Monday news

News from around the various news pages

Safety boost as Network Rail completes £600k investment at quarry sidings in Derbyshire

(L-R): Mark Grimshaw-Smith (Rail & Sea Manager CEMEX), Oliver Paget (Lead Route and Freight Manager, Network Rail), Nathan Moffatt (Operations Manager, GBRf) and Dale Holford (Driver Operator, Victa Railfreight).

Workers at Dove Holes Quarry rail sidings at Peak Forest in Derbyshire are benefitting from a £600k investment to improve safety at the site as part of Network Rail’s Freight Safety Improvement Portfolio (FSIP).   

The two-year project saw the construction of a new 470 metre safe walking route between the sidings and the train crew facilities, including low level lighting and a new staircase on the embankment.

The FSIP is a £22m fund to deliver safety improvements during Control Period 6 (CP6), which has already enabled safe walking route improvements at Great Heck near Selby, Cliffe in Kent and Angerstein Wharf at the Port of London.

Oliver Paget, Network Rail’s lead route and freight manager for North West and Central (NW&C), said:

“This project has made great improvements to working conditions for the drivers and shunters at Peak Forest. Previously they were walking on uneven ballast and with over a quarter of a mile between the quarry and the long siding it could be tough going on the shunters’ and drivers’ feet and knees. There was a history of trips, slips and falls on the site.”

Dale Holford, a driver operator for Victa Railfreight, walks an average of 15 miles a day in his job. He said:

“Each train is a quarter of a mile long and my job entails me walking along each side of it, so that’s a lot of time spent on my feet. I lost one and a half stone in the first two months I came to work here.

“The new walking route is amazing; it has made things so much better. Walking on ballast is uncomfortable underfoot and you have to be careful that you don’t turn your ankle. Any improvements like the ones this project is delivering are always welcome.”

Operated by GB Rail freight (GBRf) and DB Cargo, 42 train services run each week from the quarry carrying things like mortar and aggregates for CEMEX – a global leader in the building materials industry.

Mark Grimshaw-Smith, rail and sea Manager at CEMEX, said:

“Safety is our number one priority, and we are focused on continual improvement at our locations to better protect our people and those we work with. Part of this means working collaboratively with our industry partners to identify what the issues are, along with the opportunities for development.

“Dove Holes is our largest quarry in the UK, with our busiest rail operation and multiple users on site at any time; making this project especially valuable. Moving forward, we are keen to roll out these safe working routes at our other railheads.”

Track upgrades to bring more reliable journeys for Yorkshire’s rail passengers

Track upgrades to bring more reliable journeys for Yorkshire’s rail passengers

This weekend, hundreds of Network Rail workers will carry out key upgrades to the railway in Yorkshire in a boost to reliability.

The upgrade will see more than 420 metres of track renewed in South Elmsall and over 340 metres replaced in Adwick. Work will take place to replace the rail, sleepers and ballast, the stones which support the railway.

Once complete, passengers will benefit from a more modern and reliable railway with fewer instances of disruption, as well as smoother journeys.  

To allow the work to take place safely, there will be changes to services on Sunday, 5 June, with passengers urged to plan ahead and check before travelling via National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator.

On this date, bus replacement services will be in place between Doncaster and Wakefield Westgate, and diversion routes will also be in place.

This means journeys will take longer than usual, so passengers are urged to allow extra time for travelling.

Sarah Reid, Route Managing Director for Network Rail’s East Coast Route, said: “The work we’re doing this weekend will help provide smoother and more reliable journeys for passengers.  

“The majority of the rail network is open for business over the Jubilee Weekend, but the work we’re doing in Adwick and South Elmsall will mean some changes to services, so we’re urging passengers to plan ahead via National Rail Enquiries.

“We’re really sorry for any inconvenience which this caused, and we’d like to thank all those impacted for their patience”

Railway open for passengers celebrating Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Avanti West Coast train passing through cutting near Penkridge

Passengers are being advised that rail routes between London, the Midlands and North West will be open as usual during the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend (2-5 June).

It’s after Network Rail engineers made the most of bank holidays earlier on in the year to carry out £41m of essential work to build a more efficient railway as part of Britain’s Rail Recovery.

This included major upgrades to tracks in Wembley and Watford to provide more reliable passenger and freight journeys.

When the Queen’s landmark celebrations begin on Thursday 2 June it means passengers can rely on rail to travel to the capital on the West Coast and Chiltern main lines.

With many thousands of people expected to join in with the landmark celebrations, people are reminded to plan their journeys in advance at www.nationalrail.co.uk.

Tim Shoveller, Network Rail’s North West and Central region managing director, said: “We are really pleased to say that both main lines into London Euston and Marylebone stations will be open across the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend after we planned ahead and carried out our major engineering work earlier on in the year.

“We know that demand will be high as people travel into the capital to celebrate this special occasion and our station staff will be on hand to welcome passengers and help them with their journeys. As always our advice is to plan your journey using National Rail Enquiries.”

Passengers are being advised there will be changes to journeys across the Pennines between Manchester and Leeds between 2-5 June.

Signals – the traffic lights of the railway – are being upgraded as part of the ongoing Transpennine Route Upgrade.

There will be some rail replacement bus services in operation between Manchester, Stalybridge, Rochdale and Salford Central.

For more information on any work taking place in other parts of the country click here.

Northern encourages thanks as part of Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations

Northern, the biggest train operator in the North of England is celebrating Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee by supporting the national themes of ‘thanks’ and ‘contribution’ with various activities taking place across its network.

Northern will be joining with the whole nation in celebrating Her Majesty’s reign with activities and events for customers, colleagues and the local community.

‘Thank you’ trees have been installed at Manchester Victoria and Shipley stations (between Monday 30th and Sunday 5th June) and customers, colleagues and local communities are encouraged to leave messages of thanks and hope on the branches.

Northern will be virtually dressing all its station (where digital facilities exist) with official jubilee branding and trains will also carry the royal emblem throughout the jubilee week and over the long bank holiday weekend.

Stations at Barrow-in-Furness, Harrogate, Hartlepool, Leeds, Liverpool, Meadowhall, Manchester Victoria and Windermere will all be selling specially commission brochures that highlight, Northern’s and the rail industry’s contribution to our communities over the last 70 years.

The limited-edition brochures will be available for £5.00 and it is hoped that more than £175,000.00 can be raised across the country for The Railway Children, Save the Children, Railway Mission, The Railway Benefit Fund and Women in Rail.

Northern will also be working with a number of schools in Bradford, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle to reward pupils who have shown kindness and community spirit.

Depot tours, station visits and STEM education sessions will be provided at Heaton, Holbeck and Newton Heath train maintenance depots and at Leeds station where pupils will also be treated to a royal jubilee picnic on board specially decorated trains.

Station adopters and Community Rail Partnerships have also been hard at work with events, garden displays and station decorating taking place across the network.

Northern colleagues have also been looking back and contributing their royal memories to internal magazines and have put together a special video message to Her Majesty which will be released via Northern’s social media channels.

Nick Donovan, Northern’s managing director, commented: “It is going to be a fantastic week of national celebration in recognition of Her Majesty the Queen.

“We wanted to be part of those celebrations and have focused our efforts on acknowledging our communities, colleagues and customers for their contribution and that of the railway in the north over the last 70 years.

“We are hoping to raise money for some very worth charities, reward kindness and community spirit, support our local partners and give everyone the opportunity to say thank you.

“On behalf of everyone at Northern I want to thank Her Majesty for her continued service to our country.”

EMR to install lifesaving defibrillators at 22 stations across network

EMR to install lifesaving defibrillators at 22 stations across network: Defib - Matlock Bath
  • Defibs to be installed across Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire   
  • Locations requested by community rail partnerships and station adopters 

East Midlands Railway (EMR) is to install lifesaving defibrillators across 22 railway stations on its network.  

Each defibrillator comes with step-by-step instructions built into the unit which explain how to use it should someone suffer a cardiac arrest. 

The computers inside the defibrillators work by analysing people’s heart rhythms to find out whether an electric shock is needed. If required, electrodes then automatically deliver the shock.

Having a defibrillator close when someone suffers a cardiac arrest greatly improves their chances of survival. Indeed,  according to the British Heart Foundation, for every minute it takes for a defibrillator to reach someone to deliver the shock needed, chances of survival reduce up to 10%.

The locations of the defibrillators were put forward by station adopters and local community rail partnerships.

Phil Thomas volunteers his time as a station adopter at Radcliffe Station. He said he was delighted that a defibrillator had been installed at his local station. 

He said: “The importance of having a defibrillator readily accessible to help someone in an emergency situation is life saving. We are very grateful to EMR for placing a unit at our local station in Radcliffe on Trent adding to the network we have around the village.”

Donna Adams, Community Engagement Manager, said: “Each second counts when someone has a cardiac arrest, and with many thousands of people passing through our stations each day, they are ideal places to install a defibrillator.

“We are pleased to be able to contribute to such an important project and bring such vital equipment to communities right across the region we serve.”

The units are to be fitted at the following stations: 

  • Belper
  • Blythe Bridge
  • Burton On Trent
  • Chesterfield
  • Crewe
  • Derby
  • Duffield
  • Kettering
  • Leicester
  • Lincoln
  • Long Eaton
  • Loughborough
  • Matlock Bath
  • Narborough
  • Nottingham 
  • Radcliffe
  • Skegness
  • Tutbury and Hatton
  • Wellingborough
  • Whatstandwell
  • Whitwell
  • Willington

Fans urged to plan ahead for Scotland v Ukraine

ScotRail is urging Scotland fans to plan ahead for the World Cup play-off match against Ukraine, with the temporary timetable still in place.

Customers travelling from Glasgow Central to Hampden Park on Wednesday, 1 June, will benefit from some additional services to and from Mount Florida, and extra carriages on trains to Mount Florida and Kings Park – the closest stations to the ground. 

Visiting Ukraine fans who decide to travel by rail should use services to and from Mount Florida.

Supporters heading to the game are advised to allow additional time for travel as services will still be busy. Purchasing their return tickets to Mount Florida in advance will help to avoid additional queuing on the day.

Regular customers should be aware that trains from Glasgow Central to Mount Florida and Kings Park will be much busier than normal prior to the game.

To help everyone’s journey go smoothly, ScotRail will have extra staff on hand to help customers on both days.

The temporary timetable for Monday – Saturday Friday can be viewed online at scotrail.co.uk/timetable-update

The reduction in services will mean fewer options for fans making journeys to and from Glasgow, both before and after the match. For example, the last train to Edinburgh departing Glasgow Queen Street is 22.15, on which those attending the match will be unable to travel.

Customers are also reminded that the wearing of a face covering is recommended on trains and in stations, and the consumption of alcohol remains prohibited on ScotRail services.

Phil Campbell, ScotRail Head of Customer Operations, said:

“We know this is a massive match for the Scottish national team and we are looking forward to helping supporters travel to Hampden to play their part in the occasion. It’s an honour to welcome Ukraine fans to Glasgow.

“We’ll be doing everything we can to support fans travelling to the games by adding additional services where we can and more seats to trains where possible. The temporary timetable will still be in place, so it is important that fans plan ahead to make sure they are aware of their options for both getting into the city, and for completing their journey home.

“Regular commuters who travel home from Glasgow on the line via Mount Florida should be aware that services will be much busier than normal on Wednesday night with fans heading to the match.”

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