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22 January: news in brief

New Veterans’ Railcard to go on sale this year

RETIRED HM Forces personnel will be able to take advantage of discounted rail travel when a new railcard goes on sale from Armistice Day in November. Transport secretary Grant Shapps announced the latest railcard at St Pancras International, where he was joined by former service people for the event. The transport secretary said: ‘Every part of society should honour the debt we owe those who’ve served our country. I’m proud that the Department for Transport, together with other government colleagues and the rail industry, is doing its bit. This railcard will help open up opportunities to veterans, whether through employment and retraining, or by strengthening links with friends and family. I believe that enabling former service personnel to travel more easily is the least we can do.’ The new Veterans’ Railcard will give the usual discount of 33 per cent on most fares.

‘Black hole’ of £1m revealed in Island Line’s finances

A FUNDING gap of £1 million has been revealed in the plans to upgrade the Island Line from Ryde to Shanklin. The plans include replacement electric trains from Vivarail, which converts former London Underground cars. The existing tube stock will be retired. Track and platform heights will be altered for the Vivarail trains to comply with stepping distance regulations but at Brading, where the passing loop is to be reinstated, the track will need to be lowered by 500mm. So far, it is understood that this part of the scheme, which is currently costed at £1 million, has not been included in the budget.

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