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UK railway news round-up

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As part of the East Coast Digital Programme, in the early hours of June 2 a Great Northern Class 717 EMU ran on the East Coast Main Line between Welwyn Garden City and Hitchin using ETCS in test conditions. ‘Following on from the success of the pathfinder project on the Northern City line, we are now deploying this technology on an inter-city main line’, said Ben Lane, Project Director at Siemens Mobility. ‘The first digitally signalled train movement on the Welwyn to Hitchin project is not only a big step for ECDP, but also for the wider railway industry and future digital schemes.’

RIA 2024 Logo

On June 3 the Railway Industry Association launched a new logo, brand and website ‘designed to be modern, energetic and easily recognisable, whilst still being quintessentially RIA’. It has adopted the slogan ’championing a dynamic rail supply sector’.

GWR IET blur (Photo GWR)

Having dropped them in March 2020, Great Western Railway is to reintroduce what it terms ‘SuperFast’ services on its London – Swansea route from the timetable change on June 2. The two weekday trains will leave London Paddington at 16.18 and 19.18 and will run non-stop to Bristol Parkway, omitting calls at Reading and Swindon. GWR has also confirmed its plan to launch a direct Saturday-only Bristol Temple Meads – Oxford service from September; this will run until December 14 as a trial to gauge demand.

As part of plans to achieve net zero targets, Network Rail is planning to award framework contracts for electric power capacity upgrades and connections to support charging electric vehicles, transition from gas and to enable the connection of renewables. Works would be procured on a site-by-site basis. NR’s target is a 40% carbon reduction in the next five years, and net zero by 2045 in Scotland and 2050 elsewhere.

Elizabeth Line passengers at Liverpool Street station (Photo TfL)

There were 210 million journeys on the Elizabeth Line in its second year of full operation, up from 150 million in the first year from May 2022. The busiest day was April 18 2024 when there were 787 000 journeys across the line. The busiest station is Tottenham Court Road, followed by Liverpool Street. Ridership in 2024-25 is forecast at 226 million journeys.

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Kier is undertaking a £5·3m project to restore the historic glazed canopy at the Grade II-listed Whitley Bay station on the Tyne & Wear Metro.

UK Power Networks Services has appointed Kim Kelly as client delivery manager, leading a newly unified team that combines the former High Voltage Rail and High Voltage Engineering departments.

credit to QTS

Contractor QTS Group says it is the first dedicated rail business to attain the Silver Award awarded by the Social Value Business. QTS had to demonstrate a strong commitment to social value and evidence of how it generates meaningful impact for its employees, supply chains, customers and communities.

Ember Refuse Sacks Launch Image

Paragon has launched its Ember range of eco-friendly refuse sacks for the transport sector. This comprises four 100% recycled clear bags, and one 97% recycled green tint bag.

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Transport for London has awarded Telent a contract to upgrade the existing fire detection and alarm system at Canary Wharf Elizabeth Line station, removing redundant elements and simplifying the configuration to make it easier to operate and maintain.

Network Rail has awarded Deloitte, Ernst & Young and KPMG contracts to provide audit, risk and advisory services.

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