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23 October: news in brief

First London tram fitted with automatic brakes

THE installation of an automatic braking system on London trams has begun, Transport for London has confirmed. The equipment was ordered in the wake of the fatal derailment at Sandilands in Croydon three years ago, when a tram overturned on a curve. Automatic braking was one of the recommendations of the Rail Accident Investigation Branch following the Croydon crash, and the London installation will be the first on British trams. Transport for London had awarded the contract to Engineering Support Group Limited in December 2018. Drivers are now being trained on simulators and track beacons are also being installed. TfL told Railnews that it was planning to energise the equipment in public service by the end of the year.

Brexit uncertainties dent Shuttle revenue

EUROTUNNEL operator Getlink has reported a 2 per cent fall in Shuttle earnings, attributing the sluggish returns to a difficult market. The reduction was more than balanced by increased rail revenues, which were mainly due to the introduction of Eurostar services between London and Amsterdam. Europorte revenue was also up by 7 per cent, to €31.4 million, The company said all third quarter revenue in 2019 rose to €305.1 million, which it described as ‘a very slight increase’ when compared to the same period in 2018. Chairman and chief executive Jacques Gounon said: ‘The Group … bolstered by its fundamental principles of quality of service, continued to grow in the context of lower European growth and the uncertainties related to Brexit.’

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