David Shirres

Building the P2

Steam locomotives are inefficient and costly to operate, hence British Railways replaced them with diesel and electric traction nearly fifty years ago. Today, however, steam-hauled specials are still very popular – and profitable. There is no denying the enthusiasm for steam trains on which people are willing to spend the time...

Craigentinny does it all

Between 21:34 and 00:24 on the night of 15 March, fifteen trains, made up of 115 rail vehicles, arrived for servicing at Craigentinny depot in Edinburgh. Production manager Jim Donnelly ha to ensure that each of these trains is fit for service before it leaves the depot again between 04:02 and...

From Shinkansen to Scotland

It is now 52 years since Japan’s Shinkansen gave the world its first dedicated high speed rail line, which transformed rail travel in Japan. This also provided the country’s train manufacturers with a market for advanced trains. Hitachi, in particular, has been involved in all Shinkansen trains since then and has...

Ordsall Chord – Vandalism or progress?

On 5 January, replica 1830 steam locomotive ‘Planet’ hauled one of the last trains between the world’s oldest surviving station to the Great Western Warehouse via a headshunt on Stephenson’s viaduct over the River Irwell in Manchester. These buildings are part of the city’s Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)...

Edinburgh to Glasgow works

Around seven million passengers a year use the Glasgow to Edinburgh line, one of the UK’s busiest rail routes. As such, the Christmas holiday period provided a much-needed opportunity for renewals and enhancements. In Scotland there was a further opportunity as, with Scotland taking its Hogmanay seriously, there were no...

Freight train of the future

The prosaic rail freight wagon rarely features in the pages of Rail Engineer. With so many stories about all aspects of railway engineering, this is perhaps not surprising. But rail freight is important. It accounts for 11% of UK rail train revenue and has the potential to take goods off...

Borders Railway complete

On 6 September 2015, passenger trains will run between Edinburgh and Galashiels for the first time since the 157 kilometre Waverley route from Edinburgh to Carlisle closed in January 1969. At 49 kilometres, this is the longest new domestic line in Britain for over a hundred years. For its first 3.6...

Winchburgh’s 44-day blockade

A legacy of the rapid early growth of Britain’s railway network is that the UK has one of the world’s most restrictive loading gauges. As a result, typically half of the cost of British electrification projects is the civil engineering work to adapt structures to provide clearance for wires and...

Class 350s to Scotland

With the delivery of the last Class 350/3 EMU to London Midland in August, last month’s The Rail Engineer focused on the 77-strong Class 350 EMU fleet based at Siemens’ ...
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Borders takes off

Galashiels saw its last passenger train on 5 January 1969, the 21:56 Edinburgh to St Pancras sleeper. This was last train between Edinburgh and Carlisle over the Waverley route – one of Beeching’s most savage cuts which left the Scottish Borders as the only UK region without a train service. The route was not protected [...]

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