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30 April: news in brief

Two railway honours for Captain – sorry – Colonel Tom’s 100th

THE war veteran who has raised almost £30 million for the NHS by performing laps of his garden in Bedfordshire using a walking frame has been honoured by two railway namings to celebrate his 100th birthday today. Captain Tom Moore has also been promoted to the honorary rank of Colonel. GWR will put an Intercity Express train into service this morning which bears his name, while GB Railfreight has attached ‘Captain Tom Moore’ nameplates to a Class 66 locomotive. The GB Railfreight naming was performed by the operator’s managing director John Smith while Colonel Tom watched the ceremony from his home. He has now received at least 140,000 birthday cards.

In other news …

SAFETY planners are warning that more use of transport systems in London as the lockdown is eased could pose problems because of continuing social distancing. The effective capacity of the Underground could be reduced to 15 per cent, even with services restored, and the railway could be ‘rapidly overwhelmed’. Police could also be under pressure if they are called to control crowds and enforce remaining restrictions. The London Strategic Coordination Group emphasised that its document, which spells out several possible scenarios, should not be seen as a definite prediction of ‘what will happen’.

THE Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham says facemasks could become compulsory on Manchester Metrolink trams. But he said no decision would be made without clear guidance from the government and public support. He added: ‘I think we need to have the debate with people.’

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