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4 March: news in brief

TransPennine Express md leaves at short notice

THE managing director of TransPennine Express Leo Goodwin will be leaving TPE tomorrow. FirstGroup said he would now be pursuing ‘opportunities outside the Group’. First Rail managing director Steve Montgomery added: ‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank Leo for his contribution to First Rail. We wish him every success in his future career.’ TPE finance director Liz Collins is becoming interim md while a permanent successor is recruited.

Urgent safety advice issued by RAIB after death of driver

THE Rail Accident Investigation Branch has issued urgent safety advice after investigating the death of a driver at Tyseley depot during the evening of 14 December. The driver was killed at about 20.00 while walking between two trains in the depot, which another driver was attempting to couple. The RAIB said there had only been a gap of about 540mm between the two trains, but the second driver would not have been able to see the first driver walking across the yard and between the two units. The RAIB has warned that the provisions made by GE/RT 8000 Rule Book Module G1 – ‘General safety responsibilities and personal track safety for non-track workers’– may not be enough to deal with all the risks in depots, yards or sidings. It has advised that staff who are required to walk and work in depots, yards and sidings should be made aware of the risk of passing between or close to the ends of stationary trains.

West Coast Main Line reopens after storm damage

EMERGENCY work to secure the West Coast Main Line near Warrington after a landslip was completed a day earlier than expected, and trains started running again yesterday. The up line was closed on 1 March after the landslip at Dutton Viaduct, near Acton Bridge. Network Rail said the land affected had slipped during Storm Jorge, following the wettest February on record. Engineers worked for 12 hours to strengthen the weakened embankment with 380 tonnes of rock. Up to another 100 tonnes are being added over two nights when trains are not running. A speed restriction of 20mph (32km/h) has been imposed at the site for the time being.

Boost for rail freight in Scotland

THE Scottish Government has announced a grant worth £1.49 million to Tarmac in a Freight Facilities Grant. Cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson announced the funding at the Rail Freight Group’s Annual Scottish Conference 2020 in Bellshill today. Mr Matheson said: ‘I am delighted to award £1.49 million of funding from our Freight Facilities Grant to Tarmac towards expanding its Dunbar facility. Tarmac is a key user of rail and strong advocate for the industry. This award is the first Freight Facilities Grant for rail for a number of years and will help ensure that rail remains the key mode of transport for much of Tarmac’s operations.’

Stabling sidings are opened at Norwich

GREATER ANGLIA has started to use new sidings at Norwich Victoria, where trains will be stabled when they are not in service. The four sidings, each long enough for a 12-car train, are next to the Great Eastern Main Line between Crown Point depot and Norwich station. Greater Anglia managed the project directly in the franchise’s biggest infrastructure scheme to date, with the company’s project management, engineering and commercial teams working alongside principal contractor Keltbray. The nine-month project was also carried out in collaboration with Network Rail’s Asset Protection team. The work involved the lifting of old sidings, while three sets of new points were installed. A fourth set of points which had been out of use for 15 years was overhauled. Other parts of the project including the resiting of a signal and providing a new cabin for shunters.

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