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Railwatch 073 - October 1997

East Anglia

By Trevor Garrod and Nick Dibben

Business plan Great Eastern Railway Managing Director Bob Breakwell was guest speaker at the summer meeting of the branch, in Colchester. His talk ranged widely over the issues facing train operations in Essex: from improved signalling and track layouts for increased speeds to the challenge of handling late night revellers at stations such as Chelmsford and Southend Victoria! "The only way a Train Operating Company will survive over the next seven years is to build its business," stressed Mr Breakwell, adding "a one per cent increase in revenue is five times more beneficial than one per cent off staff costs."

Phone-in Branch Chairman Peter Lawrence was the guest speaker on a BBC East of England radio phone in on 6 July when, among other things, he put the case for a new East/West rail link.

Steaming on The Mid Norfolk Railway has relaid track into Dereham station and, during the school holiday period, operated steam and diesel trains from there to Yaxham - another significant step towards full reopening of the line from Wymondham to Dereham.

Birthday book Our book England's Most Easterly Railway describing the Lowestoft- Reedham-Norwich line in this, its 150th anniversary year, is still available at £4.45 (post free) from Trevor Garrod, 15 Clapham Road, Lowestoft NR32 1RQ.

St Ives 150 The branch is helping to organise a Rail Day in St Ives during August to celebrate the 150th anniversary of its opening. The event will be used to launch a new RDS leaflet calling for the line to be reopened. Although the line is out of use, the track is still there and there is strong local support for the reopening. The Rail Day will comprise model railways, old photographs of the line plus displays of rail projects being undertaken by Cambridgeshire County Council and local train operator West Anglia Great Northern.

Improvements for cyclists Branch chairman Peter Lawrence was at Norwich station when the cyclists group Sustrans launched its Cycle Mark award for train operators which provide good facilities for cyclists. The East Anglian location was selected as Anglia Railways became the first operator to win the award for improving the facilities for bicycles on both stations and trains. Such schemes have been a long-running campaign for the branch which then supported the successful Government grant application for the project.

More access to Stansted Train operators are improving services to Stansted to reflect the growing passenger numbers. Anglia Railways has introduced a bus link from Colchester to the airport. Next year will see the return of Central Trains with an hourly service to Birmingham. This is particularly welcomed by the branch which successfully campaigned for a north curve, only to see the service withdrawn after one year. Also from next year West Anglia Great Northern will increase its services to three per hour from London.

Note: contact details (postal and email addresses, along with telephone numbers) in old editions of Railwatch out of date. Click CONTACT US for latest contact details.

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