With the Minister of Transport talking hard ball about the cost of running Iarnród Éireann, Tim Casterton asked David Franks, the company’s CEO, how he would seek to manage the situation and what positive steps could be taken to bring Ireland’s rail network through the current financial crisis. In May Ireland’s Transport Minister, Leo Varadkar, […]
Newcastle and York are to become Network Rail-managed stations from the start of the new East Coast franchise in 2015. The main line stations will join Reading and Bristol Temple Meads, which Network Rail took over on April 1, under a new management model designed to improve long-term planning for the UK’s railway stations. Network […]
Eurotunnel’s 20th anniversary marks a personal triumph for Jacques Gounon, the quietly spoken headmaster’s son from Créteil in south-east Paris. Writes Andy Milne The civil engineer took over as head of a beleaguered Eurotunnel in 2005 and spent two years wrestling with the organisation’s rapidly unravelling finances. By 2007 disaster loomed as Eurotunnel‘s battered officiers recommended […]
The Settle and Carlisle line stands today as an enduring testimony to railway engineering and perseverance, ingenuity and determination. This April marks the 25th anniversary of the saving of the railway that runs over the roof of Britain. The Settle and Carlisle line was slated for closure in the 1980s by a BR board desperate […]

Scotland’s new railway

Amongst many other improvements, the next ScotRail franchise is to have faster more comfortable trains connecting its seven cities with scenic trains on tourist routes. This much has been widely reported but perhaps the big story is why the Scottish Government wants to pay more for rail quality improvements. With the current ScotRail franchise worth […]
Despite the additional work of clearing up after yet another winter flood-and-storm scenario, railway staff delivered an ambitious and record-breaking programme of upgrades across the network over the Christmas and New Year holidays. Engineers laid new track and ballast, platforms, lifts and footbridges as well as upgrading signalling and electrification equipment. At more than £100m, [...]

Contract extension for GBRf

GB Railfreight is celebrating a Crossrail contract extension. The Crossrail work includes running services from Willesden Euro-terminal to Crossrail’s waste facility in Northfleet. The trains carry approximately 1000 tonnes per day. GB Railfreight has been awarded this extension, having worked on the Crossrail project since 2012. GBRf’s original contract with Crossrail contractor BFK, a joint [...]
The debate over High Speed Two goes right to the heart of the quandary the UK finds herself in 13 years in to the new millennium. The project is of far greater significance than stopwatch psychology or getting a seat on the 7.24 from Leighton Buzzard might imply. HS2 needs to be seen in its [...]

Reshuffle at Virgin Trains

Virgin Rail Group was keen to stress continuity at the top as Phil Whittingham, Director Finance, stepped up to become the Lead executive and Phil Bearpark, Production Director took over as Director operations and Customer Service. The moves follow Chief Executive Tony Collins’ decision to quit and Chris Gibb’s move to Network Rail as a [...]
This year sees the fiftieth anniversary of Richard Beeching’s ‘The Re-Shaping of British Railways’. Writes Colin Garratt 2013 also sees the thirtieth anniversary of the Serpell Report. These two events mirrored the tempestuous undertones of railway policy in the years following World War Two. In this eight part series, Colin Garratt of Milepost 921⁄2 outlines [...]