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Midland Main Line prepares to turn power on to new electric wires

A milestone has been reached for the electrification of the Midland Main Line after the final bridge was demolished on the Kettering to Wigston stretch to prepare for new overhead wires to be powered up. Over the weekend of 18 and 19 May, engineers successfully demolished the Three Arches bridge...

HS2 completes 3,130 tonne second Wendover Dean Viaduct deck slide

HS2 has revealed new timelapse footage showing the latest stage of a complex year-long project to slide almost half a kilometre of bridge deck into position, high above Buckinghamshire's Misbourne Valley. Over a 20 hour period last week, engineers working for the high-speed rail project carefully slid the 3,130-tonne structure...

Video: Carlisle crash

This video report commemorates the 40th anniversary of a railway 'mishap' involving ten runaway wagons. Events could have ended catastrophically were it not for the knowledge and experience of Bill Taylor, the signalman on duty in Carlisle Power Signal Box on the morning of 1st May 1984. He diverted...

SAVE THE DATE – RailStaff Awards 28.11.24

It’s that time again – the countdown to the RailStaff Awards has begun, and although 2023’s event set the bar impossibly high, this year it will be bigger and better than ever! Last year’s extravaganza wowed everyone in attendance. From rail managers to customer service assistants, apprentices to training managers,...

Engineering HS2

We make no apologies for returning to the subject of HS2 which was cut back as it “no longer reflected post-lockdown changes in travel”. Yet, as Matt Atkins describes, recent ORR figures show a trend of increasing rail passenger numbers. The last quarter’s 21% increase brings journeys up to...

Passenger journeys on the rise

A total of 417 million rail passenger journeys were recorded in Great Britain between October and December 2023, according to the Office of Road and Rail (ORR). The organisation’s report ‘Passenger rail usage October to December 2023’ shows a 20% increase on the 348 million journeys in the same quarter...

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...

250,000 seats a day on the WCML?

In the Parliamentary debate on the cancellation of HS2 phase 2, Transport Minister Mark Harper claimed that what remains of HS2 will deliver “a massive increase in capacity to the West Coast Main Line (WCML)” by providing 250,000 seats a day. This figure was subsequently repeated by the Prime...

HS2 update: Overview

The forecast date for initial HS2 services between Old Oak Common and Birmingham Curzon Street is between 2029 and 2033. Although this may seem some time away, this year HS2 hits peak construction with work well underway and a workforce of 30,000 at 350 active sites. This work is being...

HS2 update: Tunnels

Of HS2’s 208 route km, 52.2km is in tunnels. There will be 44.3km of twin bored tunnels comprising of Euston (7.3km); Northolt (13.6km); Chiltern (16.0km) Long Itchington Wood (1.6km); and Bromford (5.8km), as well as six cut and cover ‘green’ tunnels totalling 8km. In addition, an 850-metre logistics tunnel...

HS2 update: Structures and earthworks

Along its 208 route km, HS2 requires over 50 viaducts of which 16 are over 300 metres long. One of these is the 3.4km Colne Valley viaduct which will soon be the UK’s longest railway viaduct. Less newsworthy is the huge amount of earthworks needed to create Britain’s first...