14 June: news in brief

FLIRT accepted

NEW trains being built for Greater Anglia by Stadler have received their first approval from the Office of Rail and Road. The ORR has authorised the use of four-car bi-mode FLIRT units, although they can only start to carry passengers after a testing and commissioning programme has been completed. It’s the first time that one of Stadler’s FLIRT trains has been approved in Britain. Test runs began in January, and Stadler is paying tribute to the ‘excellent co-operation’ between the parties involved, including Greater Anglia and the ORR. Meanwhile, train type approval for the 14 three-car bimodal FLIRT units and the 20 twelve-car electric versions is expected towards the end of the summer. The complete fleet of 58 units will replace the present Mk3 sets on London-Ipswich-Norwich intercity services, and also on local and regional routes. A separate fleet for Greater Anglia’s commuter lines is being built by Bombardier in Derby.

Something to say

TODAY is ‘Chat Day’ on trains, trams and buses in Britain. It’s an initiative called Crossing Divides On the Move, and was inspired by a BBC team. Today, even London Underground commuters will be encouraged to talk to their fellow-passengers, while Virgin Trains has designated Coach C in every West Coast train as the ‘chat carriage’. Transport for London, Greater Anglia and Go-Ahead are among the transport operators who are taking part, and TfL has also provided posters at three Underground stations encouraging passengers to talk to staff. The idea is to reduce the isolation of people who have few or no family members or friends. Emily Kasriel, the BBC editor behind the project, said the aim was ‘to encourage people who are up for it to get out of their comfort zone and emerge from their screens to interact with the adult sitting next to them. Many people are reluctant to talk to strangers, but perhaps someone is battling loneliness and an exchange could provide a meaningful moment that changes their day.’

source= http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/2019/06/14-14-june-news-in-brief.html