Rail Media has launched a new and improved RailStaff this month.
When we first started 15 years ago, staff could still roll up tabloid news papers and stuff them in outside pockets of old uniforms.
Now new railway fashions – even the police are upgrading – means rail staff look smart and trim and there’s little room for a red top tabloid, still less our leading rail industry green top.
So after checking out how readers and advertisers feel about A4 – as distinct from A3 Pacific – we have taken the bold step of switching to a gloss art format.
All the old favourites are here including Colin Wheeler’s Track Safety Focus.
Colin Garrett will be reporting on our royal heritage in subsequent editions.
All photos should enjoy better quality and sharper focus. Tim Casterton is back with a dynamic Irish railways news round up. Our New Century News Makers feature continues with an interview with Colin Flack of the Rail Alliance.
We also welcome aboard new writers – many of them from the rail engineer, our sister publication.
Nigel Wordsworth takes a look at Network Rail’s devolved management structure, with part two of ‘at the sharp end…’ next month. Just as we get rid of the last snow at home, David Shirres reports from the Arctic Circle where Russian Railways demonstrate snow clearance.
Going A4 means we can run more features and longer stories offering longer platforms. It is a fine way of beating capacity restraints and eliminating peak bottlenecks. Essentially it means we have the flexibility to expand pagination with a wider variety of news and features.
The serious core purpose of RailStaf remains the same – to tell good news stories about railways. It remains a unique privilege to report the courage and professionalism of the men and women how make up our industry. Many stories of heroism and initiative go unrecognised.
We aim to put this right both in these pages and at the RailStaff Awards.
This is a recession-defying industry with a bright future. We were once dismissed as being naïve and unrealistic. Now, 15 years on, with passenger volumes at their highest since 1948 and rail freight making inroads against roads the people we write about are being taken much more seriously.
Railways in Britain are a success story and a growth industry. It’s a good place to work, to build a career and run a new business.