The next Rail Passengers Council meeting is at the Congress Centre, London at 10:30 on Wednesday 11th
September. Speakers will include SRA chairman Richard Bowker on the SRA's fares consultation. There
will also be sessions on minimising disruption to passengers from possessions, and the ERTMS train management
(and safety) system. Anyone planning to go should contact Caroline Jones at the RPC
Readers should note that branch vice-chairman Ivan Ivanovic has a new e-mail address:
RAIL COMPANY AGMs
Uneventful GB Railways Annual General Meeting
Anglia Railways' parent GB Railways PLC held their AGM on 21st August. Because the company had been in a
protracted 'offer period' and - since Freightliner's interest in acquiring part of the business - again finds
itself in that predicament, the directors were unable to disclose much financial information, even to
shareholders. Commercial confidentiality also prevented them revealing their proposals for the Greater
The directors confirmed that their new agreement with the SRA meant that, providing Anglia did not run the
operation into the ground, the SRA would ensure that they broke even, and both parties would share in any
unexpected profits at the end of the term. They did not expect their franchise to be cut short, and because
the SRA had yet to fully specify the new franchise, an extension beyond April 2004 was possible. Whilst
they were forced into a joint bid for the Wales and Borders franchise (with Connex) because the SRA said
"big is beautiful", they may bid alone or with a partner or an "eachway bet" for Greater Anglia. Richard
Drake is leading their bid.
GB Railways were "very disappointed" that the SRA decided to withdraw funding for Crosslink, but decided
to "be adult about it" and not criticise the SRA in public. They had tried hard to change the decision. No
staff will be made redundant, but will be transferred to Cambridge-Norwich and other services.
Hull Trains are still in negotiation for 125mph trains, with an announcement expected for late 2002.
The SRA insists they must break their reliance upon Anglia crews and rolling stock by 2004. New services will
be a primary objective.
GREATER [EAST] ANGLIA FRANCHISE
National Express publish their Greater Anglia brochure on WAGN web-site
Anyone wishing to see the Greater Anglia brochure that National Express handed out at their recent
roadshows can get a copy from the WAGN web-site http://www.wagn.co.uk.
Anglia provides additional services for winter timetable
As well as commencing the Cambridge-Norwich service, Anglia are enhancing their other services during the
winter timetable which runs from Sunday 29th September 2002 to Saturday 17th May 2003.
There will be extra services on the Wherry lines on weekday mornings and Saturday evenings, plus additional
Saturday return services on the Ipswich-Peterborough and Ipswich-Cambridge routes. Four Saturday morning
trains from Liverpool Street to Norwich will also call at Stowmarket and Diss to benefit shoppers, as will
four trains returning in the afternoon.
Anglia press release: http://www.angliarailways.co.uk/latest-information/news-detail.asp?id=342.
Proposal for new rail link into far end of Stansted terminal building from Elsenham
Visitors to the Stansted airport expansion public meeting were shown three maps of how the airport could
be expanded with one, two or three new runways. No new rail lines were envisaged if just a single new
runway is added, but proposals for two or three runways suggest a new rail link from the north.
A new line could be built from Elsenham eastwards curving down southwards into the other end of the
terminal building. This would provide:
* an alternative to boring a second tunnel beside the current one
* a new route for Cambridge trains
* potential for non-reversing through trains between London and Cambridge (and beyond)
* space for additional bay platforms.
The maps did not show a link eastwards to the Great Eastern main line.
Life saving equipment and staff trained at WAGN and FGE stations
Two defibrillators have been installed at Cambridge station as part of a Government programme to provide
life saving equipment in busy public places. Twenty-six Cambridge Wagn staff have been trained in basic
life support by Essex Ambulance Service. Chelmsford, Romford and Colchester are among seven stations on
First Great Eastern lines where the equipment has been installed.
Lift refurbishment on-going at Stevenage station
According to WAGN, £165,000 is being spent at Stevenage station to improve access. The three lifts, originally
installed when the new station was built in the 1970s, are currently undergoing extensive refurbishment and
improvement. Two are completed and back in action. The third should be in early autumn.
Histon Station building looking for new tenant
Histon station building is currently empty, the former business occupant having relocated elsewhere. A
sign announces that the building is 'to let'.
Central Trains reduces off-peak travel to help reduce peak-time overcrowding
Central trains have implemented a 5% reduction in saver fares, which are not valid before 9am weekdays on
the outward journey, from the start of the winter 2002/3 timetable. Supersaver fares have been dropped
from the longer distance journeys. Central aim to shift some peak-time travellers to off-peak to
reduce overcrowding, though the ticket limitations may force some passengers off trains altogether.
FGE train painted to promote east of England
For 12 months a First Great Eastern train will have an all-over "East of England" livery including the
slogan "Space for Ideas", which the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) launched in January to
promote the region as a location in which to live, work, visit and invest. The train will operate out of
Liverpool Street and will run as far north as Ipswich.
'Bone Breaker' railtour lives up to its name
The class-58 farewell tour entitled 'Bone Breaker' lived up to its name when it hit the buffers at
Walton-on-the-Naze station at 1.50pm on Monday 26th August. Over 400 passengers were aboard the train made
up of two diesel locomotives and 10 carriages. Although the 5mph impact was very minor, with no visible
damage to the train or buffers, one person broke their leg and another had cracked ribs. Another 29
required minor medical attention at the scene. Many passengers were stood or moving forward to disembark
and the impact threw people off balance, dislodged items from luggage racks, threw drinks, etc. Whilst
most of the media played down the story, BBC Ceefax made it the lead story for the rest of Bank Holiday
It had been reported as a major incident with at least 2 ambulances, 2 paramedic teams, 4 fire engines
and several police vehicles arriving. Although this incident did not warrant such attention, in August 1997
a train crashed into the buffers at 50mph at the same station, causing major damage.
BBC news report: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2217509.stm.
Documentaries and docu-dramas about recent British rail accidents planned for 2003
BBC-1 plans to show a major documentary in 2003 on the May 2002 Potters Bar rail crash. It will focus on
the British Transport Police investigation into the accident. It may be screened around the same time as
a new docu-drama on the Paddington and Hatfield accidents.
Another vehicle on level crossing struck by train
Around 9.20am on 28th August an empty three-carriage class 170 Anglia Railways train travelling from Norwich
to Ipswich hit a transit van - allegedly used for fly tipping - on the AHB level crossing at Baylham, which
is between Ipswich and Needham Market. The train driver saw the van and braked, preventing damage being
done to the train, although the front of the van was crushed on impact and damage was also caused to a
level crossing barrier. The line was reopened less than three hours later.
The driver and other occupants made off, but following a search with dogs and a helicopter police
arrested three men on suspicion of failing to stop after an accident and obstructing a railway line with
Anglia Railways traincrew commended for professionalism after level crossing incident
Two Anglia Railways traincrew members - driver Nigel Fisher and conductor Robert Williams - have been
nominated for a National Safety Award for the care and professionalism they showed to the 56 passengers
onboard during the Blaxhall level crossing incident in April 2002.
Anglia press release: http://www.angliarailways.co.uk/latest-information/news-detail.asp?id=340.
EWS push environmental benefits of moving freight by rail
On a recent edition of BBC Radio 4ís 'You and Yours' programme, EWS planning director Graham Smith pushed
the environmental case for rail freight claiming that compared with the equivalent journey by road, freight
by rail produces:
* one seventh of the carbon monoxide
* one quarter of the nitrous oxide
* one fifth of the particulates
* half of the carbon dioxide.
Anglia Railways '2 for 1' offer with East Anglian Daily Times
The Department for Tranport's patronage figures for UK light rail in 2001/2 year shows an increased of 6
per cent in passenger journeys from 119.6 million 127.3 million. The table below shows trends in millions
of passenger journeys over the last 7 years:
Fin.Year___ |95/96 |96/97 |97/98 |98/99 |99/00 |00/01 |01/02 |% change
Docklands__ | 14.0 | 16.7 | 21.0 | 27.6 | 31.3 | 38.4 | 41.3 | 7.6
Tyne & Wear | 35.8 | 35.4 | 35.0 | 33.8 | 32.7 | 32.5 | 33.4 | 2.8
Manchester_ | 13.0 | 13.4 | 13.8 | 13.2 | 14.2 | 17.2 | 18.2 | 5.8
Sheffield__ | 05.0 | 07.8 | 09.2 | 10.4 | 10.9 | 11.1 | 11.4 | 2.7
Midland____ | ---- | ---- | ---- | ---- | 04.8 | 05.4 | 04.8 | -11.1
Croydon____ | ---- | ---- | ---- | ---- | ---- | 15.0 | 18.2 | 21.3
TOTAL______ | 67.8 | 73.3 | 79.0 | 85.0 | 93.9 |119.6 |127.3 | 6.4
Detailed information: http://www.transtat.dft.gov.uk/tables/2002/literail/literail.htm.
Mid-Suffolk Light Railway receives grant to help extend its museum
The Mid-Suffolk Light Railway (established in 1990) has been granted a £15,000 grant towards a £80,000
scheme to extend its museum in Wetheringsett, near Stowmarket. The museum, which stands on the site of the
former Wetheringsett and Brockford station, is now waiting to see if they have been successful with other
bids, including one submitted to Suffolk County Council.
Mid-Suffolk Light Railway web-site: http://www.mslr.org.uk.
North Norfolk Railway also likely to receive grant for enhancements
Norfolk County Council has awarded the North Norfolk Railway a grant of £120,000, with the East of England
Development Agency adding a further £137,400 to improve the working conditions for staff and to improve the
appearance of the railway to visitors, including re-roofing of Weybourne station. Both grants are conditional
on the railway receiving a grant of £213,900 from the European Regional Development Fund.
At its AGM in mid-August, the NNR's Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association were amended
to restrict its operations "within the county of Norfolk". This enables it to apply for grants specifically
within the county which is being designated by the EC as socially deprived.
At Holt work on the foundations prior to the reconstruction of Stalham station building is in progress
and a second platform is to be built around the station building.
Guardian web-site has Transport Statistics Bulletin for England and Wales
Al the road congestion statistics that a rail campaigner could possibly hope for are available on the
Guardian newspaper's web-site (since 30th August) at: