Today's Railways UK 245: July 2022

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The July 2022 issue of Today's Railways UK sees the welcome return of our comprehensive guide to Rail Rover and Ranger tickets available in Great Britain and Ireland, as well as many other interesting articles and features. This month we also look at where to find loco-hauled and HST services over the summer months and of course we have all the very latest news from across Britain’s railway network. Our regular monthly sections covering light rail, heritage railways, preservation and railtours, readers’ letters and our grumpy old man are also included.

Feature articles this month include:

Chiltern Railways: Looking to Modernise and Decarbonise: Widely seen as one of the greatest success stories of privatisation, Chiltern Railways operates reliably and consistently on the routes out of Marylebone as well as from Leamington Spa to Stratford-upon-Avon. With a recently-signed National Rail Contract for up to six years further operation, thoughts are now turning to a longer-term fleet strategy. Robert Pritchard discusses Chiltern’s plans with Engineering Director, Ian Hyde, and takes a ride on one of the Chiltern loco-hauled sets – ten years after they first entered service with the operator.

Rail Rover Ticket Guide: Britain & Ireland 2022: Our detailed guide to all Rail Rover and Ranger tickets returns to print for the first time since 2019. Compiled by The Today’s Railways UK Team, this comprehensive feature lists the validity, price and availability of all British and Irish rail rovers, and similar tickets promoted by local transport authorities in the major conurbations. Wherever possible, details of combined bus and rail tickets are also included. The essential guide for anyone planning to make the most of rail travel this year!

Loco-Hauled Trains and HSTs: Summer 2022: Our annual round up of where to find scheduled loco-hauled and HST-operated passenger trains in Great Britain during the summer months. Ian Beardsley, looks at the activities of each operator in turn and provides detailed working diagrams for every loco-hauled/HST set.

Behind the Scenes of the Pendolino Refurbishment at Alstom, Widnes: In the June issue we took a trip on the first refurbished Avanti West Coast Pendolino as it entered service on the West Coast Main Line. Robert Pritchard now visits Alstom’s Widnes facility where this work – described as both the largest ever UK refurbishment programme and the largest worldwide by Alstom – is taking place.

Winners and Losers in the New Summer Timetable: While some operators have returned to full or nearly full pre-Covid timetables, others continue to operate at reduced service levels in the light of staff training backlogs and industrial action. Mike Strone examines every train operator’s summer timetable to reveal who is performing well – and who isn’t.

News stories this month include:

  • The Elizabeth Line finally opens!
  • Summer of strike action looms
  • ScotRail adopts temporary timetable
  • GB Railfreight places order for 30 Class 99 hybrid locomotives
  • First Class 398 tram-train for TfW arrives in the UK
  • Reston station opens for business
  • First new Tyne & Wear Metro train takes shape
  • New Docklands Light Railway train on test
  • Birmingham Trams to be repaired at Dudley’s Very Light Rail Innovation Centre
  • Crich Tramway Village closes over safety concerns
  • Fifth rebuilt Class 56 goes green
  • Class 66 converted to run on hydrogen
  • Three more HST power cars go for scrap
  • East Midlands Railway to retain Class 180s as Class 222s are reformed
  • Southern Class 455s bow out
  • Mid Norfolk Railway introduces regular service to Hoe
  • New battery loco for Bure Valley Railway
  • SVR Diesel Festival a success
  • SLC Operations runs first passenger-carrying train
  • Belmond marks 50 years since the last Brighton Belle
  • Staycation Express HST for Heart of Wales line?

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