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Rail News Round-Up for July 2018

Posted by: Warren Drobac
Industry News

Hydrogen trains: bringing the success story to the UK

Many rail networks in Europe already use some hydrogen trains, and so it would seem the UK is falling behind the competition. Thankfully, working alongside Eversholt Rail, Alstom UK plans to bring these same benefits to Britain. Alstom is a pioneer in the UK rail industry, and the company aims to use the latest technology to deliver modern and innovative transport solutions.
Alstom is at the forefront of the industry in the UK, and the firm will bring hydrogen rail to Britain because it is the most viable alternative to diesel or electrification solutions. Decarbonising rail travel is critical for the next generation, and it’s one of the most straightforward and practical ways any society can limit their impact on the environment and protect the planet.
The UK government now recognises the need for such approaches, and that is why rail minister, Jo Johnson set a goal for the entire industry to decarbonise and remove diesel-only trains by the year 2040.
There are many different routes across the UK where electrification is inappropriate, and hydrogen trains are a clear solution for low-emission, decarbonised mobility. Full story


Final plans submitted for rail-connected Yorkshire hub

Harworth Group, a land regeneration and property investment specialist, submitted an outline planning application that recommends turning Selby’s Gascoigne Wood site in North Yorkshire into a hub that will both deliver thousands of new jobs and link trains to industrial centres across the UK. The 276-acre site benefits from an existing rail connection and is near to both the A1 and M62 motorways. It is one of the five key sites identified in the council’s Economic Growth Framework, and the director of strategic land at Harworth said: “the site represents a great opportunity for Selby.”
The area could become a significant investment site for the whole of Yorkshire according to Rail Technology Magazine and Leeds City Region website


Rail service improvements and disruptions

The UK Transport Secretary has confirmed the TransPennine route upgrade that’s been in the pipework for a while will include significant civil engineering projects and full electrification as part of future plans. In July last year, officials doubted the plans to electrify the route after Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling pulled the plug on three similar projects. However, he has now put those issues to rest.
The government announced upgrades worth around £3 billion to the TransPennine route at the beginning of this year, and the transport secretary came under scrutiny for suggesting the electrification plans could be scrapped. Thankfully, in a letter to the Railway Industry Association (RIA), Grayling confirmed the TransPennine upgrade and set out some guidelines for a rolling programme of enhancements.
Quote from the Transport Secretary:
“The key to delivering improved journey times on what is a very circuitous route through the Pennines involves rebuilding and relaying most of the track bed from Manchester to York. We are awaiting Network Rail’s final project plan, but we have instructed them to prioritise those elements which bring the quickest passenger benefits. This will include things like straightening lengths of track to improve line speed.”  Full story


East Midlands HS2 partnership receives £1.8m for Toton Station

The UK Transport Secretary announced that HS2 would gain up to £1.8m in extra funding to help release the potential of the new station at Toton. There will be high-speed trains serving Nottingham, Derby, Leicester and other mainline stations, and a new platform at Toton will help to deliver faster journeys and advanced connections for those looking to reach Birmingham and other areas.

Proposals include the creation of an innovation campus which will create no less than 10,000 skilled jobs, and the plans will also unlock many new housing opportunities in the area. By the year 2043, the government expects the project to create a staggering 74,000 new employment opportunities in Toton and the surrounding areas. It’s one of the most significant improvements in the location for many years.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:
“As the future backbone of our national rail network, HS2 is vital for delivering better connections between our major cities, bringing communities closer together with faster, more frequent services for passengers. Committing additional funding to support the development of an HS2 station at Toton will help drive forward ambitious proposals, ensuring that the region stands ready to seize the enormous benefits of HS2.” Full story


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