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  RAIL NEWS SNIPPETS   Issue 180 - 7 October 2008  
  News from the East Anglian Branch of Railfuture   Edited by Martin Thorne and Jerry Alderson  


No announcements.


STATIONS

Redundant freight sidings at Cambridge lifted to make way for more passenger carriage stabling

The track on the EWS sidings opposite the platforms at Cambridge station have recently been lifted. The track is to be relaid for use as additional stabling for National Express East Anglia and First Capital Connect EMUs. This will require OHLE to be erected.


RAIL FREIGHT

Port of Felixstowe handles more containers by rail in one week than ever before

In the last week of September the port of Felixstowe broke through the 9,000 rail moves per week barrier, with 9,111 containers being handed though its Rail Division. The previous record was 8,984 in September 2007. The record should be beaten in 2009 if, as planned, a 27th daily train service commences.

By January 2009 all 465 metres of track comprising Line 1 at the South Rail Terminal will have been replaced, with further critical rail upgrades scheduled for August 2009.


ST.IVES LINE

Stagecoach boars that guided busway will see 100% clean buses

Stagecoach has placed a 3 million order for 20 new 'state-of-the-art' buses to operate on the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway, now being built on the St.Ives line. Claiming that it wll be the greenest guided busway in the world, the buses will supposedly run on 100% biofuel from sustainable recycled food waste. In fact, the press release is incorrect since the buses will require diesel in order to start in cold weather.

The buses, which are being supplied by Alexander Dennis, Scania, Volvo and Wrightbus, will include leather seats, wi-fi, real time information, air conditioning.

CAST.IRON has discovered that the guided buses operated by Whippet - the only other operator remaining - will use only diesel.


TV PROGRAMMES

BBC East programme on Norfolk rail closures and possible reopenings

As part of the series of BBC programmes on railways, which have been running on BBC-4 since September, there will be a BBC East regional programme on Sunday 26th October on BBC-1 at 16:25. The past, present and future of Norfolk's disused railways will be the subject of "Down the Line".

Presenter Nicholas Crane, a former pupil at Wymondham College, will be examining what happened to Norfolk's railways 45 years ago when many of the county's branch lines were closed following the release of the Beeching Report. It will show pictures of track maintenance at Dereham on the MNR line, as well as interviews conducted at County School (MNR) and Sheringham (NNR). Railfuture member David Bill, who is behind the Norfolk Orbital Railway scheme, is extensively featured.


PRESERVED RAILWAYS

Sheringham level crossing reinstatement proceeds

The reconnection of the North Norfolk railway, albeit limited to a few trains per year, is proceeding. The next actions are as follows:
* Planning Permission - Obtained 8th July 2008
* Level Crossing Order - Order applied for on 30th September 2008
* Utilities - Sonar survey conducted late September. Trial holes to be dug early October
* Network Rail Connection Agreement - Infrastructure Panel sit on 10th December to consider proposal
* Go/no go day - 12th December.

Problems can arise that halt the project in its tracks. Stakeholders have eight weeks to object to the level crossing order. The parties who can object are the Secretary of State, Highways and HMRI; consultation closes on 1st December 2008. The utility testing has identified a BT chamber 9 cubed which is very close to the track alignment. To move it will cost 400k, but it should be possible to work round it.

The promoters are facing construction costs of approx. 30k. However, the actual amount depends on how much of the materials that they can obtain cheaply.

It is hoped to get the first train over on the 28th February 2009, in the middle of the Gala commemorating the 50th anniversary of the closure of the M&GN. Howwver, if all problems ar enot resolved by the 'go/no go' date shown above then the crossing reinstatement will be delayed until winter 2009.


WEB-SITES

First Capital Connect launches web-site to explain the Thameslink Programme

With only a few months before the Thameslink Moorgate branch closes permanently, First Capital Connect has launched a web-site to explain what will be happening over the lifetime of the Thameslink Programme. It can be found at http://www.thameslinkprogramme.co.uk.

Save the Woodhead Tunnel 'blog'

Anyone interested in helping to fight to save the modern railway tunnel on the woodhead line from being taken over by the national Grid for electrificty cables can find the latest news at http://savethewoodheadtunnel.blogspot.com.

 


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