UK railway news round-up


In a week dominated by election coverage, we try and swerve away from the General Election and give you the important stories from across our railways. Here’s our round-up:

Avanti West Coast promise ‘big change’ for commuters


A “big change” in the quality of train carriages on the West Coast Main Line has been promised by a parent company of new operator Avanti West Coast.

First Rail managing director Steve Montgomery described the 56 Pendolinos it inherited from Virgin Trains as “tired”. He said that the former operator had “done a good job” but said the type of contracts it was given “restrict” investment into rail franchises. Full story here.

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Around 20,000 staff to work on 380 rail projects over Christmas

Christmas disruption

Passengers “will benefit from a better, more reliable railway in 2020” according to Network Rail – thanks to upgrades taking place over Christmas and New Year.

The work in the North West and Central region – which runs from Euston and Marylebone in London, to Scotland via the West Midlands and North West – has been planned to impact the fewest number of passengers possible.

Nationally, more than 20,000 railway staff will deliver around 380 separate projects over the festive period. Read the full story.

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South Western Railway strike: Sixth ballot for rail workers

South Western Railway
Workers on South Western Railway are to strike for 27 days in December in the long-running dispute over guards on trains, the RMT union said. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Rail workers on strike over the guards on trains dispute are to be balloted for industrial action for the sixth time since the row flared because of “anti union” laws.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union on South Western Railway (SWR) resumed strikes on Friday after returning to work for a day on Thursday.

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The workers are taking 27 days of strike action throughout December and into New Year’s Day, causing travel misery for hundreds of thousands of passengers. Full story here.

Heritage Railway magazine release digital edition one week early

The brand new digital edition of Heritage Railway magazine is on sale now – at a limited-time reduced price, early release and a FREE bookazine with every issue.

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As ever, this month’s issue of Heritage Railway magazine is packed with the best features on our heritage railways, our Railwayana column, up and running guides, the latest news and much more!

Hull Trains release virtual walkthrough tour of new Paragon Trains

Hull Trains release virtual walkthrough tour of new Paragon Trains

Hull Trains have released a 360 virtual tour of inside its new Paragon Trains, and are inviting customers to take a look.

The immersive video allows you to walk through the train carriages, and see what on offer before you book a ticket, including first class carriages, toilet locations and luggage facilities. Read the full story.

Network Rail protects Banksy’s Birmingham homelessness art

Network Rail has put a protective screen over the latest art work by world-famous street artist Banksy.

Network Rail has put a protective screen over the latest art work by world-famous street artist Banksy.

Two reindeer were daubed on a wall beside a bench on Vyse Street beside Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter station.

Banksy posted on Instagram earlier this week showing a touching video of the artwork highlighting the plight of Britain’s homeless at Christmas time. Read the full story.

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