Click here to listen to the latest rail news on Thursday, 16th March 2023
InTheNews: The latest rail news on Thursday, 16th March 2023
RMT members at 14 train operating companies take part in the first in a wave of four 24-hour strikes.
The article in The Guardian says commuters across England are broadly the hardest hit by the latest action. Passengers have been urged to check before travel and in some places to take a train only if absolutely necessary, with most affected operators running final services by early evening.
Train operators said they would “pull out all the stops” with contingency staff to keep services running, but fewer than half are expected to run overall, with some routes closed entirely.
Bristol’s mayor has defended plans for an underground rail network expected to cost between £7 billion and £18 billion.
An article on the BBC website says Marvin Rees says he will carry on pushing for a mass transit system in the city until he is “definitively told a business case doesn’t stack up”.
Political leaders are expected to confirm whether they will spend a further £13.6 million on drawing up options for a future underground network.
A website has been set up that appears to be for a public consultation.
A ceremony has been held to mark the start of construction on a new £1.5 million locomotive maintenance facility at rail vehicle engineering and maintenance provider, UK Rail Leasing Ltd’s (UKRL), depot in Leicester.
This new facility has been designed to maintain new classes of locomotives and provide UKRL significant extra capacity in Leicester to expand its maintenance business. It is also expected the expansion, once operational in early 2024, will create 15 new, highly skilled jobs.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has published figures showing that national rail passenger numbers have reached over 100 per cent of pre-COVID levels for the first time since March 2020.
From Friday 10 February, passenger numbers on the national network hit or exceeded 100 per cent five days in a row, and on Wednesday 22 February 103 per cent was recorded.
This means that passenger numbers have doubled in just over a year, with the DfT data showing that since the start of 2023 rail customers have been returning not just on weekends and the middle days of the working week, but also on Mondays and Fridays.
Photo credit: Railway Industry Association