Hydrogen train trials start in Scotland

A former ScotRail Class 314 electric unit converted to hydrogen power is being tested on the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway near Linlithgow. The unit was reclassified as Class 614 last October and is the last survivor of the Class 314 fleet, which was built by British Rail. The trials on the 8km heritage line could be the first step towards introducing hydrogen trains on rural ScotRail routes where electrification is not considered to be an option. The tests are being run by the University of St Andrews, with Transport Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and Ballard Motive Solutions, but it is understood that extending the trials to Network Rail infrastructure is not likely in the near future.

Whittingham to leave Avanti West Coast

Avanti West Coast managing director Phil Whittingham is leaving on 15 September, ‘to pursue other executive leadership opportunities’. He had been leading the Avanti operation since it began in late 2019, and before that he was with Virgin Trains. AWC said First Rail managing director Steve Montgomery will be ‘providing executive support for the immediate future’. The operator has been criticised for drastic service reductions last month, which it is blaming on the poor industrial relations climate. The unions have accused AWC of being poorly managed. Meanwhile, the mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has joined the debate. He has called on Avanti West Coast to explain how it will restore its normal service of three trains an hour between Manchester and London.

Reduced SWR timetables start today

Fewer trains are running on South Western Railway west of Salisbury from today. Exceptionally dry track foundations on a clay soil have forced Network Rail to introduce speed restrictions between Gillingham and Tisbury, reducing capacity on the single line. Network Rail Wessex route director Mark Killick said: ‘We’re sorry for the disruption between Salisbury and Yeovil Junction, which is a direct result of the hot and dry conditions. We hope the amended timetable can give our customers confidence, but we do recognise that the reduced number of services and longer journey times will be disruptive. As soon as it is safe to remove the speed restriction we will do so, but this may not be until October, when we hope conditions will improve.’ Frequent showers, some of them thundery, are predicted in the affected area between now and Friday.

source= http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/2022/09/05-hydrogen-train-trials-start-in.html