Defending our Station Ticket Offices

How closing all our station ticket offices will make train travel even less accessible

Manchester Victoria station, 4th June 1986

For a young lad raised on Thomas the Tank Engine and orange and white buses, there was nothing more exciting than travelling by train. Especially an InterCity one. Back in 1986, train journeys were a rare treat for me as we went everywhere by bus.

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Why Should You Support the RMT Rail Strike

East of the M60 says “Forward with the Railway Workers”

If our nation was a song by The Smiths, it would be Nowhere Fast from the Meat Is Murder album. It is fair to say this week’s rail strike is part of the problem, but nobody – ever takes lightly – the right to down tools.

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A Beginners’ Guide to British Railways Mark 1 Coaching Stock

A guide to British Railways’ first railway carriage design for the absolute beginner

If you go to your nearest preserved railway line, there’s a good chance your train would be hauled by 1950s carriages. They will certainly be slam door carriages with doors at either end of the carriage, with another set half way through. In many cases, the middle set of doors are sealed up to make extra luggage space.

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Lego GMT Standard double decker

Stalybridge Bus Station: A 2030 Vision

The shape of things to come with an all-singing and all-dancing bus/train/tram interchange

It has been a while since you could transfer from three modes of transport in Stalybridge town centre. 90 years ago to be precise. If you count trolleybuses as a third mode, that was 61 years ago.

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Cars on Trains: The Wonders of Motorail

How we let the train take the strain – by carrying us and our cars at the same time

If we put our minds to it, we can let the train take the strain even more. Not only passengers from A to B, also our worldly goods like parcels, raw materials and fuel oil. For carrying heavy loads at once, nothing beats the goods train’s ability at taking more cars off the roads.

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When are the Last Trains to London?

Beat of the M60 finds an excuse to combine trains with music

“It was 9.29, 29… 9.29 back street, big city/The sun was going down, there was music all round, it felt so right.”

Last Train to London, Electric Light Orchestra (1979)

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Northern Class 195, Manchester Airport

Rail Franchising, 1994 – 2020: An Honest Obituary

System exacerbated fragmented nature of National Rail network

Rail Franchising, a part of British railway policy since 1994, was laid to rest at the age of twenty-six. Its original aim was to raise standards across the rail network and improve on services launched by the outgoing British Railways Board. Today, it was announced by Transport Minister Grant Shapps that all franchised operations will be replaced by Emergency Recovery Management Agreements for six to eighteen month periods.

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D6700 Class 40, York (Image by Calflier001).

A Lost Train to London: The Highwayman

The cheap yet slow way of getting from Newcastle-upon-Tyne to London

Road and rail competition, whether private car versus train or scheduled coach versus train is far from new. The private car was, and remains, a threat to the viability of any communal transport options due to its convenience and perceived economy. The opening of the M1 and M6 motorways was also attractive for coach operators as well as motorists.

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Class 142, Newton Heath depot

Ten Things That Millennials Never Enjoyed About Train Travel: The Not So Perfect Ten

Ten things about British rail travel that people born after 1980 never had the chance to enjoy or endure

For many passengers, today’s trains are shiny and efficient beasts. Some might say they are a little devoid of character. Sometimes they look scruffy or sport garish liveries.

In the space of forty years, the joys of British rail travel has changed beyond recognition. Besides preserved railways, today’s trains look more like buses or aeroplanes. There are some that look exactly like buses that are due to cease operation this year.

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Northern Nationalised: Franchise Transfers from Arriva Rail North to DfT

Northern franchise taken over by DfT as Operator of Last Resort from the 01 March

After several rumours and persistent lobbying by Northern English political figures in the last six months, it was announced today that Arriva lost its Northern rail franchise. Under the Anglo-German company’s tenure, the rail franchise was dogged by poor service, delayed rolling stock deliveries and gross overcrowding.

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