Formal GBR Transition Team launched alongside HQ contest

Formal GBR Transition Team launched alongside HQ contest

The next step towards creating the railway’s new ‘guiding mind’ has been taken, with the formal launch of a Great British Railways Transition Team. It is being led by Andrew Haines, who as CEO of Network Rail has already been working behind the scenes to lay the foundations for GBR in consultation with transport secretary Grant Shapps. Mr Shapps has also announced a competition to decide where the new headquarters of GBR will be. The government will invite expressions of intent, although London is being excluded. The Department for Transport said: ‘The competition will recognise towns and cities with a rich railway history that are strongly linked to the network ensuring the first headquarters will take pride of place at the heart of a new era for Britain’s railways.’ Lobbying has already begun, with the leader of City of York council confirming that the city will bid to become GBR’s home. Councillor Keith Aspden said: ‘York is already at the heart of the rail industry in the North, with our existing rail links, rail sector jobs and highly skilled workforce, so it would make perfect sense.’

Mutinous passengers forced GWR express to reverse

A Great Western Railway express from Penzance to London was halted by angry passengers after it had not stopped at Swindon and was allowed to set back, causing major delays to other traffic. The train from Cornwall was said to be ‘dangerously overcrowded’, and the emergency alarm was pulled six times after Swindon had been passed. The train was delayed by an hour by the reversing move and was eventually terminated at Reading, having lost its path into Paddington. GWR said: ‘We’re really sorry for those inconvenienced yesterday and those who were delayed will be able to get their money back by claiming a refund. The 14.18 Penzance to Paddington service was diverted via Chippenham and Swindon to assist passengers affected by an earlier cancelled train. The service was however too busy to carry more passengers safely, so the extra stops were removed. While those on board were informed of the decision, having passed Swindon the emergency ‘passcomms’ was pulled and the train stopped – further delaying the service.’