Rail Express

Rail Express is essential reading for today’s rail enthusiast. It has all the latest news from across Britain’s railway network, illustrated with superb photographs of traction in action.

There’s full coverage of main line movements, London Underground, railtours, the preservation scene, shunters, coaches and developments over on the Irish network. Every movement and acquisition is examined and the Time Traveller column offers a nostalgic look back at the rail news of yesteryear.

Rail Express Modeller is your comprehensive guide to the world of model railways, featuring reviews of new releases and how-to guides for getting the best from your layout.

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June 2018

FEATURES

12  FYLDE ELECTRIFICATION

Blackpool North reopens after five-month electrification and upgrade programme.

13  WHEN SATURDAY CAME…

The glory days of holiday trains to Blackpool.

20  ‘HOOVERS’ CONQUER CUMBRIA

Our April tour that took two ‘50s’ to Carlisle.

24  ‘50s’ at WORKINGTON

The proof that they worked there in BR days.

27  A MOMENT IN TIME

Why an AC loco was on the DC Woodhead route.

REGULARS

18  SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS

How to save money on Rail Express every month.

28 TIME TRAVELLER

Headlines from 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 years ago.

29 EXPRESS MAILBAG

Class 40 crash eyewitness; Damaged ICI hopper; Longport before EMD; Container ‘caboose’.

NEWS

6    HEADLINE NEWS

Government management of rail franchises ‘completely inadequate’; New Moorgate EMUs on test; New TPE trains on the way; Hydrogen fuel technology could help eliminate diesel; More franchise applicants approved as First Group faces break-up; ‘Grid’ rebuild on the cards; ‘D-Train’ main line tests; GWR confirms Class 769 ‘tri-mode’ order.

30  LU WORLD

What are the new rules for taking photos on London Underground stations?

71 RAILTOURS

‘Hidden’ Class 70 trip; ‘Dub and Grub’ ‘50’ tour.

73 PRESERVATION

LSL begins ‘Deltic’ repairs; Appeal to repatriate ‘04’; RMS sells ‘Goyle’ to preservation; Class 210 survivor to become café; The magnificent six line up at the East Lancs Class 40 gala.

80 POWER BY THE HOUR

GBRf removes ‘73s’ from traffic; Debut for Caledonian ‘47’; Alstom maintains Class 92s.

82 POWERSCENE

Key workings, Name Game and Spectrum.

90 UNITS

Class 365 move to Scotland for evaluation.

93  SHUNTERS

Hitachi turns to the past.

94 COACHES

Swanage rake returns to main line.

95 WAGONS

High-speed prototype joins National Collection.

96 IRISH ANGLE

Preserved NIR ‘Thumpers’ get retro livery.

MODELLING

We have a modeller’s guide to Network Rail DVTs, plus a focus on Beilhack snowploughs following the release of Hattons’ 4mm model. We also complete our look at modelling Mk.2 coaches, while there’s news of regional ‘37s’ from Bachmann and more GWR-liveried models from Hornby.

The July issue of Rail Express is on sale Friday, June 15 – order your copy now!

May 2018
NEWS
HEADLINE NEWS
New West of England franchise proposed; SVR offers chance to drive a ‘66’ and ‘73’; Cancellation of electrification review; First Class 800/2 arrives; GA’s new Brantham depot put on hold; Backing promised for new routes and stations; CAF factory milestone; New West Coast franchise to start in 2019; North Wales signalling upgrade.
LU WORLD
A look inside two Met Line signal cabins.
RAILTOURS
Flying start for Saphos; ‘Hoover’ tour planned.
PRESERVATION
New home for ‘04’; Bodmin ‘108’ acquired; Rare ‘03’ pairing; Gala problems for ‘Peaks’; Weardale ‘Pacers’ scrapped; ‘Clayton’ to visit Spa Valley.
POWER BY THE HOUR
Electric loco works into Glasgow Queen Street; GBRf trials ‘70’; Red tapes halt TPE ’68’ transfer.
POWERSCENE
Key workings, class by class.
UNITS
Final ‘707s’ enter service with SWR; Northern gets first ex-ScotRail ‘Turbostars’.
SHUNTERS
RMS duties diminish as ‘08’ scrapped.
COACHES
Mini-HST enters service with sliding door Mk.3s.
WAGONS
First dedicated biomass hoppers arrive for GBRf.
IRISH ANGLE
IR snow shutdown; Preservation for ‘Thumpers’.
FEATURES
AMSTERDAM BEGINS
Eurostar has begun regular passenger services from London to the Dutch capital.
EAST MIDLANDS FOCUS
With the franchise up for renewal, we look at the past and future of this key artery.
NORTHWICH ICI TRAFFIC
Detailing the traffic flows to the Cheshire chemical plants in the diesel years.
0-60: CLASS 87
A railtour offers the chance to step back in time.
REGULARS
SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS
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EXPRESS MAILBAG
On Shed updates; double ‘Warships’ at the SVR.
REVIEWS
New books with a modern traction theme.
TIME TRAVELLER
Headlines from the past 50 years.
April 2018

FEATURES

14  THE D200 STORY

Charting 60 years of the pioneer Class 40.

18  THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN

A round-up of the other preserved ‘40s’.

19  CLASS 40 POSTER POSER

Can you solve this 1970s riddle?

22  ON SHED PART 3

Looking at purpose-built facilities in the Midlands, North England and Scotland.

28  0-60: CLASS 800 ELECTRIC

Completing our comparison of HSTs vs IETs.

REGULARS

20  SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS

The best ways to get Rail Express every month.

31 TIME TRAVELLER

April news from decades past.

32 REVIEWS

A selection of recent modern traction books.

33 EXPRESS MAILBAG

More lineside relics; WLL freight then and now.

NEWS

6    HEADLINE NEWS

‘Beast from the East’ plays havoc with rail services across the country; NR gets funding boost; Rail factory plan for Goole; Doncaster iPort opens; Repaint marks BR anniversary; ScotRail fined £3 million; Orders for ‘D-Train’ as battery version nears completion; Three Crossrail firsts; Abellio quits Welsh bid; First Greater Anglia Class 720 takes shape.

73  LU WORLD

Acton Works expansion begins.

74 RAILTOURS

Goodies galore in GBRf’s charity marathon.

76 PRESERVATION

‘Peak’ could go main line; Class 50 Alliance to take on Glorious for three years at Severn Valley; Coventry 2-HAP joins Briddon fleet; Weardale ‘Goyle’ gala.

80 POWER BY THE HOUR

TransPennine Express ‘68’ fleet reaches full strength; ‘37/4’ back after 18 years.

82 POWERSCENE

Our round-up of key workings this month.

90 UNITS

First Class 365s stored; More GN ‘700s’.

93  SHUNTERS

Pongo escapes from Kingsbury.

94 COACHES

ERS lands first main line hire deal.

95 WAGONS

First cut-down HRA hopper outshopped.

96 IRISH ANGLE

Belfast Central to be renamed Lanyon Place.

March 2018

Current issue: March 2018
Next issue: April 2018 – On sale: March 13


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEATURES

TWO ZULU ZERO TWO
Life aboard the former Class 121 video survey unit Pandora by one of its technical crew.

LOADS OF RUBBISH
An in-depth look at the locations, locos and wagons used for transporting household waste.

THE ‘SHENFIELD SHARK’
A unique view from inside this famous relic.

0-60: GREAT WESTERN HST
Are they better or worse than diesel IETs?

MOMENT IN TIME: CLASS 58
It is now 15 years since the last of the class
ran under its own power in Britain.

REGULARS

TIME TRAVELLER
Looking back 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 years ago.

EXPRESS MAILBAG
More Cargowaggon uses; MGR ‘50’ poser solved.

REVIEWS
A selection of recent modern traction books.

M24 SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS
The best ways to get Rail Express every month.

NEWS

HEADLINE NEWS
DMU derailed near Glenfinnan; TSGN ‘not value for money’; First look at GA bimodes as Mk.5s enter Britain and a Class 801 debuts; Carillion failure highlights outsourcing weakness; Boden Rail moves to Nottingham; East Coast franchise to end ‘shortly’; Northern’s Class 331 unveiled; Threat to freight paths; New trains to get longer numbers.

LU WORLD
Class 345 sell-off to fund new Tube trains.

RAILTOURS
UK Railtours cancels Northern Belle trips.

PRESERVATION
Glorious to run again; DMUs up for sale; Class 40 to have extended stay at SVR; Swanage main line shuttle trial paused; Steam heat survey – which locos have working boilers?

POWER BY THE HOUR
Former Grand Central HSTs move to new homes; renumbered ‘66s’ enter traffic with GBRf.

POWERSCENE
Our round-up of key workings.

UNITS
GWR ‘150s’ move to Northern.

SHUNTERS
Hunslet Class 08 goes for scrap.

COACHES
More HST stock on the move; Barriers for sale.

WAGONS
New tanks arrive for Heathrow fuel train.

IRISH ANGLE
NIR ballast rehabilitation project recommences.

AUGUST 2017

Current issue: August 2017
Next issue: September 2017 – On sale: August 18

Headline News
Bidders announced for next West Coast and South Eastern franchises; First passenger runs for Class 230 ‘D-Train’; New look for ROG Type 4; Swanage Railway reconnects to the main line; Report highlights Southern woes; South Western Trains orders new Bombardier ‘Aventra’ fleet; First look at new Northern DMU; Alliance Rail drops Blackpool ‘Pendolino’ plan for ‘91s’; First IEP to Penzance; East Coast operator again faces revenue shortfall; Coventry Electric Railway Museum to close.

From the archives: LMR
We have delved into our photo library to dig out a selection of rare and unseen images taken on the London Midland Region in the 1950s and 60s.

Subscription offers
The best ways to get Rail Express every month.

A year at Scropton
A year in the life of the not always busy signalbox on the Derby to Stoke line.

Then & Now: Huddersfield
How trees have taken over at Springwood Junction.

0-60: Class 92
Neville Hill takes a stopwatch and torch on the Caledonian sleeper.

Mailbag and Reviews
West Midlands ‘Gronk’ trips; Box Tunnel sunrise problem; plus books covering Class 50s, Southern Region signalling and freight times.

Time Traveller
Looking back to past August news from 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 years ago.

LU World
Sarah Siddons receives pre-overhaul inspection; Tower tragedy closes Underground lines.

Railtours
Ever been to Sevenoaks Gusset? Plus a full round-up of future tours and announcements.

Preservation
Severn Valley acquires second Class 09 shunter; Deal sees ‘Grid’ based at East Lancs; ‘Choppers’ move to Butterley; GCR due for GWR gala.

Power By The Hour
Class 88s make revenue earning debut; Class 68 TransPennine preparations under way.

Powerscene
Notable workings from around the country.

Unitary Authority
First Class 345 enters passenger service.

Shunter Spot
RSS acquires first Class 09; HNRC collects ‘08s’.

Coach Compartment
Met-Cam Pullman returns to main line use.

Wagons Roll
New ‘shorty’ HRA hopper enters traffic.

Irish Angle
GM diesels star on charters; Grand Hibernian sees range of diesel traction.

JULY 2017

Current issue: July 2017
Next issue: August 2017 – On sale: July 14

 

 

May 2017

Current issue: May 2017
Next issue: June 2017 – On sale: May 19

Headline News

Brexit and the effect on railways; First look at new Anglia fleet; First-MTR consortium wins South West Trains; Shunters escape scrapyard closure; New Penzance depot takes shape; DRS Class 88s commence trials; New South Eastern franchise to start in December 2018; New look for Class 230 DMU as Vivarail develops a battery-powered version; Hoppers damaged in East Somerset derailment; Freight paths freed up for passenger use.

When Saturday Came: Skegness

Looking back to the golden days of summer-dated holiday trains to coastal resorts, kicking off with this look at the Lincolnshire outpost.

LU World Special

London Underground is bidding farewell to its District Line workhorse – the ‘D’ Stock. We detail its career history, with insight from a LU driver.

A trip down memory lane

Example main line duties from when the Class 08/09 fleet did more than just shunting.

0-60: Class 144

Putting a Northern ‘Pacer’ (and our columnist!) to the test in the Aire Valley.

Reviews

New books on Class 08/09s, Class 50s, and life
as a railwayman in the early 1970s.

Express Mailbag

‘Westerns’ on freight; Pilot scheme diesels; Foreign-owned trains and operators.

Time Traveller

May news from decades gone.

Railtours

Royal Scotsman itineraries announced; Celebrity ‘37’ to return to Highland haunts; Charity tour raises £50,000; Full diary for May.

Preservation

Early ‘37’ to be overhauled by UKRL; Ark Royal misses Bluebell gala; ‘Skinhead 31’ moves to Weardale; Heritage line freight photo special.

Power By The Hour

Colas ‘67s’ start NR test train work; GBRf
‘73/9s’ resume solo sleeper working.

Powerscene

Our class-by-class round-up of notable workings.

Unitary Authority

GWR Class 387/1s head west; More ex-Thameslink Class 319s go in to store.

Shunter Spot

RSS continues to expand.

Wagons Roll

‘Seacows’ acquired by SVR; DIrect Rail Services puts DVTs into store at Longtown.

Coach Compartment

Vintage Pullmans head south.

Irish Angle

Another DEMU car is scrapped.

Modelling

Our main feature this month is an in-depth look at an ‘OO’ gauge layout based in the Fens in the 1960s. There is also news of Kernow’s Bulleid-designed diesels, plus reviews including Dapol MJA wagons, Gaugemaster ‘73s’ and a Graham Farish ‘37/4’.

 

April 2017

Current issue: April 2017
Next issue: May 2017 – On sale: April 17

In the April 2017 issue: 

Headline News

HS2 bill receives royal assent; New depots for Exeter and Manningtree; Lime Street closed as wall collapses; Freight grant cut will mean reduction in rail traffic; Major railway scrapyard calls it a day; Franchise bidding mania will lead to glut in surplus stock; Severn Valley Railway wins modern traction award; Three shortlisted for East Midlands franchise; Chiltern ‘Bubbles’ to go; ‘Storm Doris’ traction bonus; First Class 88 tour announced; Second City Crossing opens.

Battersea bound!

The tunnel boring machines have been lowered underground for the Northern Line’s extension to Battersea in South London.

Sectorisation and the focus on freight operations

The 1980s saw a key change in British Rail management as it switched from focusing on regions to business sectors.

0-60: Class 390

Virgin’s ‘Pendolinos’ are quick, but are they also quick off the mark? Neville Hill finds out.

Pandora through Woodhead

A Moment in Time as EM2 No. 27006 gets ready to enter the famous tunnel in 1959.

Reviews

Books on monorails, railway history and Class 58s are new out this month.

Express Mailbag

Last days of the ‘Westerns’; Hong Kong battery locos; 92-hour clock; and Eurostar scrappings.

Time Traveller

April news from decades past.

LU World

A look inside the first ‘D’ Stock Sandite train.

Railtours

Rare chance for DRS ‘66/3’ haulage; Mercia suspends European tour programme.

Preservation

‘Western’ appeal successful; Bluebell 4-VEP to go main line; DRS ‘37’ preserved; update on Class 56 Group ‘Grids’; Deltic to visit Spa Valley.

Power By The Hour

New locos delivered to UK; DRS reveals loco tender results; Colas ‘67s’ ready for service.

Powerscene

Notable workings from around the country.

Unitary Authority

More ‘700s’ introduced on Thameslink.

Shunter Spot

Cambridge gets a pilot; Changes at Cardiff Tidal.

Coach Compartment

DRS ‘air cons’ become nuclear escort coaches.

Wagons Roll

It’s a big month for box wagon deliveries.

Irish Angle

‘Thumpers’ vehicles go for scrap.