Changes to rail fares that would guarantee customers simpler fares and the best possible deal every time they travel are set to be trialled by train companies. Passengers on trains between London and Sheffield or Scotland will be among the first to benefit from an overhaul of rail fare regulations as part of the tests agreed between train companies and the government.
In a rail industry exclusive, leading train company CrossCountry has announced it has removed the administration fee charged when customers need to change the date or time of their Advance ticket. Because Advance tickets are intended for specific trains and set times, the rail industry charges a £10 administration fee if a customer needs to change their plans.
Rail passengers in the UK have seen ticket prices rise by an average of 2.3 per cent on the first week day of the new year. The increase, which is pegged to inflation, covers regulated fares, including season tickets, and unregulated, such as off-peak tickets.
Network Rail is advising passengers to plan their journeys as early as possible ahead of Christmas. This is ahead of another programme of closures for upgrade work, with up to 200 projects being delivered across Britain over this holiday period. The changes will see Heathrow Express closed for six days over the holiday period.
Dozens of rail passengers have been injured in France following a collision between a tree and a regional train in the south of the country. The tree fell onto the tracks at Saint-Aunes in the Herault region, leaving the line between Montpellier and Nimes blocked.
Taxpayers in the United Kingdom could end up footing the bill for rail services as private sector firms spurn the opportunity to run services, an influential committee has warned. Members of the committee of public accounts argued a lack of competition between companies bidding to operate routes could mean the government struggles to get value for money.
With 2016 train ticket prices published today, rail industry leaders have confirmed that fares will rise on average by 1.1 per cent next year, the smallest annual increase for six years. Passengers can find out the price of new fares and buy tickets online and at ticket offices from today. The 1.1 per cent average increase covers all national rail fares with effect from January 2nd 2016.
A final decision on the HS2 route between Fradley in the West Midlands and Crewe has been announced, with the government confirming its intention to open this section of the line six years earlier than planned, in 2027. In confirming the route, the UK transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has issued safeguarding directions for Phase 2a of HS2, to protect land from potential conflicting development.
The redeveloped Birmingham New Street station has opened its doors to passengers after a five-year, £750 million transformation. Boasting an iconic new atrium over a huge passenger concourse - five times the size of London Euston’s - the station has been rebuilt while trains continued to run as normal for the 170,000 passengers a day who use it.
Holidaymakers in the UK are expected to see disruption during the upcoming bank holiday weekend, with rail workers announcing they will walk out on strike in a dispute over pay. Network Rail workers will hold a 24-hour strike from 17:00 on May 25th, bank holiday Monday.
CK Investments has agreed to purchase Eversholt Rail Group from it current owners, a consortium comprising 3i Infrastructure plc, Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners and STAR Capital Partners. CK Investments is the vehicle of Asia’s richest man, Li Ka-shing, with the deal believed to be worth £2.5 billion.