Today’s look around the newsrooms, articles by kind permission of TOCS and NR.
LNER SELECTS STARTUPS TO HELP SET NEW STANDARDS FOR RAIL TRAVEL
London North Eastern Railway (LNER) will be working with five of the most innovative startups
around the world to accelerate new projects to improve rail travel in the UK.
The accelerator projects are part of LNER’s ground-breaking innovation programme, LNER
FutureLabs. Startups were invited to pitch their pioneering ideas in three key areas;More Journeys,
More Often, Personalised Customer Experience and Responsible Business.
Following two consecutive pitch days with startups from around the world – all held via Microsoft
Teams – the panel selected five successful start-upsto take forward:
- QikServe, from Edinburgh, will be using their experience of digital self-service technology to
help deliver an ‘at seat’ personalised customer experience
- Skignz, a global leader in augmented reality based in Middlesbrough, will be looking at how
to create a personalised mapping and information experience for customers at and nearby
- iomob, based in Barcelona, will aim to encourage more people to travel by train through the
use of technology that supports better mobility
- Green City Solutions,from Berlin, will be working to provide clean air and healthy spaces for
customers as part of LNER’s Responsible Business plan
- Sirenumwill also be looking at the area of Responsible Business through advanced systems
management from their headquarters in London.
Danny Gonzalez, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer at LNER, said: “It was fantastic to hear from
startups from as far away as North America and the Middle East about how they would apply their
innovative approaches to the UK rail industry.
“There was tough competition, but we have selected five startups that will nowmove onto the next
stage of the accelerator programme and to see some of the ideas start to come to life. They certainly
have the potential to make a real difference to the lives of our customers, communities and
From next week the five successful start-ups will receive unprecedented access to LNER’s live
operational environments and one-to-one mentoring from senior team members as they develop
their proof of concepts. A Demo Day will then be held in Central London in September.
To find out more about LNER FutureLabs, visit www.lnerfuturelabs.co.uk
A video featuring Chief Digital and Innovation Officer, Danny Gonzalez, announcing the startups can be found at: https://youtu.be/vMs0euA0HmE
Govia Thameslink Railway
Railway colleagues clock up the miles in aid of NHS heroes
Govia Thameslink Railway colleagues have been raising money for NHS Charities Together.
A team of Govia Thameslink Railway colleagues have cycled, walked and jogged more than 800 miles to raise cash for NHS staff and volunteers caring for Covid-19 patients. The eight Train Presentation colleagues came up with the idea of covering the distance from the most northern depots on the GTR network in Bedford and Peterborough, down to the depots in Littlehampton and Bognor Regis in the south west and Brighton and Eastbourne in the south east – a total of 349 miles.
Adhering to Government guidelines at the time, each colleague exercised in their local area and logged their distance on running application, Strava. However, in just two weeks they far exceeded 349 miles and instead covered an impressive 838.5 miles – the equivalent of travelling from Land’s End in Penzance to John O’Groats in the far north of Scotland. They also smashed their fundraising target of £1,000 for the NHS Charities Together by raising £1,880.
The team consisted of Anthony Dowsett, based at the Brighton and Eastbourne depots, James Canty, based at Littlehampton and Bognor Regis depots, Janine Foulger and Daniel Odgers at Bedford, Simon Beal at Littlehampton, Emilia Zawisza at Cricklewood, and Allison Welsh and Arun James, who are both based at the Selhurst depot.
Train presentation manager, Anthony, 48, said: “We are full of admiration for the amazing work everyone at the NHS is doing, and as fellow key workers we wanted to show our support for them.”Covering hundreds of miles has been both challenging and great fun. It’s spurred us on to up our fitness levels and it’s been incredibly rewarding to have smashed our fundraising target for NHS Charities Together.”
To donate, visit their JustGiving page at https://tinyurl.com/ybgr3hj3
Overnight overhauls to overhead power lines at Euston station
Overhead electric power lines are being overhauled on the approach to London Euston station to reduce delays for passengers during hot weather.
Over the next four weeks, overnight work to renew and replace the 25,000v cables which power trains will take place in Camden.
During extremely hot weather, overhead wires can sag. The wires can then catch on passing trains and be torn down.
When this happens, the line must be closed for repairs, trains can become stranded and passengers are disrupted.
James Dean, Network Rail’s West Coast Main Line South route director, said: “With extremes in temperature now becoming more common in Britain it’s necessary for us to make sure our railway equipment can withstand the changing climate.
“This overnight work will help stop sagging of the cables, reducing the risk of them coming down and making the West Coast main line more reliable for tens of thousands of passengers travelling into Euston every day.”
The work on the approach to Euston will see the installation of 2,000 metres of new cable, renewal of essential overhead line equipment, and use of special on-track machines to ensure the new wires are at the correct tension.
Passengers are being advised there will be changes to some trains when the work takes place:
- Between 8pm and 8am on Monday 25 May – Friday 4 June (Monday to Friday only)
- Overnight on Thursday 4 June to Friday 5 June (passengers making essential journeys are advised not to travel after 9pm with some changes to services before 8am the following morning)
- Between 8pm and 8am on Monday 15 – Friday 19 June 2020
Gus Dunster, executive director of operations at Avanti West Coast, said: “As Network Rail carry out upgrade works on the overhead lines at Camden, there will be alterations to our weekday services to and from London Euston.
“On Monday to Friday, between 8pm and 8am, arrival and departure times at London Euston will change. On Thursday 4 June, there will be significant changes after 8pm – with some services starting from and terminating at Watford Junction.
“If customers are making an essential journey during this time, we strongly recommend they check before they travel, plan their journey in advance and make a reservation. For journeys on Thursday 4 June, we strongly advise travelling before 8pm.”
Passengers should continue following Government guidelines around the use of public transport.
People who need to travel should visit www.nationalrail.co.uk for the latest information.
Railway safety programme to continue in schools and communities across Anglia as lockdown measures are eased
Network Rail has developed a safety video to bring its safety education programme to schools and communities across Anglia as lockdown measures begin to ease.
This is a busy time of year for Network Rail’s safety team to get important safety messages out to schools across the region, ahead of the summer months when trespass incidents typically increase. Becky Crocker, community safety manager for Anglia, would usually visit schools in person, however, the current restrictions prevent this from happening, and schools are unlikely to ease restrictions on visitors when they reopen.
In order to continue to get important safety messages across, Becky now stars in a video which will be shown to students at schools across Anglia until it is safe for her to visit again.
Becky Crocker, Network Rail’s community safety manager for Anglia, said: “The safety of people on and around the railway is our priority and those who deliberately trespass fail to understand the real dangers. That’s why its so important that our safety messages get out to schools and communities across Anglia, especially ahead of the summer when we see more incidents. While I can’t do this in person right now, this video is the next best thing to warn people to stay off the tracks and stay safe.”
Inspector Stephen Webster from British Transport Police, said: “The railway is the safest way to travel in the UK and we welcome all our young travellers. The BTP supports Network Rail in making sure that people stay safe when using the railway and at crossings and stations. Every year sadly there are too many incidents involving young people which can end up with them hurting themselves and my officers never want to have to attend these. Trespassing and taking shortcuts are never worth it, the risks are too high. Let’s keep the railway safe for everyone.”
- Keep behind the yellow line
- Follow all safety signs
- Never trespass or go on the tracks
- Keep away from all the power lines and rails
Although trespassing on the railway is illegal, there has been over 1,000 incidents of trespass across the country since the lockdown began. When Network Rail is notified of trespassers, all trains in the area are stopped to ensure that everyone is kept safe. This causes delays and cancellations which can have a knock-on effect for hours after the train service is reinstated. Trespass on the railway is also a criminal offence and can lead to a fine or imprisonment.
The video also features messages from the uncompromising You vs Train campaign, on which Network Rail has worked in partnership with British Transport Police since 2018. Initially targeting young people and their parents, the campaign aims to educate on the devastating and wide-reaching consequences of trespass.
The campaign has proven to be a catalyst for positive behaviour change in young people, with youth trespass levels showing an encouraging decline of 30% in high priority locations.
The public can also help to keep the railway safe by contacting Network Rail’s 24-hour helpline on 03457 114141 to report any locations where trespassers are gaining access to the tracks.
Stations floored by support for our NHS heroes
Network Rail, Scotland has installed floor vinyls on the concourses at Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Central in a show of support for our NHS and key workers.
The five-metre graphics in NHS blue, convey a simple but heartfelt message of thanks to all of our health service and key workers who have been at the forefront in the battle against coronavirus.
The floor vinyls are in prominent locations on both concourses and will remain in situ as we begin to take small steps out of lock-down. They will be visible to those who have an essential need to travel on Scotland’s Railway – which will mean very limited numbers initially.
Vinyls on concourses is one of the activities undertaken over the last few weeks to acknowledge the fantastic service of those on the front-line protecting and supporting everyone in our communities.
On Thursdays throughout April and May, to coincide with the 8pm applause for the NHS and carers, Network Rail, Scotland has lit up stations and structures in NHS blue as a gesture of solidarity with, and support for, key workers. Dundee, Wemyss Bay, Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Central stations, and Glenfinnan, Findhorn and Coatdyke viaducts, have all featured over the past couple of months.
Alex Hynes, Managing Director at Scotland’s Railway said: “We continue to be humbled on a daily basis by the incredible dedication shown by NHS staff and carers, and we are grateful to all key workers across the country, including our railway family, who are playing a massive role in supporting the country at this time.
“Many key workers who are serving and supporting the community in so many different ways use our largest stations so the floor vinyls are a fitting and lasting way to thank them for everything they have done from everyone at Scotland’s Railway.”