Midland Main Line electrification begins
Work will start on extending electrification on the Midland Main Line this week, taking the wires northward from Kettering to Market Harborough. This additional section had already been authorised to connect with a main feeder point, but the start of work on 24 December will now be the first stage of the much larger project to continue electrification onwards to Derby, Sheffield and Nottingham, which was set out in the government's Integrated Rail Plan last month. Meanwhile, electrification and resignalling of the line between Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge will also move ahead over the Christmas and New Year break, when Network Rail will be carrying out more than 300 projects to improve the railway.
Integrated Rail Plan a 'disappointment', says rail users' group
The chairman of the Lakes Line Rail User Group Robert Talbot has spoken out against the Integrated Rail Plan, highlighting its lack of improvements for Cumbria. He said: 'Lots of words but no action plan to address the issues. It shouldn't surprise me because like so many others – the Manchester Recovery Task Force to name but one recent relevant local example – those who respond to the request for consultation are basically ignored.' The Group says in its latest newsletter that the Plan is a 'disappointment', because it lacks any schemes to increase freight capacity on the West Coast Main Line, and also any upgrade for the congested Castlefield corridor in central Manchester
Final assembly of first new Tyne & Wear Metro train
The first of 46 new trains for Tyne & Wear Metro has reached the final assembly stage at Stadler's St Margrethen plant in Switzerland. The work includes the installation of wheels, seats, equipment cases, piping, wiring, flooring, windows and other internal furnishings.
TfL signs mobile phones deal
Mobile phone companies Three and EE are joining the BAI Communications network to provide 4G and 5G-ready mobile signals on the London Underground. The networks have signed a 20-year concession with Transport for London which will cover trains and stations.
Deputy Mayor for transport in London steps down
Deputy Mayor for London transport Heidi Alexander is to step down, Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced. She had planned to leave her post at the end of Mr Khan's first term earlier this year, but stayed on to help secure TfL’s latest funding settlement from the government, which now runs until 4 February. The new Deputy Mayor for Transport is former MEP Seb Dance. Mr Khan has paid tribute to his outgoing Deputy Mayor, particularly for her work in 'tirelessly leading TfL through the pandemic'.