UK railway news roundup


The rail industry across the UK fell silent to remember the three men who died in the Stonehaven derailment last week. Plus, there’s confusion over potential rail fare rises.

Railways fall silent to remember those lost in Stonehaven derailment

Stonehaven rail tributes

The rail industry paused to remember those who lost their lives, and all others who were affected by the derailment at Stonehaven last week.

Across Scotland, railway stations remained silent for a minute at 09:43, the time the incident was reported on Wednesday, 12 August 2020, to mark the passing of the train driver Brett McCullough, the conductor operating the service Donald Dinnie and passenger Christopher Stuchbury.

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Images reveal scale of flood damage on Edinburgh to Glasgow line

Rail damage

It could take months to reinstate the Edinburgh to Glasgow line as the scale of flood damage is revealed.

Network Rail will be working around-the-clock to repair flood damage on the main line near Polmont.

With the flood water subsiding from the tracks, engineers have now fully inspected the 300m section of track damaged where torrents of water cascaded from the damaged Canal above. To see more, click here.

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July RPI rises by 1.6%, no decision on rail fares yet

Rail fares

The July Retail Price Index (RPI) – used for many years to decide the New Year changes to rail fares – has risen by 1.6%.

However, last month’s RPI rise is largely due to the higher prices for road fuel. There was confusion in parts of the media, who reported that rail fares were to rise by 1.6% in the New Year.

An announcement about any changes to fares in January 2021 is expected soon from the Department for Transport. Here’s what Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris had to say.

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Historic Welsh locomotive to steam again at Gwili Railway

Historic Welsh locomotive to steam again at Gwili Railway
Photo: National Railway Museum

The National Railway Museum and the Gwili Vintage Carriage Group have signed a three-year overhaul agreement to bring the last surviving Welsh standard gauge locomotive back into steam.

Originally agreed in October 2019, plans to begin the overhaul of Taff Vale Railway No.28 were disrupted by the nationwide COVID-19 pandemic. However, the easing of restrictions has enabled the agreement to be finalised.

The locomotive will be based at the Gwili Railway near Carmarthen and will be overhauled onsite by the railway’s inhouse engineering team at an estimated cost of £160,000. Click here for the full details.

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Helston Railway appeal to get new DMU ready for service

Helston Railway

The Helston Railway is appealing for funds to ensure that its newly-acquired Class 127 DMU set will be ready for service in 2021.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the railway bought the two-car set comprising power cars Nos. 51616 and 51622, two of only six that survived in preservation.

No. 51616 – named Alf Benney after a former driver – has arrived at the railway, while No. 51622 is still at the Great Central Railway, the set’s long-time home. For more information, click here.

Swanage Railway emergency appeal edges closer to target

Swanage Railway
Photo: Andrew PM Wright

An emergency £360,000 appeal to help Swanage Railway survive the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has reached £261,809 as the railway celebrates a significant milestone.

The Swanage Railway is celebrating the 25th anniversary of steam trains returning to Corfe Castle and Norden for the first time since 1967.

Swanage Railway Trust chairman Gavin Johns is appealing to the public to continue to donate to the urgent fund because the appeal needs to reach its target despite a restricted steam and diesel passenger train service returning to the preserved line. For more details, click here.

Seaton Tramway to celebrate 50th anniversary this month

Seaton Tramway will be hosting a special event on August 28 to see all 13 trams in action to celebrate 50 years of the tramway.

Heritage trams 14, 16 & 19 that ran on the streets of London, Bournemouth & Exeter respectively will be enjoying the 6-mile round trip. Scale replica trams like our Blackpool Boat tram No 4 and our London Metropolitan car 2 will also be making their way through the Axe Valley.

The entire fleet of trams will be in operation across the day of August 28 as the tramway celebrates their anniversary. Seaton Tramway has made its home in Seaton for half a century, starting with the acquisition of the closed railway line in 1969. Click here for more details about the anniversary.

Latest service updates

Travelling on the network? If you can, try travelling during the quiet times, between 08:15-16:00 and after 17:30 on weekdays, and before noon and after 18:00 on weekends.

Find out more about the quiet times to travel and when individual stations and stops are busiest.

When using public transport there are a few things we ask you to keep in mind: Many local stations have different quiet times. Check how busy any station is on the TfL network at any time or day using our online tool or our TfL Go app.

You must wear a face covering over your mouth and nose for your entire journey including inside stations, unless you are exempt. Please maintain social distancing from other passengers and allow extra time as some station layouts may have changed.   

We have lots of online tools to help you plan your journey, including maps with walking times between Tube stations and walking times between shops and attractions in West End.

London Underground  
Due to engineering work the following services will be affected. Please check before you travel and plan your journey ahead of time.
District line
On Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 August, there will be no service between Tower Hill and Dagenham East. Rail replacement bus services DL6 and DL7 will run. Use alternative Tube, local and replacement bus services.

Hammersmith & City line
On Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 August, there will be no service between Hammersmith and Barking. Use alternative Tube and local or replacement bus services DL6 and DL7. No Night Tube or London Overground Night Service and limited Night Bus services are running.

See the latest status updates on London Underground, including a map of closures.  

London Overground
Due to engineering work, the following London Overground services will be affected. 

On Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 August, there will be no service between: Highbury & Islington and New Cross Gate. Rail replacement bus service X will run between Dalston Kingsland and New Cross Gate. Or use Tube, DLR or local bus services  New Cross Gate and Crystal Palace or West Croydon. Use alternative Southern Rail services, or local bus services. Surrey Quays and Clapham Junction. Rail replacement bus service M will run between Canada Water and Clapham Junction Willesden Junction and Clapham Junction.

Use local bus services Gospel Oak and Barking. Use local bus or Tube services. Rail replacement bus service J will run between Gospel Oak and Seven Sisters. Rail replacement bus service T will run between Walthamstow Central and Barking On Sunday 23 August, there will be no service between: Camden Road and Richmond until 11:30. Use local bus or Tube services. Rail replacement bus service R will run between Gunnersbury and Camden Road Hackney Downs and Chingford after 22:45. Use Tube services. Rail replacement bus service L3 will run between Hackney Downs and Chingford No Night Tube or London Overground Night Service and limited Night Bus services are running.

Check before you travel and plan your journey ahead of time.
See an overview of planned track closures for the next six months.
From Monday 10 August, ticket machines at all DLR stations (with the exception of Lewisham, Shadwell and Woolwich Arsenal) will only accept payment by card.

You will be able to top up your Oyster card online, via the TfL Oyster app or at an Oyster Ticket Stop. Alternatively, you can pay as you go using contactless.

London Trams  
Due to planned engineering works, there will be several London Trams line closures during August and September.

The following services will be affected in the coming week:
On Saturday 22 August and Sunday 23 August there will be no service between Sandilands and Elmers End, and Beckenham Junction.

From Monday 17 August until Friday 21 August there will be no service between Arena and Elmers End before 07:00 and after 19:30.
From Monday 17 August until Sunday 30 August, there will be no service between Wandle Park and Centrale, or Church Street and Wandle Park. 
Please use alternative local and replacement bus services. Check before you travel and plan your journey ahead of time.

See the latest status updates on London Overground, DLR, TfL Rail and Trams, including a map of closures and information about rail replacement buses.

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