Today’s Railways UK 242 – April 2022

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The April 2022 issue of Today’s Railways UK is full of interesting articles and features covering all aspects of Britain’s railways, plus all the very latest news from across Britain’s railway network. This month we look in depth at new trains on Britain’s railways, but we also include all our regular monthly sections covering light rail, heritage railways, preservation and railtours, with readers’ letters and our grumpy old man also in attendance.

Feature articles this month include:

East Midlands Railway Fleet in Focus: East Midlands Railway is the latest company to make allocation data for its trains available to the RealTimeTrains “Know Your Train” feature. Robin James and Robert Pritchard look at the use of the current varied EMR Fleet of Classes 156, 158, 170, 180, 222 and 360 across its wide range of rural, commuter and inter-city services and at the changes due to take place in the future.

Sampling the Troublesome 769s: Ordered in 2016, the first bi-mode Class 769s finally entered service in 2021 and are now in regular, if not exactly trouble-free, use with passenger operators Northern and Transport for Wales and freight operator Orion, plus hopefully soon with Great Western Railway. But were they worth the time and expense? Robert Pritchard looks back at the project’s somewhat chequered history and also at what these interesting conversions offer the passenger.

Waste Not, Want Not: Ian Beardsley talks to Andrew Gainsbury, Transport for Wales’s Rolling Stock Strategy Manager, to learn more about the opportunity that was seen with the former Grant Central Mark 4 coaches that were acquired from Eversholt Rail Group last year, the unusual problem that they pose for the operator, and what still needs to be done before they can be brought into traffic.

Way up North: North to Wick: The UK’s longest single track railway line, from Inverness to Thurso and Wick, is not only a remarkable survivor, but one of the most spectacular railway lines in Europe. Ron Smith heads north.

Where are there five “Queens” but only two other “Q”s?: There are seven National Rail stations beginning with the letter Q, making it the third least-common starting letter after V and J. Anders Beavis Berry explores all seven.

Walking in the Air: Straddling the Erewash Valley between Awsworth in Nottinghamshire and Ilkeston in Derbyshire, Bennerley Viaduct has for many years been a well-known local landmark. After being threatened with demolition on more than one occasion, it has recently undergone an extensive restoration and in mid-January, “The Iron Giant” reopened as a walking and cycling route, enabling members of the public to cross over it (legally) for the first time in over half a century. Ian Beardsley uncovers the viaduct’s history and talks to The Friends of Bennerley Viaduct to learn more about its restoration.

News stories this month include:

  • Storms disrupt rail network
  • Salisbury Accident: Engineering work delayed clearance of leaves
  • TPE Strikes set to continue into the Spring
  • Transport for London bailed out until June
  • Crossrail in final pre-opening phase
  • Narrow escape for Class 755 at Haddiscoe
  • More train operators restore services
  • GWR to pull out of Brighton in May
  • Vivarail fast-charge battery unit for Greenford branch trials
  • New factory to built HS2 Colne Valley Viaduct
  • Durham Coast diversions
  • ScotRail plans changes to May timetable
  • Scottish Government launches “national conversation” on takeover of ScotRail
  • New Taffs Welll depot takes shape
  • Work starts on Portway Park & Ride station
  • Leuchars remodelling update
  • Scottish Capital’s tram services curtailed
  • West Midlands Metro restarts running to Library
  • Ashton-under-Lyne could be cut off from Metrolink network for two years
  • Class 69 outshopped in BR RTC livery
  • Clayton Class 18 on trial with GBRf
  • Class 231s commence daylight testing
  • Final 484 delivered to Isle of Wight
  • Greater Anglia withdraws all Class 379s
  • Purple repaint to complete SVR Bulleid’s Platinum Jubilee makeover
  • Bio-coal used for first time at a standard gauge heritage line
  • Class 50s find favour with tour organisers