Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Improvements to railway lines in Scotland and Wales

Network Rail is making improvements to railway lines in Scotland and Wales.

In Scotland, Network Rail announces improvements to the Aberdeen to Inverness railway line to improve journey times.

The latest phase of the Aberdeen-Inverness Improvement Project to upgrade the railway between the two cities is now underway in Aberdeen.

Over the next two months, engineers will be carrying out extensive devegetation work on the railway around Kittybrewster and Tillydrone to clear the way for the doubling of the track in this area.

The devegetation work is a vital part of the Scottish Government-funded project.

By the end of 2019 the scheme will deliver a half hourly service between Aberdeen and Inverurie and improve journey times and increase capacity between the two cities. The project will also provide a day-time hourly commuter service between Inverness and Elgin.

Network Rail will host a drop-in for residents in Sainsbury’s in Kittybrewster on Thursday, February 8, between noon and 7pm to talk about the overall project and the clearance work.

Over 11,000 letters have also been distributed along the route to make residents aware of the upcoming work.

Billy McKay, Network Rail senior programme manager for the project, said: “This project, and the new services it enables, will help to improve the flexibility the railway can offer the expanding communities around Aberdeen and Inverness.

“The project will open up new job and leisure opportunities for our customers and is an important part of our plan to build the best railway Scotland has ever had.

“We understand some our activities may disturb our neighbours in the short-term, but we are committed to delivering this project as quickly as possible and with a minimum of inconvenience for lineside communities.”

In Wales, Network Rail has also announced improvement works to be made on the Cambrian Line which serves between Aberystwyth and Newtown.

Network Rail is carrying out improvement work to the Cambrian Line, between Newtown and Aberystwyth, as part of its Railway Upgrade Plan. The £7.25m project will see 6km of track renewed over a period of 8 weeks.
The track, which is currently bolted together, will be removed and replaced with a new continuous welded rail, resulting in a reduction in noise for those living near the railway, and a better quality ride for passengers. The work forms part of a longer term strategy to remove jointed track along the Cambrian Line.

Andy Thomas, route managing director for Network Rail in Wales and Borders said: “The route is vital to the local economy and provides a critical link for rail customers in mid and North West Wales. Our upgrade work to the Cambrian Line will ensure it remains reliable long into the future.

“I would like to thank the local community for their patience while we carry out this work as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan and reassure them that we are doing all we can to keep disruption to a minimum. We are working with our partners Arriva Trains Wales to keep passengers moving via a bus replacement service and passengers are advised to check before travelling. ”

Bethan Jelfs, Customer Services Director for Arriva Trains Wales, said: “The Cambrian line is an incredibly valuable part of the Welsh network so to see such a significant investment to protect it for the future is excellent news. We have worked closely with our partners in Network Rail to ensure this work causes as little disruption to our customers as possible and we encourage everyone to check their journeys ahead of travelling.”

Work will take place during the evenings and overnight, starting on 5 February, affecting some of the later services. The line will also be closed on Saturday 17 February and Sunday 18 February as well as Saturday 10 March and Sunday 11 March, with a bus replacement service in operation. Passengers are advised to check before travelling at www.nationalrail.co.uk.

Here’s a London Bus news update from LOTS:

1) All the operator and type changes went ahead on 3rd February as planned. CT Plus withdrew its 11 DA-class E200s, Go-Ahead the two DMNs and most of the SEN-class E200s from Northumberland Park Garage, while Abellio withdrew most of its Volvo B7TLs (90** batch) except for a few that will stay for route 172 until that route is lost from 17th March.

2) Delivery is well underway of Arriva London’s HVs due for the 468 in March and just one of Metroline’s VWHs is outstanding. The last LTs for London United route 267 are also now in London. All that means that the flow of new buses from Wright’s is now much reduced. Indeed, Metroline has changed its bodywork supplier from its next new double-deck buses with an order for 66 Volvo B5LH/ MCV EvoSeti buses for their takeover of routes 30 and 31 this summer and the double-decking of route 274.

3) At Slough the various changes necessary to replace First Berkshire’s service cuts were finally sorted at the very last minute and variously from 20th and 30th January we now have Reading (t/a Thames Valley Buses) on the Daily 5, evening 4, Sunday 6 and on the daytime Mon-Sat 2. Courtney are running 10, 15/15A and some early, late and Sunday journeys on the 2 to fill in gaps when TVB’s 2 doesn’t run.

4) After an agreement brokered by Bucks CC from 7th January whereby Arriva and Carousel once again accept each other’s return tickets on the 1/1A between High Wycombe and Chesham, from 18th February a similar arrangement will begin between High Wycombe and Bourne End on Carousel routes 35/36/36A and Arriva 35/37.

5) Arriva Southern Counties, having taken the unpopular minibuses at Guildford off local route 3 and put them on the X1 to Horsham, is withdrawing the X1 from 11th March. From the same date part of the 402 and all of Arriva’s 452 at Sevenoaks will go over to more minibuses – little but less often! For example the present x20min frequency between Sevenoaks and Dunton Green on 402 with normal buses will change to a x30min minibus service!

This was just a short news update from Network Rail and LOTS News.

As always, I invite you to follow me on Twitter and Google Plus by searching for @CLondoner92

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