Browsing Tag: rail industry

    Our Railway Upgrade Plan
    Articles, Blog

    Our Railway Upgrade Plan

    November 18, 2019

    Britain’s railway is more popular than ever. Passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years, and are set to continue to grow over the next 25 years. That’s why Network Rail need to continue to invest in building a bigger better railway for everyone. The Railway Upgrade Plan is
    Network Rail’s investment plan. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain’s railways continue to experience. It’s the biggest sustained programme of
    rail modernisation since the Victorian era. We have over 15,000 projects
    underway right now including the Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement
    Programme, parts of our Great North Rail Project electrifying the Great Western Main Line upgrading and improving signalling in
    the Midlands – and we’re transforming travel in and out of London with our
    part in projects like Crossrail Thameslink and the Waterloo and
    South West Upgrade. Schemes that have taken years to deliver because of their ambition and complexity but are now becoming a reality. Over the next three years there will be an extra 170,000 seats into major cities across the
    country every single day with 6,400 extra train services a week and 7,000
    new train carriages – a 30% increase in capacity. The Railway Upgrade Plan is
    British engineering at its best. Thank you for bearing with us as we deliver a better, faster and more reliable railway.

    The Railway At War – 1914-18
    Articles, Blog

    The Railway At War – 1914-18

    November 16, 2019

    100,000 employees enlisted into the armed forces
    during the First World War and of that, roughly 20,000
    were killed. The First World War was the
    first real sort of industrialised, mechanised, mass,
    industrial conflict and as part of that, it was the first
    major conflict that really utilised the full kind
    of range of possibilities of the railways. Most of the main
    railway stations in London were hugely symbolic
    as a kind of location of parting for soldiers
    and their loved ones. The most significant stations
    were Waterloo for transit through Southampton
    docks, and Victoria for Folkestone and Dover. For many people, they were the final
    frontier for the war. That was where you went to wave
    off your loved ones and it was where you
    saw them come home. Women were absolutely vital to
    the functioning of the railways during the First World War. Actually before the war started,
    there was a female contingent as part of the workforce of the railways. There were about 13,000 women but that expanded massively. That opened up a number
    of new roles for them in different areas they hadn’t really worked in before, such as manning the stations, ticket offices, ticket collections and in some cases,
    becoming guards. Another role that they took
    was engine cleaning, which sounds very
    mundane, but it is, in fact, a very important role. Without them taking on the
    roles that were left vacant by those that enlisted, the
    railways wouldn’t have been able to provide the continuity of
    service and the flexibility of service that they did. Around 1912, they started designing the ambulance trains in secret, which meant that the first ambulance trains were rolling into Southampton, ready for action 18 days after the outbreak of war. Ambulance trains made the journey
    home a lot quicker. There was an account of men who were injured, first thing in the
    morning in France one morning, being back at Charing Cross
    by 2:15 in the afternoon. On one of those huge trains, the grunt work was done by orderlies who were quite
    often untrained, very young and they would be doing
    things like changing dressings, cleaning out the train,
    serving the dinners. The vast majority of people who
    travelled on ambulance trains, particularly in the UK, would
    have survived the journey because you weren’t put on board if there was thought to be any risk. There were rudimentary
    operating facilities on board, so that staff could do
    emergency procedures to stem the flow of bleeding
    before passengers were taken to a proper hospital. We think that there were only
    about four people died on board ambulance trains in the UK,
    which is such a small number when you think that 2.7 million men travelled by ambulance train. The refreshment stands
    at mainline stations were quite sort of indicative of the
    wider war effort, particularly in the beginning of the war,
    where there was a huge sort of groundswell of voluntary
    activity to help support troops. All of the main railway
    companies erected memorials at a lot of the main stations.
    They’re still there today. They still act as a sort
    of a massive source of kind of public memorialisation. Obviously, with
    poppies and wreaths left there on the 11th of November for Remembrance Sunday. Many of the railway families –
    there’ll possibly be many generations of people
    working for the railways and therefore, they will have
    lost several generations during the conflict.

    Engineer Steve showcases the High Output Ballast Cleaner
    Articles, Blog

    Engineer Steve showcases the High Output Ballast Cleaner

    September 10, 2019

    I tell you what, I am so excited tonight
    possibly because of this stuff. This is ballast. This is the foundation of the
    railway. The railway that in the UK is 200 percent more busy than it was just a
    few years ago. Yes – this stuff is getting worn out. How did you replace it? With a
    sexy system like this. This is the High Output Ballast System. Let me show you
    how amazing this is. Alright, that engineering train behind
    you is over half a mile long. Why? Because it replaces the length of four football pitches a night in a few hours. This stuff, new ballast keep our trains
    running on time. This takes three years worth of planning. Why? Because while this track is being replaced that line over there is open at line speed. It’s like
    taking the M1 and taking a centre lane of the M1 and running all of the traffic
    at full speed around it. This is no simple task. This is complicated and keeps the passengers running. Let me show you even more! It’s the team that make this really good
    because we use the same systems in France and in Holland; but in Holland
    they take 52 hours to do renewals like this and in Paris in France they do the same
    thing but they open the line at 35 kilometres an hour. Not this British team,
    not this High Output Team because they open at “high-speed hand back” – 90 miles an hour. What does that do? It allows us as passengers to get there quicker. That’s
    what we want! That’s a railway fit for the future – and that’s what this team are
    doing right now!