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InTheNews: The latest rail news on Wednesday, 25th May 2022
Railway workers have voted overwhelmingly to strike in a bitter dispute over jobs, pay and conditions, threatening massive disruption to the network in the coming weeks.
The article features in many of the papers including the Evening Standard that says members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) at Network Rail and 15 train operators backed launching a campaign of industrial action.
The union’s leaders will now decide when to call strikes, which will bring huge parts of the network to a standstill.
A total of 71 per cent of those balloted took part in the vote with 89 per cent voting in favour of strike action and 11 per cent voting against.
In response, Andrew Haines, Network Rail’s chief executive has urged the RMT to sit down with them and continue to talk, not walk, so they can find a compromise and avoid industrial action which he says will be disastrous for the industry’s recovery.
In other news and the Midlands’ newest and longest railway bridge is now fully functional after carrying its first freight train.
Tracks reopened earlier this week on the Stechford to Aston freight line in Birmingham following the installation of a massive 2,600-tonne bridge built by Network Rail in partnership with HS2.
At 92 metres long, the steel and concrete structure becomes the longest single span railway bridge in the Midlands.
It needs that clearance underneath so future tracks for Britain’s new zero-carbon railway can be built below for HS2 trains to access its Washwood Heath depot.
Community groups and volunteers across Britain are coming together for this year’s Community Rail Week to encourage people to ‘give the train a try’.
They are especially encouraging the many families and individuals who rarely or never get on a train or bus, and instead rely on cars, to consider the benefits of making at least the occasional switch to greener, healthier, more social forms of travel.
Community Rail Week, organised by Community Rail Network and sponsored by Rail Delivery Group, runs until Sunday, and involves hundreds of community rail partnerships and volunteer groups inviting people to ‘give the train a try’.
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