A new halt at Seaton Tramway has opened, providing undiscovered access for all to the award-winning Seaton Wetlands nature reserve.
Funded by Seaton Tramway through its ‘Travel’s Through the Axe Valley & Heritage’ project, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Fine Family Foundation, the £120k project to deliver a new tram halt is a partnership project between Seaton Tramway, East Devon District Council and the Burgesses of Colyford.
The new halt gives visitors the chance to explore Seaton Wetlands, providing views never seen before across the salt marshes of Colyford Common. The halt and 4km of level trails which extend throughout the reserve are fully accessible for all to enjoy.
Cllr Paul Arnott, Leader of East Devon District Council, said:
“Thanks to all involved in bringing this exciting addition to Seaton Wetlands to fruition. It’s a testament to those involved in the planning and delivery of the work that the local wildlife has not been affected by the construction work and visitors have continued to enjoy our beautiful marshland and reedbeds alongside the River Axe. Our Countryside team look forward to meeting new visitors and regulars alike, as they discover new sights in this countryside haven which is home to an abundance of wildlife.”
Jenny Nunn, Chief Executive of Seaton Tramway said:
“After many years in the planning, together with our partners at EDDC’s Countryside team, we have finally managed to complete the last piece of the jigsaw, by creating a circular link via the Tramway to Seaton and the amazing Wetlands for all to enjoy. This is a unique project which also opens up an area by the River Axe for the first time offering an innovative insight into the history of, not only the former railway branch line, but also the general history, tourism and wildlife of the area.”
Each new halt is completely step free and the Tramway operates low floor accessible trams every day at least once an hour. More details can be found at tram.co.uk/accessibility.
Please note to ensure the protection of our wildlife, Seaton Wetlands remains a dog-free nature reserve. The Wetlands can be accessed by car via Seaton Cemetery to the car park or from Seaton on foot via Seaton Marshes.
The new halts are best enjoyed with the Explorer Ticket, which allows all day travel on as many trams and to as many stops as you like during your day. Tickets can be booked online before your visit, or by visiting Seaton or Colyton Stations when you arrive. You can also scan one of the QR codes at any of the halts to buy your tickets via your phone. Just show your driver your e-ticket when your tram arrives. Seaton Tramway encourages you to Gift Aid your ticket. As a registered charity, Gift Aid helps your money go further as it allows the Tramway to claim an extra 25p for each £1 of your ticket price.
Seaton Tramway has recently brought home a handful of awards this season, including Accessibility & Inclusivity Award & Large Attraction of the Year Award at the Visit Devon Awards, as well as the Outstanding Visitor Attraction from the Heritage Railway Association Awards.
£2.56m improvements at depot which provides essential maintenance for trains that operate right across the country
Investment increases capacity of the depot and improves its resilience
Network Rail contributed £360,000 for new lighting system
East Midland Railway’s (EMR) £2.56 million upgrade of Nottingham’s Eastcroft train depot has been successfully completed – allowing more trains to be stabled at the key regional hub.
The significant investment allows the depot to stable more trains at a time, while other improvements include more fuel pumps and an upgrade to the train cleaning facilities.
EMR also partnered with Network Rail to fit a new lighting system to the site – helping to improve safety at the London Road depot.
Eastcroft provides the day-to-day maintenance of the EMR Regional fleet – a very complex operation as the fleet is split into three different types of train, known as Class 156, 158 and 170s.
The investment at the depot will help EMR to deliver the current timetable and also support the further development of EMR Regional services.
Neil Bamford, Fleet Director at East Midlands Railway, said: “On behalf of EMR, I would like to thank all the staff and partners who have worked so hard over the last few months to complete this important project to time and budget.
“The improvements are a significant upgrade to the city’s depot and will help to improve the overall service we can provide to EMR Regional customers – providing our teams with more flexibility and resilience.”
Deborah Fairweather, Senior Sponsor for Network Rail, said: “It’s been a pleasure to work with East Midlands Railway on this significant upgrade at Eastcroft Depot. We’re now providing better facilities for railway workers and more space for trains – a benefit which is ultimately passed on to passengers through a more flexible and reliable service.”
Nottingham Heritage Railway (NHR) and the 125 Group are hosting a ‘Meet the Fleet’ weekend at their Ruddington base, offering a rake of diesel powered locomotives available for cab tours and engine visits.
The event takes place over the weekend of Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st August 2022, and you can find NHR’s Ruddington site here.
Our friends at the 125 Group have confirmed “43044 will be open for cab viewing and a look inside the empty bodyshell, whilst outside is a Valenta engine and Marston Cooler starting the process of rebuild. At 2pm on Sunday 21st, we hope to have a naming ceremony for 43044 when Tim Shoveller, MD of Network Rail Midlands NW, will officiate.”
Other attractions, including the Nottingham Area Bus Society (N.A.B.S), will be open to visit over the weekend.
Rainbow Pride Livery ‘Lets Roll with Pride’ applied to Class 158 train
Stronger Together Employee Network sponsoring local Pride events this summer
The Rainbow Train can be seen on EMR’s Regional routes from 6 August
East Midlands Railway’s LGBTQIA+ Employee Network has created a special rainbow livery to celebrate Pride and to promote diversity in its workplace. The rainbow ‘swoosh’ design and tagline ‘Lets Roll with Pride’ has been applied to a Class 158 train.
‘Stronger Together’ is one of six employee network groups within EMR set up to better represent their LGBTQIA+ employees, as well as promoting diversity and inclusion in their workplace. The network is made up entirely of employees from within EMR.
Jacob Lane, Duty Depot Delivery Manager and EMR LGBQTIA+ Network Lead said: “The idea for a Pride train came about after a discussion in one of our network meetings. We thought this would be an awesome way of showcasing our commitment as a network to set EMR on the right path to promoting Diversity and Inclusion. It’s also a great way to show our support to the Pride events taking place on our network, two of which we are sponsoring.
“Alongside the Pride train, we have created pronoun badges for any employees who would like to wear one and our Organisation Development & Culture Manager Amanda Elkin, has created a video on the importance of getting pronouns right”.
The Pride train can be seen out and about on the EMR Regional route, but specifically on the Derwent Valley Line between Derby and Matlock for Belper Pride on Saturday 6 August and Derby Pride on Saturday 10 September.
Check before you travel: Lasting impact of heat means severe disruption to services on East Coast Main Line today
Passengers planning on travelling on the East Coast Main Line today (Wednesday, 20 July) are being urged to plan ahead and check before travelling as severe disruption is expected.
Teams from Network Rail need to carry out repair and recovery work after a fire spread onto the railway line in Sandy, Bedfordshire, which is on the route between Peterborough and King’s Cross.
The incident has caused major damage to signalling equipment and a level crossing in the area, both of which need complex repairs to be completed. Teams also need to inspect the track for damage after track temperatures reached 39.8 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, the hottest recorded place on the East Coast Main Line.
The fire at Sandy has also meant that the planned inspection of over 250 miles of track on the southern end of the East Coast Main Line has not yet taken place. This means that these inspections to check whether any railway equipment has been damaged by Tuesday’s record-breaking temperatures will need to be carried out on Wednesday. If any faults are found, these will need to be repaired before trains can run as normal again.
This means that no trains will be able to run between Peterborough and King’s Cross for the start of service today. Anyone who is planning on using the East Coast Main Line is strongly advised to check before travelling, which they can do via National Rail Enquiries or by contacting their train operator.
Simon Pumphrey, Infrastructure Director for Network Rail’s East Coast route, said:
“The heat has caused numerous challenges for the railway. Our teams remain on site to deal with the damage caused by the fire at Sandy. We’re working as hard as we can, but the complexity of the work means there will be severe disruption to trains on the East Coast Main Line tomorrow.
“The incident has also disrupted our plans to manually inspect the route between Peterborough and King’s Cross for any other damage and carry out any repairs, so we’ll be working today to do that.
“We’re sorry if this impacts on your plans and we’re doing what we can to restart services as soon as possible.
“In the meantime, please check before travelling via National Rail Enquiries or with your train operator.”
Passengers at the southern end of the Midland Main Line advised not to travel early on Wednesday morning following record-breaking temperatures
Rail passengers using the Midland Main Line north from St Pancras are being advised not to travel first thing on Wednesday morning while safety checks continue. It follows record temperatures in the East Midlands on Tuesday which were higher than the design limits for track and overhead line equipment.
Services were stopped on between Bedford and Kettering and London on Tuesday afternoon as a safety precaution. To make sure the heat has not damaged any infrastructure the lines need to be inspected by a qualified engineer in the daylight. This work began on Tuesday night and will resume at first light on Wednesday. Lines will reopen as soon as they have been cleared by the inspectors.
There will be no Thameslink services until late morning at the earliest on Wednesday on the routes between Bedford and London via St Albans; London and Sutton via Wimbledon or Mitcham Junctions, London and East Grinstead, Littlehampton or Orpington; and between Peterborough and Hitchin. EMR Intercity and Connect services are likely to have some cancellations in the morning.
Gary Walsh, route director for Network Rail in the East Midlands explained; “We’re really sorry that the impact of the extreme weather at the start of this week is affecting passengers for a third day. Our teams will be out travelling the rails at first light to carry out the necessary inspections to allow us to fully reopen the network as soon as possible.
“As long as no serious faults are found we expect to have the route between Bedford and London open during the morning and the lines out to Kettering soon afterwards. We have extra response teams on shift who will respond as quickly as possible if any damage is found. I’d ask all passengers to check with your operator before you set off.”
Heatwave damage means no direct trains between London and Scotland
West Coast main line passengers are being urged to check National Rail Enquiries before they set off on their journey with no direct trains between London and Scotland.
People are being advised that journeys will take much longer than normal, could involve rail replacement buses and that fewer trains will be running today (Wednesday 20 July) as work continues to repair the heatwave damaged railway.
Anyone planning to travel on the West Coast main line should check before they travel at www.nationalrail.co.uk.
It’s as Network Rail engineers work tirelessly to repair multiple sections of 25,000-volt overhead electric cables which power trains on the major rail route.
Network Rail teams have been working throughout the night trying to restore the power lines damaged:
Between Lancaster and Carnforth
At Harrow in North London
At Birmingham New Street
The complex repair work will continue today in all locations meaning fewer trains will be running in and out of London Euston, and rail replacement buses will be in operation between Preston and Carlisle.
Avanti West Coast says its train services on other routes out of London Euston may also be cancelled.
James Dean, Network Rail’s West Coast South route director, said: “We’re sorry to passengers impacted by the damaged caused to our overhead electric lines during the record-breaking heat. Specialist teams worked all night but have been unable to fix the cables in time for the start of service this morning. We’re doing everything we can to get things back up and running. In the meantime, please check National Rail Enquiries before you set off on your journey as delays will continue today.”
Repair work is continuing right across the country’s rail network after the extreme heat.
People are advised that journeys will take longer, and trains could be busier while services return to normal after the unprecedented temperatures put a huge strain on the railway.
Most routes will see trains start moving again but with trains and their crews out of place it will take some time to get back to a normal timetable.
However, there are no direct services between Birmingham New Street and Wolverhampton while work continues to repair damaged electric lines in Winson Green.
Trains will not serve the stations in between but will instead take a diversion south via Perry Barr.
Steven Ireland, Network Rail’s Central route performance and customer director, said: “We’re sorry to passengers impacted by the damaged caused to our overhead electric lines during the record-breaking heat. Specialist teams worked all night to get most routes back up and running today. I’d like to thank people for their patience and urge anyone planning a rail journey today to check before they travel before they set out by using the National Rail Enquiries website or app.”
Repair work is continuing right across the country’s rail network after the extreme heat.
It includes overhead line damage on the West Coast main line in North London, Lancashire and Cumbria.
People are advised that journeys will take longer, and trains could be busier while services return to normal after the unprecedented temperatures put a huge strain on the railway.
Network Rail launches resilience taskforce in wake of record-breaking heatwave
Network Rail has announced the launch of a new taskforce led by independent experts to investigate and make recommendations on how the railway can develop its approach to resilience during hot weather following this week’s unprecedented heatwave.
The review will consider four key areas, each led by an independent expert in their field. Three of these areas will be focused on gathering insights from other countries and making comparisons with international rail networks that are more used to dealing with extreme heat and fluctuations in temperature.
Andrew Haines, chief executive of Network Rail, said:
“The weather we’ve experienced this week has put a huge amount of pressure on our infrastructure, our staff and our passengers, and with extreme weather events becoming more frequent as our climate continues to change, we’ve got to pull out all the stops to make our railway as resilient as possible.
“That’s why I’ve decided to commission this taskforce, spearheaded by leading global experts, whose considerable experience in their fields both in the UK and across the world will arm us with the guidance we need to make our railway resilient in the face of climate change for generations to come.”
Dame Julia Slingo FRS, former chief scientist at the Met Office and a world-renowned expert in climatology, will examine the likelihood of more frequent extreme hot weather events in the UK and how high-quality, detailed and timely weather forecasting can be maximised by Network Rail to mitigate the impact of heat on its infrastructure. Dame Julia recently led a weather action task force focussed on equipping Network Rail with a better understanding of the risk of rainfall to its infrastructure.
Sir Douglas Oakervee will draw on his 60 years of experience in engineering to investigate options to ensure the railway infrastructure can continue to function safely and reliably during very hot weather. This work will particularly focus on the performance of track and overhead line equipment as they are the two most common causes of delays and disruption in hot weather. Sir Douglas has served as chair of Crossrail and HS2 and is a former president of the Institution of Civil Engineers.
Simon Lane, former Managing Director and CEO of railways in Melbourne and New South Wales respectively, will explore operational standards, policies and practices which could allow services to continue to operate safely and without highly limiting speed restrictions in extreme heat. Mr Lane, who has experience in leadership roles in the UK and Singapore, has particular knowledge from his work in Australia not only of the challenges railways face in very high temperatures but also the challenge of running railways in a climate where there is a wide variation between the highest and coldest temperatures. Mr Lane previously led a review for the government of Victoria following a period of extreme weather in 2009.
Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent transport watchdog Transport Focus, will examine how Network Rail communicates with passengers in the run-up to and during periods of extreme weather, as well as in its planning for disruptive events. Mr Smith has more than 20 years’ experience leading Transport Focus as it took on representing bus and road users as well as rail passengers. He has contributed to recommendations to the rail industry and the government on how the pandemic affected rail passengers and the Williams-Shapps rail reform white paper amongst other topics.
Passengers are being advised not to travel with all trains suspended between London Euston and Milton Keynes as Britain records its hottest day in history.
The emergency services are dealing with a line side fire caused after 25,000 volt overhead electric cables which power trains came down in Harrow.
All services to and from London Euston are suspended until further notice.
In the meantime, all trains are terminating north of the affected area, at stations such as Milton Keynes and Rugby.
London Northwestern Railway has suspended all of its services south of Northampton.
Specialist Network Rail electrical engineers can assess damage caused to the cables and immediately start the repair once given the all clear by the fire service.
Trees involved in the fire can also then be cleared from the tracks.
James Dean, Network Rail’s West Coast South route director, said: “As predicted the extreme temperatures have impacted the overhead cables on the West Coast main line and all trains have had to be stopped at Harrow in North London.
“Please follow our ‘do not travel’ message today as journeys are being severely impacted. Once the emergency services give us the go ahead we will work as fast as we can to restore the railway lines. We’re sorry to people impacted and we’re working as fast as we can to get things back up and running.”
Avanti West Coast and London Northwestern Railway passengers with tickets dated Monday 18 or Tuesday 19 July who cannot travel are entitled to a full refund via their point of purchase.
Alternatively, their tickets will be valid on Wednesday 20 or Thursday 21 July.
As this incident is ongoing people are being urged to check National Rail Enquiries at www.nationalrail.co.uk for the latest travel information, or to follow Euston station’s Twitter account @NetworkRailEUS.
People are being urged to make their journeys after the heatwave has passed.
Power line fault stops all trains at Birmingham New Street station
Passengers are being advised not to travel with all trains currently stopped through Birmingham New Street station until further notice as Britain records its hottest day in history.
Network Rail’s rapid response team is dealing with a fault involving the 25,000 volt overhead electric cables outside of the station which power trains through the area.
All power has been switched off to the high-voltage cables bringing all trains to a stop.
Engineers are working as fast as they can to fix the issue and get services back on the move but at this time, there is no estimate as to when services will resume.
Denise Wetton, Network Rail’s Central route director, said: “As predicted the extreme temperatures have impacted our overhead cables which power trains and we’ve had to stop all trains at Birmingham New Street station.
“Please keep following our ‘do not travel’ message today as journeys are being severely impacted. We’re sorry to people impacted and we’re working as fast as we can to get things back up and running.”
There is ticket acceptance in place on local buses across the West Midlands.
As this incident is ongoing people are being advised to:
Network Rail and train operators have this evening upgraded their travel advice for services heading north out of London into the weather warning ‘red zone’ to ‘DO NOT TRAVEL’.
With no services planned to run into or out of London King’s Cross all day tomorrow, there are also now no Thameslink or Great Northern services planned to run north of London all day with East Midlands Railway only running very limited services between Derby, Nottingham, Luton, Bedford and London, which will stop altogether during the hottest part of the day (lunchtime to 1900).
There will also be very limited and disrupted services running into and out of London Euston (Avanti West Coast and West Midlands Railway) and London Marylebone (Chilterns Railway).
“We have not taken the decision lightly to upgrade our travel advice to ‘do not travel’ if heading north out of London tomorrow. Please replan your journey as there will either be no services or very disrupted services. Any journey tomorrow within the Met Office’s ‘red-zone’ is going to be long, disrupted and uncomfortable so, with free refunds or ticket swaps available, our best advice is to stay home and replan your journey. Do not try to travel by rail within the ‘red-zone’ tomorrow.”
Services this afternoon and this evening were heavily impacted by the extreme heat today with buckled rails reported and overhead wire systems failing. A new record rail temperature of 62 degrees was recorded in Suffolk earlier today. It is expected that services will be even more disrupted tomorrow with higher temperatures predicted and no overnight lull in hot temperatures tonight to enable the railway infrastructure to adequately cool down. This will mean that speed restrictions will be introduced in the morning, rather than at lunchtime.
Transport Secretary more than trebles investment for rail in the North to over £9.bn
Investment in TransPennine Route Upgrade bolstered by more than 200% to deliver a gold standard rail network to level up the North
Additional funding will be spent on digital signalling technology, electrifying the full route and building additional tracks for passenger and freight services
This comes as Government announces over £950 million for next phase of TransPennine Route Upgrades which will deliver better journeys, sooner for passengers in the North
Passengers in the North are set for a major boost as Transport Secretary Grant Shapps more than trebles the investment for TransPennine Route Upgrades (TRU), slashing journey times, setting the foundations for Northern PowerHouse Rail and reducing carbon emissions by up to 87,000 tons per year.
The increase in funding, from £2.9bn to more than £9bn, is set to strengthen TRU and Northern PowerHouse Rail transforming an already ambitious project to a ‘gold standard’ and delivering on the Government’s priority of Levelling Up the country.
The full route will be fitted with the latest technology, from complete electrification and full digital signalling, to increased capacity along the route for passenger and freight services between Huddersfield and Westtown in Dewsbury, doubling tracks from two to four.
A further £959m of funding has been released to progress the next phase of TRU between Manchester and York. The almost £1bn will be spent on the remaining electrification of the railway between Stalybridge and Manchester and unlocking shorter journey times and trans-Pennine rail freight flows with electric trains between Manchester and Stalybridge, expected to hit the tracks around the middle of the decade.
Funding will also facilitate Northern Powerhouse Rail potentially doubling the amount of direct construction jobs from 2000 to up to 4,000 taking thousands of lorries off our roads and delivering better journeys, sooner for passengers across the North.
Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps said
“Through our record breaking Integrated Rail Plan, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to redesign the railways and it’s only right that we deliver this in line with the best quality technology at our disposal.
“By trebling the overall investment in the TRU, I’m ensuring the North is at the forefront of the Government’s Levelling Up agenda and guaranteeing passengers gold standard services set to deliver greener, faster and reliable services through Northern Powerhouse Rail, electrification and additional train tracks.”
Once complete, the TRU is expected to deliver multiple benefits, delivering an extra two passenger trains every hour and additional hourly freight slots. Upgrades are expected to service more reliable journeys and slash journey times by up to 40%. Northern Powerhouse Rail will be fully electrified, improving the local environment and air quality across the North.
The TransPennine Route Upgrade (TRU), announced in November as part of the Integrated Rail Plan, will be hitting the tracks from 2025 – boosting economic growth and creating local skilled jobs.
Network Rail will close the East Coast Main Line (ECML) for all locations between London King’s Cross and York and Leeds due to the extreme weather expected on Tuesday 19 July. Passengers are being warned not to travel.
The closure will be in place from 12:00 until 20:00 with a skeleton service running in the morning. It comes amid forecasts of record temperatures and the declaration of a national emergency early next week. A combination of extremely high local forecast temperatures and temperatures well in excess of those for which the infrastructure is designed for on the East Coast corridor has led to this decision.
This means many train companies will not run any services and others will be very limited. Passengers are being asked to replan their journey for another day where possible or get a refund.
Conditions on other routes will be closely monitored with further changes to service possible. Additional response staff will be out on the network to respond to incidents, but the heat makes working conditions challenging for them too.
Sam MacDougall, operations director for Network Rail said: “Closing the line to traffic is always a last resort but it is the right thing to do to keep people safe on Tuesday given the unprecedented heatwave forecast. The forecast temperatures are well above those which our infrastructure is designed, and safety must come first.
“On Monday we are reducing the speed at which trains can run which will limit the number of trains running and extend journey times significantly so we’re asking passengers to only travel if absolutely necessary.
“The best way to keep everyone safe and prevent passengers from becoming stranded on trains in the extraordinary heat is to proactively close the East Coast Main Line routes south of York and Leeds during the very hottest temperatures. I am sorry for the disruption this will cause.”
Jason Webb, Director of Customer Information Rail Delivery Group said: “These are extreme temperatures and while the whole industry is pulling together to deliver the best possible service under the circumstances, we must ask people to only travel if absolutely necessary. If you have no choice but to travel on lines that are open, please take all sensible precautions to keep yourself safe and well, like bringing water for your journey.
“If your train is disrupted and you choose not to travel then you are eligible for a fee free refund. Some operators will also offer customers the ability to travel either Wednesday or Thursday if they prefer to delay their travel – please check with your operator. We are sorry for the disruption caused.”
Train service information for Tuesday:
LNER: Do not travel between London King’s Cross and south of York & Leeds. No trains will run (this includes Wakefield, Doncaster, Retford, Lincoln, Newark, Grantham, Peterborough, and Stevenage), only travel if necessary to other destinations. More information about ticket acceptance and refunds is available here.
Great Northern and Thameslink: No trains will run to or from King’s Cross or Moorgate on either the Thameslink or Great Northern routes. There will be no trains on these routes all day. This means no service between Peterborough / Cambridge / Stevenage and London, or on the sub-urban routes between Stevenage via Hertford North / Welwyn Garden City and Moorgate.
CrossCountry: Services are scaled back on Monday and Tuesday and will terminate at Leeds in the west and Newcastle in the North. Full details are available here.
East Midlands Railway services which cross the East Coast: No trains will run between Cleethorpes and Barton-on-Humber. Liverpool Lime Street/ Nottingham/Norwich services will only run between Manchester Piccadilly and Grantham and Doncaster / Lincoln / Peterborough services will be cancelled. Full details of the changes to services are here.
Northern and TransPennine Express: Services likely to be affected by the restrictions. Northern journey planner available here and TransPennine Express here.
Hull Trains: Only running a single service in each direction early in the morning with two further shuttle services between Hull and Doncaster. Service will be diverted and will not call at Howden and Selby. Click for the planned reduced timetable.
Lumo: Customers travelling to or from London Kings Cross are advised to only travel, if necessary before 12:00 or after 20:00 and please do not travel between 12:00 and 20:00. Customers travelling to or from Edinburgh, Morpeth or Newcastle are advised to only travel if essential. Further information on train times and live real time delay/cancellation/disruption information can be found here.