Modern Railways - February 2013

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The West Coast Main Line

Squeezing the most out of the West Coast
Virgin Trains COO Chris Gibb suggests how to improve West Coast operations

London Midland franchise extended
Two more years for West Coast operator

Britain’s premier freight artery
Paul Shannon reviews freight operations on the West Coast main line

Bletchley brought into line
Signalling at this Buckinghamshire hub has been renewed


News Front
Network Rail’s Strategic Business Plan; new trains for Southern; SWT plans new rolling stock order; Mail Rail to be a tourist attraction?

Rail Freight
Highland Spring bottled water trial; increased track access charges for coal

Infrastructure News
Golden Valley redoubling; BAM Nuttall’s Borders contract

Informed Sources
The Brown Review; TOC efficiency; the Rail Technical Strategy; plus GW wiring running late

Europe View
Keith Fender presents a round-up of news from across the Channel


A year lopped off Reading project
Lateral thinking on the blockade programme is shortening the timescale

Communication breakdown
Ian Walmsley (with a little help from Robert Plant) looks at passenger information

Starting from scratch in Afghanistan
Richard Brown tells the RSA about new rail services in the Asian country


LU150 steam runs

The Brown Review

Blood and Custard
A sideways look at railway life

Readers comment on topical issues around the railway today

Our monthly look at changes on the national network

Moving Wheels
Rolling stock news

In Business
Latest happenings in industry

Recent appointments

Classified ads
The small ads that matter

Alan Williams
Alan casts an eye over the Brown Review

Crossrail update
Some stunning new aerial images