Click here to listen to the latest rail news on Thursday, 1st December 2022
InTheNews: The latest rail news on Thursday, 1st December 2022
The headquarters of Great British Railways will not be announced until next year at the earliest, the Transport Secretary has revealed.
An article in the Yorkshire Post says Mark Harper, who was appointed to the role in October, said that no set date has been agreed for the plans following bids from both York and Doncaster, despite suggestions that it could still be announced before the end of the year.
In an interview with the paper following yesterday’s meeting with Northern mayors in Manchester, Mr Harper said: “there isn’t a specific timetable” but that the Government will set out its decision publicly when it is decided.
Northern mayors called for radical improvements to rail services in a joint statement after meeting with new transport secretary Mark Harper.
“The absolute bare minimum of levelling up means being able to get to work and college on time – but Northerners have been robbed of this basic right because of the chaos on our railways. That must end,” the mayors said in an article on The Business Desk.
The transport secretary described the meeting as “very constructive” in a follow-up tweet, added. “We all agree rail services in the region currently aren’t good enough. We’re training more drivers and introducing more services but, to fully solve the problems, reform must be delivered and industrial disputes resolved.”
Rail passengers travelling between London and south-west Wales are set to have a choice of train operator.
An article in the Evening Standard says regulator the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) said its decision to give permission to new company Grand Union Trains (GUT) to start operating from the end of 2024 could lead to “lower fares, improved service quality and innovation”.
GUT is planning to run five daily return services between Carmarthen in south-west Wales and London Paddington.
This December, Network Rail is investing in the East Midlands’ railway to bring better stations, more reliable journeys and to power ahead with the Midland Main Line electrification scheme.
On Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 December, the brand-new second footbridge will be lifted in at St Albans station to make it easier for passengers to move around during busy times.
Over the next two weekends (3, 4, 10 and 11 December), engineers will also be making progress on the multi-million-pound Midland Main Line electrification scheme, which will see the train-powering overhead line equipment upgraded south of Bedford.
Photo credit: Network Rail