UK transport secretary Chris Grayling has set out plans for improved coordination across track renewal and train operations in England. Plans include the creation of East West Rail, the first new integrated rail operation in decades that is separate to Network Rail, and the closer alignment of incentives between the management of infrastructure and the operation of train services.
One in three commuters in the United Kingdom were delayed on their most recent train journey, according to new Which? research. The consumer affairs organisation surveyed nearly 7,000 UK rail passengers, to find the best and worst train companies, and those with frequent delays.
Rail journeys across the north of England and Scotland will undergo the biggest transformation in decades, thanks to an unprecedented package of improvements being delivered in new franchise deals, the government announced today. More than 500 brand-new carriages, the removal of the outdated and unpopular Pacer trains, room for 40,000 extra passengers at the busiest times, and more than 2,000 extra services a week will all be delivered.
The Newcastle-headquartered Go-Ahead Group has appointed a new chief financial officer. Patrick Butcher joins the company from Network Rail, where he has been group finance director since 2009, leading capital raising activities in public markets for the organisation prior to its reclassification last year as a public sector company.
China’ largest railway constructor, China Railway Construction Corp, has won two infrastructure projects in Africa with a combined value of US$5.5 billion. The first, an inter-city railway project in Nigeria known as the Nigeria Ogun State Intercity Mass transit Project, is valued at over US$3.5 billion. The Chinese company also won a $1.93 billion residential construction project in Zimbabwe.
UK rail operator FirstGroup has agreed a five-year IT innovation framework with IPL, a systems integrator specialising in digital innovation and Enterprise Information Management. The agreement will see the companies working together to identify and develop ways to improve the customer experience by enhancing the way it operates its train companies, which include First Great Western and First TransPennine Express.
At least five people have been injured following a train crash in Switzerland. A suburban train in the Zurich area of the country collided with a rush-out intercity train headed into the city early this morning. The incident happened at Rafz Station, 30 kilometres north of Zurich and close to the German border.
The latest Which? train satisfaction survey reveals commuters are bearing the brunt of poor service, as the organisation finds rail operators aren’t doing enough to let delayed passengers know their rights on compensation. For the fourth annual satisfaction survey Which? scored train companies based on the responses of over 7,300 train travellers when asked about their journeys over the last 12 months.
A report from the Devon Maritime Forum has claimed the closure of the mainline railway linking Devon and Cornwall could have cost the UK economy as much as £1.2 billion. Train services were cut after tracks were destroyed at Dawlish in early 2014 during severe storms. The forum said “all industries were hit” by the destruction of the line.
The independent watchdog Passenger Focus has renewed its call to the rail industry to play fair with passengers who don’t have a ‘valid’ ticket. Passenger Focus chairman Colin Foxall said: “It is right that train companies should take steps to stop those who try to evade paying fares.
As satisfaction declines, the independent watchdog Passenger Focus has again called for the UK rail industry and government to boost the passenger voice in decisions around getting trains on time versus running more services. Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Passenger Focus, said: “Rail passengers’ satisfaction is driven by getting trains on time.”
St Pancras International is set to change the way consumers interact with the station as it becomes the first UK train station to launch its own app. The new free app gives users a chance to delve into the history of the Grade 1 listed building, pick up facts about the area and even hear about special retail offers before anyone else based on their preferences.