UK's first Tram-Train scheme gets go-ahead

The UK's first tram-train scheme which will see trams travelling on Network Rail's lines and trains travelling on tram lines has been given the go ahead in Sheffield and Rotherham. See HERE for more details.


Derailment after landslide at Clarborough Tunnel added 30th April 2012

One passenger and the driver of the 11.25 Lincoln to Adwick service were hurt when the train derailed after hitting mud and a large tree stump which was dislodged after a landslide due to days of torrential rain.

16 other passengers were led to safety by the fire service.

The train was rerailed and taken for examination.

The line was repaired and banking stabled temporarily with a 20mph speed restriction imposed and a watchman on duty to check for any further slides. A signalling location box was completely destroyed after it was also hit by the failling tree stump. A new one was made at Doncaster, delivered to site and was installed on the other side of the track. Another location box housing the main 650v signalling supply was narrowly missed.

Examinations of the banking are currently taking place, with diggers making the top of the slope safe, before further works to permanently shore-up the embankment are carried out.

If it wasn't for the retaining wall already built in the sixty's around the signalling boxes, the slide could have possibly have been much worse.

Below are pictures I had taken on the 30th of April after temporary repairs were made.

Click HERE for the ITV news article on the day of the incident.


Extremely dangerous actions of cable thieves added April 2012

Cable thieves are now going to extreme lengths to steal power cable. The main 650 volt cables which supply the main power to the signalling system on the lineside, which is LIVE constantly is being strapped out using normal household grey cable.

The thieves will then steal the cable in between and therefore not interrupt the supply and risk getting caught.

Not only is this act very dangerous to the thieves, it is also a great risk to the signalling technicians, as the ends of the existing cable are left bare which could pose a fatal electric shock.

The household cable could also catch fire due to the large currents being drawn and therefore set fire to troughing routes with other cables and even to buildings if closeby.

It is only a matter of time before a serious incident or accident will occur if this continues.


Children warned to stay away from High Marnham test line added Dec 2011

Children are being warned to stay off the line between Tuxford and High Marnham, as trains are now using the line at up to 75mph, see the full report HERE.


Massive signalbox closures announced added Nov 2011:

Network rail have announced the huge eradication of signalboxes scheme between 2012 until 2027, please see the closure list on the left.


Work starts on Doncaster railway bridge bottle neck added Oct 2011

Work has started on widening the main railway bridge over the East Coast mainline on the A6182 White Rose Way.

The bridge has been a road traffic bottle neck for years because the dual carriageway's at either ends are reduced to a single carriageway over the bridge, causing massive tailbacks in the early morning and in the evenings. The £29.9million has been funded from four sources and was initially planned in 2006, with permission granted in 2008.

The bridge top will be lowered into place on Christmas day 2011 during a 48hr blockade of the ECML. Network Rail has granted the blockade over this period when the travelling public are least likely to travel. However if not completed, blockades of 16 hours each maybe granted if not completed over Christmas, although this would then incorporate possible financial penalties.

Work on resurfacing the road from the M18 motorway and installing new traffic signals will then commence in April 2012.


Network Rail announce upgrade scheme on the GN/GE line: added Oct 2011

Network Rail have announced a massive £233 million scheme to upgrade the GN/GE line from Werrington Junction in Peterborough to Doncaster. The upgrade is part of the plans to eleviate freight trains and some passenger services from the East Coast mainline, and to also use the route as a diversion for when the ECML is closed for engineering work. The route at the moment does see non-electrified ECML trains diverted during works, but it has long block sections, mechanical signalling, low/narrow bridges and low speeds. Apart from the upgrading of the track and signalling, the route will be upgraded to allow larger freight trains to use it with the linespeed being increased in places to 75mph.

It is not sure at the moment what signalboxes, if any, will be closed as a result.

The upgrade was in favour and considerably cheaper of four tracking the ECML.

The route includes; Lincoln area, Saxilby, Spalding, Gainsborough (Lea & Trent Jn), Beckingham and Finningley.

The actual start date is not known at the moment.


 Inland Port at Rossington, near Doncaster: added 10th June 2011

A new £400m inland port at Rossington in South Yorkshire has been given the green light.

This is very good news for the local economy, and also fantastic news for the rail network as it will be built next to the South Yorkshire (SY) rail line with links to it and the East Coast mainline (ECML) via the old Rossington Colliery branch.

In the planning document it already states that the railway will play a major part in distributing goods, and it also goes on to say that potential stations at Robin Hood airport, Rossington and also a parkway station could be built as part of the development. 

Even though there will be a rail link to the ECML, I personally think this will be rarely used because of the current tight timetable for East Coast & Hull trains, and also the SY line is another link to the ECML/Leeds line at Doncaster and also Immingham and Humber ports via the Brigg line and Lincoln. The SY line is currently under-used and in need of more trains since the closure of Harworth, Thurcroft, and Dinnington Collieries over the past ten years that were served directly by the line. Today it sees considerably less trains due to other Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire coalfields closing.

To see more details and the planning documents, click HERE.


HIGH MARNHAM TEST TRACK (Rail Vehicle & Developement Centre)

The Line from Thorseby Colliery Jn to the Former High Marnham Power Station is now fully open for Network Rail to test their new engineering trains.

Already the line has seen the UK's first track relaying train testing, this train can lift the old track, clean the ballast or renew as required, lay new track, level the ballast and 'tamp' the track (where it levels/lifts the track and sets the distance from the track alongside), it is almost three quarters of a mile long! The line has also seen various 'tampers' (levels the track as described above) and 'stoneblowers', this machine lifts the track where there are voids (gaps under the track that caused the rails to dip or bounce) and sprays stone chippngs under to prevent this.

And now first in trial testing is the Uk's first fully portable vegetation clearing machine currently being tested at Boughton Jn.

See the Rail innovation page for info, pictures & links.


Former Harworth Glass Bulbs site

A local Harworth & Bircotes town newsletter has stated that Peel Holdings who own and run several airports in the UK including Robin Hood at Doncaster are interested in using the former Glass factory at Harworth as an extensive rail sidings to store rail mounted containers before flying them to worldwide destinations.

This is very exciting news for the rail industry and the local population.

The railway line to the mothballed Harworth Colliery used to have a rail link into the glass bulbs, but the land was sold and the old trackbed has now been built on, however the unused line into the colliery is still intact.

The signalling controlled from Maltby South signalbox is severely vandalised, so this would need looking into, possible having a 'one-train working' (one train in and out before another can go in) facility added as a cheaper option.


Whitwell Tunnel removal (added 3rd of May 2011)

Well, after many many years of rumours, speculation and various meetings and plans it looks like Whitwell Tunnel will finally be removed subject to approval so the limestone on the top can be mined by Larfarge, which means the tracks will be diverted permanently.

Please see an article written by Chris Booth on behalf of Today Railways UK for full details by clicking the link below (opens a Word document).

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