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LATEST RAIL ENGINEER NEWS

Join us at the upcoming Rail Safety Summit

Britain’s railways have an enviable safety record but reports of incidents and near misses show there is room for improvement. Time and time again, the Rail Safety Summit has shown that it is the industry's must-attend event for up-to-date rail safety information. Now expanded to consider wellbeing and environmental health,...

Rail Reform Bill – too little too late

On 20 February, the Government published its Draft Rail Reform Bill. This proposes the creation a new Integrated Rail Body (IRB) that brings together decisions on infrastructure and train operations. The IRB would become Great British Railways (GBR) as proposed in the Williams-Shapps report that was published in May...

Industry reacts to draft Rail Reform Bill

Ministers yesterday (Tuesday 20 February) put forward their plan for the future of the railways, publishing a draft Rail Reform Bill for pre-legislative scrutiny. The draft Bill sets in motion a plan to deliver punctual and reliable services, simpler tickets, and a modern and innovative railway that meets the needs...

There is no plan

Our editorial recently posed the question “Where’s the plan?” in respect of train procurement. Five thousand vehicles were ordered between 2014 and 2019 though since then there has been no substantial mainline train orders except for HS2. As a result, Alstom’s Derby factory has run out of work and...

Remembering Tom O’Connor, Visionary founder of Rail Media – 1948-2024

Rail Engineer is saddened to hear of the passing of Tom O’Connor, founder and owner of Rail Media, which publishes the RailStaff and Rail Engineer magazines. Tom was a fervent supporter of both the UK railway and its people. Hailing from Clones, County Monaghan in Ireland, Tom moved to Derby in...

HS2 update

Three months on from the decision to cancel HS2, three parliamentary committee hearings provided further information on how this decision was taken, along with its implications. Liaison Committee 19 December The liaison gives the chairs of the various parliamentary select committee the opportunity to question Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. At this...

Responding to Scotland’s weather

Scotland’s railway gets a lot of weather. Although it is only 10% of the UK network, the region is 32% of the UK mainland and has the majority of its mountainous terrain. The challenge of responding to severe weather events was tragically highlighted by the August 2020 Carmont derailment. As...

TriLink – the intelligent renewal of West Coast Main Line north

The West Coast Main Line (WMCL) is arguably the most important long-distance railway trunk route in Britain. The line was developed in the mid-1800s, to connect London and Glasgow with connections to the cities of Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, and Edinburgh. It does not just connect north and south of...

Bridge infilling: its rise & fall

Graeme Bickerdike offers his personal reflections on the efforts of campaigners to ensure the social value of legacy railway structures is recognised in asset management decision-making. When I joined a group of like-minded folk to highlight and challenge the impending loss of 130-plus legacy railway structures to National Highways’ (NH)...

Complex and innovative construction techniques at Barmouth Viaduct

The completion of the £30 million restoration of North Wales’ iconic Barmouth Viaduct was celebrated on 8 December, marking the end of a four-year programme that has fully restored the 156-year-old, grade II* listed structure, and maintained its historic appearance, including a complete replacement of the metallic superstructure. Barmouth Viaduct...

Unplanned rolling stock procurement

Malcolm Dobell & David Shirres In July, the Railway Industry Association (RIA) published its report ‘The UK Rolling Stock Industry – making 2023 the year of opportunity not crisis’. This showed how ‘boom and bust’ train procurement resulted in factory closures and downsized the UK’s train upgrade capability. Furthermore, as...