Published by Railfuture
Railwatch is the quarterly magazine of Railfuture, which is free to members.
Railwatch 075 - April 1998
Rail route protection
Labour is considering protecting disused rail routes and other land for reopening, freight depots or cycle tracks. But it seems to have turned a blind eye to some recent sales. RDS continues to press for legal protection for rail land.
Train operator WAGN is planning not just to re-paint its trains but to improve them for passengers. WAGN is switching relatively old 317 units to its Stansted Express service but is improving them - by replacing cramped five-a-side seating with four-a-side seats which will all have tables. On its inner-suburban 313 trains it is converting sliding doors from driver-operation to passenger-operation to reduce heat loss when doors are opened at stations. WAGN is also introducing bus links to Sandringham and Hunstanton in Norfolk, as well as re-introducing off-peak trains to Cambridge Heath and London Fields stations in East London. WAGN also plans to instal help points and train information telephones at its unstaffed and semi-staffed stations. Well done WAGN!
A busway is still being considered for the disused rail line between Luton and Dunstable even though a quality rail service could easily be reinstated. Campaigners held up a bus mock-up in January to show how it is too wide for a single track rail line. See our feature Don't rip up railtracks for busways.
Congratulations to RDS executive officer Nat Taplin whose recruitment campaign has attracted between 300 and 400 new members to the society. Please persuade friends, colleagues and relatives to join. Recruitment leaflets are avalaible from Alan Crowhurst, 2 Clematis Cottage, Cleobury Mortimer, DY14 0HF.
Rail users conference
Our 20th National Conference is on Saturday 26 September in the Scientific Societies Lecture Theatre, New Burlington Place, London. Details in next Railwatch.
Our annual meeting will be in Shrewsbury on Saturday 2 May and, after a welcome by the Mayor, Councillor Peter Dunham, we shall be addressed by David Weir, the managing director of Wales & West Railway.
Colour photographs are required for a book to mark the society's 20th anniversary in October this year. New trains, electrification, reopenings or other improvements are welcome. Please send slides or prints to Nick Lewis, 36 Common Road, Stotfold, Hitchin, Herts SG5 4DB by early May.
The second Car-Free Conference is at Ventnor, Isle of Wight on Saturday 16 May. Registration costs £5. Full details from A to B magazine, 19 West Park, Castle Cary, Somerset BA7 7DB
Stagecoach in credit
RDS computer officer Trevor Jones attended an integrated transport conference organised by Stagecoach and South West Trains in Winchester in January. His verdict: "A worthwhile event that did credit to Stagecoach."
One benefit of bus companies being involved in rail operations is this new booklet from Great Western about bus links from its stations and combined bus-rail tickets. This is an excellent idea which was probably prompted by the fact that FirstBus owns 25% of Great Western. The booklet points out that posters are displayed at all GW stations giving bus information. Phone numbers and other details of the local bus companies are also included.
RDS lottery winners for November were William Pilsbury, Kempston, Beds £69.60, C J Lindley, Sutton Coldfield £43.50, John Cowell, Leominster £26.10, I Rushton, Nelson £17.40, Donald Bulmer, Weston-super-Mare £8.70, Stanley Simms, Walsall £8.70.
December: C A Jones, Spalding £69.20, T Jolley, Wigan £43.35, Alan Berson, London WC1 £25.95, S J Vatcher, Teddington £17.30, Brian Hastings, Scunthorpe £8.65, R L Davies, London WC1 £8.65.
January: P H Spencer, Ewell £69.40, Andrew Davies, Leeds £43.37, R J Williams, Plympton £26.03, Eileen Ritson, Edinburgh £17.34, John Lewis, Callington, Cornwall £8.68, Norman Campbell, Loughborough £8.68.
If you would like to join the lottery, send a cheque for £12 (made payable to RDS) to Dave Finch, 105 Meadow Hill Close, Kidderminster DY11 6JX. Include your RDS number if possible.
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.
Railfuture is an independent, voluntary group representing rail users in Britain with 20,000 affiliated and individual members. It is not funded by train companies, political parties or trade unions, and all members have an equal say.
Railfuture campaigns for cheap and convenient rail services for everyone; better links for buses, bikes and pedestrians; policies to get more heavy lorries on to rail; new lines, stations and freight terminals. In short, a better rail service and a bigger rail system for both passengers and freight.
Railfuture is pro-rail but not anti-road or anti-air. However, we campaign for a switch from road and air to rail. We do not interfere in the running of the railway - we campaign for the quality and range of services provided, not how they are delivered. We are the only champion of all rail users.
Railfuture is the campaigning name of Railfuture Ltd.
A not-for-profit Company Limited by Guarantee.
Registered in England and Wales No. 05011634.
Registered Office: Edinburgh House, 1-5 Bellevue Road, Clevedon, North Somerset BS21 7NP (for legal correspondence only).
All other correspondence to 24 Chedworth Place, Tattingstone, Suffolk IP9 2ND
© Copyright Railfuture Ltd 2021.
Railfuture is happy for extracts to be used by journalists, researchers and students. We would, however, appreciate a mention of Railfuture in any article, website or programme. Except with Railfuture's express written permission, no one should distribute or commercially exploit the content.
Privacy StatementClick Privacy to read Railfuture's GDPR statement on how we treat your data.
This site does not use its own cookies, although Google Analytics does. The site is maintained for Railfuture by Billing Specialists Ltd.