Issue 06/2013

8th February 2013

  • Proposed route for Crossrail 2 revealed
  • National Express wins German rail contracts
  • Network Rail won’t buy DB Schenker freight yards
  • Union says rail fares tripled since privatisation
In this issue:

Main stories this week

Planning is set to start on Crossrail Two, which backers say is essential to stop the capital “grinding to a halt” by 2030. [Financial Times]

  • The [Evening Standard] reports Mayor Boris Johnson has supported the latest proposals.
  • [Private Eye] says the policy on deciding where high-speed trains should stop is now even more confused after last week’s report on extending High Speed 2 northwards.
  • The [Financial Times] examines which northern English cities win and which ones lose as a result of HS2.

Rail firms have been accused of ‘legalised daylight robbery’ of commuters as a new report shows that since privatisation fares have risen three times faster than the cost of living. [Daily Mail]

National Express has won two contracts to operate German regional rail services, becoming the first UK transport company to rack the country’s market. [Financial Times]

Network Rail has decided not buy some of DB Schenker‘s freight yards. [Railway Eye]

New services

The Government has admitted it may still be years before Waterloo‘s former international platforms can be brought into domestic use. [Railnews]

Plans to remove a railway ‘bottleneck’ in Staffordshire will go on show in the region this week. [The Sentinel]

Other stories this week

First Capital Connect’s franchise, due to end in September this year, has been extended for 28 weeks, with talks to follow for an additional two-year extension. [The Argus]

Research for Department for Transport reveals trains could travel 600 miles on a single battery if fossil fuel prices trigger demand. [The Guardian]

London transport commissioner Peter Hendy urged commuters to follow in his example by wearing their pyjamas on the Tube. [Evening Standard]

Extra funds of £3.2 million a year will be needed to cover the Edinburgh Tram‘s start-up costs and operational losses. [The Scotsman]

Michael Palin, the Python and railway enthusiast, has launched a campaign to reinstate the Euston Arch while the station is rebuilt for HS2. [The Times]

ScotRail has been bombarded with applications from people who want to be train drivers on the new £300 million Borders Railway. [The Herald]

Greater Anglia has marked its first anniversary with an interview in the [East Anglia Daily Times]

[Railway Eye] recounts a parliamentary encounter between current transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin and his predecessor, Justine Greening.

Financial update and sharecheck

Stagecoach’s incoming chief executive has warned investor confidence in the UK rail industry “couldn’t get much worse” in the wake of the West Coast rail franchise fiasco. [Daily Telegraph]

FirstGroup is in the midst of selling off parts of its bus operation and is confident it can still meet its target of raising  £100m before the end of the financial year. [Transport Briefing] It reported 8.1% revenue growth across its rail division in the fourth quarter of 2012 [press release], sending its share price upward.

  • Stagecoach has been buying bus contracts, seemingly at FirstGroup’s expense. Most recently Stagecoach won five bus contracts in London – five from FirstGroup, one from Arriva – in a series of handovers in the capital. []
  • Stagecoach has also purchased a number of bus companies from FirstGroup in Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales. [Transport Briefing]

Eurotunnel – which owns GB Railfreight – reported record revenues and traffic last year, boosted by the London Olympic and Paralympic Games. [Financial Times]

National Express shares began to increase in late November following the appointment Sir John Armitt as its new chairman [Financial Times]. In January the group won two contracts to operate German regional rail services, becoming the first UK transport company to rack the country’s market. [Financial Times]


Click here for other time periods