Elizabeth line to open to the public on May 24

Elizabeth line to open to the public on May 24

Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed that the new Crossrail section between Abbey Wood to Paddington will open to passengers on May 24, 2022.

Once open, the new line will link Reading with Essex, via central London – opening up additional capacity in the capital and better connecting a number of key commuter hubs.

Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed that the new Crossrail section between Abbey Wood to Paddington will open to passengers on May 24, 2022.

Once open, the new line will link Reading with Essex, via central London – opening up additional capacity in the capital and better connecting a number of key commuter hubs.

TfL engineers have been running test services along the route in recent weeks, testing the infrastructure and signalling, as well as allowing for drivers and station staff to familiarise themselves with new procedures.

These are a mandatory step in acquiring the necessary safely approvals to operate the new line. As such, the opening date remains subject to these final safety approvals being granted.

Once opened to the public, the Elizabeth line will run services every five minutes between 6:30am and 11:00pm, though a full timetable will not be in place until May 2023.

TfL have already confirmed that there will be a special Sunday service in place for the Platinum Jubilee weekend, with heavy footfall expected across the network.

Crossrail – the name given to the Elizabeth line project – has faced a number of budget issues and delays during its construction, with the announcement of an official public opening date seen as a key final milestone.

The Elizabeth line had originally been planned to open in December 2018.

Until now, transport bosses had been hesitant to provide a specific opening date, instead committing only to opening during the first half of 2022.

New social value measurement tool launches for rail industry

Social value is becoming an increasingly important consideration in our investments, infrastructure projects and day-to-day operations. Now, to assist the rail industry in measure their social value impacts, a new online tool has been released.

Social value is becoming an increasingly important consideration in our investments, infrastructure projects and day-to-day operations. Now, to assist the rail industry in measuring its social value impacts, a new online tool has been released.

The Rail Social Value Tool (RSVT) was co-funded by Network Rail and delivered by the Rail Safety Standards Board (RSSB) and Loop (formerly the Social Value Calculator).

Using the RSVT, rail organisations will be able to forecast, monitor and evaluate the social value of their activities.

This includes measuring the impacts on the welfare and wellbeing of individuals and wider society, and the net positive (or negative) value socially, economically or fiscally of any particular project, organisation or a specific initiative.

Organised across 12 social impacts, the RSVT takes into consideration 500 indicators. This allows the new online tool to measure and monetise a wide range of benefits. These include:

  • Improving safety
  • Creating jobs, employing apprentices and providing training
  • Changing air quality
  • Increasing biodiversity, protecting and boosting plant and animal life, and planting trees
  • Enriching the curriculum to support young people Designing features which will make rail travel more accessible and inclusive
  • Employee and community volunteering
  • Co-designing infrastructure and services with communities

Since November 2021, the RSVT has been undergoing extensive testing by early adopters, including Network Rail and select companies from within its supply chain.

Liz Holford, Network Rail’s Sustainability Strategy manager (Social Performance) said: “The launch of the Rail Social Value Tool is an important milestone which enables our industry to make a step-change in how we understand and manage our impacts on people.

“We’re already using the tool to forecast and maximise the social value of station redevelopments and infrastructure enhancements as well as current projects and some completed ones, and we’re looking forward to using it further to manage and improve the impact our railway has on society.” George Davies, RSSB’s Director for Sustainable Development said: “It’s fantastic to see the Rail Social Value Tool launched today. It’s a first for the rail industry, and I would like to thank everyone involved in its development.

“Rail is one of the most sustainable forms of transport. However, until now, we haven’t been able to measure its social value in sufficient detail.

“We can now assess, and importantly place a financial value on the effect the railway has in a number of areas including the natural environment, communities, people and their health, cultural heritage, housing, inclusivity, and distribution of opportunities.

“As we transform the Railway and deliver the vision of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, the Rail Social Value Tool will guide decisions on rail development across the country to ensure the best return on those investments for society.”

Govia Thameslink Railway launches initiative to help boost accessibility

Govia Thameslink Railway launches initiative to help boost accessibility

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has launched a new initiative to improve accessibility on Great Northern, Thameslink, Southern and Gatwick Express services.

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has launched a new initiative to improve accessibility on Great Northern, Thameslink, Southern and Gatwick Express services.

Passengers looking to travel with GTR can now book assistance for their journey two hours in advance of catching a train.

Many disabled people who require assistance at stations simply ask for assistance once they arrive at the station.

This follows the recent announcement that the Government will introduce a £2.5m package of investment to help disabled people travel more confidently.

The ability to pre-book in this way provides added reassurance to passengers and can speed up their journey through the station.

Last year, as part of a nationwide package of improvements GTR staffed its overnight helpline 24/7 to cut the time required to book assistance to six hours.

The new changes to two hours’ notice periods cuts this by two-thirds and forms part of a larger rail industry-wide initiative.

Carl Martin, Accessibility Lead at GTR commented on the latest changes and the benefits they will deliver to passengers.

Mr Martin said: “Most people know what they are doing in the next couple of hours, so this reduced notice period should make a real difference. “It will give customers who want the added reassurance of an arranged booking, greater flexibility and make our service more user-friendly.

“It’s all part of our commitment to improve the level of service we give people who need assistance to overcome the barriers that prevent independent travel on the railway.”

Featured image - Govia Thameslink Railway

Source: Rail Technology Magazine

HS2 appoints new role to connect contractors with local communities

HS2 appoints new role to connect contractors with local communities

As the development of HS2 progresses, Stewart Jackson has been appointed the new Resident’s Commissioner. His obligations in the role will be to fulfil the core principles of respecting the people and affected communities of the ongoing building process.

As the development of HS2 progresses, Stewart Jackson has been appointed the new Resident’s Commissioner. His obligations in the role will be to fulfil the core principles of respecting the people and affected communities of the ongoing building process.

Mr Jackson will have the task of maintaining and building upon the relationships between the HS2 workforce and those in the local/affected areas. This should be attained by the workforce tailoring their approach to fit around the concerns from the local communities by developing two-way engagement and communication programmes.

The core principles within this railway extension programme are to ensure that the government respect the people and places that will be affected by the HS2.

Minister Andrew Stephenson has been quoted as stating: “It’s vital we bring the public with us, supporting the communities around construction as we work to improve transport links and level up the nation.”

his approach to the construction process will help to generate custom and consistent users of the new HS2, as maintaining a cheerful outlook around the new build will enhance the desire from the public to support it as well as future operations from those involved. Stewart Jackson is a strong choice for the position and aims of the HS2 project, given his abundance of experience working in a position that sought to benefit the public.

Having been a local councillor in West London, a Member of Parliament for 12 years and Vice President of the Local Government Association, Mr Jackson will inherit his new role with a plethora of already existing public support.

These warm feelings towards Jackson have been echoed by the HS2 Minister, adding: “Stewart has years of experience working to champion the public and I look forward to working with him on this vital project”.

HS2 construction at the Colne Valley Viaduct As the HS2 project progresses, Mr Jackson will be closely responsible for bridging the gap between contractors and those in the supply chain working on HS2 with the local communities where the work is taking place, supporting and providing outreach as well as supporting local social value efforts.

The HS2 expansion acts as the largest infrastructure project currently in development across Europe.

This ensures there is consistent scrutiny and engagement from the government and local people and areas affected by its very existence. Through the appointment of a new Resident's Commissioner, the project appears to be in safe hands with hopeful transparency in any developments as its moves forward.

Source: Rail Technology Magazine

ORR to boost competitiveness in rail signalling market

ORR to boost competitiveness in rail signalling market

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) is working with Network Rail to increase competitiveness in the market when procuring signalling contracts. The follows the recommendations set out by ORR in November aimed at attracting more suppliers to the signalling market.

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) is working with Network Rail to increase competitiveness in the market when procuring signalling contracts.

The follows the recommendations set out by ORR in November aimed at attracting more suppliers to the signalling market.

It is hoped that these recommendations can help boost competition within the market and achieve greater value for money when procuring signalling equipment.

The signalling market is valued at £800m-£900m per year and ORR is working with Network Rail to drive further improvements. Network Rail is delivering on the ORR report by delivering a revised commercial approach for how it procures and delivers signalling in Control Period 7 (2024-2029). The roll-out of the supplier contracts for the forthcoming European Train Control System (ETCS) infrastructure will be a material approach to previous control periods.

This will improve the attractiveness of signalling projects to suppliers by lowering barriers and the investment required to enter the market. John Larkinson, ORR Chief Executive commented on the work being done to boost competitiveness in the signalling market.

Mr Larkinson said: “We are pleased that Network Rail’s assessment of the challenges in the signalling systems market are aligned with ours.

“It is progressing with plans to remedy them. “These initiatives can play a key role in reducing the cost of signalling, meaning Network Rail’s funds can go further. “The transformation to a digital railway presents an opportunity to reinvigorate the signalling market with improved value for money.

“This can play an important role in helping Network Rail meet the fiscal challenges of the post-pandemic world.

“We will continue to work closely with Network Rail to ensure the benefits of its proposals are realised as fully as possible in both conventional and digital markets.” Network Rail will work with ORR to provide better reporting information to improve transparency and inform decision making on signalling renewal market performance.


Source: Rail Technology Magazine

RIA publishes its rail innovation strategy calling for greater innovation

RIA publishes its rail innovation strategy calling for greater innovation

The Railway Industry Association (RIA) has published its rail innovation strategy calling for the industry to become more radical to overcome barriers to innovation.

The A Railway Innovation Strategy paper has been published ahead of the upcoming transition to Great British Railways (GBR).

The paper looks at innovation within the industry and the barriers to getting new products and services into the rail network. It underlines that more collaboration is needed within the industry to help businesses bring news ideas to market more quickly.

It is also noted that a culture of innovation will be required to create a more cost-efficient, sustainable and accessible network for passengers under GBR.

RIA emphasises the benefits that investment in rail innovation can bring. Estimates suggest Network Rail’s £245m of R&D funding between 2019 and 2024 will create a gross value add of £1.6bn over 20 years.

The strategy sets out six key ‘asks’ for the Government and the rail industry to consider, these include:

  • Increasing Government investment in rail innovation, research and development
  • Supporting skills development and the creation of a culture of innovation
  • Adopting a whole-system and long-term view to enable the right innovation
  • Strengthening support during the rollout of innovation
  • Providing a pathway and funding for radical innovation
  • Leading a cross-industry effort to identify and overcome barrier

The strategy also outlines some key examples of industry innovation including how infrastructure research at the University of Southampton is bringing improved reliability.

Another example of this is HydroFLEX the UK’s first hydrogen-powered train and the world’s first train retrofitted with hydrogen technology.

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of RIA commented on the paper and the benefits it can bring to the rail industry. Mr Caplan said: “The UK is home to some of the most innovative rail businesses and organisations anywhere in the world. “[These provide] valuable products and expertise to reduce costs, cut carbon and improve the experience for passengers.“An innovative sector is also good for UK plc, with expertise that can be exported globally.

“The RIA Railway Innovation Strategy sets out how the industry can harness this innovation, to make a real difference to everyone who uses it.

“Central to this will be the willingness of decision-makers to embrace radical innovation. “We cannot keep letting good innovations fall at the last hurdle, instead we need to ensure there is support as they are delivered.

“On funding… we would like to see this go further, with businesses encouraged to invest in new products and workforces. “Co-funding is key, but this requires long-term commitment and clarity from clients.”

Source: Rail Technology Magazine

Track upgrades in Bishop's Stortford form part of huge Easter upgrades

Track upgrades in Bishop's Stortford form part of huge Easter upgrades

Key track upgrades are set to take place in the Bishop’s Stortford area as Network Rail looks to modernize the areas rail network.

Key track upgrades are set to take place in the Bishop’s Stortford area as Network Rail looks to modernize the area's rail network.

Engineers will deliver a huge programme of work as Network Rail collaborates with Greater Anglia to help create a more reliable service.

The package of work and improvements set to take place includes:

  • The renewal of eleven points
  • Platform works to improve the passenger experience at Bishops Stortford
  • Drainage works to maintain the condition of the track bed
  • The re-timbering and re-railing of two bridges
  • Renewing over half a mile of track

As part of a wider project, Greater Anglia will extend the platforms at Hertford East station.

This will facilitate the operators' work to replace its entire fleet of trains with brand new longer trains.

Jamie Burles, Managing Director at Greater Anglia, spoke on the body of work set to take place.Mr Burles said: “The work will help improve punctuality and reliability along this very busy line. “We would like to thank passengers for their patience while this work is carried out. “We will make sure they can complete their journey, even if part of it is by rail replacement bus.” Network Rail commented on the programme of work taking place over the coming months. Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s Route Director for Anglia said: “Most of the network will be available for passengers to enjoy days out by rail throughout the Easter holidays. “I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while we carry out this important work to renew the track to improve reliability on this busy line.”

Full article: https://www.railtechnologymagazine.com/articles/track-upgrades-bishops-stortford-easter-upgrades

Network Rail to boost signalling in London with £160m investment

Network Rail to boost signalling in London with £160m investment

The £160m improvement project is set to take place to upgrade the track and points at Clapham Junction over the Easter period.

The work will also see improvements made to the signalling equipment at Clapham Junction with engineers working on the London-Sussex mainline.

Replacing the points at Clapham Network Rail will help to improve the reliability and punctuality of services for passengers.

This follows the recent announcement that digital signalling equipment is set to be tested on the Northern City Line. The resignalling scheme is set to be complete by Christmas this year and will see the current 1970s-era signalling replaced with modern LED signalling.

This resignalling work will also see the installation of new control and train detection systems. Control will also be relocated to Network Rail’s Three Bridges route operating centre from the original 1970s Victoria control centre.

Network Rail spoke on the work set to take place at Clapham Junction and the benefits it will bring.

Katie Frost, Network Rail’s Route Director for Sussex said: “I realise this stretch of track seems to be closed a lot lately – but there’s a good reason for that.

“Major investment always means there is a degree of disruption while the work is done and we are midway through that process now. “The equipment we are installing will be more reliable.

“The project will also reduce everyday delays through new designs of track and signalling.”

Following on from the work at Clapham Junction, engineers are also set to work on the new station development at Gatwick.

Full article: https://www.railtechnologymagazine.com/articles/network-rail-signalling-london-investment

Jubilee Night Tube to help boost London's night-time economic recovery

Jubilee Night Tube to help boost London's night-time economic recovery

Night Tube services will return on the Jubilee line in May and will help London’s night-time economic recovery from the pandemic. The night services will also return to the Northern and Piccadilly lines in the summer after they were suspended in March 2020. This move will help businesses along the lines as the night-time economy returns to normal and looks to recover from the pandemic. It will also provide a safe and quick mode of transport for those looking to travel around the capital for work and leisure at night. Before the pandemic a total of 1.6m people were regularly working at night in London, this equates to a third of the city’s workforce. Nick Dent, London Underground’s Director of Customer Operations commented on the benefits of the return of Night services on the Jubilee line.

Night Tube services will return on the Jubilee line in May and will help London’s night-time economic recovery from the pandemic.

The night services will also return to the Northern and Piccadilly lines in the summer after they were suspended in March 2020.

This move will help businesses along the lines as the night-time economy returns to normal and looks to recover from the pandemic. It will also provide a safe and quick mode of transport for those looking to travel around the capital for work and leisure at night.

Before the pandemic a total of 1.6m people were regularly working at night in London, this equates to a third of the city’s workforce. Nick Dent, London Underground’s Director of Customer Operations commented on the benefits of the return of Night services on the Jubilee line.

Mr Dent said: “The return of Night Tube on the Jubilee line, along with the Piccadilly and Northern lines later in the summer, will be a boost to the night-time economy.

“[This will] help our customers travel around London overnight at weekends. “London is a global destination, and we are proud to be doing our part to help people to safely and enjoyably benefit from the best of its world-leading night-time economy.”

Resourcing issues on the Northern and Piccadilly lines have meant the full introduction of the Night Tube has not been possible. The reopening of these lines has been carefully planned around complex operational and engineering work that is set to take place.

Article: https://www.railtechnologymagazine.com/articles/jubilee-night-tube-londons-night-time-economic-recovery

Work on overhead wiring to improve reliability in South East

Work on overhead wiring to improve reliability in South East

Upgrade works are set to take place on the overhead wiring systems on the c2c Line between London and Shoeburyness to improve reliability.

This follows the recent announcement from Network Rail that £83m will be invested in improving the network this Easter. The current wiring on the line was installed over 60 years ago and is vulnerable to heat which can cause delays in summer months. Heat can cause the wires to sag causing them to get caught on the pantograph of passing trains bringing the wires down. The new wires which are set to be installed stay taught in all weathers which improves reliability and prevents delays. Most of the network will remain unaffected by the engineering works taking place over the Easter weekend. Network Rail commented on the work set to take place on the overhead wiring on the c2c Line. Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s Route Director for Anglia said: “Most of the network will be available for passengers to enjoy days out by rail throughout the Easter holidays. “Those planning to travel between London and Shoeburyness should check how their journey might be affected by the works. “I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while we carry out this important work to renew the track to improve reliability on this busy line.” Over 95% of the country’s network will be unaffected whilst work takes place to improve infrastructure as part of the £83m investment.

Featured image - Network Rail

HS2 offers work experience to construction students

HS2 offers work experience to construction students

HS2 has offered work experience to students studying towards a BTEC in Construction or a T-Level in Science as work continues on the high-speed rail project.

Programmes like this are essential within the rail industry to help bring down the average age of rail’s ageing workforce. A study by City & Guilds and The National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) found that over 28% of the rail workforce is over 50 years old. The placements allow students to spend 315 hours working on construction-focused assignments. As part of the scheme, students are learning how major infrastructure schemes like HS2 are developed. Ambrose Quashie, HS2’s Skills Manager for London commented on the work experience opportunities. Mr Quashie said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for young people from the local area to gain hands-on work experience. “[This allows them to] play their part in delivering Britain’s new railway. “With two decades of construction work ahead of us, and 34,000 jobs forecast, this partnership provides a meaningful pathway into employment. “I hope the students will feel inspired to progress into roles on HS2 when they finish their studies.” The scheme is being delivered with STRABAG joint venture (SCS JV) who are delivering the Northolt to London Euston section of HS2. James Richardson, Managing Director of SCS JV spoke on the work experience scheme. Mr Richardson said: “SCS JV offers unparalleled opportunities for people to develop a career in our industry. “We are proud to engage with communities across our route, allowing them to gain practical experience working in complex programme delivery. “The diversity of roles available means there are career opportunities for everyone. “We are proud of our relationship with Harrow and Uxbridge College that will help shape the careers of our stars of the future.”


Featured image - HS2

HS2 shares new updated designs of London Euston station

HS2 shares new updated designs of London Euston station 

Hs2 London Euston

HS2 Ltd has released an updated design for the new high speed railway terminus station set to be built at London Euston.

The new images display the concept design for the interior and exterior of the station and have been updated from the previous 2015 design.

Multi-million pound investment to protect Cambrian Line from extreme weather

Multi-million pound investment to protect Cambrian Line from extreme weather 

Network Rail
Bill Kelly Jan Chaudhry-Van Der Velde Transport for Wales

Network Rail has announced a multi-million-pound investment to help protect the railway from extreme weather events and future passenger disruption.

The Cambrian Line is set to reopen next month after storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin forced it to close and caused wider disruption to rail services.

Network Rail to invest £83m in improvement works this Easter

Network Rail to invest £83m in improvement works this Easter 

Network Rail

Network Rail is set to invest in £83m worth of improvement works over Easter on 530 upgrade projects across the country. Over 95% of the network will be unaffected by the work however there will be disruption on some routes.

New Supply Chain Operations Director appointed at Network Rail

New Supply Chain Operations Director appointed at Network Rail

Network Rail has announced who is set to take over as the body’s new Supply Chain Operations Director this month. Mark Tarry is set to take over the role and will succeed Rob Morton who was recently made Managing Director for Route Services within Network Rail.

Network Rail has announced who is set to take over as the body’s new Supply Chain Operations Director this month. Mark Tarry is set to take over the role and will succeed Rob Morton who was recently made Managing Director for Route Services within Network Rail. Mr Tarry is set to bring a unique set of skills to the role with his 30 years’ worth of experience within the rail industry. After starting his career as a finance graduate with British Rail Mr Tarry then qualified as a chartered accountant under Railtrack. Following this Mr Tarry left the finance sector pursuing a career in rail gaining experience in leadership across sponsorship, customer service and operations and maintenance. In recent times Mr Tarry has been responsible for Business and Technical Services and complex national programmes with Network Rail and the wider rail industry. This has involved a huge drive to bring about safety transformation across the whole of Route Services. Mr Tarry commented on the appointment saying: “I’m delighted to be taking on this new role. “[I] look forward to working with industry partners to make a sustained difference to the railway. “The rail industry relies on a seamless, integrated supply chain. “I’m looking forward to working with the team to continue delivering that for our customers safely and reliably.” The Supply Chain Operations (SCO) team ensure key components of the UK’s railways are delivered to the right people when they need it. The team coordinates the supply chain throughout the process from start to finish through contracting and managing.

HS2 investing in the future workforce of the rail industry

HS2 investing in the future workforce of the rail industry 

Hs2 Apprenticeships NSCAR Robin Lapish

Over the length of the construction of Britain’s new high speed zero-carbon railway HS2 has recognised the importance of investing in the future.

Apprenticeships form an essential gateway for young people to start their career in the rail industry.

Multi-million-pound upgrade in Cornwall set to improve reliability

Multi-million-pound upgrade in Cornwall set to improve reliability

A £6.55m investment from Network Rail and Great Western Railway (GWR) is set to perform upgrades in Penzance improving reliability for services in Cornwall.

The investment will see the construction of three new sidings in Penzance allowing longer trains to run and be maintained in Cornwall.

The longer sidings act as laybys for trains and will allow GWR to run longer nine-carriage services between London Paddington and Penzance.

The Ponsandane sidings will provide a dedicated place for trains to be stored and prepared for re-entering service. Network Rail is set to provide £4.8m of the funding with GWR set to invest the remaining £1.75m Christian Irwin, Network Rail’s Industry Programme Director (South West) spoke on the work taking place in Cornwall.

Mr Irwin said: “We are delighted to be continuing our investment into the railway in Cornwall. “Over the last 18 months, we’ve made a number of significant improvements to rail travel in the county. “[This includes] completing the biggest track investment on the St Ives Bay line in 60 years [and] upgrading to the Newquay branch line.

“It has never been a more important time to invest in rail and ensure the railway is an efficient, affordable and reliable green transport option for residents.”

Network Rail is also continuing to back the plans for the proposed future construction of the Mid-Cornwall Metro. Matt Barnes, GWR Head of Strategic Service Development commented on what the investment will bring to passengers in Cornwall.

Mr Barnes said: “This wider investment across the South West has helped GWR to be able to deliver more and better train services.

“[This offers] passengers more seats on a more resilient and reliable railway. “As we seek to build back better, we are always looking at ways to make travelling with GWR a simpler, more accessible experience.” Alongside these plans, Cornwall Council has submitted plans to create a new car park at Ponsandane.

Featured image - GWR

Full article: https://www.railtechnologymagazine.com/articles/multi-million-pound-upgrade-cornwall-reliability

Accessibility work to commence in South London as part of £3.7m project

Accessibility work to commence in South London as part of £3.7m project 

Network Rail accessibility Department for Transport Inclusive Transport strategy South London

Accessibility work is set to get underway at Catford station in South London as part of a £3.7m improvement project.

New lifts are set to be installed at the station providing passengers with step-free access to both platforms.

HS2 save almost 10,000 tonnes of carbon emissions by using rail freight

HS2 save almost 10,000 tonnes of carbon emissions by using rail freight 

Hs2 Decarbonisation

HS2 has announced that moving material by rail to construction sites near Aylesbury will remove the equivalent of 28,500 lorries from the road. By removing this traffic from Buckinghamshire’s roads this decision will save 9,680 tonnes of carbon emissions.

Engineers tackle recent storms to deliver Brighton Main Line upgrade 

Brighton Main Line

The Brighton Main Line has reopened after engineers worked through both Storms Eunice and Franklin to deliver a £15m upgrade. The work took place during the recent Storms in which passengers were encouraged not to travel as the weather caused major disruption.

HS2 online jobs board reaches landmark milestone

HS2 online jobs board reaches landmark milestone 

Hs2 Andrew Stephenson Rebecca Young Workforce

The HS2 jobs board which advertises vacancies from HS2’s construction partners has promoted over 2,000 jobs in its first year.

Track upgrades set to take place between Maryland and Forest Gate

Track upgrades set to take place between Maryland and Forest Gate 

Upgrade work is set to take place between Maryland and Forest Gate to increase reliability into and out of Liverpool Street station.

Euston station JV offers £500m worth of contracts

Euston station JV offers £500m worth of contracts 

Andrew Stephenson Andy Swift Contracts Mace Dragados Paul Leighton

The joint venture (JV) between Mace and Dragados (MD JV), which is responsible for the station construction works at HS2’s Euston station, has encouraged UK firms to bid on a range of new contracts worth over £500m.

Where are significant rail investments in the South West being spent?

Where are significant rail investments in the South West being spent? 

Cornwall Dartmoor Lane Devon Okehampton Peninsula Transport Rail Peninsula Task Force Somerset
Work set to begin to protect crucial rail link in South West

Work set to begin to protect crucial rail link in South West 

GWR Mark Hopwood Mike Gallop Network Rail

Network Rail are set to begin work on the installation of a new rockfall shelter on the line between Exeter St Davids and Teignmouth.

New sea wall at Dawlish protecting railway from extreme weather events

New sea wall at Dawlish protecting railway from extreme weather events 

Dawlish Sea Wall Julie Gregory Network Rail Wendy Morton

The new sea wall project along the Dawlish coastline is having a tangible and positive impact on the town’s railway.

HS2 recruiting for hundreds of construction jobs

HS2 recruiting for hundreds of construction jobs

High Speed Rail Hs2 Rail Jobs

Hundreds of new jobs have been announced today (June 30) at HS2 Ltd, across a broad range of disciplines, from engineering and project management to land and property, procurement and commercial.

Hundreds of new jobs have been announced today (June 30) at HS2 Ltd, across a broad range of disciplines, from engineering and project management to land and property, procurement and commercial.

These are just a few amongst those to be advertised from today as part of a three-month direct recruitment drive.

Over 300 roles will be based in Birmingham, West Midlands, and the new roles announced today will push the total number of jobs the project has supported to over 10,000 once recruited.

The jobs boost originates from the Government’s backing of the project earlier this year and its placing HS2 as integral to the their ‘levelling up’ agenda, which will heighten regional economies outside of London, improve Britain’s railways and deliver a cleaner, greener, transport solution.

HS2 Minister, Andrew Stephenson, said: “These jobs are a welcome boost for workers across the country at this challenging time, providing the opportunity to play a crucial part in delivering HS2, an integral part of improving connectivity and levelling up our country.

“We continue to work with the transport and construction industry to accelerate projects, where safely possible, to kickstart our economy, provide more employment opportunities and drive our recovery as we build out of Covid-19.”

CEO of HS2 Ltd, Mark Thurston, said: “With many people facing uncertain job security and worried about future prospects in the current crisis, I hope this will be welcome news for anyone seeking a long-term and rewarding career with a company that places health, safety, equality and diversity at the very top of its priority list.

“As part of the HS2 team you’ll be shaping British history; transforming our Victorian railways and supporting the regeneration and economic prosperity of towns and cities right along the route.”

HS2 eastern leg could create up to 150,000 jobs

HS2 eastern leg could create up to 150,000 jobs

Leaders in the North and the Midlands are calling for HS2 work to be brought forward as new research shows the eastern leg of the line could create up to 150,000 jobs.

Leaders in the North and the Midlands are calling for HS2 work to be brought forward as new research shows the eastern leg of the line could create up to 150,000 jobs.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is being pushed to back his promise to ‘build better, faster, greener’ by clearing the way for Phase 2b east of the high-speed network to commence ahead of schedule as they look to support recovery from the Covid-19 outbreak.

New figures show that the area linking Leeds and the East Midlands has seen a £58bn loss in infrastructure funding over the past decade when compared to Greater London.

Leaders in Leeds and Nottinghamshire have also said their economies are missing out on billions in potential every year because they have to suffer from unreliable and overcrowded trains alongside communities cut off from good transport links.

Leeds City Council leader Councillor Judith Blake, and Nottinghamshire County Council leader, Kay Cutts MBE, have joined together to demand that government allows work to start early on Phase2b of the high-speed line.

In a letter to 10 Downing Street, both leaders have said early investment in new infrastructure is critical to government achieving the goals implied by its levelling up agenda.

The research commissioned by the councils formulates part of their submission to the National Infrastructure Commission’s Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North. Some of its findings include:

  • The Eastern Leg is home to 13 million people and around 6m jobs, equating to 20% of the UK – bigger than the combined size of the West Midlands and North West, and larger than the economy of Denmark.
  • Though the area covered by HS2 Phase 2b East is bigger than Greater London, it has received £58bn less transport investment over the past 10 years – enough to have built the Eastern Leg and other vital rail projects.
  • With HS2, the Eastern Leg area will deliver an additional 150,000 jobs and billions more in productivity.

Councillor Judith Blake said: “Making more of the economic potential of the UK’s regions is going to be critical to the nation’s future growth as we seek to both recover from the impact of COVID-19 and confront the challenges of the future.

“But it will not be possible if we continue to rely on failing rail infrastructure which was built more than a century ago. We now need government to reverse historic under-spending and unleash the economic capacity of city regions like Leeds and counties like Nottinghamshire.”

Councillor Kay Cutts said: “The Prime Minister has quite rightly identified infrastructure as a key mechanism for levelling up the country.

“Our strategy goes further than high-speed trains. We have developed detailed plans to make sure the benefits of HS2 extend to people at community level. So, this is our route to future prosperity for everyone and the sooner we start building the better.”

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