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  RAIL NEWS SNIPPETS   Issue 64 - 7th July 2001  
  News from the East Anglian Branch of Railfuture   Edited by Martin Thorne and Jerry Alderson  

Ivan only received one e-mail with ideas for a branch web-site, so the idea is on hold for the moment. However, there is now a web-site containing the recent back issues of Snippets at: http://freespace.virgin.net/martin.thorne/snippets/snippets_news_index.htm.


Essential reading for decision makers
  There is a very useful article entitled "Misguided Bus?" about the "half-price tramway" in Nancy, France, available on the web under http://www.lightrailnow.org/progress/f_ncy001.htm. This should be essential reading for the county, district and unitary councils which make up the regional planning body that will be deciding whether to replace the Cambridge to St.Ives railway line with a guided busway.

Busway company to produce business plan for St.Ives line guided busway
Cambridge Rapid Transport System, a subsidiary of a Northampton-based company, which has already applied for planning permission for a service linking Trumpington to Cambridge city centre has commented on the CHUMMS proposal for a busway to St.Ives.

According to the Cambridge Evening News, Mike Kendrick, CRTS director, said bosses would be drawing up a business plan to see if the St Ives line would be commercially viable for the company to run. "When we first started promoting the idea of a guided bus we saw it as part of a wider network, but at the time we didn't know the development plans for that part of the region," he said.

The same news article quoted Peter Carter, a development control manager at Cambridge City Council, who said that the application for the Trumpington to Cambridge busway will go before committee by early autumn, and could be in service by 2004-5.


Anglia Railways cheap deal of seniors - off-peak flat fare of £7.50
Anglia Railways is offering special deals for the over 60s in support of Help the Aged’s Stepping Out campaign. From 1st July to mid-August, customers aged 60+ may take advantage of an off-peak flat fare of £7.50 anywhere on the Anglia Railways network, which runs as far afield as London, Basingstoke, Peterborough and Sheringham.

Anglia Railways’ Public Relations Manager, Peter Meades said, “We are pleased to support the Stepping Out campaign for the third year running, offering great value travel packages which allow older people to get out about and see the region from the comfortable and relaxing atmosphere of our trains. We hope these offers will encourage those older people who don’t drive to get out and about.”

Tickets must be booked three days in advance to allow for posting.
Anglia Railways press release: http://www.angliarailways.co.uk/latest-information/news-detail.asp?id=167


Anglia Railways' web-site offers ticket purchasing facility.
Anglia Railways is the latest of the TOC web-sites to enable purchasing of tickets online (from the "Journey Planner" section on the Anglia Railways web-site) . You can have tickets posted or pick them up from an Anglia Railways manned station.

Open First, Open Standard, Saver, Standard Day and Cheap Day tickets are available for selected journeys on the Norwich to London Liverpool Street mainline. The project is still in the early stages and to encourage use Anglia Railways are offering customers £1 off the London Leisure Advance ticket when they book on line.

Anglia Railways press release: http://www.angliarailways.co.uk/latest-information/news-detail.asp?id=188

Anglia Railways has been nominated for an award from the British Interactive Media Association for its relaunched web-site, which includes the ticket purchase facility mentioned above. Anglia are now also developing a WAP site - one of the first to be developed for a Train Operator - to provide passengers with real time travel information, timetable details, engineering updates and customer service facilities through their mobile phones.

Anglia Railways' Norwich telesales centre is refurbished.
Anglia Railways have refurbished their telesales centre at Norwich station. A new phone system - provided by ntl - will bring improvements to customer service as it allows the office to be manned more efficiently, allowing call groups to be set up so that if one group has calls waiting, calls can be directed to a quieter group. It also allows the telesales team to monitor the service better as it provides information on call peaks and troughs and how many customers receive the engaged tone, something they had no idea about previously.

Anglia Railways press release: http://www.angliarailways.co.uk/latest-information/news-detail.asp?id=168


Anglia Railways offer "real" freshly brewed coffee on trains
Anglia Railways is the first UK train operator to offer passengers freshly brewed coffee on the train, using a new bean to cup coffee machine which produces cappuccino, latte, expresso and americano and freshly brewed normal and decaffeinated coffee.
Anglia Railways press release: http://www.angliarailways.co.uk/latest-information/news-detail.asp?id=169


Ikea build new Peterborough warehouse on wrong side of tracks
According to BBC Ceefax, Swedish furniture store Ikea cannot make use of rail freight at its new Hampton, Peterborough warehouse as originally planned, because the site is on the wrong side of the tracks. It has found that freight would have to travel over the busy ECML tracks used by intercity and commuter trains.


Cambridge is number 14 in country's rail trespass hotspots
Cambridge is amongst the worst places in East Anglia for children trespassing on railway lines. They are doing so in such numbers that Railtrack has placed Cambridge number 14 in its list of the top 20 trespass "hotspots" in the region.

With the summer holidays approaching the rail industry is keen to get the safety message across to youngsters, and has teamed up with Christopher Awdry, author of the Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends stories. He has written six new stories dealing with the problems caused by trespass and vandalism, and these will be distributed to primary schools and libraries around the country. They were launched as part of Child Safety Week at the National Railway Museum in York.


Railway and shipping museum proposed for Harwich station building
Negotiations are underway to transform the derelict Harwich Station building into one of the biggest and most comprehensive railway archive museums in the south of England.

Bob Clow, a retired engine cleaner, has collected thousands of items of railway and shipping memorabilia over 35 years and wants to display them in a customised museum at the station. He is involved in discussions with the Railtrack property board, which owns the building, and other companies to consider the leasehold. Funding and grants for the project are also under negotiation with possibilities including the Harwich Environmental Regeneration Scheme.

The museum would open alongside the Railtrack station, and would include a buffet room for visitors and rail passengers. Mr Clow said: "I want to keep this collection in Harwich and safeguard it so that when I'm gone it will be donated to the people of Harwich and not separated around the country." He said he expected people to come by train and use the opportunity to go out into the town and visit other attractions and facilities. "The station is right in the hub of the old town and it would be the jewel in the crown." Plans will be on public display for a week at Harwich Town Station from 9th July.


North Norfolk Railway's purchase of Sheringham Station
Following the appeal day on Sunday 1st July, which was featured on BBC Look East news, nearly £25,000 was raised, including a single donation of £15,000, making a total of £103,500. Together with the 5-year interest free loan of £150,000 offered, the railway are now less than £40,000 short of the purchase price of £290,000.

During the day-long event, the railway provided a service every 45 minutes, with two steam engines and a diesel engine to ferry people up and down the line as far as Holt, as well as offering fund-raising events such as a raffle.

Marketing co-ordinator Carolyn Fraser said the railway was still exploring further fund-raising avenues, including schemes for corporate and individual sponsorship.

"We want to establish a Friends of Sheringham Station, which is going to allow people to be associated with the station without having to give up their time," she said.

It is also reported that the railway has lodged an appeal against a court decision which backed the landlord's move not to have the lease extended.
Appeal web-site: http://www.stationappeal.co.uk


Auction of Wolferton station called off following surge of interest
The Grade II listed Wolferton station - Norfolk's "royal" railway station on the Queen's Sandringham Estate - had been due to go under the hammer in London where it was expected to fetch more than £500,000. However, interest is so high that it will now be sold by private treaty, with a guide price of £750,000.

"We have changed our tactics from auction", said Antony Bromley-Martin, an associate at property specialists Strutt and Parker. "The owner has asked us to, purely because the publicity and the promotion that has started is fairly self-generating now and there's a lot more interest coming in from abroad."


Statistics about rail travel available on DETR web-site
A wealth of travel statistics are available on http://www.transtat.detr.gov.uk/rail/index.htm. This includes passenger and freight statistics over 25 years.



  Railfuture  is the campaigning name for
the Railway Development Society Ltd (RDS)


Snippets 64


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