Sunday, 19 May 2019

Eurostar & Deutsche Bahn Trying to Resolve Ticketing Issue

Eurostar is working with Deutsche Bahn to resolve a ticketing system compatibility issue which will prevent the German national operator from selling through tickets between Germany and the UK.

The through-tickets allow passengers to take the train from London St Pancras to Brussels Midi, and change there to German high-speed trains, for less than the cost of so-called “summated fares” – adding together the component prices for each sector.

Prices start at under €60 (£51) one way for shorter trips, with tickets to Berlin, Munich and other more distant destinations for under €70 (£60). These are competitive with fares on British Airways, easyJet and Eurowings, the Lufthansa subsidiary.

Over quarter of a million people have travelled from London to
Amsterdam, the equivalent of more than 1,000 plane loads

Unlike some other connecting journeys, passengers travel on a single booking – making rescheduling straightforward in the event of disruption.

Last year Eurostar awarded Dutch software company Sqills a contract to provide its S3 Passenger sales, distribution and reservation suite by early 2020.

On May 6 DB said the deployment of the new Eurostar ticketing system meant that through tickets would no longer be available from 9th November 2019, but it was working with Eurostar to develop a solution.

Eurostar confirmed that it would unable to offer DB the ability to sell its through fares while it transferred to the new sales system. However, a spokesman said ‘we are committed to this product range and are working with DB to resolve this’.

In the interim, the operator pointed out that passengers would be able to combine tickets from Eurostar and DB sales channels.

Saturday, 18 May 2019

New Stagecoach open-top route for Hastings

The all new open top ‘route 66’ bus will be hitting the streets of Hastings on Saturday 25th May - for the first time ever!

The route will start at Harley Shute, serving Combe Haven Holiday Park, down to the The Bo-Peep Pub and along the seafront, as far as The Stade.

There’s plenty to do and see along the route! Here are a few ideas:
Take a look into the world of Serial Killers, Forensics, Gangsters, Prisoners and much more at the True Crime Museum.
Go back in time and visit Hastings Castle, built by William the Conqueror himself – it’s nearly 1,000 years old!
Listen to the "Smugglers Adventure" story, including interactive displays & life-size characters!
Ride the East Hill lift, the UK's steepest funicular railway.
Take a shot at Hastings Adventure Golf, it features no less than 3 separate 18 hole courses! So bring one, bring all, play one, play all!
Get creative with some contemporary British art at the Jerwood Gallery, soon to be Hastings Contemporary.
Get up close to countless species of marine life at Blue Reef Aquarium – from sharks and stingrays to seahorses and clownfish.

Hop on and off all day with an adult dayrider, it costs just £4.50 on the bus - it’s even cheaper at £4.20 if you buy it on our app. With an adult dayrider you can add a kid for a quid, bargain! You can add up to four kids for £1 each. Hastings and South East megarider tickets are valid on the route at all times and concession passes can be used within the usual times of validity.

Look out for the bus! It will be in a special colourful design featuring all the fun things you can do along the route.

And finally.......................

Not the first time Hastings has had a dedicated open-top bus service. Several decades ago in the last century (!), Maidstone & District operated just such using a couple of AEC Regal single-decks with Beadle bodywork.

June 1976 and fleet number 4003 (HKL 436) heads for the seafront ready for the first trip around the town. Originally SO26 in the National Bus Company subsidiary M&D fleet from 1947 as a closed top bus, it was converted during 1958 to open-top form.


Ten years on and 4003 had become 436 in the post NBC privatised Hastings & District fleet. Repainted with the green replaced by red on the livery, 436 made an appearance at the annual Southsea Spectacular bus rally and illustrated here as it headed a parade of vintage buses around the common area during June 1986.

Friday, 17 May 2019

Go North East Launches X-Lines

Go North East is launching a new standard of express buses on a reinvigorated X20 route from Monday 20 May, giving customers a fast and direct service between Durham and Sunderland under a new ‘X-lines’ brand, which is around 25% faster than the normal bus service.

X-lines buses are painted in a striking gold colour scheme to ensure they really stand out from your average traditional bus and feature the latest high quality standards for customers including comfortable high back leather seats, free onboard Wi-Fi, USB charging points, next-stop audio-visual announcements and even have complimentary newspapers on board. The buses are also environmentally friendly with low carbon emissions.

The X20 service will run up to every 30 minutes from Monday to Saturday, complementing sister service Prince Bishops 20 which runs up to every 12 minutes, serving Durham, Belmont, Carrville, Rainton Bridge, Houghton-le-Spring, East Herrington and Sunderland. Journey times are around 25% faster than traditional bus routes in the area due to the usage of bus lanes along Durham Road in Sunderland and heading into Durham, as well as running non-stop between Rainton Bridge and Carrville.

A weekly ticket is just £25 on the Go North East app and offers unlimited travel on the X-lines X20 service.

Martijn Gilbert, managing director of Go North East, said: “We’re delighted to launch the first of our new high standard X-lines buses on routes serving Sunderland and Durham. This is just the start of us reinvigorating, improving and investing in our network of fast and direct commuter bus links to key towns and cities across our region that are also great for shopping, leisure, onward transport connections and more.

“X-lines buses are gold in colour and really do set out to provide a gold standard of service, but at great value fares that make them a viable alternative to the hassle of driving and parking. The on board ambience and facilities provide a productive and connected working environment as much as a comfortable relaxing environment for leisure travellers alike. With X-lines buses there’s never been a better time to give the bus a try!”

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Latest London Bus contract awards and news of double deck hydrogen powered double deck vehicles.

The latest awards recently announced by Transport for London as follows:

C10 (Victoria & Canada Water bus station) LBSL contract re-awarded to Abellio London with new electric single-decks, currently with ADL E20D single-decks (Contract start date 21st March 2020)

P5 (Elephant & Castle & Nine Elms Patmore Estate) LBSL contract awarded to Abellio London with new electric single-decks. Currently operated by various types of diesel single-decks (2nd May 2020)

Metroline Travel will be operating hydrogen powered double deck vehicles supplied by Wrightbus out of one of their two Perivale Garages.
Twenty have been ordered by TfL. The technology from the Northern Ireland company provides a zero-emission drive system which encompasses a hydrogen fuel cell and a battery pack to power the vehicle. The combination of these two features makes the continuous daily operation of the public transport vehicle feasible

Although hydrogen-fuelled single-decker buses have been running in London and cities elsewhere for years, TfL said the new double-deckers would be a world first.
They will operate on route 7 (Russell Square & East Acton) and N7 (Russell Square & Northolt Station).
This route is currently operated with VWH-class Wrightbus Gemini 3 bodied Volvo B5LH; and 245 (Alperton & Golders Green) with Wrightbus Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B9TL.

 An unregistered hydrogen powered vehicle at Tower Transit's Lea Interchange garage

A hydrogen powered decker alongside one of two Van Hool A330FC 12.0m
 hydrogen single-decks

 Hydrogen powered single deck vehicles have been used on route RV1 for some years.
Here one of eight existing VDL SB200 with Wrightbus Pulsar 2 11.9m hydrogen
 single-decks currently on route RV1 (Covent Garden & Tower Gateway Station).

Want more information on the full London bus scene, then why not have a look at the London Omnibus Traction Society's website at
Better still why not join and gain the benefits of the regular monthly newsletter along with other useful publications.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Caledonian Sleeper Update

Caledonian Sleeper are phasing in their long awaited new Mk 5 sleeper trains following 
their inaugural revenue earning trip on Sunday 28th April 2019, on the Lowlander Sleeper route from London to Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Their introduction on to the Highlander route between London, Aberdeen, Inverness, and Fort William will follow in the coming weeks.

The new trains offer accommodation ranging from completely new comfort seats for the budget traveller to rooms with double beds and en-suites – for the first time in the history of Caledonian Sleeper.

Accommodation includes:
Completely new redesigned comfort seats with personal locker, reading light and charging point
Classic Rooms (solo or shared use with an option of interconnecting rooms, toiletries included)
Club Rooms (solo or shared use with en-suite, station lounge access, breakfast, luxury toiletries included)
Caledonian Double (double bed with en-suite, station lounge access, breakfast, luxury toiletries included)
Accessible Rooms (double or twin, toiletries included and directly adjacent to accessible toilet)

The fleet, partly funded by the UK Central Government alongside capital grants from Scottish Ministers, is designed to accommodate the ‘modern-day traveller’. Offering a large variety of accommodation; ranging from comfy seats for the budget traveller, to rooms with double beds and en-suites (a first for the Caledonian Sleeper).

Ryan Flaherty, Serco’s Managing Director for Caledonian Sleeper, said:

“Our new trains have been years in the making and to see them make their debut is a huge moment for everyone involved in making this dream a reality.

“The overriding ambition has been to deliver on our vision of a Caledonian Sleeper service fit for today’s traveller, one that combines the modern facilities people expect with that feeling of nostalgia that comes from long-distance railway travel. We want guests to have a magical journey with us, whether they are travelling for business or for pleasure.”

In addition to introducing its new fleet of carriages, Caledonian Sleeper has also launched a new marketing campaign which will inspire potential guests to 
'Dream Big'
Debuting across digital, social and outdoor advertising platforms, it is designed to encourage a new audience to discover Caledonian Sleeper and the world of possibilities it unlocks.

Also launched is a range of specially commissioned rail posters to commemorate the exciting transition to the new trains. "The series provides a visual celebration of the unique destinations we are honoured to deliver our guests to, of course adorned with our approaching new trains."

Caledonian Sleeper website here

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Arrriva and the East Midlands

Now Arriva sues government over East Midlands franchise


Rail giant Arriva is suing the government after it lost its bid to run the East Midlands railway franchise. The firm, owned by Germany's state-backed Deutsche Bahn, said it wanted more information on how the Department for Transport assessed the bids.

The move comes after rival Stagecoach, which was banned from rebidding, announced it was taking legal action. Stagecoach refused to accept the potential pension risks that the DfT required operators to bear. The full extent of the risks in relation to the three new franchises is unknown but estimated to be well in excess of £1 billion.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said it had "total confidence" in its franchise competition process.

The East Midlands line operates a network including routes north to south between Yorkshire and London, and east to west as far as Norwich and Liverpool.

The DfT said in April that Dutch government-owned firm Abellio would take over the running of the East Midlands railway franchise for eight years, starting in August. On Sunday, the DfT said it would "robustly defend decisions that were taken fairly following a thorough and impartial evaluation process".

But Arriva said it was "seeking to obtain more information relating to how the bids for the East Midlands franchise were assessed".

Abellio already operates five other rail franchises, including Scotrail and Greater Anglia services between Norwich and London.

Stagecoach, the current owner of the franchise was disqualified from re-bidding after the DfT raised concerns about its pension commitments. It was also barred from bidding for the South Eastern and West Coast Partnership franchises after the DfT said it "knowingly submitted non-compliant bids on all competitions".

Sir Richard, whose Virgin Trains is 49% owned by Stagecoach, said at the time that he was "devastated" by the disqualification.

Martin Griffiths, chief executive of Stagecoach, said on Wednesday that the company had "no option" but to pursue legal action to examine DfT's "opaque decision-making. We remain deeply concerned at [DfT's] procurement of the three most recent rail franchise competitions and the rationale behind its decisions. Despite our continued requests for full transparency around these matters, many fundamental questions remain unanswered."

Monday, 13 May 2019

Union Pacific 'Big Boy' Finally Restored & On The Move

A Union Pacific 'Big Boy' is finally moving under its own power following a lengthy restoration. The Big Boy locomotive was large when it was brand new in 1941–and still looks colossal next to modern trains. 
Coal-powered Big Boys weigh 600-tons and are so long that they are articulated so they can get around curves. They haven’t operated in service since 1959, and the remaining ones in existence were mothballed or museum’d. Today there are eight in existence, and now, there is one that can move under its own power.

Twenty-five Big Boys were built exclusively for Union Pacific by the American Locomotive Company (Alco) between 1941 and 1944, in two groups of ten and one of five. All burned coal, with large, 150-square-foot grates to burn the low-quality Wyoming coal from mines owned by the railroad. They were designed to pull long, heavy freight trains (maximum rated tonnage of 4,040 tons) at a sustained speed of 60 mph once past the Wasatch Range mountain grades on UP’s main line between Ogden, Utah, and Cheyenne. 
Peak horsepower was reached at about 35 mph; optimal tractive effort at about 10 mph. They produced 6,300 horsepower when new.

No. 844 was parked in a California rail museum in 1962, then driven back to Union Pacific’s workshops in Cheyenne, Wyoming, about six years ago to start the project.

In March, Union Pacific announced that Big Boy and another steam engine known as Living Legend 844 would be going out on tour this year.

Big Boy 4014 left Cheyenne, Wyoming on April 27  and will be on display at Ogden Union Station during May.

Of the eight still in existence, No. 4014 is the world’s only operating Big Boy locomotive. A christening ceremony will take place at the historic Cheyenne Depot and the engine will arrive in Ogden for the May 9 celebratory event at Ogden Union Station. The Big Boy also will make several whistle-stops in communities along its route.

You can keep tabs of No. 4014’s travels in real time via GPS trackingor see its schedule on Union Pacific’s site. If you suddenly find yourself interested in old trains or Big Boy 4014 in particular, you can dig into this restoration project even more on Union Pacific’s video playlist.

Union Pacific 4014 1st Test Run" on YouTube

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Latest London Bus contract awards

The latest awards recently announced by Transport for London as follows:

323 (Mile End Station & Canning Town Station) LBSL contract re-awarded to Stagecoach East London with new all-electric single-decks (contract start date 11th January 2020)

533 (Hammersmith Bus Station & Castelnau) New temporary route owing to closure of Hammersmith Bridge to all traffic, the long way round via Hogarth Roundabout and Chalkers Corner. LBSL contract awarded to Metroline using existing fleet 2009 Euro-V diesel single-decks upgraded to Euro-VI emissions standards, from Brentford (AH) Garage (18th May 2019)

640 (South Harrow Station & Harrow Weald, schooldays-only) LBSL contract awarded to Sullivan Buses using existing fleet 2011 Euro-V diesel double-decks upgraded to Euro-VI emissions standards. Currently operated by Metroline with diesel double-decks from Harrow Weald (HD) Garage (31st August 2019)

Want more information on the full London bus scene, then why not have a look at the London Omnibus Traction Society's website at
Better still why not join and gain the benefits of the regular monthly newsletter along with other useful publications

DATE FOR THE DIARY - 26th May 2019 - Morecambe

DATE FOR THE DIARY - Saturday & Sunday 25/26th May - Chasewater

Saturday, 11 May 2019

First Glasgow Low Emission Buses

First Glasgow has reached a milestone after investing over £30m in 150 new Alexander Dennis low emission buses in the last six months, with more investment to come. To support First’s journey to improve air quality, it has worked in partnership with the bus manufacturer to ensure the new buses are all fitted with latest Euro 6 engines and equipped with the manufacturer’s low emission SmartPack technology.

96 Enviro400 double deckers have been allocated to four busy urban routes, while ten eye-catching Enviro400 City double deckers are dedicated to the Glasgow Airport Express, which takes just 15 minutes to reach the city centre from Glasgow International Airport. The single deck fleet has also seen significant investment with 44 new Enviro200 buses.

Improving standards for its customers, all of First Glasgow’s new buses have comfortable high-backed seats, USB charging sockets and provision for audio-visual next stop announcements. Customers on the Glasgow Airport Express additionally benefit from extra glazing, mood lighting, table seating and wireless phone charging.

The new buses are fully compliant with Glasgow’s recently introduced Low Emission Zone and go beyond the mandated Euro 6 minimum by using the SmartPack efficient diesel technology developed by Alexander Dennis. This combines electric cooling fans, engine stop/start and auxiliary load management, which charges the alternator and compressor when the engine is in coast, to bring exhaust emissions down by over 15% against the Euro 6 baseline.

To advance safety, some of the new buses have been fitted with the SmartVision system which replaces traditional mirrors with high-definition digital cameras and displays mounted inside the cab for direct and clear visibility. With a wider angle covered and automatic adjustment of screen brightness as well as digital image correction to compensator for lighting, shadows and glare, SmartVision not only provides a safety benefit but also reduces the risk of mirror damage or injury to passengers or pedestrians.

Further investment is planned by First Glasgow as the operator intends to continue to improve the air quality benefits of its fleet, as well as increasing passenger comfort.

Andrew Jarvis, First Glasgow Managing Director, commented: “It is exciting times for everyone at First Glasgow in being able to share these vehicles with the people of Glasgow. We have a great working relationship with the Alexander Dennis team and with these new ultra-low-emissions vehicles, we are providing our customers with a vast improvement in standards and giving them an improved experience on their journeys around the city and Greater Glasgow.

“This investment marks the end of our second phase of new bus launches linked with the Glasgow Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) and takes us a long way toward compliance for phase 2. We are delighted to have delivered such a vast range of service improvements to our customers since October last year and these latest Glasgow Airport buses are the next level for our premium express airport service.

“There is much more to come as we look to continue our mission to improve air quality in the cities and towns in which we operate and planning is already underway for our next phase of investments.”

Colin Robertson, Alexander Dennis Chief Executive, commented: “As a Scotland-based company, we have been proud to work in partnership with First Glasgow with this fleet of 150 new Alexander Dennis Enviro buses. With their efficient SmartPack technology, they are already providing real air quality benefits for Scotland’s largest city, while ensuring highly comfortable journeys for customers.”

Friday, 10 May 2019

First Stadler Train Delivered to Glasgow Subway

THE first of Glasgow’s new Subway fleet - which will make history as the first in the UK to run with no staff on board - has arrived for testing.

In a major milestone for operator Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), the arrival of the new trains will start the beginning of a testing programme by manufacturer Stadler to ensure the trains are fully fit for purpose. It is only after this extensive testing by Stadler that it will be handed over to SPT to enter passenger service.

SPT’s new fleet will be driverless similar to those on the Docklands Light Railway in London, but, in a UK first, they will also have no other staff routinely present in the carriages either.

Expected to enter service from 2020, the 1 220 mm gauge four-car trainsets with walk-through gangways will replace the existing fleet of three-car sets. SPT envisages that operations will switch from the current ATO (GoA2) to UTO (GoA4) once the signalling and control systems have been fully tested.

SPT Chair, Councillor Dr Martin Bartos said: “This is a fantastic day for the Subway and for everyone involved in the delivery of the Subway modernisation programme. We are delighted to see the first new train in Glasgow. It’s a big day for the project team who have worked tirelessly to achieve this milestone for the organisation.”

The first of the new trains will now begin a lengthy, offline testing period while work continues to install the new communications and controls systems in stations and tunnels which is necessary for the trains to run in passenger service.

The new trains and communication and control systems are all part of the £288 million Subway modernisation programme which also includes a major refurbishment of the system’s 15 stations; a complete overhaul of the Victorian tunnel system; and replacement of the Subway’s main infrastructure including tracks and the ramps and turnouts section where the trains enter and exit the system.

Due to the dimensions of the Subway, the new train sets are the same length and size as the existing rolling stock. Inside passengers will now be able to walk the entire length of the train, and enjoy an open front view into the tunnels.

Two more new trains are due to be delivered by the end of the summer for the first phase of testing.

Work on the Subway Modernisation programme began in July 2011 with the refurbishment of Hillhead station.

To date, 11 stations out of 15 have now been refurbished, with another two (St George’s Cross and Cowcaddens) due to be finished by Summer 2019. Work on the last two stations (Kinning Park and West Street) will begin before the end of 2019.

As part of the modernisation programme, the Subway has also introduced Smartcard technology which is now being used by ScotRail and a number of bus operators across the West of Scotland transport network.

The Scottish Government has contributed £246million to the modernisation programme.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Stagecoach Takes Legal Action Against Department for Transport

Transport secretary Chris Grayling could be called to the stand to defend the government after Stagecoach formally launched legal action over its decision to disqualify it from three rail franchises.

After weeks of tension, Stagecoach formally launched legal action against the Department for Transport (DfT) over its decision to disqualify the firm from the East Midlands, the West Coast and South Eastern franchises last month.

The East Midlands franchise was instead awarded to Abellio after the DfT accused Stagecoach of submitting "non-complaint" bids in its refusal to share open-ended pension liabilities with the government. The liabilities are estimated to be well in excess of £1 billion.

As part of the proceedings, Grayling may be forced to give oral evidence in court to defend the decision.

Stagecoach Press Release

Stagecoach Group plc ("Stagecoach" or "the Company") confirms that its wholly owned subsidiary, Stagecoach East Midlands Trains Limited, has commenced legal action against the Department for Transport ("DfT").

A claim has been issued at the High Court in London under Part 7 of the Civil Procedure Rules (a "Part 7 claim"). The claim alleges that the Department for Transport breached its statutory duties under the relevant provisions of Regulation 1370/2007[1], in connection with the procurement of the new East Midlands rail franchise.

Stagecoach East Midlands Trains Limited was disqualified from the procurement of that franchise and the DfT announced on 10 April 2019 that it intended to award the franchise to Abellio after the expiry of a voluntary 10 working day standstill period. That standstill period has subsequently been extended but was due to end at midnight on 8th May.

The company have informed the DfT that they are also preparing a claim for judicial review of its decisions to disqualify Stagecoach from bidding for the East Midlandsrail franchise and to award the franchise to Abellio. Additionally, consideration is being given to legal action against the Department in respect of the ongoing competitions for the West Coast Partnership franchise and a new South Eastern franchise.

The Part 7 claim that has been issued and the further legal actions under preparation vary in certain respects but common to all is the refusal to accept the potential pension risks that the DfT requires operators to bear in relation to the three new franchises. The full extent of these risks is unknown but estimated to be well in excess of £1 billion. Further information on those pensions risks was provided in a regulatory announcement by Stagecoach on 2 May 2019.

Martin Griffiths, Stagecoach Group Chief Executive, said: "We remain deeply concerned at the Department for Transport's procurement of the three most recent rail franchise competitions and the rationale behind its decisions.

"Despite our continued requests for full transparency around these matters, many fundamental questions remain unanswered. As a result, regrettably we have had no option but to commence legal action against the DfT to ensure the serious issues involved and the DfT's opaque decision-making are subject to proper public scrutiny.

"In view of the legal action we have taken today we believe it would be untenable for the DfT to proceed to sign any contract for the East Midlands franchise without a full and proper review of the procurement of that franchise to help restore public confidence in the process."

Stagecoach took legal action in December 2012 when the West Coast franchise was wrongly awarded to Firstgroup . Irregularities in the franchise letting were proven and as a result the DfT backed down and re-awarded it to the current Virgin /Stagecoach partnership.  Is this history repeating itself?

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Southern Vectis open-top hire

From Go-Ahead Southern Vectis

Want to arrive in style for your special occasion, then why not hire 'the Old Girl'?

The Old Girl, as she is affectionately known, is available to transport you and / or your guests to and from their accommodation to the wedding venue and on to the reception venue.

Tailored to meet your individual requirements, our service will ensure that everyone is in the right place at the right time with a touch of class that modern vehicles simply cannot provide and all your guests can enjoy that extra glass of champagne! We'll even dress the bus with ribbons and bows for you.

The bus has 56 seats of which 30 are on the upper deck and 26 in the lower saloon.

To enquire and book The Old Girl, contact our friendly private hire team on 01983 827065 or

And finally........

The 'Old Girl' has had a few liveries over the last 30-years or so as illustrated below. 1976 on stand at Yaverland near Sandown Zoo, 1986 as it departed Ryde bus station in Viewfinder livery, 1990 at Yarmouth, 1993 on the private road up from Alum Bay to the National Trust Needles Battery, 1995 on stand at Yarmouth and 1999 on Southsea Common during the annual Spectacular event.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

£25m Waverley Upgrade Completed

Network Rail engineers have successfully completed a £25m, two-year-long upgrade at Edinburgh Waverley with the commissioning of a new crossover at the station.

The commissioning of the new track layout between platforms 10 and 11, marks the end of a project to upgrade track and signalling and lengthen platforms at Scotland’s second-busiest station.

 More Class 385 trains will be introduced as the new trains become
available and driver training is completed

Since work began in April 2017, platforms 5 and 6, to the east of the station, and 12, to the west, have been extended as Waverley prepared for LNER’s new Azuma trains and ScotRail’s new class-385s.

 91104 Rests at the recently extended Platform 5 having arrived from Kings Cross

Platform 12 was extended to 204m to accommodate eight-car trains for the Edinburgh-Glasgow, via Falkirk High, line and platforms 5 and 6 were extended to 275m for the new 10-car East Coast services.

The work not only enables these longer trains to run, the investment also increases the flexibility of the station and improves the reliability of the infrastructure.

The enhancements have been delivered as part of the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) and the Department for Transport-funded Intercity Express Programme (IEP).

The new infrastructure, and new rolling stock it enables, will help to transform travel on both routes increasing capacity and reducing journey times – by around 10 minutes between Edinburgh and Glasgow and by around 20 minutes between the two capitals.

Kevin McClelland, Network Rail’s route delivery director for infrastructure projects, said: “Edinburgh Waverley is at the heart of the capital and a vital part of our rail network – carrying passengers across the length of Scotland and south to London on the East Coast Main Line.

“The work we have delivered over the last two years will help to make sure the station can continue to play an important role in the economic and social life of the city.”

Monday, 6 May 2019

Eden Valley MLV / 4CEP 'Boat Train'

On 12th May 2019 a passenger service will be operated in Cumbria on the Eden Valley Railway by a MLV/4-CEP combination working entirely on the battery power. Third rail on the Folkestone Harbour branch line allowed the passenger coaches access to the station and then MLVs ran under their power onto the quayside to allow luggage to be unloaded directly onto the ship.

A normal hourly service from 1100 hours until 1600 hours will be run over the whole of the currently operational line (approx 2.2 miles). 
Normal fares will apply on this day. 

More about the MLV/4-CEP combination at Warcop, Cumbria here


Sunday, 5 May 2019

ADL and Allison Transmission Partnership on Electric Buses

Alexander Dennis and Allison Transmission have announced a collaboration aimed at bolstering the electrification of service buses. Allison Transmission, a global leader in commercial-duty propulsion solutions, and Alexander Dennis, one of the world’s leading bus and coach builders, are working together to develop efficient, powerful electric buses.

 Foothill Transit have ordered Alexander Dennis’ interurban and commuter
Enviro500 3-axle double decker buses in North America. 

A first step in this strategic alliance is Allison’s new ABE Series electric powertrain systems for low-floor bus applications, which will premiere with the Foothill Transit launch order for Alexander Dennis’ interurban and commuter Enviro500 3-axle double decker buses in North America. The buses, which have the same footprint as a conventional single-decker bus, can carry up to 86 seated passengers, and provide superior handling and a quiet and smooth zero-emission ride.

“Allison has a long history with the bus and transit market utilizing our electric hybrid system. This is the next evolution of electrification in this market, and we are pleased to meet the needs and expectations of our customers,” said David S. Graziosi, Allison Transmission, President and CEO.

“We are delighted to collaborate with Allison on our first electric double decker order in North America for Foothill Transit,” said Robert Davey, President, Alexander Dennis. “As the world’s largest double decker bus manufacturer, we see an increasing demand for electric buses, which combines the same high-passenger capacity and outstanding comfort that our vehicles are renowned for, with zero-emission technology. Partnering with Allison, and leveraging their technology expertise, is helping us achieve this goal.”

Allison Transmission is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA and employs approximately 2,900 people worldwide. With a market presence in more than 80 countries, Allison has regional headquarters in the Netherlands, China and Brazil with manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Hungary and India. Allison also has approximately 1,400 independent distributor and dealer locations worldwide.

Alexander Dennis is the world's largest double decker manufacturer. ADL’s North American division dates back to 2005 when ADI was formed. ADL has a history and heritage of design, engineering and manufacturing excellence that spans more than a century with offices in UK, Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, Mexico, USA and Canada. For more information, visit