Today's Railways UK 237: November 2021

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The November 2021 issue of Today's Railways UK contains a range of interesting articles covering all aspects of Britain’s railways, plus all the very latest news from across the railway network. Our regular monthly sections take an in-depth look at light rail, heritage railways, preservation and railtours, with readers’ letters and our grumpy old man also in attendance.

Feature articles this month include:

Transport for Wales Fleet and Timetable in Focus: On 3 August, Transport for Wales was a welcome addition to "Know Your Train" - becoming one of the operators whose train formations are listed in full on the RealTimeTrains website. The occasion provided a useful opportunity to examine current diagrams immediately before the fleet of new DMUs and EMUs enter service with the operator from early 2022. Robin James and Robert Pritchard compare the selectively reduced timetable of May-September 2021, with the substantially restored timetable of September-December 2021.

Riding the Highland Explorer: Ian Lothian takes a trip on one of ScotRail's newly refurbished "Highland Explorer" Class 153 DMUs. These units have been converted to active travel carriages and are being used to supplement the Class 156s that have been used for the past 30 years on the West Highland Line services. Could this concept be rolled out across other routes?

GBRf: This Time It's Personal: Ian Beardsley reports from on- board GBRf Charity Railtours' latest fundraising effort; a four-day excursion covering lines from East Anglia to the Scottish Highlands.

The North Warwickshire Line: Tony Higgs takes us on a trip from Birmingham Snow Hill to Stratford-upon-Avon via Henley-in-Arden along what is known as the North Warwickshire Line. A relative latecomer, it was opened by the Great Western Railway in the early years of the 20th century to form part of a through route from the Midlands to the South-West. It narrowly avoided closure in the late 1960s, but today the line forms an integral part of the West Midlands rail network and many of its stations have been restored to their former glory.

Denmark Hill Station in Focus: Brian Garvin reviews the recent improvements to Denmark Hill station in South London, which were completed in early September.

TransPennine Express Nova 1-2-3 Train Test: Ian Beardsley samples examples of each of the three Nova fleets operated by TransPennine Express to discover what the new trains have to offer passengers.

News stories this month include:

  • DfT to take over Southeastern after breach of franchise by Govia
  • Northern Line Battersea extension opens
  • “Lumo” to launch London-Edinburgh service on 25 October
  • Rail freight returns to pre-pandemic levels
  • Additional Newcastle-Edinburgh services for TransPennine Express
  • WMCA plans four more West Midlands Metro extensions
  • Six-minute interval service returns to Metrolink
  • Nexus orders four more trains for Tyne & Wear Metro
  • New HS2 livery for 66796
  • 5-car ScotRail HSTs in service
  • First 3-car TfW Class 197 completed
  • Seven Class 777s will be delivered with batteries
  • Southeastern introduces Class 707 “City Beams”
  • Blow for LMS Patriot Project
  • New carriage shed at Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway
  • “Western” fails on main line test run
  • Class 20s come to the rescue at North Yorkshire Moors Railway
  • Second HST power car for Crewe Heritage Centre
  • First Class 50s to visit Stranraer,
  • “Staycation Express” to return for October half-term
  • Class 31+33 combination on the Scarborough Spa Express

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