Thursday, 22 February 2018

Clean Bus Funding - Latest Awards

Funding will be awarded to 20 local authorities as part of the Clean Bus Technology Fund, which was launched in 2017 and is run by the Joint Air Quality Unit.

 Nottingham have won funding to convert 112 vehicles
To win awards, local authorities had to show evidence that the technology would reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by at least 50%. The buses will be fitted with exhaust gas treatment systems called selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and will be back on the roads after their upgrade. As part of the award, councils must continue to monitor the schemes and provide evidence of their effectiveness.
Speaking at the UK Bus Summit at London’s QEII Centre on 8 February 2018, Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani set out how the money will enable older vehicles to meet minimum emissions standards, and contribute to better air quality.
Speaking at the Bus Summit, Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani said:
Buses and coaches are hugely important to those who rely on them and to the communities in which these people live and work.
Road transport is going to change dramatically over the next couple of decades – and we have to make sure that the bus industry is ready to benefit from those changes.
We have to move away from nose-to-tail car traffic at peak times, endless engine idling, stop-start travel and rising pollution and carbon emissions. Rather than contributing to the problem – buses and coaches very much form part of the solution.
The money will allow councils to retrofit vehicles with technology to reduce tailpipe emissions of nitrogen dioxide, as part of a drive to help ensure that more buses and coaches can contribute to improving air quality in UK cities.

Picture of Nusrat Ghani in front of the electric buses.

Environment Minister Therese Coffey said:
"Poor air quality affects public health, the economy and the environment, which is why we are determined to do more.
I am delighted to see so many high quality applications to the Clean Bus Technology Fund and, as a result, the government has decided to bring forward funding meaning that we will award nearly £40 million to retrofit more than 2,700 buses.
This is another way which the government is delivering on its commitment to improving the environment within a generation and leave it in a better state than we found it."

 Funding for 43 vehicle conversions has been awarded to Newcastle
The Department for Transport will use the Bus Services Act as a way of encouraging councils and bus companies to look at measures to encourage the public to use buses.
In 2016, government invested £30 million through the Low Emission Bus Scheme, which helped put over 300 new low emission buses on the roads, with a further £11 million and 150 buses being announced in 2017.

 75 Vehicles will be modified in Leeds

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Rival Isles of Scilly Helicopter Service Announced

The Isles of Scilly Steamship Company has announced that it will launch its new helicopter service from Land’s End airport to the islands in May.

Named Island Helicopters, the new 10-seater helicopter will run year-round, six days a week and with eight return flights a day to the islands of St Mary’s and Tresco. However, the news has split opinion among the islanders, who were already expecting a new service to launch this spring from Penzance, financed by Robert Dorrien-Smith, whose family estate is leased on Tresco island by the Duchy of Cornwall.
Dorrien-Smith has been behind plans to launch Penzance Heliport since 2016. He criticised the Steamship Company, which also runs the islands’ ferry and plane services, accusing it of monopolising the transport infrastructure, while also arguing that Land’s End is an unsuitable location for a heliport.
The previous helicopter service, which ended in 2012, was forced to move from Land’s End to Penzance after a year due to unreliable weather conditions.
“The near sea-level location of the Penzance Heliport site is the keystone to reinstating a reliable, weather-resilient helicopter service to the Isles of Scilly,” said Dorrien-Smith. “Land’s End airport – which suffers disruption on one in every four days each year – is the problem, not the solution.”
He added: “Today’s announcement sadly signals no more than one company tightening its stranglehold further on these islands. It is a blatant attempt to retain a monopoly that is not working in the interests of these islands.”
Andrew May, chairman of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group, said: “We know there is demand from thousands of people who have really missed the helicopter. We’ve listened to that demand, investigated what we believe can work, and have partnered with Specialist Aviation Services (SAS) to make it happen. This gives visitors and islanders more choice over how they travel and makes the transport network more resilient, which is exactly what our customers say they want.”
He added that it plans to fly to St Mary’s airport and Tresco, and the company is renewing its offer to Tresco to establish the route. The Tresco Estate said it had not received any contact from the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company, so could not comment on if the route will be operating to the island.
Demand for a helicopter service has been high since the last one stopped six years ago after almost 50 years in operation. When Penzance Heliport put its first planning proposal forward to Cornwall Council in 2017, it received 2,600 messages of support – a record for a planning application.
The helicopter was considered a vital connection in instances of emergency, as well as being a popular tourist attraction in its own right, with many visitors to the islands considering the short flight part of the experience of a trip to the isles. Tourism currently makes up more than 80% of the local economy.
Being able to fly in low visibility, it also offered a more resilient transport connection to the mainland than a plane, which can be disrupted by poor weather. The ferry service stops in winter, from November to March, meaning poor weather sometimes leave islanders stranded.
Beth Hilton, editor of local community magazine and news website Scilly Now and Then, said: “There was real concern about the islands’ increased isolation and vulnerability, particularly regarding medical access. Most locals are very enthusiastic about a helicopter service, although feelings about who should provide it are mixed. There are some reservations about it running from Land’s End in case the same visibility issues would apply to the helicopter as the plane, so most feel it would be better in Penzance.”

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

A380 future Secured by Emirates Order

Firming up an earlier Memorandum of Understanding, Emirates has now signed a contract for 20 additional A380s with an option for a further 16.

The $16bn (£11.5bn) deal amounts to a reprieve for the A380 after Airbus threatened to stop making the jet if it could not come to a deal with Emirates.
Emirates is the only airline to have put the A380 at the heart of its operations and had been expected to place an order for more of the jets at the Dubai Airshow last November.
However, it then ordered 40 Boeing 787 Dreamliners instead.

Emirates said it had now made a firm order for 20 of the A380, the world's largest passenger airliner, with options to buy a further 16. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2020.
Emirates is already the largest customer for the plane, with 101 currently flying and 41 more firm orders previously placed.
Recently, Airbus sales director John Leahy said the company would have to halt the A380 programme if Emirates did not place another order.

Monday, 19 February 2018

German Cities to Offer Free Public Transport

The German government is planning to trial free public transport in cities suffering from air pollution, as Angela Merkel’s administration scrambles to meet EU pollution rules and avoid fines.

Five cities – Bonn, Essen, Herrenberg, Reutlingen and Mannheim – will benefit from the trial “at the end of the year at the latest” according to proposals drawn up by the Federal government.
German and British ministers were among those countries’ summoned to Brussels last month to explain to the European Commission why they had continued to break EU rules on toxic air pollution and what they would do to fix the problem.

“We are considering public transport free of charge in order to reduce the number of private cars,” a letter sent to the European Commission by German ministers says.
“Effectively fighting air pollution without any further unnecessary delays is of the highest priority for Germany,” the ministers added.
The letter also contains other proposals to cut pollution support for car-sharing schemes, low emissions zones in cities, and restrictions on the emissions that fleet vehicles such as buses can produce.

The state-run railway operator Deutsche Bahn sells an annual season ticket covering all trains running throughout the whole of Germany, the BahnCard 100, for €4,270 (£3,802) – lower than the price of many single line season tickets in Britain.
If the countries, which also include Spain, France and Italy, fail to come up with proposals they face infringement procedures from the European Commission, which could result in hefty fines for breaking EU law.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Heathrow Rail Link

A proposed new direct rail link from the West to Heathrow will improve journeys to Britain’s busiest airport and help increase economic productivity in the Thames Valley


As part of the Railway Upgrade Plan the Department for Transport asked for development plans to build a new rail tunnel to link the Great Western Mainline to London Heathrow Terminal 5. The proposed rail connection would speed up journeys to Britain’s busiest international airport, by allowing passengers to travel to the airport from the South Coast, South West, South Wales and West Midlands without going into London Paddington.


Benefits for passengers

  • Reduce rail journey times between Reading and Heathrow (by approximately 35 minutes).
  • Direct trains between Reading, Slough and Heathrow (approximate journey time from Reading will be 26 minutes).
  • More travel options for leisure and business travellers to London Heathrow, as well as the thousands of employees who work at the airport.
  • Reduced congestion at London Paddington.


Wider benefits

  • Estimated £800m of economic activity in Britain, including additional economic benefits for the region.
  • Create potential for 42,000 new jobs.
  • Make CO2 savings equating to approximately 30 million road miles a year.
  • Give 20 per cent of the UK population access to Heathrow via one interchange.
  • Help to provide much needed congestion relief for the M4, M25 and M3 (55 per cent of journeys on the proposed service will be abstracted from the road).


Public consultation update

The first stage of informal consultation took place in 2015; the second formal phase in early 2016. This consultation confirmed strong support for the proposed scheme from national and local stakeholders, as well as providing detailed information on local needs.
Work is ongoing with the Department for Transport on the development plans, taking into account how best to integrate the scheme with other major infrastructure projects in the area, as well as responding to new environmental requirements affecting major infrastructure projects and considering the future growth needs of the Great Western Mainline and any Southern rail access proposals to Heathrow.
Final statutory public consultation is required in advance of planning permission being sought from the Secretary of State through a Development Consent Order (DCO). It is now anticipated that there will be a final statutory public consultation in late spring 2018.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

London bus drivers' pay deal

'Landmark' deal for 25,000 London bus drivers

Bus drivers in London moving to another company will remain on the same pay grade under a "landmark" deal.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan launched a "Licence for London", which he said would benefit the capital's 25,000 bus drivers.

It puts an end to the previous system where drivers moving to another bus company would get lower pay.
From now on, drivers will be guaranteed a pay grade equivalent to their level of service and experience.
The move follows a previous announcement of a minimum starting wage of £23,000 a year for drivers in all London bus companies.

Mr Khan said: "I'm delighted we're now addressing a situation where a driver with the same level of knowledge, skill and experience could get paid significantly less, simply for working on a different route or moving company.
"Today's announcement shows the real progress you can make when you talk and engage constructively with workers and trade unions, rather than looking for confrontation."
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: "No longer will London's bus workers have to take a pay cut if they move operator and go to the bottom rung of the ladder.
"Before now, if a driver with 10 to 15 years' experience moved jobs they could end up being paid the same as someone new to the industry who had never driven a bus before."

Friday, 16 February 2018

Transdev in York expansion

"New jobs created in North Yorkshire as we take over routes from Stephensons"

Press release from Transdev

There's great news for jobs and bus passengers in Malton, York and the wider county of North Yorkshire today, with the news that we have been awarded new contracts to replace services formerly run by a collapsed bus firm.
North Yorkshire County Council has confirmed that a package of bus services formerly run by Stephensons of Easingwold has been awarded to Transdev, and as a result, we'll run 2 daytime services and 3 school services under contract to the county council from Monday 19 February.
The award for the contract means that a rapid expansion of the driving team is required at our depot in York, with a new team of drivers required to run the new services.
Our CEO, Alex Hornby, said: “The announcement is great news, both for passengers and for the local economy. We're delighted that as a result of winning this contract, we'll be able to create new jobs at our depot on Hospital Fields Road in York. We'll be taking on a team of up to 4 new drivers to expand our current team and make sure we can provide a stable and high quality service on these routes.”
“We were delighted to welcome a number of former Stephensons drivers into the Transdev family following the collapse during January, and with the news that we'll be running these routes on a permanent basis, we're hoping to open our arms to more ex-Stephensons colleagues.
“We're also delighted for customers, as it ends uncertainty and secures their bus services after the previous operator went into liquidation.
“When that happened we stepped in straight away to take over some of the services involved, and we're delighted that in awarding these new contracts, the county council has recognised that we are in a position to operate and develop these services for the longer term.
The contract award will be complemented by the creation of an exciting new identity for buses across York and the wider county, with the creation of a new local brand to sit alongside the popular Coastliner and Cityzap brands: York & Country. The new identity reflects our recent expansion in York and further into the North Yorkshire countryside, with the new routes branded York & Country alongside other existing routes based at our York & Malton bus depots.
The new services which we'll be running from Monday 19 February are:
  • • 181 Malton – Castle Howard
  • • 194 Malton – Hovingham
  • • 195R Hovingham – Malton schools
  • • 226R Acklam – Norton College
  • • 256R Easingwold – Ryedale School

The announcement ends a period of uncertainty for bus passengers in the York, Malton and Easingwold areas after Easingwold-based based Stephensons ceased trading during January 2018.
The sudden closure left commuters unaware as services were withdrawn in towns and villages in York and North Yorkshire. Transdev stepped in to cover a number of former Stephensons services, including the 29 and 31/31X, connecting Kirkbymoorside with Easingwold and York. The award of new contracts to Transdev means passengers can look forward to a dependable and high quality service in the months ahead.
Our CEO, Alex, added: “We have a very experienced and customer-focused team at our York depot and we're looking forward to providing the best service for our current and new passengers using these services. The full range of Transdev day, weekly and monthly tickets will also be available, including via our app, Transdev Go, making travel on these routes great value.”

Thursday, 15 February 2018

easyJet's new 'super quiet' eco plane shown at Manchester Airport

The A320neo is part of easyJet’s plan to reduce harmful carbon emissions and slash noise pollution.
The company also plans to run all short-haul flights on battery-run planes by 2028.
This latest aircraft is said to reduce by half noise on take-off and landing when compared to an average plane - welcome news for those living under the flight path. It's also said to cut CO2 emissions by 15 per cent.
Official data from Manchester Airport reveals 31,600 people within 30sq km of the airport are affected by 57 decibels or above - the figure marking the starting point for ‘significant community annoyance’ according to the Government threshold.

easyJet's new Airbus A320neo

Since 2000, easyJet bosses say, they've reduced carbon emissions per passenger, per kilometre by more than 32pc. Its current target is a 10pc reduction from its financial year 2016 performance by 2022, which would be a 38pc improvement from 2000.
Fuel consumption is the biggest polluter and the airline says is is working on more ways to reduce its carbon footprint.
This includes working with Wright Electric to develop a passenger plane that runs on electric batteries.
The goal is that all short-haul flights will be operated by all-electric planes within 10 years.

Inside the cockpit of the A320neo

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Virgin Trains Quiet Coaches

Virgin Trains East Coast has announced plans to scrap the quiet section from May.

The move to withdraw the areas comes after the company reported that its customers didn't want them.
The train operator, which runs services between London's Kings Cross to York, Newcastle and Scotland, said fewer than one in 10 people appreciated the quiet coach.
The quiet coaches in standard class will remain after the change on May 20.
The company said: "We value your opinions, and you told us that you love the chilled-out vibes in First Class - but only 9 per cent of people said they appreciate the First Class Quiet Coach.

"So, across all services from the 20 May 2018, First Class will no longer have its quiet coaches. This will give you more flexible space and greater freedom."
It follows quiet coaches being removed from other train operators' services.
Plans to scrap the quiet coach on South Western rail in December sparked fierce debate among passengers.
The train operator held an online vote and asked the public to give their views on whether or not the less noisy areas should be scrapped.
One person said “100 per cent keep them - even though there will always be some arrogant or ignorant passengers who will use their phones regardless of whether it’s a ‘quiet’ carriage, most are considerate towards their fellow passengers as the current sign requests. When boarding the train, I always head to a quiet carriage.”
Whereas other commuters disagreed, one person wrote: “Not all trains have enough seats for everyone. My service is always crowded and often I don't get a seat. In conditions like this how would you expect a parent with baby run around carriages to find a seat.”
Another said: “It’s a train, not a library.”
Other train operators such as CrossCountry do not have any quiet coaches on their Voyager trains, while First Great Western removed quiet coaches in first class when it redesigned its carriages in 2014.


John Scragg has provided yet another splendid set of railway steam haulage pictures, this time from his February visit to the Mid Hants Railway. These have been placed in an album, which can now be viewed by clicking  here

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Wrightbus news

Up to 95 jobs could be lost at the County Antrim manufacturing plant.

Wrightbus, based in Ballymena, has announced that it has begun consulting over a potential workforce reduction at its factory in the town.
The firm employs more than 1,500 people and sells its vehicles in both domestic and international markets.
It said it was facing some very difficult conditions in its domestic market, with current orders for new vehicles at "relatively low levels".
Chairman of Wrights Group Mark Nodder said: "As a privately-owned business and one of the largest employers in Northern Ireland, we have not come to this decision lightly and it is done with a heavy heart.
"However, we operate in dynamic marketplace with competition from around the globe and we must respond and react accordingly.
"We will naturally work with the union and employee representatives to ensure that we manage the process in the most sympathetic way possible for all affected."
Wrightbus is best known for an updated version of the London Routemaster, or so-called "Boris Bus".
The company's most up-to-date accounts show a pre-tax profit in 2016 of £11m.

The last of 1,000 New Routemasters (dubbed Borismasters), has recently been delivered to London.

DUP MP Ian Paisley said he was "disappointed" and said his thoughts were with the employees.
He added: "I have been in discussions with the CEO of the company and I understand the reasons behind this decision
"Looking forward, the company has considerably good prospects but order books must match the workforce.
"It is essential that in the future, government bus contracts start to favour local manufacturers so as to avoid such peaks and troughs in the production cycle."Regional Officer of the Unite union George Brash said the news came "out of the blue".
"Today's announcement will be devastating for the workforce, the latest in what has been a series of hammer blows to the Antrim and Ballymena workforce," he said.
He added: "We understand that the job losses are the result of the loss of sales to Transport for London in addition to the protracted delay in new orders coming in from Translink.
"Unite has lobbied directly the Mayor of London's office making the case to support UK workers.
"The fact that the contract for the purchase of London Transport buses has been transferred to China and Egypt is an inexcusable betrayal of Northern Ireland workers and represents a false economy to the UK taxpayer overall."
He said the union was concerned by reports that the delay in sales under the Translink contract "may be due to the absence of an accountable minister".
"Wrightbus has a five-year contract to supply Translink but unfortunately authorisation for the new environmentally-friendly hybrid buses has not been forthcoming because it apparently needs ministerial sign-off.
"If this is true, then the workers of Wrightbus are paying the price for the continued impasse and the failure of our politicians."

Formed more than 70 years ago, family-owned Wrightbus is one of the town's largest employers.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Return to Okehampton

Government prepares plans to introduce regular train services to Okehampton

In a letter circulated to South West MPs, the secretary of state for transport, the Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, confirmed that the government has instructed Great Western Railway (GWR) ‘to prepare plans to introduce regular train services to Okehampton, with the objective of securing a credible and costed plan for delivering an all-week, all-year train service between Exeter and Okehampton as soon as reasonably practicable’.
The comment is hugely significant, as it provides concrete evidence that the higher reaches of government have objectives to bring rail services back to Okehampton.
Mike Davies, chair of the OkeRail forum campaigning for the return of rail services, was delighted with the news. He said: ‘It is wonderful news not just for the community of Okehampton but for the people of West Devon and North Cornwall.
‘A lot of work still needs to be done but things are looking good. It has been a long journey with a lot of work behind the scenes but I am delighted that it has all paid off.’

As part of the proposals being developed, a number of options for a new railway station in Okehampton are being considered by Devon County Council as it develops proposals for the reintroduction of regular weekday trial services in partnership with the Department for Transport (DfT) and Great Western Railway (GWR).
A feasibility study, commissioned by the county council, is looking at a variety of platform layouts for a parkway station and required infrastructure improvements as part of the scheme.
These have been presented to the OkeRail Forum as part of consultation with key stakeholders, which also includes GWR, Aggregate Industries and Dartmoor Railway.
Key considerations include safe running of regular passenger trains, access for freight trains and current or future lease holder services.
Elements required for a modern station, such as local ramped access and CCTV, are being considered as part of the proposals for a parkway station.

Cost estimates are yet to be determined but various local and other funding sources will be needed.
Track improvements would also need to be made to cope with the running of regular services.
A site inspection of the track has shown that around a third of the track, while suitable for light use, would fall short of the standards required for more intensive use of several daily services.
Two potential designs are being considered for a car park, providing around 210 parking spaces with a drop-off point for buses and taxis, and facilities for cycle parking.
A report will now be finalised in the coming weeks setting out the options under consideration for further discussion with GWR, the DfT and the OkeRail Forum.


The Dartmoor Railway is a stretch of line which extends 15.5 miles from Coleford Junction in the east through to Meldon Viaduct (just beyond the mothballed ballast quarry) in the west. The line is owned by Aggregate Industries and leased to Dartmoor Railway CIC. Okehampton Station is owned by Devon County Council, and the building is leased to Dartmoor Railway CIC. The intermediate stations at Bow and North Tawton are disused and are now privately owned residences. Sampford Courtenay survives as a station, albeit with no buildings.

These days the name Coleford Junction is a misnomer since it is no longer a junction. The Okehampton line runs alongside the previous down line from Crediton to Barnstaple whereas the up line now hosts the Tarka line. The junction at Coleford was removed some years ago and the lines do not physically join until just short of Crediton. The intermediate station at Yeoford has two platforms, one for the existing Tarka line, the other (a disused island platform) for the Okehampton branch. The track from Coleford through Yeoford to Crediton is still owned by Network Rail. Recent attempts to acquire rights for the Coleford-Yeoford portion did not come to fruition.

The line is single-track from Coleford right through to Okehampton, with operation controlled by a staff normally kept at Crediton signal box. The section from Okehampton through to Meldon Viaduct is controlled separately, but the long stretch of single-track line significantly restricts the services that can be run. However, unlike some preserved railways which are restricted to 25mph, the Dartmoor line is certified for running at up to 55mph.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Best Ever Year for Edinburgh Bus Tours

Edinburgh Bus Tours (EBT) has recorded it’s best ever year and has remained Scotland’s second most popular paid for attraction.

According to the top 20 rankings published by the Moffat Centre, EBT attracted around 690,000 visitors in 2017, an increase of 85,000 from 2016.

The tours offer residents and visitors the chance to enjoy a different perspective on Edinburgh, providing views of the city from the top of a double-decker bus.

Edinburgh Bus Tours operates from Waverley Bridge seven days a week providing four different tour options. Each takes in the capital’s main attractions, from the castle and Old Town to the Royal Yacht Britannia and the three Forth bridges.

 A new fleet of open top Volvo B5TL's were launched in 2016

Nigel Serafini, Commercial Director at Lothian said: “We are delighted to celebrate another fantastic year for Edinburgh Bus Tours. To see an extra 85,000 customer journeys across 2017 is a real testament to the dedicated and enthusiastic team at tours. They deliver a fantastic customer experience, rain or shine, for the thousands of visitors choosing to hop on a tour of our fascinating city each day.”

Full schedule and pricing information is available from and visitors can download the free Edinburgh Bus Tours app for Android and Apple devices.

Edinburgh Bus Tours is also on Facebook ( and Twitter (


With the news of the Edinburgh tourist trail success, three sets of pictures have been placed into albums, which illustrate the transition of the tours operated by Lothian Buses and previously Lothian Regional Transport since the late 1980s. These can now be viewed by clicking   here   here and  here

Saturday, 10 February 2018

New Northern Trains Due Off Production Line

The first new Northern train is due off the CAF  production line in Zaragoza, Spain in the coming weeks.

The 98-strong fleet will come into service by Christmas and are capable of travelling at 100mph (160 km/h), will be fully accessible, and have wi-fi and plug sockets.
Northern's managing director said it was a "landmark moment" for rail travel in the north of England.

David Brown added the "21st Century trains" will "significantly improve journeys".
Once completed the new units will be sent to the Czech Republic for testing, before further trials in the UK.
30-year-old Pacers will be replaced with new trains

They are being introduced as part of a programme that will see Class 142 units disposed of and more than 70 trains refurbished.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Ian Riley Signs ‘Flying Scotsman’ Contract

Ian Riley has signed the contract with the National Railway Museum which sees him run 60103 Flying Scotsman until 2024 plus all of the day-to-day maintenance and overhaul.
The National Railway Museum has also released details of Flying Scotsman’s schedule for 2018.

Like last year, the world famous locomotive will be steaming up and down the country hauling different railtours.
Also, in March, the steam locomotive will feature as a display locomotive at the East Lancs Railway on the 10th and 11th, as well as a display locomotive when 60163 ‘Tornado’ visits the railway later on in March.
As a thank you for hosting the A3 in October 2017 when it required work on a wheelset, the Flying Scotsman will be visiting the Nene Valley Railway.
Mr. Ian Riley said: “I am very pleased that we have been appointed to maintain and operate Flying Scotsman for the next six years, which will enable us to develop a long-term plan for the care and management of this world-renowned engine.
“The success is down to the skills, experience and hard work of the whole team who have spent many hours working on the locomotive from restoration to the present day. Flying Scotsman is definitely a special engine and the chance to work with such a well-loved locomotive again is a real privilege.”

Jim Lowe, Head of Operations at the National Railway Museum, said “I would like to congratulate Riley & Son (E) Ltd for their success in winning the contract and I look forward to working with the team again in what is sure to be a very popular 2018 touring schedule. Flying Scotsman is a true symbol of engineering excellence and continues to inspire and amaze crowds of people wherever it goes. Flying Scotsman is a fantastic ambassador for the National Railway Museum and we aim to give as many people as possible the chance to see this legend of the steam age.”
East Lancashire Railway Chairman, Mike Kelly, said “We are very proud of our relationship with Flying Scotsman. From her debut visit to the ELR back in 1993 to being the first heritage railway to host her following her extensive £4.2million restoration in January 2016, to now where she will make a number of appearances on our line throughout the year, captivating thousands of more visitors as the world’s most famous engine. She has a very special place in our hearts and we can’t wait to welcome her back to the North West.”

2018 Schedule

10/11 March
Public display at East Lancashire Railway
0333 320 2830
30 March, 1/2 April (Easter weekend) 
Public display at East Lancashire Railway
0333 320 2830
19 April
Flying Scotsman to Scarborough trip
One-way trip to Scarborough from London’s King’s Cross station
01553 661 500
12/13 May
Trips on East Lancashire Railway
0333 320 2830
19–22 May (4-day trip)
The Cathedrals Express to Edinburgh
London Kings Cross – Edinburgh Waverley 
01483 209888
20 May
Forth Bridge Morning Tour from Edinburgh Waverley
Forth Bridge Afternoon Tour from Edinburgh Waverley
Forth Bridge Evening Tour from Edinburgh 
01483 209888
20 May
Edinburgh to Edinburgh via the Fife Circle 
01483 209888
31 May 
Chiltern Hills Lunchtime Tour from London 
01483 209888
31 May
Surrey Evening Flyer from London 
01483 209888
5 June
Chiltern Hills Lunchtime Tour from London 
01483 209888
5 June
Surrey Evening Flyer from London 
01483 209888
18–21 (4-day trip)
The Lakes Express
London Victoria – The Lake District
Flying Scotsman on the outward journey as far as Barrow Hill 
01483 209888
23 June
The Scarborough Flyer
Scarborough to Ealing Broadway (return diesel hauled)
01553 661 500
30 June
The Yorkshireman
Ealing Broadway to York (return diesel hauled)
01553 661 500
8 July
The Waverley
York to Carlisle (and return)
01553 661 500
4 August
The Cumbrian Mountain Express
Crewe to Carlisle (and return)
01553 661 500
24/25/26/27 August
Trips on East Lancashire Railway
0333 320 2830
5/6/7/8 September
Trips on East Lancashire Railway
0333 320 2830
9 September
Public Display at East Lancashire Railway
0333 320 2830

Please note that the National Railway Museum is not running these tours – all enquiries about tickets and bookings should be made to the relevant tour operator:
Steam Dreams – 01483 209 888 (9am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday).
Railway Touring Company – 01553 661 500 (8.30am to 5pm, Monday-Friday & Saturday 9am to 4pm).
East Lancashire Railway – 0333 320 2830