HomeBussinessUK railway news round-up

UK railway news round-up


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Transport for Wales Rail introduced CAF Class 197 DMUs on its services to Ebbw Vale from Cardiff and Newport on April 22. ‘These trains are modern and comfortable and provide a much-improved experience for passengers. This is another positive step for rail services in Wales’, said Welsh government Transport Minister Ken Skates.

The Rail Delivery Group has issued a report entitled ‘Clearing the Air’, aimed at dispelling perceptions about the relative costs of rail and air travel for domestic journeys in Britain. RDG’s analysis highlighted six routes on which rail could be up to 80% cheaper than flying; however, its findings were predicated on air passengers paying fees for luggage and seat allocation and taking a taxi journey in both directions between the cities and airports mentioned.

The Office of Rail & Road says it will be engaging with relevant operators to drive improvement after identifying issues with the complaints process experienced by some disabled people. Surveys by ORR have found ‘some non-compliance with specific requirements in the Complaints Code of Practice and the Accessible Travel Policy Guidance that are designed to secure passenger awareness and ensure that complaints processes are accessible to all disabled people’.

Eurostar London St Pancras photo BZ

Eurostar has confirmed that from November, the travel classes on its services in five countries, including its routes to and from London, will be known uniformly as Eurostar Standard, Eurostar Plus and Eurostar Premier. The operator also says it is launching ‘a premium proposition in terms of refunds and exchanges in all travel classes for European travel’, including fee-free ticket exchange until 1 h before departure in all classes of accommodation.

Open access operator Grand Central is to move its headquarters in York from Northern House to 20 George Hudson Street at the start of May. ‘We have been based in York since we began operations and the move to George Hudson Street allows us to retain our city centre location, with great local and national transport links whilst better reflecting our current office space requirements’, said Chris Brandon, Head of Business Development.

John Whitehurst COO April 2024

Govia Thameslink Railway has appointed John Whitehurst as Chief Operating Officer, succeeding Andy Coulthurst, who is retiring. Whitehurst is a former Network Rail Route Infrastructure Maintenance Director and also served as Managing Director of Serco’s Transport & Community Services arm for 12 years. 

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