125 Group is delighted to announce the acquisition of a further two MK3 HST trailers, one to join the permanent fleet and one as a spares donor. This brings our HST MK3 fleet to a permanent total of eight vehicles.
The make up of this is a TGS (44000), 3x TS (42111, 42119, 42337), 2x TF (41057 and 41067, which has a disabled toilet), plus 2x TRFB (40730 and 40741). This allows us flexibility in both extra catering capacity and redundancy of the restaurant/buffet vehicle itself. TS 42120 is anticipated to become the spares donor, but this could be subject to change based on full condition assessments.
Further to this, we have some more exciting news in that we can confirm purchase of HST power car 43044 from Porterbrook. The Trustees would like to extend their thanks to two particular long serving group members who have very generously funded the purchase of this power car – they are both highly dedicated to the cause and 125 Group owes them huge gratitude – thank you!
The purchase of 43044 will help us achieve one of our famous core objectives, to own a power car that is powered by the original Paxman Valenta Engine, with a Marston Cooler group. This will join our existing two VP185 power cars, allowing us to show a significant portion of the HST story, but not all of it quite yet – if you’re an MTU fan, you’ll need to wait a little longer!
We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Porterbrook for again supporting us in our aims – there is no doubt we would not have succeeded without their generous support and help. We also extend thanks to our friends at East Midlands Railway for assisting us in the handover of 43044.
Stadler and Rail Operations (UK) Limited have signed a framework agreement for the supply of thirty Class 93 tri-mode locomotives, which will support rail decarbonisation requirements in the UK. An initial batch of 10 locomotives are due for delivery in early 2023.
Stadler and the British company, Rail Operations (UK) Limited have signed a framework agreement for the supply of thirty Class 93 tri-mode locomotives. The advanced locomotives will significantly reduce CO2 emissions for both rail freight as well as potential passenger transport services, underscoring Stadler’s green credentials and demonstrating its commitment to decarbonisation. Deliveries are expected to start in early 2023.
Class 93 is a Bo’Bo’ mixed-traffic locomotive based on Stadler’s Class 68 and Class 88 locomotives that have been operating successfully in the UK for some years. It is capable of reaching higher speed than the previous ones; i.e.110 mph instead of 100mph.
Stadler’s first tri-mode locomotive has three different power sources. In electric mode, it is able to run on 25kV AC overhead lines with a power of 4,000 kW. In addition, the locomotive features a CATERPILLAR C32 engine and Lithium Titanate Oxide (LTO) traction battery packs, allowing it to operate over non-electrified lines. The diesel engine has a nominal power of 900 kW and meets EU 97/68 Stage V emission requirements. The two LTO battery packs provide 400kW extra power to supplement the engine when the locomotive is running in diesel/battery hybrid mode as well as last mile carbon free shunting operation.
Iñigo Parra, CEO Stadler Valencia added, “The innovative and cost-effective solution will provide environmentally-friendly rail transport services, supporting national decarbonisation strategies and promoting modal shift to rail”.
Passengers travelling on East Midlands Railway’s (EMR) Aurora trains will be able to sit back and relax thanks to unique seats specifically designed for the company’s new fleet.
Working closely with Derby-based design firm DGDESIGN, EMR has taken the proven product of a FISA Lean seat and refined it to offer enhanced comfort and support. It has also improved the appearance to match what they believe customers expect from an InterCity service seat.
The seat rework has included increasing the size of cushions, headrests and armrests and making sure that high quality durable materials are used throughout, such as a wool-rich moquette and leather.
At the same time, EMR has also ensured the seats include all the practical and technological features that customers require, such as power and USB points, generous legroom, coat hooks , well-sized seat-back tables for all airline seats and space to stow a cabin-bag under each seat.
Rachel Turner, Head of New Trains at East Midlands Railway, said: “We know the FISA seat has a good level of comfort, but we wanted to further enhance this by providing additional support in key areas, developing something that looks comfortable, inviting, and unique to EMR. All this has been done whilst ensuring we still meet the latest seat safety standards.
“Our customers are used to large comfortable seats, as found in our Meridian trains, so we wanted to maintain this character but go even further.
“It has taken a lot of work but we are delighted with the final product, not only are they comfortable to sit in and look refined, but they are also easy to keep clean and include all the features passengers should expect from a new generation of trains.”
David Gordon, Director at DGDESIGN, said: “After safety and punctuality, seat comfort is probably the most important customer requirement and therefore a key focus for our interior design work, with every effort being made to optimise the at-seat experience by further enhancing an already proven seat system.
“Headrests have improved lateral support for added comfort and privacy, cushions have been widened, armrests are softer and deeper, additional privacy screening has been introduced and upholstery detailing has been refined to improve aesthetics and cleanability.”
EMR’s new InterCity fleet, which will be able to run on electricity and diesel, will be built by Hitachi Rail in County Durham and financed by Rock Rail East Midlands.
Mike Kean, Chief Originations Officer at Rock Rail, said “Comfortable seating plays a key part in delivering great passenger travelling experiences. We are delighted that the new Aurora seats will help transform passenger journeys together with the many other improved passenger, operational and environmental features of this state-of-the-art fleet.”
Amy Webb, Head of Programmes – Commuter, Hitachi Rail, said: “Hitachi is excited to be working with EMR to deliver the new Aurora Fleet for its passengers. As today’s announcement underlines, Aurora passengers can expect to benefit from a comfortable journey, with more capacity and a new, modern interior.
“The manufacturing of the trains is also benefiting over 75 suppliers across the UK – a number that will continue to rise – and will also support hundreds of jobs at Hitachi Rail’s factory in County Durham.”
When it enters service in 2023, Aurora will offer significant advances on the existing fleet, with passengers benefiting from more seats and modern interiors.
The trains will also include features that passengers have said they want to see, including air conditioning, free WiFi throughout, plug sockets and better passenger information screens.
Locomotive Services Ltd stunning Blue/Midland Pullman HST has arrived home to Crewe after a fantastic paint job by Arlington at Eastleigh, and driver training will commence week beginning 2nd November with a daily Crewe-Carnforth-Rugby-Crewe circuit, giving the old girl a good blast on the WCML as crew and staff get up to speed.
Made up of former East Midlands Railway power cars 43046 & 43055 and MK3s 41176, 41108, 41162, 41059, 40801, 41182, 41169 & 44078, the set will depart Crewe Holding Sidings and pass a number of our cameras throughout its journey.
Monday 2nd to Friday 6th November.
5Z43 Crewe Holding Sidings to Carnforth Down & Up Goods Loop
Steam returns to the Devon coast once again tomorrow when 70000 Britannia heads Saphos Trains operated English Riviera Express, a return working between Bristol and Kingswear.
Passing the stunning coastline through Devon, including the famous sea wall and our brand new camera at Teignmouth, 70000, running as 70022 Tornado (TBC) departs Bristol at 07:50 with an arrival time of 12:33 at Kingswear. Return working departs at 16:45, arriving in Bristol at 20:59.
Those important camera times and working information is as follows,
Steam returns to the Devon coast this Sunday when 46100 Royal Scot heads Saphos Trains operated English Riviera Express, a return working between Bristol and Kingswear.
Passing the stunning coastline through Devon, including the famous sea wall and our brand new camera at Teignmouth, 46100 departs Bristol at 07:50 with an arrival time of 12:33 at Kingswear. Return working departs at 16:45, arriving in Bristol at 20:59.
Thos important camera times and working information is as follows,
Take some time out and come and visit us on Minehead Station on one of these days between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm. We will be Covid-19 secure and ready to welcome you. Visits will be in 3 time-slots 10am, 12pm and 2pm, each time-slot will allow up to 2 hours to explore and enjoy the activities on the platform.
The turntable will be in action with the opportunity for some vistors to have a go at turning the locomotive! This will be on a first come first served basis and opportunities will be limited.
The Turntable Café, Buffer Stop Shop and the well-known second hand Readers Halt bookstall will be open. Many of our locomotives will be on display, and there will be (socially distanced) access to a steam engine footplate and the driving cab of a Diesel Multiple Unit. Qualified staff will be on hand to explain how to operate!
On Minehead Station platform (the longest on a heritage railway) there will be a number of interesting and exciting stalls and stands for you to browse. At the end of the platform there will be shunting demonstrations to observe.
Conducted tours of our steam engine workshops and depot (normally out of bounds to members of the public) will also be available, so you will be able to get up close to engines under restoration including the Great Western King Class locomotive, which has been hidden from public view for some time.
And there will be free vintage double deck bus rides around Minehead which is included in the admission.
On 1st August (only) Freddie Huxtable will be holding a book signing of his book Taunton to Barnstaple vol 3 on Minehead Station. The booking signing will take place between 10.30am and 3pm.
Admission is £5 for adults, £3 for children (5- 17).
We would prefer you to book in advance on our website at www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk because numbers will be strictly limited to enable social distancing.
Tickets will also be available on the gate (if there is sufficient space on the station).
Please bring a mask with you, as there will be some areas where a mask will be required, for example, the shop, buffer stop shop, locomotive workshop, footplate or DMU cab.
If you are intending to take part in either the turntable demonstrations or visiting the locomotive shed, please ensure you are wearing sturdy sensible shoes, open toe or high heels will not be permitted.
You will be able to see shunting displays on our Minehead Station Cameras via the Railcam website, our YouTube Channel and www.wsr.org.uk
‘We’re steaming towards re-opening. The Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway have been carefully following the latest Government advice and guidance to leisure facilities and will re-open on Saturday 4th July. We’ve implemented a range of additional health and safety measures to protect our passengers and teams. Our world-famous steam locomotives will still be the same, but our journeys will be a little different. Our railway can only open in stages and we have invested in changes to our coaches to enable this. We realise the flexibility we usually can offer is not possible, but we really would value you coming to visit. The railway’s survival will be led by how many passengers we see in the days following Saturday 4th July. The details of the revised arrangements are detailed below as well as how to book. If the situation changes we will arrange a change of date for your visit to suit you or a full refund. There will be no admin charges.
Pre-booking is essential.
All journeys will begin from New Romney Station (TN28 8PL) and journey to Dungeness. Passengers will have 20 minutes to spend at Dungeness before their designated return time. This will ensure we can safely meet social distancing requirements. Our usual capacity will be reduced so we suggest booking early to avoid disappointment. www.rhdr.org.uk
Socially distanced queuing and carriage compartments.
We’re following the Governments 2-metre social distancing guidelines. We’ll try to keep queues to a minimum but where they exist you’ll see 2-metre markers. Partitions between carriage compartments will mean you can see those in the compartment next to you but contact will be restricted.
Additional hygiene measures.
You’ll notice some new additions to the station such as hygiene screens at shop/catering counters, new hand sanitising stations and carriage compartment cleaning between each return journey. Our teams have all had additional briefings on social distancing and additional cleaning measures.
Contactless payments are preferred.
Please pay by card in our gift shops and catering outlets where possible. Gift Shops and Catering Outlets will not be open as we restart but will be available in shortly.
Bring a suitable face covering.
We advise all adults to wear a face covering when possible. Face coverings will be available for purchase in New Romney Shop upon arrival.
Hygiene and safety signs.
To help guide our passengers around the railway and assist with hygiene advice new signage has been installed. Please read it carefully.
Some facilities will be temporarily unavailable.
The Model Railway Exhibition and Play Areas at New Romney are temporarily closed.
Toilet facilities will continue to be available at New Romney and Dungeness.
Thank you for your patience and continued support.
Another three days of driver training is pencilled in this coming week for the Locomotive Services Ltd electric fleet, with runs between Crewe and Preston scheduled for Monday 8th – Wednesday 10th June.
Unless 90001/002 have made their way north, we fully expect this to be either 86101 or 87002, and you can catch the moves at the following times,
0Z86 Crewe Holding Sidings to Preston Shunt Line
10:51 – Crewe Cameras 2 & 3
10:54 – Crewe Camera 4
11:44 – Leyland Camera
11:52 Farington Junction Camera
0Z87 Preston Shunt Line to Crewe
12:38 – Farington Junction Camera
12:44 – Leyland Camera
13:30 – Crewe Camera 4
13:32 – Crewe Cameras 2 & 3
0Z88 Crewe to Preston Shunt Line
13:55 – Crewe Cameras 2 & 3
13:57 – Crewe Camera 4
14:49 – Leyland Camera
14:51 Farington Junction Camera
0Z89 Preston Shunt Line to Crewe Holding Sidings
15:15 – Farington Junction Camera
15:20 – Leyland Camera
16:24 – Crewe Camera 4
16:28 – Crewe Cameras 2 & 3
Remember to pop your screen grabs and videos on our Twitter page (@railcamlive) and include the hashtag #SpottingFromHome