Vivarail trains withdrawn by London Northwestern

Vivarail trains running between Bedford and Bletchley on London Northwestern Railway were withdrawn last night and the rail service has been replaced by buses, following the news that Vivarail has been placed in administration. Grant Thornton is understood to be taking responsibility for managing the company’s financial affairs. LNR engineering director John Doughty apologised, and continued: ‘Following the news that Vivarail is to enter administration, we have been left with no alternative but to pause the service as we can no longer guarantee the required level of maintenance for the trains on the route will be available.’ Rail services using Vivarail units on the Isle of Wight are not reported to have been affected.

Rail funding welcomed ++ The Department for Transport has published the High-Level Output Specification (HLOS) and Statement of Funds Available (SoFA) for the railway in England and Wales from April 2024 to March 2029, and the funding of £44 billion has been welcomed by railway suppliers. Railway Industry Association chief executive Darren Caplan said: ‘RIA welcomes this commitment from the UK Government, which in difficult economic times appears to mean Network Rail can continue maintaining and renewing the railway in CP7 with similar funding levels to today’s.‘

RMT talks ++ Scottish transport minister Jenny Gilruth has held talks in London with RMT general secretary Mick Lynch. Transport Scotland said they have agreed to work together to urge the UK government to find solutions to the Network Rail pay dispute and avoid strikes during the weeks up to Christmas. In addition to discussing the dispute, Ms Gilruth repeated her opposition to the Minimum Service Level Bill.

HS2 journey ++ Transport secretary Mark Harper has made a first trip through a completed HS2 tunnel. He was joined by HS2 chief executive Mark Thurston, and they both made the historic journey 33 metres below ground level at Long Itchington in Warwickshire. The HS2 project was safeguarded in the Autumn Statement made by chancellor Jeremy Hunt, who told the Commons that funding would be available to continue building HS2 to Manchester as well as East West Rail and the ‘core’ elements of Northern Powerhouse Rail.

source= http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/2022/12/02-vivarail-trains-withdrawn-by-london.html

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