Luton Airport’s DART is finally open

Saturday 11th March 2023 Whenever anyone mentions Luton Airport readers of a certain age will almost certainly be imaging the iconic TV advert from the late 1970s for Campari shot in an exotic location featuring suave, elegantly dressed, sophisticated, smooth talking Jeremy Clyde asking Lorraine Chase “were you truly wafted here from Paradise?" to which... Continue Reading →

More new trains for Wales

Tuesday 7th February 2023 The transformation of Transport for Wales' train fleet continues with new Stadler built diesel powered Class 231 trains now running on the Rhmney to Penarth line in the Cardiff Valleys. It follows November's launch of the first CAF built Class 197s in North Wales. The 11 trains which make up this... Continue Reading →

Seventh heaven on the 777s

Thursday 26th January 2023 The first of Merseyrail's new fleet of 53 trains finally entered service on Monday morning. Ordered back in 2016 to replace the ageing Class 507/508, the new Class 777 trains were originally due into service in 2019/20, but as is the way with these things manufacturing delays, delivery delays, handover delays... Continue Reading →

New trains for Wales

Tuesday 29th November 2022 Having enjoyed a recent ride on the new CAF built Class 196 trains with West Midlands Railway I headed off to North Wales last week to see if the new sister Class 197 units being introduced by Transport for Wales would be any different. Actually I was on my way over... Continue Reading →

New trains for West Midlands

Tuesday 15th November 2022 Aside from two new trains for Southend Pier it’s been three years since I’ve written a blog about new trains entering service. That’s because it’s been three years since any new trains entered service. Abellio owned West Midlands Trains' West Midlands Railway (WMR) division has recently broken that famine with the... Continue Reading →

New trains have a-pier-ed in Southend

Tuesday 17th May 2022 Southend-on-Sea’s famous pier has recently seen the arrival of two new eco-friendly trains for its iconic three-foot narrow gauge railway so I popped over yesterday to take a look. Sadly, neither were in service. One train has yet to be made ready for service and the second had some ‘teething troubles’... Continue Reading →

A wry smile at CITY BEAM

Saturday 4th December 2021 When I heard the news First Group and MTR Corporation had won the South Western Railway (SWR) franchise back in March 2017 I did a double take on hearing the deal included scrapping the fleet of thirty brand new five car Siemens Class 707 trains Stagecoach had only ordered a couple... Continue Reading →

An Aventra full of seats

Tuesday 8th December 2020 Greater Anglia’s fleet of 33 five-car Bombardier Class 720 ‘Aventra’ trains have finally entered service after many months of delays caused by software issues and more recently due to Covid. The original train order, placed with Bombardier in September 2016 (you have to be patient in the world of new train... Continue Reading →

A paragon of a ride?

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 Hull Trains introduced its first Hitachi built Class 802 train three months ago and as four of the five seat sets on order are now with the Company, it seemed a good time to take a ride and see how they differ, if at all, from similar trains run by GWR,... Continue Reading →

Manchester miscellany

Monday 2nd March 2020 Stagecoach rolled out its high profile £16.5 million investment in 32 BYD ADL Enviro400EV double deckers yesterday so I popped up to Manchester today to take a look. They're zero emission electric buses and in a nice piece of purchase symmetry the Government's Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme contributed a handy £6.9... Continue Reading →

New 745s on the Great Eastern main line

Wednesday 8th January 2020 Abellio run Greater Anglia committed to introducing a completely new train fleet of 1,043 carriages across its network in its successful nine year franchise bid which began in 2016. First of these into service came Stadler built FLIRT Class 755 bi-mode trains introduced on the Wherry Lines last July. These were... Continue Reading →

Hard and soft launches in Edinburgh

Thursday 1st August 2019 LNER know all about high profile launches. I guess it helps being in the public sector with a generous marketing budget rather than being a cash strapped TOC with unattainable winning franchise pledges submitted to the DfT in misplaced optimism a few years back. Following LNER's all singing, all dancing Kings... Continue Reading →

New trains in 2019 Part 3: Sleepers

Thursday 2nd May 2019 The long awaited Caledonian Sleeper CAF built Mark 5 coaches began running on the Lowland route last Sunday night. I booked myself a ticket and travelled from Euston to Glasgow last night/this morning to see whether the salivating I'd been reading on social media from high profile commentators blessed with their... Continue Reading →

New trains in 2019 Part 2: D Trains

Wednesday 24th April 2019 It's been a long wait with some well over a year late, but finally an avalanche of new trains is entering service; well one train has. First off the blocks is the much anticipated Class 230 train which began running on the Marston Vale line between Bedford and Bletchley yesterday. Not... Continue Reading →

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