Britain’s second busiest railway station has started a trial aiming to recycle 85% of all waste created on the site.
Network Rail’s London Victoria is working with train operators and waste specialist The Green Block, to take the number one spot for recycling on Britain’s railway with a six-month trial.
A unit set up at the station will take all contaminated rubbish from across the site, including from; trains, public bins, retailers and offices, and segregate it, wash it, compact it, bale it, weigh it, electronically tag it and then store it ready for collection and recycling.
The aim is to recycle 85% of the waste generated by the station and its users.
Nicole Cohen-Wray, stations director for Network Rail Southern region, said: “We’re really excited about this trial and this is a big opportunity to reduce our environmental footprint. All scheduled trains that use our station are electric, but we know it’s not enough just to provide environmentally-friendly transport – that would be too easy! We’re doing everything we can with our colleagues at Southeastern and GTR to make our station sustainable, and a green ambassador for the railway.”
Adam Williams, co-founder and head of transformation for The Green Block, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be supporting Network Rail in this innovative management of waste trial. The project has been planned for many months and seeing the project rolled out at one of the largest transportation hubs within the UK, is a fantastic achievement. Together we are going to change the culture and behaviours towards the management and recycling of waste.”
An example of the ‘journey’ waste will take at London Victoria:
A plastic bottle is purchased from a retail shelf and the contents are consumed, leaving an empty plastic bottle as waste.
The plastic bottle is disposed of in a bin
Bins are emptied and transferred to the Mobile Segregation Unit (MSU) for manual segregation.
The plastic bottle is cleaned, baled, weighed and secured in preparation for collection.
Plastic waste bales are collected and transported to a recycling partner.
The plastic is then shredded, washed, melted and reshaped, before being sold to a plastic bottle manufacturer.
The used plastic bottle is once again a plastic bottle.
The trial began on Sunday, 28 June, and continues until December. The results will then be evaluated to see how much waste at Victoria has been recycled.
Next month, Network Rail will begin a major project to upgrade all of the lifts at Luton Airport Parkway station in a £900,000 investment which will make them more reliable.
From Monday, 20 July, Network Rail engineers will be removing the old lifts on platforms 2, 3 and 4 and installing new ones. This will improve passenger experience at the station by making the lifts more modern and reliable.
The project will mean major changes to how people use the station as the lifts will not be able to be used whilst this work takes place. This means that there will be no step-free access to platforms 2, 3 and 4, as well as the main entrance, until the project is completed in November.
During this time, additional staff will be available to help passengers with heavy luggage on the stairs and escalators. Passengers who require step-free access should contact the dedicated assisted travel team in advance on 0800 058 2844 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make alternative journey arrangements.
Closing all three lifts at the same time means that the project to replace them can be completed much quicker than if they were closed separately, minimising the overall disruption for passengers.
Passengers are reminded that they should continue to avoid public transport where possible. People who have to travel must also wear face coverings, which are mandatory on public transport. Some passengers are exempt, including young children and people with hidden disabilities or breathing difficulties.
Network Rail is strongly advising those who need to travel and require assistance to allow plenty of time for their journeys, as they may need to change trains, or get on and off their train at an alternative station, and then use a taxi shuttle to get to the airport. Passengers can find out how their journeys are impacted by visiting networkrail.co.uk/LAP. They can also check before travelling via National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator.
Gary Walsh, Route Director for the East Midlands for Network Rail, said: “We would like to apologise in advance to any passengers who will be impacted by the closure of the lifts at Luton Airport Parkway station.
“This lift replacement work is essential to improve reliability and, in the long run, will make moving around the station easier.
“We are working with Govia Thameslink Railway to keep disruption to a minimum. We advise passengers to plan ahead and allow plenty of time for their journeys.”
Jenny Saunders, Customer Services Director for Thameslink and Great Northern, said: “We thank our passengers for their patience while this vital work is carried out, and we continue to work with Network Rail, East Midlands Railway and Luton Airport to minimise the inconvenience.
“We will have extra staff on hand to help people with heavy luggage up and down stairs. We recommend passengers who need step-free access to contact our assisted travel service in advance, by phone or email, and we will arrange support to travel via an alternative station at no extra cost.”
Neil Grabham, Customer Services Director for EMR said: “From Monday 20 July, we are advising any passengers travelling to or from Luton Airport Parkway to allow extra time for their journey due to the lift works taking place.
“As there will be no step-free access to the main entrance from the platforms for the duration of this work, any passengers who require step free access are advised to contact the assisted travel service.
“We would like to thank our passengers for their patience during this time.”
Cricklewood residents have taken to social media to share their delight at a bold new sign adorning the railway bridge just outside the Thameslink station.
Despite thunderstorms, paintwork was completed over the weekend with the new sign highlighting Cricklewood as a destination in its own right.
It is the second project brought to fruition by NorthWestTwo Residents’ Association thanks to funding from Govia Thameslink Railway’s Passenger Benefit Fund, which provides tangible benefits for passengers.
Just before lockdown, a mural was installed at Cricklewood station to commemorate the early days of civil aviation when you could fly from Cricklewood to Paris in a converted WW1 bomber. A further project will be a series of panels located in the passenger waiting area recognising the interesting industrial history of Cricklewood, including the aeronautics, railways, the range of factories and the importance of Clitterhouse Farm (home to a well-known suffragette) and the Crown public house.
NorthWestTwo Residents’ Association Secretary Marie Hancock said: “The concerted effort, catalysed through the GTR Passenger Benefit Fund, has been welcomed locally in a place trisected by three local authorities. The new signage is a marker for the station and town centre and puts Cricklewood on the map.”
Radlett to Cricklewood station manager Marc Asamoah said: “The bright, bold new sign is a great addition to the railway bridge and reinforces the identity of the area. It’s always a pleasure to work with our station partners to enhance the railway environment. The residents’ association have already brought a lot of colour to the station and I look forward to seeing future projects come to life too.”
Throughout the painting of the sign and since its completion, residents and local businesses have posted dozens of comments across social media to express their delight at the new-look bridge, where well-known local businesses used to advertise – particularly Smiths Industries – in the 60s.
The signage project was kindly supported by Network Rail, Wood Street Walls, Tate Technical, Barnet Council, Conway Aecom, B&Q and Dutch and Dutch.
Multi-million-pound work to improve an historic viaduct is now complete making journeys faster and more reliable for passengers and freight on the Cumbrian Coast line.
Trains can once again travel the length of the Cumbrian coast line today (June 29) after an eight-day closure of the railway between Millom and Sellafield.
Wooden timbers and 600 metres of rail were renewed on the 18-span Eskmeals viaduct in a £2m investment as part of the Great North Rail Project.
The work will improve journeys for both passenger and freight services between Carlisle and Barrow-in-Furness.
New track installed on the viaduct, which carries the railway over the River Esk estuary, means that precautionary speed restrictions for trains can now be lifted.
The iconic 18-span viaduct was built in 1868 and still has its original wrought iron girders, which were strengthened in the 1920s, and its red sandstone piers which support the structure in the estuary itself.
Peter Luby, programme director at Network Rail, said: “Our teams have worked hard to ensure that this planned upgrade scheme could be completed as scheduled, providing passengers in Cumbria with faster and more reliable journeys.
“It’s not easy working day and night in the middle of a Cumbrian estuary, and staff have had to contend with more challenges from the weather and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“I’m really proud of the team for completing the work successfully, and look forward to welcoming back passengers in Cumbria to a more reliable railway.”
Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern, said: “We would like to thank Network Rail for completing this upgrade to the track along the historic Eskmeals viaduct as part of the Great North Rail Project.
“This vital work will improve the reliability and speed of our services along the Cumbrian coastline between Carlisle and Barrow-in-Furness.
“Our rail replacement buses have kept people on the move since the line was closed between Millom and Sellafield to carry out this work, but we’re looking forward to, once again, operating trains between these stations.”
While improvements were made to the viaduct structure, engineers also upgraded walkways and handrails, making future maintenance work easier and safer for railway staff.
Meanwhile, passengers should continue following Government guidelines around the use of public transport. Those who must travel should wear face coverings on their journey.
Further timetable enhancement will be introduced on Monday 6th July
Part of national efforts to provide more capacity as lockdown restrictions continue to be eased
Customers are still required to wear a face-covering while travelling
East Midlands Railway will be reintroducing a number of train services and providing additional seats on existing services from Monday 6th July.
This is part of a step up in rail services across the country as more people are able to return to work alongside the easement of restrictions for numerous industries and businesses.
Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, EMR has been carefully monitoring the number of customers travelling across the network in order to provide the best possible service. In May, EMR stepped up its timetable by 20% – to provide over 80% of the normal daily timetable.
This further step-up is a targeted increase to provide additional services and capacity where it is required and possible to do so. EMR will continue to monitor customer numbers and keep this new timetable under review.
The new timetable does not mean any changes to the requirement for customers to wear face coverings while travelling. Face coverings continue to be mandatory for customers and must be worn. Children under the age of 11 and people with a disability or illness which means they cannot wear a face covering are exempt.
EMR will continue to offer additional support and guidance to customers before and during their journey to support social distancing in line with official Government advice. This includes additional signage, online support and wayfinding in stations and on trains. Customers are also reminded to continue to follow Government advice and avoid public transport where possible and to only travel by train if you need to do so.
Will Rogers, Managing Director, East Midlands Railway, said:
“We are pleased we can reintroduce more of our services from Monday 6th July.
“With the further easement of social restrictions and the reopening of more leisure and retail businesses we expect customers number to continue to slowly rise. Therefore, it makes sense to introduce more services and more seats ahead of the expected increase in customers.
“We simply ask customers to ensure they bring a face covering with them as they will remain mandatory on public transport alongside this increase in services and follow Government on the use of public transport.”
Intercity The following services will be added: – 0600 Sheffield to London St Pancras (arriving 0827) – 2105 London St Pancras to Nottingham (arriving 2254)
The addition of this morning service means that EMR will be operating 13 out of 14 of its morning peak time arrivals into London St Pancras.
EMR Regional The 6th July plan will broadly be a continuation of the current timetable with an hourly service running on all routes, or the normal frequency where this is less than hourly. However, there will be a small number of exceptions to this where this is not possible.
The following services will be reintroduced: – 0635 Nottingham to Liverpool Lime Street (arriving 0928) – 0951 Liverpool Lime Street to Nottingham (arriving 1229) – 0752 Nottingham to Norwich will start back from Mansfield Woodhouse at 0707, restoring a missing peak time service on the Robin Hood Line – 0738 & 0838 Worksop to Nottingham (arriving 0844 & 0944 respectively) will each have an additional carriage (taking them to 3-car) – All off-peak Robin Hood Line services strengthened to 3-carriages
Proposals to build a new station for Soham were confirmed by East Cambridgeshire District Council on Friday 26 June 2020, giving the go-ahead for the new station to be built.
Working in partnership with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, led by Mayor James Palmer, who have provided the necessary funding to build the station, Network Rail and its contractor can proceed with starting the early enabling works this autumn.
Reconnecting Soham to the rail network will be the realisation of a long campaign by the community to rebuild the station which was closed in the 1960s. A new station will provide residents and local businesses with better connections and support more investment as part of the Council’s vision for the wider area.
The new station at Soham will include:
Construction of a single 99 metre platform to accommodate four car train services including waiting shelters, lighting, information screens and a public address system,
Installation of a stepped footbridge across the railway to connect to an existing public right of way, designed for any future installation of lifts for a potential second platform for any scheme.
Construction of a drop off point and a car park to accommodate 50 vehicles and five spaces for blue badge holders, as well as lighting masts.
Cycle parking and ticket vending machines on the station forecourt.
The expected completion date for the station is in spring 2022 with Greater Anglia services starting to call at the new station shortly afterward.
Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia said: ‘With the consent now confirmed, this will mark an important new chapter for Soham providing more choice for people to travel and offering better connectivity to regional destinations. I am thrilled that, working in partnership with the Combined Authority and Mayor James Palmer, we can now reconnect Soham to the rail network which will deliver significant benefits for the local community when complete.”
Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Mayor James Palmer said: “One of my priorities since being elected was the delivery of Soham Station. I know first-hand just how long this project had previously sat on the wish-list for local people, who could be forgiven for wondering whether it was ever going to get built.
“I hope this consent gives people yet more reason to know that this project is a reality and it is happening. I saw no reason why a relatively simple piece of infrastructure couldn’t be delivered quickly and I’m delighted the first works will start in a few months.
“Reconnecting Soham by rail will give local people of all ages and backgrounds more opportunities for work, study and leisure. It is also symbolic of the fact that we can, and we should, be ambitious for our rural communities and our market towns. Putting quality public transport back into these parts of Cambridgeshire, which we are working to do, will support business and jobs, enable much-needed new homes, and improve quality of life.
“Soham Station’s example has the potential to unlock even more opportunities for better rail in the county.”
Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia’s Managing Director, said: “It’s great news that the plans to build Soham station have been approved. The new station will be on the Ipswich to Peterborough line, which is served by our brand-new, high quality bi-mode trains. We look forward to working closely with Network Rail and East Cambridgeshire District Council to reconnect people in Soham with the wider rail network.”
Follow us on @networkrailLST using the hashtag #Sohamstation
Tuesday 30 Jun 2020
Network Rail Anglia – Green Light for Soham station – Statement of Retraction
Network Rail is retracting information contained within the announcement ‘Green light for Soham station’ issued on Monday 29 June 2020. The article indicated that the contract to build the station had been awarded to VolkerFitzpatrick. This is incorrect. VolkerFitzpatrick was awarded a contract to develop the design for the station last autumn (2019) with an option to deliver the build, however Network Rail has not yet instructed this option.’ A spokesperson for Network Rail said: ‘I am very sorry that we have provided an inaccurate statement regarding the main contract award for the construction of Soham station. The main contract to build the station has not yet been awarded but we expect the contract to build the station to be awarded in the coming months.”While the statement we provided was not deliberately intended to mislead, we acknowledge that we made an error and that some readers may have been given the wrong information. We always strive to provide the most accurate information but on this occasion, we got it wrong. We are reviewing our internal checking processes to ensure it doesn’t happen again.’
Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern is working in partnership with businesses as they prepare to reopen in line with Government advice. Customers are encouraged to support social distancing by avoiding travel, where possible, during the busiest times which are now between 6am and 7.30am.
People who are thinking of travelling are asked to check www.nationalrail.co.uk as an adjusted timetable with more peak trains is introduced from Monday, 6 July (a summary is included in the editor’s notes, below). The busiest trains are now being highlighted in online journey planners.
To help passengers on their journeys, you should:
Try to avoid the busiest times of the day between 6am and 7am and stagger your journeys
Wear a mandatory face covering
Book tickets online or use contactless payments
Keep your distance where possible
Carry hand sanitiser and wash your hands before and after travelling
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), which runs the three companies, has summarised this advice in a video of top 10 tips.
GTR Chief Operating Officer Steve White said: “From 6 July we will have more peak services and longer trains on our busiest routes so please check before you travel and remember: you must wear a face covering and you should always wash or sanitise your hands before, and after, every journey.
“We are working with business organisations, and other stakeholders, to respond to the easing of lockdown measures but capacity remains limited by social distancing so, where possible, customers should avoid the busiest times of the day which are now between 6am and 7am.
“Online journey planners are a great way to check in advance if your train is normally busy.”
GTR is supporting social distancing with a wide range of measures (see photos below):
One-way and queuing systems at the busiest stations
19,000 floor signs across the network and 25,000 train signs, posters, adverts and announcements reminding people to socially distance
1,000 touch-free hand sanitiser points have been put in at stations
We have developed a staff app to monitor passenger volumes and movements to identify ‘hot spots’ across the network – uses data from trains, ticket sales, ticket gates, and from staff seeing where social distancing may not be being observed. We use this information to highlight the busiest trains in journey planners and modify our service where possible
To keep passengers and staff safe, there is an enhanced cleaning regime focused on touch points (see photos and video below):
All 2,700 train carriages are sanitised every night and…
… GTR has treated all its trains with a powerful new viruscide which sticks to surfaces, killing viruses for up to 30 days.
This product is also being used to treat stations, offices and other staff locations such as depots.
Over £15 million invested in three rail stations in North East to level up infrastructure in the country
Horden Station in Durham opens with £4.4 million for new stations, meaning more convenient travel and less congestion
£8.7m for Darlington station and a further £2.45m for Middlesbrough Station to improve journeys for passengers
Thousands of passengers in the North East of England are set to benefit from more frequent, reliable rail services and better connections, thanks to £15 million of government investment, the Transport Secretary has announced today (Monday, June 29).
The new Horden Station in Durham opens to passengers for the first time today, and will be served by one train per hour calling at all stations between Newcastle and Middlesbrough. This restores a vital link for up to 70,000 passengers in an area that hadn’t had a station over a 20 kilometre stretch, after the previous station was closed in the Beeching cuts in1964.
The £10.55 million project, led by Durham County Council and Network Rail, has been supported by £4.4 million from the Department for Transport’s New Stations Fund.
The Transport Secretary has also announced £8.7million of investment to develop proposals for a package of enhancements to modernise Darlington station. These include two new platforms for local services, one new platform for southbound long-distance services and a raft of improvements to make the station more accessible.
A further £2.45 million has also been agreed to develop proposals which would see platform 2 at Middlesbrough Station extended to accommodate longer trains with more seats, and a new platform built, increasing capacity for local services and delivering more comfortable journeys for passengers.
Transport Secretary and Northern Powerhouse Minister Grant Shapps said:
“Our ambitious plans to restore and revitalise the railways of the North East sits at the heart of our commitment to level up infrastructure across the country, build a railway that works for everyone, and kickstart our economy as we begin the recovery from Covid-19.
“I’ve seen first-hand how the new Horden Station will improve connectivity for thousands of people, easing congestion in Durham and enabling quick, convenient travel between Newcastle and Middlesbrough.
“By backing proposals to improve both Darlington and Middlesbrough stations, we will work to invigorate rail connections and deliver more modern, reliable services for passengers and businesses now and in the future.”
Cllr Simon Henig, Leader of Durham County Council, said:
“It has been a long-held ambition to have a station at Horden so, after a number of years of hard work and commitment by ourselves and our partners, it’s fantastic that we are now ready to welcome the first train and the first passengers.
“This new facility will open up significant opportunities for communities across east Durham, by providing a direct transport link to Teesside, Wearside and Tyneside. And, of course, it will also make it easier for people from outside the area to travel to the east of the county, whether for business or pleasure.
“It is going to provide a major economic boost to the county and I’m sure residents and businesses will be keen to take advantage.”
It comes as the Transport Secretary recently agreed to give £5million from Restoring Your Railway funding to Northumberland County Council to develop proposals to drive forward the return of passenger services on the Ashington-Blyth-Tyne Line in Northumberland.
The New Stations Fund was launched in 2013 to help give local communities improved access to rail services in England and Wales and has so far helped to fund 10 new stations. The third round of the New Stations Fund, which will invest £20 million in new stations and help restore closed stations to their former glory, has now closed with a decision on successful applicants due in the Autumn.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said:
“I am delighted that Government has once again thrown its weight behind my plans to upgrade both Darlington and Middlesbrough Station – a move which will help thousands of rail travellers in my region with more frequent and reliable services, and ensure we are better connected to London and the rest of the UK.
“Improved rail connectivity will help us attract even more big businesses and high levels of investment to the Tees Valley, which is central to my plan to create good quality, local jobs for people in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.
“This £11m investment is another significant milestone in improving transport connectivity in the Tees Valley and is further proof that this government is serious about its levelling up agenda and giving the North the investment it deserves.”
Today’s announcement comes as engineering works continue on the £1.2 billion programme of infrastructure enhancements for the East Coast Main Line (ECML) that will increase capacity and reduce journey times.
Power supplies north of York are being upgraded to enable more electric services to run, minimising the use of diesel fuel and reducing the impact on the environment. The work between York and Newcastle is due to be completed by the end of 2022 with the upgrades between Newcastle and Edinburgh set to be completed around 12 months later.
The East Coast Main Line is also set to become Britain’s first mainline digital rail link with £350 million of new investment to install state-of-the art electronic signalling designed to cut journey times and slash delays.
Conventional signalling will be replaced with a digital system that allows trains to talk to the track allowing the smooth the flow of trains, making journeys safer and reduce signal failures that every year result in thousands of hours of delays.