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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