon emissions.
It has now been over 900 days since the UK Government published its Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline reports the RIA.
HS2 has unveiled the final designs for the Thame Valley Viaduct, which will cross the River Thame’s flood plain near Aylesbury.
The ORR has made a number of recommendations after reviewing the safety issues that caused the Class 800 trains to be withdrawn last year.
ScotRail officially entered public ownership on 1 April, with Nicola Sturgeon marking the occasion at Glasgow Queen Street Station.
Network Rail has awarded Alstom the contract to deliver Phase 5 of the London Victoria Re-signalling Programme.
The Office of Rail and Road believes the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board is supporting safety in the light rail and tram sector.
Limited progress is being made regarding the UK Government's rail decarbonisation plans according to a Railway Industry Association report.
Following an investigation into the 2016 Sandilands tram derailment, the ORR has launched prosecutions for breaches of health and safety law.
GTR will continue to operate the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern rail services, having been awarded a new contract by the DfT.
HS2 has unveiled designs for Chiltern Tunnel’s north portal, which focus on cutting noise from trains as they enter and exit the tunnel.
In this month's column, Jonn Elledge ponders the many places Crossrail could have gone, with decreasing plausibility.
A new report highlights the role of HS2 and high speed rail in general in reducing emissions and ultimately achieving net zero.
Progress on Scotland's Levenmouth Rail Link is moving ahead of plan as the first sections of rail are laid.
The UK is helping finance a new high speed electric railway line in Turkey that will connect Ankara with Izmir.
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