Back By Unpopular Demand: Northern’s Pacer Units

Nodding Donkeys ‘home’ till Christmas Today, East of the M60 has learned that a small number of the universally derided Class 142 Pacer units will be making a comeback on Northern rail services. Thirteen of the units will be reinstated to provide extra capacity, and to ensure that social distancing practices will be maintained.

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…

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,…

Red Star: When Parcels by Rail Were Faster By Far

Who remembers Red Star Parcels when you could send your worldly goods by train? Once upon a time, not so long ago, we used to deliver a lot of our post by rail. Before the late 1980s, our newspapers came by train. Such was the importance of Travelling Post Office trains, mail trains used to…

The Duffers’ Guide to Rail Operations #2: Sleeper Trains

A rough guide to nocturnal and, mainly horizontal, travel options Imagine boarding a long distance train by night and waking up in another part of the world the following morning. In another country, or another part of the country. Most of the great long distance trains, for example the Trans-Siberian Express, traverse more than one…

Forgotten Rail Journeys: York to Shrewsbury and Aberystwyth

A look at the long forgotten overnight train from Yorkshire to Mid Wales Till fairly recently, a lot of our post was delivered via rail with road for the last mile journeys to sorting offices. Before Railnet’s last hurrah for the Travelling Post Office, the TPO trains were a common feature of our railways. Mainline…

A Northern Snub? Trans-Pennine Electrification ‘Paused’

Northern Powerhouse project put on back burner The Northern Powerhouse has been dealt a body blow as plans to electrify the Trans-Pennine route have been ‘paused’. As quoted in Hansard, the Secretary of State for Transport, The Right Honourable Patrick McLoughlin MP (Conservative, Derbyshire Dales) stated that:

Transpennine Express’ Electric Dreams Come True

New Class 350 EMUs to reach Ardwick by Christmas First/Keolis Transpennine Express’ already modern fleet is set to be augmented by ten 4-car electric trains.  The Siemens Desiro EMUs are set to reach Liverpool and Ardwick depots by December. The new trains will cost £60 million with the addition of EMU depots in Preston and…

Technical Issues Source of Mancunian Oyster Card Delays

East of the M60 Exclusive Report: Problems over size main issue instead of fare structures From an informed source, East of the M60 has finally found out why Manchester’s answer to the OysterCard has been delayed. It has been said that Greater Manchester’s bus fare structures have been the culprit. In fact, the main reason behind…

HS2 Northern Section: East of the M60’s Verdict

East of the M60 on the High Speed Two proposals East of the M60 would like to apologise for the late arrival of this article and the inconvenience this has caused to your reading. So, £32 billion for a thousand or so miles of high speed track, new trains and new stations? Sounds good to…

Riding the Rails on a Shoestring

Cheaper ways of enjoying our railways The school holidays have just begun, and the sun has made a welcome return to our skies. It may even be warm enough for some people to enjoy their first ice cream cornet of 2012. Heck, we might be able to turn the heating off for once and… leave…