Jonathan Webb

London Rail’s Howard Smith on new orbital rail network

The official opening of a 1.3km section of line near Surrey Quays now means that passengers can make use of London's first orbital railway. Already dubbed the M25 on rails, the new route, which opened on December 10, allows commuters...

Nuneaton chord officially opened

The £28.3 million Nuneaton north chord was officially opened yesterday (November 14) by transport minister Simon Burns. Linking the important Felixstowe to Nuneaton freight route with the West Coast Main Line, without having to zig-zag across the throat of Nuneaton...

‘Balloon’ trams return to Blackpool’s overcrowded system

The new Bombardier-built Flexity trams in Blackpool are proving such a success with passengers that heritage 'balloon' trams are having to be pressed into service to help ease overcrowding on the network as locals flock to use the recently...

Fleet refresh for class 150s

The final London Midland trains in non-LM livery are being refreshed and repainted by Chrysalis Rail at Bristol's Barton Hill depot. The three class 150s, of which two are needed in service on a daily basis, will receive the train...

Shadow looms over future of station ticket offices

A shadow has been cast over the long-term future of station ticket offices by transport minister Norman Baker. Mr Baker' s aspiration is for the majority of passengers to use smart ticketing, which would see passengers being charged the lowest...

East Midland Trains completes £30 million fleet refurb

East Midlands Trains celebrated the £30 million refurbishment of its entire fleet of 93 trains by holding a line up at Derby Etches Park depot featuring a class member from each of its fleet. It's thought that this is the...

International rescue at the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

The Ecclesbourne Valley Railway benefited from from an international work party from the University of Birmingham's Department of Engineering during a weekend in September. As part of their MSc course 14 new full-time students comprising of three new entrants to...

Japan’s elderly rail station saviours

A single-platform station in the Japanese village Chikugo Oishi is almost as far away from the country's iconic high-speed Shinkansen routes as it is possible to get. Situated on the southern island of Kyushu on the Kyudai mainline, which is...

Silver trains see passenger figures soar

Chiltern Mainline, operated by the company's distinctive silver trains, celebrated its first anniversary in September. In the 12 months since its launch, Chiltern has seen passenger figures on their Birmingham to London route soar by 45.8 per cent, with a...

Driver retires after half a century on the railways

Greater Anglia's senior driver John Hockley retired on August 13, 50 years to the day since he started his railway career as an engine cleaner at Stratford cleaning B1s and N7s. Upon his retirement an era closed as John, who...