Tuesday 30 April 2013

Stagecoach Trading Update


Stagecoach Group plc ("the Group") is today publishing a trading update in advance of a series of meetings with analysts.

Financial performance

The overall profitability of the Group has remained good and there is no change to our expected adjusted earnings per share for the year ending 30 April 2013.

Like-for-like revenue growth for the financial year to date in each of the Group's main businesses is provided below.

UK Bus (regional operations) - forty eight weeks ended 31 March 2013                  3.6%

UK Bus (London)                    - forty eight weeks ended 31 March 2013                   1.2%

UK Rail                                    - forty eight weeks ended 31 March 2013                   5.4%

North America                         - eleven months ended 31 March 2013                      9.7%
(including Megabus.com, excluding disposed Wisconsin school bus business)

Virgin Rail Group                     - forty eight weeks ended 31 March 2013                   3.1%


Overall current trading remains good and the prospects for the Group remain positive.

The Group intends to announce its preliminary results for the year to 30 April 2013 on Wednesday 26 June 2013

Monday 29 April 2013

Festival of the North East

Steven Hodgson has sent us a couple of photographs of Go North East NK06 JXC promoting the "Festival of the North East" (June 2013)

More details of the Festival

        Click Here

Sunday 28 April 2013

Penzance Vintage Bus Running Day

Penzance lineup

Now in its sixth year, the Penzance Vintage Bus Running Day is the UK’s most southerly bus event, providing the opportunity to ride on preserved buses and coaches to surrounding towns and villages, such as St.Ives, St.Just, Camborne, Mousehole and Lands End, on a variety of historical routes.  Buses in use ranged from a 1945 Bristol K to more modern Dennis Darts and Leyland Olympians, and many were typical of those used by Western National in Cornwall in days gone by.  Also participating was a Bedford OB and a rare Bedford C4, both still in use with King Harry Coaches of Falmouth.

Our thanks to Phil for contributing these photographs, more of which can be found on Focus Flickr. 

Saturday 27 April 2013

Stagecoach drives increased bus use through

‘Catch the Bus Week’

April 2013 by Natalie Harrison
ADL Enviro 400 Hybrid's on routes 120 & 52 pass Sheffields "cheese grater"
Stagecoach Yorkshire is joining forces with sustainable transport group Greener Journeys to promote the benefits of bus use through the UK’s first ever ‘Catch the Bus Week’.

The initiative, which will run for a week from 29 April, will see Stagecoach Yorkshire working to encourage local people to ditch their cars in favour of taking the bus.

Throughout the week, Stagecoach – which offers the best value bus fares and has the highest customer satisfaction of any major UK Bus operator – will highlight the environmental and financial benefits of using the bus more often.

Stagecoach Yorkshire will be carrying out a programme of promotional activities across the area to encourage people to give the bus a try. These will include:

-       Ticket giveaways in Chesterfield town centre on Tuesday 30th April to encourage people to try using the bus.

-       Ticket giveaways in Sheffield city centre on Wednesday 1st May 2013 to encourage people to try using the bus/ flash mobs/ entertainment on buses.

-       Promotional activities in Barnsley town centre on Friday 3rd May to encourage people to give the bus a try

Paul Lynch, Managing Director of Stagecoach Yorkshire said, “There are obvious environmental benefits of taking the bus instead of driving – but bus travel can also save people money and reduce the stress of driving and parking in busy towns and cities.

“We offer the best value bus fares in Britain and have invested almost £450million over the past six years in new, state-of-the-art buses for our customers. More and more of our buses and coaches now also have Wi-Fi and we are introducing smarter ticketing across the UK to make it even easier for passengers to use our greener, smarter services.”

Claire Haigh, Chief Executive of Greener Journeys said, “Since 2010 Greener Journeys has been striving to take one billion car journeys off the road and Catch the Bus Week will help us reach this aim. Buses play a crucial role in our society from getting children to school, carrying people to work, the shops or to their local park or swimming pool day in day out. Buses support the economy.

“Buses also help reduce congestion on the roads, promote social inclusion by providing a vital link to those without other means and reduce all our carbon footprints and travel’s effect on the environment.

“This campaign will be a springboard for greater public attention of the buses many benefits and I hope will encourage both car drivers and infrequent bus users to give the bus a try. I am delighted to be launching such an important campaign.”

Natalie Harrison
Account Manager

For more click Here 

Friday 26 April 2013

How Beeching is Being Reversed

In an interesting article  in the Telegraph by David Millward various points are raised with regards to the growth of rail passenger numbers and how lines have been re-opened since they were closed during the Beeching era.

It is revealed that the total number of miles travelled by all rail passengers - grew by 91pc between 1996 and 2012. But the rail fleet increased by only 12pc over the same period.
The conclusions of the “Long Term Rolling Stock Strategy for the Rail Industry” - published to little fanfare last month - are startling and present the current Government with challenges radically different from those faced by the Conservative administration in its death throes during the early 1960s.
Written by Network Rail, the Association of Train Operators and major rolling stock companies, it sets out the industry’s forecast for the next 30 years and gets over one very simple message - the rail industry has failed to keep up with the surge in demand for train travel.

Some cities have seen an astonishing growth. Coventry, for example, has seen journeys increase by 30 per cent in just five years, while Plymouth has reported a 38 per cent rise in traffic over the same period
The industry now accepts this is not tenable and substantial investment is needed to produce a network which is fit for purpose. This means more lines whether it be the 351-mile high speed rail network, the resurrection of those cut by Beeching or completely new schemes like Crossrail.
Already three lines which disappeared when Dr Beeching swung his axe have re-opened. Trains are once more running on the Chase Line between Birmingham and Walsall, on the Robin Hood Line linking Nottingham, Mansfield and Worksop as well as the Ebbw Valley Line from Ebbw Vale to Cardiff.
Plans are in place for the re-opening of the Varsity Line between Oxford and Cambridge, with the first phase from Oxford to Milton Keynes and Bedford already agreed, while work is already under way on the Waverley route from Edinburgh to Galashiels.
Stations which were left to grow tumbleweed have been restored. Chandlers Ford in Hampshire, which shut in 1969, reopened 10 years ago and now used by 100,000 passengers a year.
Demand is growing for the resurrection of a raft of other lines including one running from Uckfield to Lewes line in East Sussex.

So was Beeching wrong? Richard Brown, who chaired the group which drew up the rolling stock report, believes that in hindsight he was.
“It was a different era then. “ he says.“Railways were the transport of the past rather than the future. Rebirth is rather a nice word now. Railways are seen as part of the solution, in the Beeching era they were part of the problem.

 Read the full article here

Link from Colin Sellers

Thursday 25 April 2013

Meteor Move

 A historic jet aircraft has "flown" above Gloucestershire - carried by a helicopter.
The Gloster Meteor T7 - Britain's first operational jet plane, developed in 1940 - was lifted out of Imjin Barracks, Innsworth, by an RAF Chinook.
It was flown 1.5 miles (2.4km) above the rooftops of Churchdown to a new home at Gloucestershire Airport.
This particular model was used as a "gate guardian" by the RAF, which was stationed in Innsworth until 2008.

In 2010, the base was renamed Imjin Barracks and it became the home of Nato's Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC).
The Meteor T7 was bought by members of the Jet Age Museum - based at Gloucestershire Airport - which is due to open in August.
Martin Clarke, trustee from the museum, said: "I met my wife when she was building this (the aircraft). We were married for seven years but when she died and when the aircraft came up for sale I just had to buy it as a tribute to my wife and all of those in the Cotswold Restoration Aircraft Group.
"Flying again for the very last time... when it comes here it won't have any wings on it but it will be the only aircraft in the museum to have flown in."
Major Chris Hyde, from the ARRC, said: "I can't think of anything more fitting than for Imjin's Meteor aircraft to fly to its final destination.

"The Meteor aircraft represents a very important link to Gloucestershire's military and industrial heritage.
"It embodies a period of rapid technological progress in the region that is still represented in the area today."
Imjin's Meteor T7 was built in 1949 at nearby Hucclecote and flew some 2,000 hours until 1968.
Nine years later it was removed from service and then transported to RAF Innsworth in 1981 where it was restored and unveiled as the base's gate guardian in 1994.


Wednesday 24 April 2013

Stagecoach Relaunches 'Spirit of London' bus

Stagecoach relaunches 'Spirit of London' bus following arson attack

·        Symbolic bus re-introduced to Stagecoach London fleet
·        Vehicle back in service following £60,000 refurbishment
·        Bus to return to operation on Route 55 through East London 

Stagecoach London has relaunched the ‘Spirit of London’ bus that was damaged in an arson attack last year.

The newly refurbished vehicle has undergone significant repair work at a cost of around £60,000 to return it to operation following the attack.
The bus was originally launched in October 2005 to replace the double deck bus destroyed in the London 7/7 bombings. 
The vehicle was damaged by two arsonists in October 2012, resulting in substantial damage to the upper deck.
Despite the damage, Stagecoach took the decision to repair the bus rather than replace it, due to the symbolic importance of the vehicle.
The re-launch, which took place at the London Bus Museum, Weybridge on Sunday (21 April), was attended by Stagecoach London Managing Director, Mark Threapleton, Transport for London Managing Director of Surface Transport, Leon Daniels and George Psaradakis, the driver of the original bus on July 7th 2005.
Mark Threapleton said, “The upper deck of the bus was almost completely burnt so it has taken a lot of work to get it back into service. However, there was never any question of us retiring the bus - we have always been committed to refurbishing it to ensure it remains a fitting tribute to the 13 people who lost their lives when the original bus was destroyed in 2005.”
Leon Daniels said, “It’s good news for London that this bus will be back on the road after refurbishment. The decision to introduce a vehicle to replace the one destroyed in 2005 was an important one which meant a lot to the victims’ families and to the people of London. We are very pleased that it will be back in service carrying passengers again soon.”
George Psaradakis said, “I would like to thank Mark Threapleton very much for giving me the opportunity to take part in the re-launching of the Spirit of London. When I was told what had happened to the Spirit of London I was truly sad but, looking at the vehicle after its restoration, all the sadness I felt then has now been offset with happiness. My congratulations go to Stagecoach for the restoration of the bus, I am very proud to be working for them.”
The bus will operate on route 55 in East London and will be based at Leyton garage.
The bus was first named ‘Spirit of London’ by former London Mayor Ken Livingstone in October 2005.
London’s bus network is one of the largest and most comprehensive urban transport systems in the world.  Every week day 8,500 buses carry 6.4 million passengers on 700 different routes across the capital and account for around half of all bus journeys in England.
Stagecoach operates 1004 buses during peak times on a number of routes across East and South East London.

More information here

Tuesday 23 April 2013

More Green Line 757

Tony Wilson and Martin Arrand have sent more pictures of Green Line vehicles.

 LRC9 one of 5 supplied during 1985 for the 757 service. Eastern Coachworks were the body builders, this time on long wheel-based Leyland Olympians. This one is shown London-bound on the M1 near to Junction 4 at Edgware. Historical shot as it was taken before HGVs and PCVs were banned from the third lane of motorways.

 TL3 one of 42 supplied during 1982 to London Country Bus Services for various Green Line routes including the 757. These were Eastern Coachworks bodied Leyland Tigers. This one seen at speed along the Hendon Way near Brent Cross in North West London, prior to heading onto the M1 Motorway then non-stop to Luton.

 Back to modern times and seen above and below are shots of  current Van Hool vehicles taken in London

Monday 22 April 2013

End of the Road for Green Line 757

After 32 years Green Line 757, operated from London Victoria to Luton Airport by Arriva the Shires, will cease serving Luton Airport from 1st May as the Airport Authority has awarded a new concession to operate into the airport to National Express.  It is likely that Arriva will continue to operate between London and Luton Town but inevitably would be at a much reduced frequency. It remains to be seen how NatEx will manage this change.
The current service is operated with sixteen Van Hool Acron tri-axle coaches.

Although this news was known in March it slipped down the editorial list somewhat. However Tony Wilson has sent the following pictures of a 757 vehicle which are too good to miss and we apologise for the late posting. DG

Since posting earlier this morning Tony has sent more pictures of vehicles that have operated on the Luton Airport service, see below. 
 Arriva 4069 Marble Arch July 07
 Arriva 4363 Hyde Park Corner July 07
 Arriva 4364 Marble Arch July 07


Sunday 21 April 2013

Production NBfL Vehicles Leave Wrights Factory

 Newly completed LTs 9,10 and 11 leaving the factory for the docks.

First new bus for London ‘production vehicles’ leave the factory

  • Route 24 to operate exclusively with new buses from 22 June

  • Latest emission tests show buses are greenest of type in the world

  • UK bus manufacture creates jobs and boosts the economy 

A production line set up to manufacture a fleet of the Mayor’s new buses for London has despatched its first completed buses to the capital.  The first two buses have left the Wrightbus factory in Northern Ireland, these will be followed by another four next week and a further 594 over the next three years. When they arrive in London the buses will initially be used for driver training and familiarisation.

The route 24, which Metroline operates between Pimlico and Hampstead Heath, will become the first bus route to operate exclusively with new bus for London vehicles from Saturday 22 June.   

Transport for London (TfL) has also confirmed today that independent emission testing of a prototype vehicle has shown that this is the cleanest and greenest bus of its type anywhere in the world. 

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “I am delighted that our first gleaming new buses have driven off the production line, through the gates of Wrightbus and are now London-bound.  These fabulous machines meld the very best in design, engineering and green engine technology. I believe they will be hugely popular with passengers and they will be joined by hundreds more of their brethren in the coming years.”

Previous emission testing involved an Engineering Test Vehicle.  The latest results are from a vehicle that has been in passenger service for eight months and that has driven more than 15,000 miles.  In tests the bus emitted:

  • 2.048g/km of NOx – this is around four times less than the fleet average for hybrid buses (7.7g/km) and diesel buses (9.3g/km).
  • 690.23g/km of CO2 – which is better than the fleet average for hybrid (864g/km) and is almost half the fleet average for diesel buses (1295g/km).
  • 0.012g/km of PM – which is four times less than the fleet average for hybrid and diesel buses – which emit 0.048g/km of PM.    

Financial approval to order 600 new bus for London vehicles was given by the TfL Board in September last year.  The buses will be delivered in batches over the next three years.  The order represents the largest order of hybrid buses ever placed in Europe and will deliver significant environmental benefits – reducing CO2 emissions in the capital by capital by almost 20,000 tonnes a year.

Many components of the new bus, including engines, chassis, superstructure and seats, are manufactured in the UK.  The order of components from companies across the UK will also further stimulate the economy.

  • The route 24 is operated by Metroline and runs from Hampstead Heath to Pimlico, via Camden, Trafalgar Square, Parliament Square, and Victoria. It operates 24 hours a day. During peak hours, 27 of the new buses will be in passenger service to carry the 28,000 people who use the route each day. 

  • The 600 buses represent a 200 per cent increase in the current hybrid bus fleet which is set to grow by a further 180 vehicles already on order and boosted by a commitment to deliver 600 conventional hybrids over the next three years.  When the final batch of new bus for London vehicles is delivered in 2016 more than 1,600 hybrid buses (representing around 20 per cent of London’s 8,500 strong bus fleet) will be in service on the streets of London. 

  • The first 27 buses (plus 5 spares) will be used to convert the route 24 on Saturday 22 June. Another route will be converted in the autumn.  In total around 90 new buses will be delivered to TfL in 2013. Approximately 200 vehicles will be delivered in 2014, 250 in 2015 with the remainder in 2016. 

  • Metroline is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore based ComfortDelGro; one of the world's largest passenger land transport companies. Metroline’s principal business is the provision of bus services under contract to London Buses, operating through an area that extends from North to West London, including Central London and the City.


Details from TfL PressRelease

Saturday 20 April 2013

Switchover at Birmingham New Street

Birmingham New Street station is changing. From 28 April 2013, as part of the Network Rail project to rebuild the station, entrances and exits used previously will be closed and the first half of the new station will open.
It will have all the facilities expected, with better access to the platforms.
Passengers travelling to or from Birmingham New Street, or changing trains there, are being asked to familiarise themselves with the new station layout before travelling, particularly the locations of the new entrances.


Friday 19 April 2013

New Van Hool 'megabusgold.com' Vehicles Launched

Stagecoach has announced it is to launch a major network of overnight sleepercoach services from Scotland to London this summer using a £5m fleet of specially-designed Van Hool vehicles. More pictures of the new vehicles can be found here

The fleet of 10 new coaches, equipped with a clever interior layout that allows the leather seats to be converted into lie-flat beds, will operate overnight seven days a week.
Sleepercoach services will link London with Aberdeen, Aviemore, Cumbernauld Dundee, Dunfermline Edinburgh, Falkirk, Ferrytoll park and ride in Fife, Glasgow Inverness and Perth.
The services will provide more than 1,700 lie-flat beds between Scotland and London every single week.
The state-of-the-art double-deck coaches boast luxury leather seats with tables, power sockets, free Wi-Fi and a toilet. The specially designed vehicles have 53 seats that convert into 42 beds.
Customers will receive complimentary refreshments during their journey as well as a sleeper kit which includes an eye mask, a toothbrush and toothpaste. In addition, as a pilot, passengers will also be given a choice of a blanket or a onesie to sleep in during their journey.
Prices on the new services will range from £15 to £60. Journey times are comparable to existing sleeper train services, with customers able to make the trip from both Edinburgh and Glasgow to London in less than eight hours.
The launch of the new sleepercoach network follows the huge success of a pilot route between Glasgow and London using refurbished vehicles fitted with bunk beds.

 Sir Brian in a onesie, who would have thought it!
Stagecoach Group Chief Executive Sir Brian Souter, who unveiled the first of the new coaches at The O2 in London, said: “It used to be just popstars that had beds on board their tour buses – now everyone can benefit from a comfortable, great value overnight journey. You can go to sleep in one city and wake up in another ready to start the day without having to pay extra for an expensive hotel room.”
Specially designed and manufactured by Van Hool in Belgium, the sleepercoaches will operate under a new megabusgold.com brand. The first of the new coaches will replace existing vehicles on the current overnight route between Glasgow and London. All routes on the sleepercoach network are expected to be launched during the summer and will be operated through the Scottish Citylink joint venture between Stagecoach and international transport group ComfortDelGro.
The vehicles will also be used to operate on the existing Scottish Citylink Gold network through the day between Glasgow and Aberdeen and Inverness. Details here
In 2003, Stagecoach launched the budget service megabus.com, revolutionising coach travel by offering fares from just £1* via a simple online booking system. Around five million passengers now use megabus.com in the UK every year to travel to more than 60 locations across the country.
Stagecoach expanded the megabus.com brand to North America in 2006. It now serves more than 100 locations in the United States and Canada, and has welcomed around 25 million passengers. 



Thanks to Martin Arrand for this information

Thursday 18 April 2013

Go North East Promotes m-ticket

Go North East are promoting their m-ticket via advertising on buses and their website. The tickets are bought via a mobile phone at a discounted rate compared to buying from the driver. The phone ticket is shown to the driver when boarding.


Wednesday 17 April 2013

Companies Shortlisted for New DLR Franchise

Transport for London (TfL) today announced the names of the companies shortlisted to bid for its new Docklands Light Railway (DLR) franchise.
The bidders are:
  • Stagecoach Rail Projects Ltd
  • A joint venture between Keolis (UK) Ltd and Amey Rail Ltd
  • A joint venture between Go Ahead PLC and Colas Rail Ltd
  • Serco Ltd
DLR Acting Director Rory O'Neill said: 'We are pleased to further consider the bids from these companies which have passed the first stage of the rigorous process in issuing a new franchise.
'The DLR is already a highly successful railway but we are not complacent and wish to ensure that the service offered to Londoners continues to improve.'
This shortlist is as a result of the pre qualification process undertaken following the publication of a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union.
TfL will now be issuing an Invitation to Tender to these companies within the next few weeks.
Under the new franchise, TfL wants to ensure that:
  • Service reliability continues to improve
  • Trains, stations and track are maintained to support service reliability and are used  efficiently long term
  • Capacity on the railway continues to grow to support development in the Docklands area and along the railway's routes
  • Customer satisfaction continues to increase
  • The environmental impact of the railway is reduced
  • Safety performance continues to improve 
  • A good, value-for-money service is delivered for passengers and tax-payers.
The new franchise is due to commence on 14 September 2014.


Work Starts on Leicester Bus Lane

Work is set to start on a controversial scheme to reduce congestion along a busy route into Leicester. The £5m project along the A426 between Blaby and Leicester promises to improve bus reliability, ease traffic and improve safety for cyclists.
When the plans were first announced more than 1,400 Glen Parva residents signed a petition and 100 people protested against the scheme.
The main work starts this week and is expected to last six months.
The Bus Corridor Project is being funded by the Department for Transport, Leicester City and Leicestershire County Councils and Arriva.
The proposals include new 24 hour bus lanes, cycle lanes and improvements to junctions, crossing points and bus stops.

 Click on the link above to see a full size image

Tuesday 16 April 2013

Go North East Tests StreetLite

Go North East have received a Wright StreetLite demonstrator for assessment on their local routes. It is rumoured that it will initially be tried on Citylink route 58 Cross Tyne route, but so far no pictures are available of it in service. The vehicle is of the Door Forward (DF) configuration and has been designated a fleet number of 9132 whilst in service with Go North East.

Thanks to Steven Hodgson for the pictures

Monday 15 April 2013

Ffestiniog Celebrations

The Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway's oldest working steam locomotive celebrates its 150th birthday this year. To mark the event, Prince – built in London in 1863 – is returning to the city for the first time to give cab rides at London Transport Museum's Acton Depot open day this weekend.
 Princess has been on display at London's Paddington Station.

Prince has just been completely restored in gleaming red livery identical to that of its sister locomotive, Princess which has just returned to North Wales after five weeks on display at London's Paddington Station.

Visitors will be able to ride on Prince on Saturday and Sunday, while on Friday there's a chance to meet the restoration team from the Ffestiniog Railway and learn how they transformed the ruined shell of 

Metropolitan Jubilee Carriage 353 to its Victorian splendour for the Underground 150 celebrations.
Metropolitan Jubilee Carriage 353 was originally built in 1898 and is one of the oldest working underground carriages. The gleaming carriage, finished with gold leaf and carrying no fewer than ten coats of varnish, bears little resemblance to the sorry-looking hulk that was used as a garden shed, and subsequently restored by experts at the Ffestiniog Railway in Wales. 

Two courses will be run, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, aimed at helping people to discover the history of the vehicle, how and why the restoration took place, and then have a go themselves, with expert guidance from Glenn Williams and the Ffestiniog team. The courses includes a Carriage 353 restoration project talk and tour with Tim Shields, Project 353 Curator and traditional joinery and hand painting numbers workshops with Ffestiniog Railway craftsmen.

Sunday 14 April 2013

Lothian Launch Volvo B5LH Hybrids

A public launch event was held by Lothian Transport at Castle Street, Edinburgh on Saturday 13 April to show the new Volvo B5LH hybrid buses, which will enter service on service 1 from Monday 15 April which runs between Clermiston and Easter Road, Edinburgh.
According to the Lothian website "they have a host of eco friendly features which will save hundreds of tonnes of CO2 emissions and have a carbon footprint around 40% lower than a regular diesel bus"

They have a number of other features including:
  • Free onboard Wi-Fi
  • Alloy wheels: Reducing weight and reducing fuel consumption.
  • Stop-start feature: at many bus stops and traffic lights the engine will switch off and the bus will drive away purely on battery power.
  • Audio-visual stop announcements.
More info  here

Route 1 map

 Thanks to Stephen Hodgson for information and pictures.


Saturday 13 April 2013

Nottingham Optare Order

Nottingham City Council have placed an order with Optare for 20 electric vehicles. The order will result in the city taking a lead in the introduction of this advanced technology into its public transport network with what is thought will be the largest free-running EV bus fleet in Europe.
Nottingham City Council already has eight Optare Solo EV models in daily use delivering a quieter, smoother and emissions-free travelling experience for passengers on its high frequency CentreLink and MediLink city centre services. They have proved highly popular with users and are contributing to the City’s ambitious target of achieving a reduction of 26% in carbon emissions by 2020 when compared with the levels in 2005.

Councillor Jane Urquhart, portfolio holder for Planning and Transportation at Nottingham City Council, said: “This is a welcome addition to our fleet of buses. We have award winning public transport in Nottingham and a strong commitment to the environment. These buses will help us to continue leading the way in efficient, greener transportation.”

Photos © Dennis Basford
Nottingham City Transport was named 2012 Bus Operator of the Year
NCT are already users of Optare vehicles in both EV and diesel configurations.
They also recently announced orders here for 40 Scania chassis (N230UD 4x2), to be fitted with ADL E400 full-height double-deck bodywork.

Friday 12 April 2013

Freight Line to be Used as Diversion

A freight line could be opened to passenger trains in a bid to prevent Hull from being cut off from other parts of the rail network.
The only two routes between Hull and Doncaster will be closed at the same time for more than a month.
A landslip at Stainforth, South Yorkshire, forced the closure of the railway line until September.
The other line via Selby, North Yorkshire, is to close at the end of July for work on a swing bridge.
A collapsed spoil heap at Hatfield Colliery, at Stainforth, pushed the track upwards forcing the line to shut.
Essential maintenance work to Selby's swing bridge had been planned two years ago, Network Rail said.
The disruption means passengers would not be able to travel to Doncaster or further south via either of these routes.
But Network Rail said it would be "using diversionary routes and putting trains along the lines that they don't normally run on" including a freight line between Knottingley, West Yorkshire, and Doncaster via Goole.
Phil Verster, route managing director at Network Rail, said: "We work very closely with our freight operators and train operators and we're putting a timetable and a plan together to run services during the period that we're recovering Hatfield.
"We are maintaining train services to Hull at the same time that the swing bridge is getting refurbished.
"If it turns out that we can't come up with a workable plan, we will consider deferring the Selby works."
Mr Verster said the diverted rail route would add an extra journey time of 20 minutes or more.
The landslip at Stainforth is affecting First TransPennine Express rail services between Doncaster, Scunthorpe and Cleethorpes and Northern Rail services between Doncaster, Goole and Hull.
About 150 replacement buses a day have replaced those services and an amended timetable will run until the track is repaired.