Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Demand Responsive Bus Service for Ealing

Ealing borough is the next London area to receive an on demand bus service to transport residents across the borough.

Transport for London has announced a year-long trial of an on-demand bus service for the area. Passengers use an app to request a seat, and the roving minibus will come pick them up. In TfL's own words:

This is a trial service that does not have a fixed route or schedule, but ‘responds’ to the request to be picked up by the customer. It can be booked at the desired time of travel [6am-1am], primarily through an app, and provide real time updates to customers of vehicle arrival time and guarantees a seat for confirmed bookings.

The trial is the second in London, following the launch of a similar scheme in Sutton in May. 

As with Sutton, Ealing is an area whose population is particularly reliant on cars. It's hoped that the bookable bus will help cut down the number of car journeys in the area.

The fleet of 10 minibuses will be operated by RATP, with MOIA as the technology provider. 
The service will run with a fleet of new TGE MAN L4H3 ten-seater mini-buses. 

The mini-buses will be Euro VI compliant bringing them in line with the Ultra Low Emission Zone vehicle standards, and will be fully wheelchair accessible.

Map showing area to be served here

Journeys on the service will be charged at a flat fare of £3.50 (via app, not Oyster), though Freedom passes and concessions are accepted.

Before the trial begins, TfL wants comments and suggestions from the public. Local people who have thoughts on the matter can have their say on the consultation page.
We look forward to seeing the first results from the Sutton trial, which TfL tells us are expected in late August. Find full details on the Ealing consultation and trial here, and the Sutton trial here.

Monday, 22 July 2019

French Hydrogen Bus

French officials have attended the inauguration of Houdain’s first hydrogen station and presented its first hydrogen bus.  
The hydrogen station is located in the Houdain storage and maintenance centre. It was designed by GNVert, a subsidiary of Engie.

The bus which was built by Safra Businova will be the first of six hydrogen fuel cell buses and the buses will have their own on site service workshop.
The fuel cell engine for the bus was supplied by Symbio, now a subsidiary of Michelin. The hydrogen bus can be refilled in about 30 minutes and is able to travel 300 km before needing refueling.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Caetano Electric Buses Ordered by Abellio

Abellio has confirmed an order for 34 Caetano zero emission, electric buses to strengthen its fleet in London. The new buses will enter service from March 2020. This will be the first Caetano electric bus for the UK, reinforcing the already strong presence of the brand in this market.

Abellio has ordered the Caetano e.City Gold in 10.7m form that offers a capacity for 60 passengers with complete low floor throughout. It is a 100% electric urban bus that includes zero emission heating and has been developed by CaetanoBus to fully comply with TfL’s latest specification.

In addition, the new buses will include a number of features from the new TfL Bus Safety Standard such as a Camera Monitoring Systems to replace traditional wing mirrors, Intelligent Speed Assist, Acoustic Vehicle Alert System and a revised front design to improve pedestrian/vulnerable road user safety. The bus is part of a wider family of zero emission urban mobility vehicles developed by CaetanoBus, many of which have already been delivered to several Portuguese cities.

The vehicles will operate on two contracts, routes C10 and P5, which Abellio will run on behalf of Transport for London.

The Managing Director of Abellio London said “We are delighted to be working with Caetano on this exciting project to bring their e.City Gold vehicle to the London market. The bus will deliver a step change in safety, driver and passenger comfort, whilst allowing Abellio to introduce zero emission electric vehicles to the fleet as we work with TfL to improve air quality in London”

Claire Mann, TfL’s Director of Bus Operations, said: “Red buses are an iconic and vital piece of London, and they’re increasingly going green. We’re delighted that Caetano has taken advantage of our Bus Safety Standard by incorporating advanced safety features to these new zero-emission vehicles before they are required, and we welcome them back to London’s streets.”

Jorge Pinto, CEO of CaetanoBus said “This delivery of our e.City Gold to London is a big step towards our commitment to provide a safer and cleaner transport solution to our Customers. We are very proud to have been selected by Abellio and to extend our zero-emission product portfolio for UK market.”

The United Kingdom is a key strategic market for CaetanoBus, where it has been supplying buses and coaches for more than 50 years. There is currently a significant presence of the Levante model / Coach which has received the GOLD AWARD in the “Making Coaches a Better Choice” category by UK Coach Awards 2018.
Abellio is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways).
Abellio London bus operates bus services across London on behalf of Transport for London, plus rail replacement and event services across the UK. It operates over eight per cent of London bus network, running 700 vehicles and employing 2,500 staff across 6 depots in Central, South and West London.

Abellio UK has offices in Glasgow and London. It operates the ScotRail, West Midlands Railway and Greater Anglia franchises, and runs the Merseyrail concession in a joint venture with Serco. It was awarded the East Midlands Railway franchise in Summer 2019 when Stagecoach and Arriva pulled out of the contest and who are now challenging the way that those companies tendering must take on massive risks with employee pensions.  

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Vienna Transport - A Pictorial View

The Editor of Focus Transport has been visiting Vienna so it seems appropriate to depart from our normal daily posting routine to show you transport pictures from this busy city. 

Vienna has a well-developed public transport network. Buses, trains, trams and underground lines will take you almost anywhere in the city in no time at all. 

Vienna public transport Wiener Linien operates five underground lines, 29 tram lines and 127 bus lines, of which 24 operate all night

The four main forms of transport are U-Bahn (subway), Schnellbahn or S-Bahn (local train), Straßenbahn (tram) and Autobus (bus).

A Vienna S bahn train at Schönbrunn Palace Station

Vienna works on an honesty system. There are no ticket barriers at stations and no formal ticket checks on trains, trams and buses. You just hop on and off unchallenged. This doesn’t mean public transport is free, though. You need to buy a ticket.
The undercover ticket inspectors are impossible to spot and they’ve heard all the excuses before. There’s a fine for travelling without a ticket, plus the cost of a ticket.  

 All forms of public transport fall more or less under the same organisation (Wiener Linien), so the tickets you buy are independent of your mode of travel.

 The buses squeeze down narrow side streets, sharing the space with the other forms of transport. Dozens of horse drawn carriages take tourists around the central areas of the city.

If you buy a ticket from A to B, it doesn’t matter if you take the tram, train, subway, or catch the bus. Or use all four to make the journey. There are very few exceptions (essentially private airport transfer services by bus or train, plus sightseeing services like the yellow Ring Tram).

A Tram crossing the Danube Canal

Museum Remise Vienna
Take a journey through 150 years of public transport history together with Wiener Linien. Discover one of the largest collections of historical vehicles in Europe in the beautiful historic halls of the former tramway depot in Erdberg, from the first horse-drawn tramway in 1868, the legendary ‘American’ of the post-war era and the Reichsbrückenbus, which tumbled into the Danube river in 1976, to the public transport of the future.
In addition to showing vehicles from a wide range of different eras, a variety of themed areas also provide visitors with interesting and little-known facts about Vienna’s public transport system – and the interactive exhibits invite visitors to get involved and try things out.

More tram pictures have been  posted on Richard's Tram Blog here .

Friday, 19 July 2019

Extra ScotRail Services for Edinburgh Festival

ScotRail has announced its plans for the forthcoming Edinburgh International Festival, with eight-carriage trains, more services, late-night trains, and more seats than ever before.

With hundreds of thousands expected to flock to the capital during the month-long festival, ScotRail has revealed it will run eight-carriage Class 385 trains between Glasgow and Edinburgh via Falkirk High.

The longer trains will begin to run from the end of July, following the successful completion of platform extensions at Glasgow Queen Street by Network Rail Scotland.

The train operator will also run extra late-night trains on routes to and from Edinburgh Waverley, as well as adding extra carriages to hundreds of trains.

This means ScotRail will provide over 3,700 carriages throughout the event, which runs from Friday 2 August until Sunday 25 August – an increase of 20-per-cent compared to 2018.

However, services are still expected be extremely busy and customers are encouraged to plan their travel in advance and leave extra time for their journeys.

The average passenger footfall during the Edinburgh International Festival can increase by up to 50-per-cent during the week. On both Saturday and Sundays, the average footfall to and from the capital city more than doubles.

Extra carriages will be added on all routes out of Edinburgh Waverley, with customers in the Borders benefiting from 19-per-cent more carriages than in 2018.

Following the recent electrification of the routes, customers travelling from Stirling and Dunblane will see 341 extra carriages – an uplift of 165-per-cent compared to 2018. On the Shotts line, 30-per-cent more carriages are being provided than in 2018.

Festival-goers can plan their journey and buy tickets using the ScotRail app or by visitingwww.scotrail.co.uk/edfest

ScotRail Chief Operating Officer Angus Thom said:
“We’re delighted to be helping people get to and from the Edinburgh International Festival, one of the great highlights of the Scottish cultural calendar.

“This year, we’re thrilled to be able to provide more seats than ever before. With eight-carriage trains, extra late-night trains, and brand-new trains, every available carriage will be used to get people to and from Edinburgh - it’s all been made possible by the unprecedented investment in Scotland’s Railway over the last few years.

 Transport Scotland Director of Rail Bill Reeve said:

“The Scottish Government wants visitors to Edinburgh’s great Festival to travel sustainably and in comfort. Our rolling programme of railway investment in services and infrastructure, including electrification, new trains and extended station platforms means there has never been a better time to visit the Edinburgh Festival by rail.

“By improving the passenger experience, we are encouraging more people to enjoy the best of Scotland, and to do so by train – the greener choice.”

Thursday, 18 July 2019

New Enviro400's for Nat Ex West Midlands

National Express West Midlands has invested £7 million in 24 top-of-the-range ADL Enviro400 'Platinum' buses for the company’s West Bromwich garage. As well as looking smart, their smart hybrid engines will cut pollution in the Black Country and Birmingham.

The bus company will be deploying these elegant grey top-spec double deckers - with free wifi, USB chargers and extra legroom - on routes 82 and 87, giving customers in Smethwick and Bearwood the chance to catch them on the high street for the first time.

Nick Vane, National Express West Midlands’ Commercial Director, said: “Since 2016, National Express West Midlands has invested over £90 million on 342 of these beautiful buses. They are part of our pledge as a member of the West Midlands Bus Alliance – to increase the amount of people taking the bus, to keep our customers happy and to keep the air clean across the West Midlands.

“We know our customers love Platinums. When we ask them what they think, overall satisfaction across all the Platinum routes is 94%. And where we’ve upgraded bus routes to Platinum, we’ve attracted new customers.”

All 24 of the new West Bromwich Platinums are Enviro400 smart hybrids - the cleanest greenest combustion engines on the market, which emit extremely low levels of nitrogen oxide.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, has welcomed the investment.

He said:

“These buses are among the best of any region in the whole country, so it is great to see another 24 of them rolled out onto our roads and into Bearwood and Smethwick high streets for the first time.

“Not only do the Platinum buses offer a better experience for passengers, with free wifi and extra legroom, but they are also crucial in the fight against climate change as they produce low emissions and help to get people out of their cars and onto public transport.

“Tackling climate change is one of my priorities as Mayor, which is why I have asked National Express to have a clean bus fleet by 2021. These state-of-the-art buses with their smart hybrid engines are achieving just that.”

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Sales of Electric ADL/BYD Vehicles Reach 100

Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) and BYD Europe have jointly announced that the companies’ electric vehicle partnership, which delivers the leading UK electric bus, has already topped 100 double deck bus sales. 

ADL is a subsidiary of NFI Group Inc. (NFI), one of the world’s largest independent global bus manufacturers and BYD is a global leader in batteries and electric buses.

The news comes as BYD ADL receives another significant fleet order for its 100% emissions-free electric double deck Enviro400EV with National Express confirming 19 vehicles for its West Midlands bus operation in Birmingham.

These impressive figures for BYD ADL’s double deck include significant fleet deals with some of the UK’s major bus operators including Metroline, Stagecoach, National Express and RATP Dev London. 

The BYD ADL partnership has seen the move to electric mobility within the passenger transport sector gathering pace over the past 12 months as more and more operators realise the operational benefits of combining ADL’s stylish and comfortable bus design with 100% emissions-free, pure-electric operation. 

Importantly, BYD designs and installs charging infrastructure systems, to provide its customers with a complete one-stop-shop solution to fleet electrification.

37 vehicles on programmed delivery to Metroline for service on TfL’s Route 43 (Friern Barnet to London Bridge)

32 for Stagecoach Manchester scheduled for Q4 2019 (routes including Manchester City Centre, Piccadilly Gardens and Manchester Airport)

29 for RATP Dev London in Q1 2020 for use on TfL’s Route 94 (Acton Green to Piccadilly Circus)

19 for National Express West Midlands for operation in Birmingham, delivery planned for Q1 2020

“This is a notable achievement by the BYD ADL team in the UK, underlining the strength and depth of the partnership,” said Arthur Whiteside, Managing Director, UK Sales at ADL, “We have achieved significant market penetration in just three years, while the uptake for the Enviro400EV has been extremely encouraging since we started production in February. 

The move to electrification is well underway and we’re pleased to be leading the charge. Operators appreciate the significant benefits the Enviro400EV offers – which combines 100% emission-free operations with the comfort, style and safety that make the Enviro400 the UK’s favourite double deck bus.”

“We see the demand for full electric mobility only increasing," added Frank Thorpe, Managing Director at BYD (UK), “and for two good reasons – public demand and fleet productivity. An increasingly well-educated public is calling for a sustainable future and zero-emissions public transport can play a key role in helping people switch to an energy-saving mindset. 

Pure electric operation is having a truly dramatic impact on air quality in our towns and cities, and that’s good news for everyone.

“For operators,” he went on, “electric mobility offers long-term productivity gains for scheduled-service bus fleets, regardless of their size, as proven by public transport operators right across Europe. We look forward to engaging further with UK operators in our mission to bring 100% emissions-free mobility to our streets.”


Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Royal Edinburgh Ticket is top of the World's Hop on Hop off Experiences

Edinburgh Bus Tours Royal Edinburgh Ticket has been named the number 1 Hop-On, Hop-Off Experience in the World in the Trip Advisors 2019 Travellers Awards.

The Royal Edinburgh Ticket came top of the list followed by the Cape Town City Sightseeing Tour and the San Diego Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour.

This unique ticket offers the perfect way to explore the Royal splendours of Edinburgh. Valid for 48 hours, it includes fast track admission to Edinburgh Castle, The Palace of Holyrood House and The Royal Yacht Britannia.

Also included on the ticket, are all three Edinburgh Bus Tours City Tours – Edinburgh Tour, Majestic Tour and City Sightseeing Edinburgh which allow visitors to hop-on and hop-off to discover Edinburgh from a different perspective. 

These easily accessible tours offer the option of a live tour guide or commentaries in multiple languages Each tour boasts a panoramic view of the must-see sights for any tourist visiting the city.

The accolade was awarded to Edinburgh Bus Tours Royal Edinburgh ticket after winners were chosen using an algorithm based on reviews and ratings in destinations worldwide over a 12-month period.

The methodology considers quality and volume of reviews to surface destinations that consistently deliver the best overall experience for travellers.

Elaine Green, Edinburgh Bus Tours Sales Manager said:

“The Royal Edinburgh Ticket is a fantastic example of a successful partnership within Edinburgh Tourism benefiting our many valued visitors. Our Royal partners are delighted to be at the top of such a prestigious list and look forward to welcoming even more visitors, keen to explore Edinburgh’s royal delights in the coming months.”

Bob Downie, Chief Executive of The Royal Yacht Britannia said:

“The Royal Edinburgh Ticket is the perfect example of collaboration between Edinburgh’s best attractions and its No.1 bus company, to offer a great experience to all who visit our wonderful city.”

Nick Finnigan, Executive Manager at Edinburgh Castle said

“Well done to all involved in the Royal Edinburgh Ticket Hop-On, Hop-Off experience for this winning accolade from TripAdvisor users. We are delighted to be working with partners across the city as part of this bespoke experience that lets visitors experience this pivotal part of Edinburgh’s story and what better endorsement than from visitors themselves!”


Monday, 15 July 2019

Heathrow to Guildford Coach Service Launched

Heathrow has teamed up with First Bus to offer passengers and colleagues travelling from Guildford a more sustainable way of getting to and from the airport, starting this month. 

The partnership sees the launch of a new route and RailAir service from Guildford to Heathrow, which will take just under 60 minutes from Guildford and has the potential to take thousands of cars off the road every year.

The service will operate hourly starting at Guildford Railway station from 3:40 a.m. and latest arrival 11:00 p.m. every day. It will call at the University of Surrey, RHS Garden Wisley and on through to Heathrow Terminal 5, the Compass Center and Central Bus Station.
The new route will provide the South of England with better connections, timed to connect with fast trains from Portsmouth, Petersfield, Havant and Haslemere. Teaming up with First Bus supports the airport’s plan to increase connectivity with local communities and the wider UK, through sustainable and reliable routes. Currently over 80 percent of passenger mode share travelling from the Guildford area to Heathrow is private car or taxi – a statistic the airport is keen to change.

The Guildford RailAir coach link will also make passenger journeys easier to plan and purchase with the introduction of through ticketing. Linked to the rail network, passengers will be able to purchase one ticket to use on the South Western Railway network between Portsmouth and Guildford and for an extra £9 add-on the coach service, making journeys seamless and faster.
Speaking at the launch event, Heathrow’s Director of Surface Access Tony Caccavone said:
“The new Guildford rail air service is a fantastic addition to the range of public transport options available to passengers and colleagues to get to Heathrow by sustainable means. We are proud to be partnering with First Group to encourage more people out of their cars and onto public transport, helping to reduce congestion and emissions on local roads.”
Simon Goff, Interim Managing Director, First Hampshire, Dorset and Berkshire who operate RailAir, First Bus said:
“It’s long been an aspiration to grow the RailAir coach link from its Reading base where we have been serving Heathrow for over 50 years. I am pleased to say that the dream has now become a reality, and we can’t wait to make travel to Heathrow easier for our new customers.”
Peter Williams, Commercial Director for South Western Railways said:
“This is great news for SWR customers looking to travel to and from Heathrow Airport. The RailAir coach service puts Airport Heathrow within reach for many of our customers. For the first time, customers travelling from Portsmouth can be in Terminal 5 in under two hours with only one easy change at Guildford Station.”
Currently the best-connected airport and busiest coach and bus service interchange in the UK, Heathrow is aiming to go further by working with our transport partners to connect the top 100 towns and cities in the UK via public transport, including coach and bus. Today, Heathrow links with 60 of these. The airport is fully backing plans to more than double the number of trains serving Heathrow per hour and treble the seat capacity by 2040 through improved transport links which take into account the introduction of the Elizabeth Line, an upgraded Piccadilly Line, and proposed rail links from the West and South.
Earlier this month Heathrow announced plans to take more cars off the road to reduce local congestion and emissions.

By 2022, Heathrow plans to introduce an Ultra-Low Emission Zone targeting older, more polluting passenger cars and private hire vehicles, before a wider Vehicle Access Charge (VAC) is introduced for all passenger cars, taxis and private hire vehicles entering the airport with the opening of the new runway.

Heathrow to Guildford Service Information here

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Class 92 for Caledonian Sleeper Service

GB Railfreight have announced that Locomotive 92006 has re-entered service following a £2 million refurbishment at Wabtec’s Brush Traction facility in Loughborough. The Class 92 will be used on the Caledonian Sleeper route once it has completed testing.

Originally completed in 1996, the Class 92 last ran in 2006 before being placed into storage in France. The full overhaul and re-instatement of this locomotive is the last in a series of successful programmes of work developed jointly with Brush Traction, part of the Wabtec Group.
With the introduction of Mark 5 Coaches on the Caledonian Sleeper, GBRf have fully rebuilt 92006 to haul the Coaches on both the Lowlander Caledonian Sleeper route between Euston and Edinburgh and Glasgow, and in due course the Highlander Caledonian Sleeper routes to Fort William, Aberdeen and Inverness.

The Class 92 has been fitted with special Dellner couplings, providing additional safety measures, improved communication equipment, and power upgrades to operate the more intensive services offered on this route.
The locomotive has been painted in Caledonian Sleeper Livery and will now undergo test runs before entering traffic.

John Smith, Managing Director of GBRf, said:

“Our investment in the refurbishment of Class 92s for the new Caledonian Sleeper service means that customers will experience a reliable, state of the art, modern locomotive on their journey from London to Scotland.

We are delighted with the work Wabtec has carried out on the 92006 and we look forward to continuing our partnership to meet the growing demands in the rail freight sector.”

Paul Bain, Managing Director of Brush Traction, said:

“Brush are proud to have been involved with this truly collaborative project where we fully utilise our highly experienced skills. We look forward to continuing our strong working relationship with GBRf as a value-added solution provide

Saturday, 13 July 2019

New S-Bahn Trains for Berlin*

The first of the 106 train-sets which a consortium of Stadler Pankow and Siemens Mobility is building for the Berlin S-Bahn have been shown.

The four-car set on show at the Berlin trade fair is the first to be fitted out with car interiors.

While the yellow and red livery gives the train a very similar appearance to the existing fleet, there are significant technical changes. Of particular interest to guests in the heat of a late summer Berlin launch day is the inclusion of air-conditioning for the first time on the Berlin S-Bahn. Restricted clearances in the tunnels mean the air-conditioning equipment is distributed both in the ceiling and beneath the floor.

The cab is designed to provide the driver with a better view ahead, and includes integrated display screens.

External LED displays show the route and destination, while high resolution electronic displays provide passenger information inside the cars.

The 73.6 m long four-car set has 184 seats and wide gangways to encourage passengers to distribute themselves along the train.

Consortium leader Stadler Pankow is responsible for design and development under the contract awarded, as well as the bodyshells and mechanical equipment including the air-conditioning and doors.

'As a train manufacturer based in Berlin, we are naturally especially proud to be presenting the first new S-Bahn from Berlin for Berlin', said CEO Ulf Braker. 'We’ve combined our experience in trains precisely tailored to meet customer needs with the high quality standards expected by passengers here in Germany’s capital.'

Siemens Mobility is responsible for the electrical components, including drive and brake systems, onboard power supplies, control and train protection systems, passenger information systems and the bogies. The traction systems give a maximum speed of 100 km/h and are designed with a high degree of redundancy.

Siemens Mobility is responsible for the electrical components, including drive and brake systems, onboard power supplies, control and train protection systems, passenger information systems and the bogies. The traction systems give a maximum speed of 100 km/h and are designed with a high degree of redundancy.

CEO Sabrina Soussan said the train 'combines tradition with high-tech, and carries a young heart beneath its almost hundred-year-old colour combination of yellow and red.'

The new trains will operate on Berlin’s Ring/Southeast network from 2021. The pre-series fleet of five four-car ‘half trains’ and five two-car ‘quarter trains’ is to be delivered in 2020 and enter service on Line S8 from January 2021. The remaining 96 sets will be delivered by the end of 2023 for use on the Ringbahn Lines S41 and S42 and on Lines S45, S46 and S47.

'Our anticipation is growing with every step that brings the train closer to passenger service', said Peter Buchner, CEO of the S-Bahn Berlin GmbH subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn which operates the metro-style suburban rail network.

Friday, 12 July 2019

B11R Jonckheere JHV2 for Birmingham International Coaches

Long-established family owned operator, Birmingham International Coaches, has returned to Volvo for another high specification Volvo B11R to join its fleet of more than 30 vehicles, a repeat order from exactly one year ago.

With a seating capacity of 53, the new coach provides a spacious environment for passengers travelling on the company’s corporate private hires.
The vehicle, a Volvo B11R with Jonckheere JHV2 bodywork, will provide coach services for a number of professional Midlands football and rugby teams, so all the ‘mod cons’ and lavish extras are essential for the coach. The luxurious interior includes USB charge points for each seat and a motorised centre monitor.
Andy Watkiss, Director of Birmingham International Coaches, said: “We keep returning to Volvo because of the great experience we’ve had over the years with the vehicles we have specified, and we have also built a solid working relationship with our Volvo Bus and Coach Sales Manager Phil Hudson and the team.

“More than half of the vehicles that make up our fleet are built on the Volvo chassis and we have always been impressed by their reliability, fuel efficiency and build quality. Following the success of the B11R JHV2 we purchased last year, we had no hesitation in repeating the order as the high specification is imperative for the contracts it’s earmarked for.”
Phil Hudson, said: “It’s great to be working with Andy and the team at Birmingham International Coaches. The Volvo B11R has built a strong reputation and it’s encouraging to see it’s highly regarded by so many of our operators and keeps delivering repeat business.”
Birmingham International Coaches was founded back in 1977. Situated in an ideal location, near to Birmingham Airport, the company also operates throughout the rest of the UK.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

TransPennine Accept Nova 1 Trains

Friday 5th July 2019 marked a major milestone for rail customers across the North and Scotland as TPE officially welcomed the first of of their brand new Nova 1 trains following formal acceptance from the Office of Rail and Road.

Built by Hitachi Rail and financed by Angel Trains, the bullet-style Nova 1 trains will mean more carriages and extra seats for customers and the on-board experience will be completely transformed.

Thefe will be 19 five carriage Nova 1 trains, each containing 342 seats, an extra 161 compared to its current trains.

The futuristic fleet will carry customers on the route between: Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, York, Newcastle, Morpeth and Edinburgh and will start to be phased into service, as planned, before the end of the year.

Rigorous testing of both the Nova 3 and Nova 2 fleets is currently ongoing and three Nova 3 trains have now been accepted, however as a result of further faults that have emerged, the first of the Nova 3 trains will now enter
 service towards the end of summer 2019.

TPE are working closely with manufacturer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) to resolve the issues but the delay has had a significant impact on staff training and more time will now be required to complete this.

Chris Nutton, Major Projects Director for TransPennine Express commented: “Today’s acceptance of the first Nova 1 train is a key step towards the introduction of more trains and more carriages for customers.

“Together with our partners, we are working hard to get each of our Nova fleets into service as soon as possible. By the end of this year, trains from all three fleets will be operating across the North and into Scotland providing 13 million extra seats.”
Karen Boswell, Managing Director Hitachi Rail said: “This is another fantastic milestone which will soon see the Northern Powerhouse connected with modern reliable trains. They will double the number of seats for TransPennine passengers on intercity services between major cities across the North.”

Each, high quality Nova train features spacious, comfortable seating, free Wi-Fi in both First and Standard Class, plug sockets and USB charging points, improved information systems and access to complimentary Exstream entertainment.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

New ADL Enviro200's for Stagecoach in Hull

Now being delivered to Hull are 21 11.8m ADL Enviro 200MMCs. 
They will carry fleet numbers 26255-75 and have been allocated registration marks YW19VRC/D/E/F/G/J/K/L/M/N/O/P/R/T/U/V/X/Y/Z, VSA/C, 
Deliveries so far have been 26255/26 on July 5th, 26257/66 on July 8th and 26259/60 on July 9th.

Stagecoach 26555 © Daniel Dearing

Hull residents got the chance to see the new environmentally-friendly buses which will be hitting the roads in Hull this summer at a launch event in Hull town centre. The high-spec vehicles are fitted with Euro VI engines with low emissions and the latest start/stop technology as well as modern CCTV equipment and a new audio and visual ‘next stop’ announcement feature.

Matt Cranwell, Managing Director of Stagecoach East Midlands, said: “This is a major investment in new, environmentally-friendly buses for customers in and around Hull. We want to support a low carbon future and give commuters, shoppers, families and students a fantastic travelling experience.

“We encourage people to come to the event and learn about the benefits of travelling by bus. The latest Euro VI diesel buses are incredibly clean and produce fewer emissions overall than a Euro VI diesel car, and ten times fewer on a per passenger basis.”

Leading up to the launch event, Stagecoach East Midlands gave away 1000 free bus tickets to promote the environmental benefits of bus travel and encourage people to reduce carbon emissions by leaving their cars at home and catching the bus instead.

This follows an investment of £1.25 million last year in contactless payment systems, making purchases available to all and on-bus transactions quicker and easier than ever. They also use a telematic system, which enables Stagecoach to monitor its vehicles in real time to improve fuel economy and provide a smooth, safe and comfortable journey for its customers.

Photo Request
If anyone has pictures of the new vehicles please send them to focustransport2011@gmail.com and we will add them to this posting with relevant credit to whoever sends them. Thanks


Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Contract Awarded for Completion of Patriot 'Unknown Warrior'

The LMS-Patriot Company Board has announced that it has reached a decision on the award as to the contractor who will complete 'The Unknown Warrior' .

None of the original 52 'Patriot' class locomotives were preserved leaving a massive gap in the story of LMS express power. A new 'Patriot' will provide the link between the 'Royal Scot' and 'Jubilee' classes and will clearly enhance the UK steam collection.

The 'The Unknown Warrior' will be the new National Memorial Engine and will be a unique contribution for Remembrance - a permanent memorial to all fallen servicemen and women.

The successful bidder is the Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust (PRCLT), based at West Shed at the Midland Railway - Butterley, in Derbyshire. The Board concluded that PRCLT were the best fit for the Project to complete the loco in the timescales discussed.

The decision to award the contract to PRCLT was because they scored most highly on the set criteria which comprised: Capacity, Continuity, Main Line Preparation and Operation, Volunteer Input, Capability, Resource, Inspection and Preparation, After-support, Warranties, Relationship, Culture and Safety.

The company have entered into a partnership with PRCLT who will supply an agreed level of manpower, technical management, support and facilities but will allow our volunteers to assist wherever possible in the completion of the locomotive and permit the involvement of an on-site Project Engineer.

The final stage of the construction of 'The Unknown Warrior' is essentially an assembly job, with most of the large components having been sourced, manufactured, delivered and already fitted. The boiler is the final outstanding and largest assembly to be completed, with work continuing on this by another contractor.

The The LMS-Patriot Company's involvement in this process is absolutely critical in assisting the PRCLT. As this is not an overhaul job but a new build, it requires a very different approach to most other steam locomotive projects. The Engineering Team are looking forward to working with the PRCLT with the aim of completing 'The Unknown Warrior' to the highest possible standards and for mainline running.

To date in excess of £3 million has been raised, but more funds are required to finish the locomotive, the tender, main line running gear and purchase a support coach.

To help ‘finish the job’ donations are be welcomed and should be sent to The LMS-Patriot Project please click here, or send a cheque to: The LMS-Patriot Company Ltd. at: The Hub, 17 Eastgate Street, Stafford, ST16 2LZ, or call the office on 01785 244156.

Monday, 8 July 2019

Major Railway Bridge in Manchester City Centre to be Restored

Passengers, motorists and residents are being informed about work to carefully restore a railway bridge next to Deansgate station in Manchester city centre.

The Great North Rail Project work will see the Victorian-built bridge deep cleaned, repaired and repainted to ensure it remains safe and reliable for decades to come.

Network Rail is holding a community drop-in event from 4pm – 7pm on Monday 8 July at ManCoCo Limited in Manchester (M15 4GB ), where staff will be on hand to answer any questions about the project.

Sarah Padmore, scheme project manager for Network Rail, said: “As part of the Great North Rail Project, we are carrying out vital repair work to the bridge spanning Deansgate, immediately west of the station.

“We have been working closely with Manchester City Council on our plans, which will see the structure refreshed for the benefit of passengers and the local community.

“We thank the local community and road users in advance for their patience while we deliver this essential work.”

To complete the work safely, the road beneath the bridge needs to be closed to vehicles from Monday 5 August to Wednesday 18 December. One lane on Hewitt Street, which is next to the bridge, will also be closed for the duration of the project.

Temporary traffic lights will be in place on Hewitt Street and diversion signs put up to direct motorists from one side of the bridge to the other. Access for pedestrians will remain open throughout the work.

Network Rail has written to local residents to inform them about the project and advise when noisy work is planned to take place.

The refurbishment of the bridge at Deansgate is being delivered by the same team who have been working to restore three Grade II listed structures back to their former glory next to Manchester Victoria station.

Sunday, 7 July 2019


The first batch from a total fleet of 37 new zero-emission, fully electric BYD ADL Enviro400EV double deck buses have been delivered to London bus operator, Metroline.

The first five vehicles entered service on Metroline’s route 43 as part of the bus operator’s contract with Transport for London (“TfL”), operating out of Metroline’s Holloway Bus Garage.

Route 43 runs from Friern Barnet to London Bridge, a total distance of nine miles.

 BDE 2614 at Archway Station

Adrian Jones, Engineering Director at Metroline, said, “The launch of the new electric buses on route 43 is a triumph for both Metroline and for London. Providing a new challenge for Metroline’s engineering teams, we worked closely with engineers at ADL and BYD to develop these new buses. As a result, they are perfectly designed to deliver Londoners to their destinations, whilst helping to keep London’s air cleaner with zero-emissions.”

The new Enviro400EV possesses the same DNA as its proven Enviro200EV stablemate, albeit with a new chassis and lightweight aluminium double deck bodywork measuring 10.9m in length, 4.3m high and 2.55m wide. 
Power is delivered via BYD’s fully electric drivetrain technology featuring high capacity 382 kWh BYD Iron-Phosphate batteries providing an impressive 160 mile range. 

 BDE 2624 at Muswell Hill Broadway (rear view)

The new double deck layout specifically for the Metroline order boasts a lower saloon capacity of 24 forward-facing seats and 43 forward-facing seats in the upper saloon – 67 seats in total. 
A modern exterior retains the traditional design cues of London’s iconic red double deck buses with thoroughly modern bodywork designed and manufactured by ADL. ‘City’ styling features includes a striking glazed staircase providing aesthetic appeal for passengers, other road users and pedestrians. 
Further specification is to TfL’s standards including a long wheelchair bay and automatic wheelchair ramp at the rear doors.

BDE 2624 at Muswell Hill Broadway. BDE 2624 has the staircase panelled over, to facilitate the use of T-shaped adverts. This will be applied to some but not all of this batch of vehicles. Apparently ADL will offer the unglazed staircase as an option on the City bodywork going forward. 

ADL Chief Executive, Colin Robertson, commented: “Since it began in 2015, the collaboration with BYD has gone from strength to strength – our best-selling Enviro200EV single deck buses hit a landmark 2 million miles of zero emissions service earlier this year and we are delighted to see the relationship evolve with the first pure electric double decks now on the streets of London. 
We’re confident the Enviro400EV can emulate the success of its single deck equivalent, delivering cleaner air, less noise pollution and extreme passenger comfort for all.”

“We are thrilled to be able to present the first BYD ADL double deck bus for London at the start of what we believe will be a continuation of our highly successful partnership with Metroline and TfL,” said BYD Europe Managing Director, Isbrand Ho.

BDE 2617 at Archway Station - this holds the honour of being the first one to enter service

The new Enviro400EV is built in Britain at ADL’s facility in Scarborough, Yorkshire, using BYD components assembled into a powered chassis built in Europe at BYD’s plant in Komarom, Hungary.

Photo Request

If anyone has pictures of the new vehicles please send them to focustransport2011@gmail.com and we will add them to this posting with relevant credit to whoever sends them.
Thanks to Julian Walker who has already responded to our request and sent the above pictures