History UsefulNotes / NationalRail

1st Apr '16 2:31:57 PM Deadbeatloser22
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* Class 91: Electrified by overhead wires and operated by several companies.


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* Class 91: 90: Electrified by overhead wires and operated by several companies.

25th Dec '15 3:30:02 PM Jake
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Privatised under the [[UsefulNotes/JohnMajor Major government]], the track maintenance was ultimately (quite effectively, although the government wouldn't admit it) renationalised after Railtrack decided that it was a shopping mall company which couldn't really be bothered to run a rail network, replaced most of its skilled engineers with unskilled casual labourers working for £5 an hour, 'lost' most records of its infrastructure assets i.e. what was built when and how, became the first British corporation to be convicted of manslaughter after two fatal train wrecks caused by - surprise surprise - sloppy maintenance, deliberately adopted a culture of defiance (its words) to its own regulator, virtually shut down the system in a panic for months to make up the maintenance backlog, and then went bankrupt. This did not make the already controversial decision to privatise the rail network any more popular.

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Privatised under the [[UsefulNotes/JohnMajor Major government]], the track maintenance was ultimately (quite effectively, although the government wouldn't admit it) renationalised after Railtrack [[IncompetenceInc decided that it was a shopping mall company which couldn't really be bothered to run a rail network, network]], [[LongList replaced most of its skilled engineers with unskilled casual labourers working for £5 an hour, 'lost' most records of its infrastructure assets i.e. what was built when and how, became one of the first British corporation corporations to be convicted of manslaughter prosecuted under the Corporate Manslaughter Act after two fatal train wrecks caused by - surprise surprise - -surprise surprise- sloppy maintenance, deliberately adopted a culture of defiance (its words) to its own regulator, virtually shut down the system in a panic for months to make up the maintenance backlog, and then went bankrupt. bankrupt.]] This did not make the already controversial decision to privatise the rail network any more popular.
popular.


Added DiffLines:

As of 2015, the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn have promised to renationalise the entire railway network, [[http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8253804.stm which pretty much everyone seems to think is a good idea.]]
28th Oct '15 5:13:10 PM sabremeister
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** Perhaps most famous as the railway of No. 4468 ''Mallard'' (reached the steam speed record of 126 miles per hour in 1938) and No. 4472 ''Flying Scotsman'' (reached 100 miles per hour). Both designed by Sir Nigel Gresley, they currently live at the National Railway Museum in York, itself a key junction on the LNER network.

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** Perhaps most famous as the railway of No. 4468 ''Mallard'' (reached the steam speed record of 126 miles per hour in 1938) and No. 4472 ''Flying Scotsman'' (reached (first to reach a verified 100 miles per hour). Both designed by Sir Nigel Gresley, they currently live at the National Railway Museum in York, itself a key junction on the LNER network.
30th Sep '15 10:06:32 PM PaulA
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--> - '''Music/ThePogues''', "Navigator"

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--> - -->-- '''Music/ThePogues''', "Navigator"



* ''Literature/TheThirtyNineSteps''

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* ''Literature/TheThirtyNineSteps''''Film/{{The 39 Steps|1935}}''
19th Sep '15 1:49:09 PM Greenmantle
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* The Turbostar (Class 168, 170-172) DMU/ Electrostar EMU family (Class 357, 375-379, 387) - replaced a larger number of older classes post-privatisation; the variants have different ends to them, but they all combine good top speed with comfort and air condition.

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* The Turbostar (Class 168, 170-172) DMU/ Electrostar DMU/Electrostar EMU family (Class 357, 375-379, 387) 357,375-379,387) - replaced a larger number of older classes post-privatisation; the variants have different ends to them, but they all combine good top speed with comfort and air condition.condition.
* The Desiro (Class 185 DMU, Classes 350/360/380, 444/450/700 [=EMUs=]) - built by Siemens, these replaced a lot of older units post-privatisation, mostly with South West Trains in Southern England and London Midland in the Midlands.



* The Class 66s. An imported German design, these are nicknamed 'Sheds', because, well, they look like one. Very distinctive shapes, due to the pointed roof and large windows. Carry a number of liveries, including Freightliner, EWS, GBRF, Railfreight Services and DB Schenker.
* The Class 70s. Similar to the Class 66s, these are only operated by Freightliner.
* The Class 91s. Electrified by overhead wires and operated by several companies.


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* The Class 66s. An imported German 37: A diesel locomotive built for BR in the 1960s, many of these still run over both Network Rail and Heritage lines. Known to Rail Enthusiasts as "tractors" due to the distinctive sound of their engines.
* Class 47: The most common diesel locomotive built for BR, the 47 remains in use. Some have been refurbished and re-engined with second-hand EMD engines to become the Class 57.
* Class 66: A version of an American (EMD)
design, these are nicknamed 'Sheds', because, well, they look like one. Very distinctive shapes, due to the pointed roof and large windows. Carry a number of liveries, including Freightliner, EWS, GBRF, Railfreight Services and DB Schenker.
* The Class 70s. Similar to the Class 66s, 70: Another recent US-designed locomotive (GE this time), these are only operated by Freightliner.
Freightliner and Colas Rail.
* The Class 91s. 91: Electrified by overhead wires and operated by several companies.

8th Sep '15 5:02:57 AM moloch
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** The finale of the Creator/DouglasAdams novel ''Literature/TheLongDarkTeaTimeOfTheSoul'' is set in St Pancreas and the deserted Midland Hotel. [[spoiler: Which is also Valhalla, sort of]].

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** The finale of the Creator/DouglasAdams novel ''Literature/TheLongDarkTeaTimeOfTheSoul'' is set in St Pancreas Pancras and the deserted Midland Hotel. [[spoiler: Which is also Valhalla, sort of]].
11th Aug '15 6:29:41 AM arseyman
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* The Class 350 'Desiro' and 390 'Pendolino' EMUs. Very common on the WCML; the 350s are commuters and operated by London Midland Trains and the 390s are express units and operated by Virgin Trains. Both of these can easily hit 125 miles per hour and have very smooth rides. In fact, the Pendolinos are so incredibly fast that station announcers warn those on the platform to stay back from the edge as these go rocketing through.
* The Class 220 Voyager DMUs. Operated by Cross Country and Virgin Trains. Like the 390s above, these operate on the same routes and are quite speedy.

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* The Class 350 'Desiro' and 390 'Pendolino' EMUs.Electric Multiple Units. Very common on the WCML; the 350s are commuters and operated by London Midland Trains and the 390s are express units and operated by Virgin Trains. Both of these can easily hit 125 miles per hour and have very smooth rides. In fact, the Pendolinos are so incredibly fast that station announcers warn those on the platform to stay back from the edge as these go rocketing through.
* The Class 220 Voyager DMUs.Diesel Multiple Units. Operated by Cross Country and Virgin Trains. Like the 390s above, these operate on the same routes and are quite speedy.
speedy.

Freight locomotives that can be often seen as well:
* The Class 66s. An imported German design, these are nicknamed 'Sheds', because, well, they look like one. Very distinctive shapes, due to the pointed roof and large windows. Carry a number of liveries, including Freightliner, EWS, GBRF, Railfreight Services and DB Schenker.
* The Class 70s. Similar to the Class 66s, these are only operated by Freightliner.
* The Class 91s. Electrified by overhead wires and operated by several companies.

11th Aug '15 6:18:03 AM arseyman
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* The Class 350 'Desiro' and 390 'Pendolino' EMUs. Very common on the WCML; the 350s are commuters and operated by London Midland Trains and the 390s are express units and operated by Virgin Trains. Both of these can easily hit 125 miles per hour and have very smooth rides. In fact, the Pendolinos are so incredibly fast that station announcers warn those on the platform to stay back from the edge as these go rocketing through.
* The Class 220 Voyager DMUs. Operated by Cross Country and Virgin Trains. Like the 390s above, these operate on the same routes and are quite speedy.
30th Jul '15 8:32:49 PM Pigeon_
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-->-- '''Music/ThePogues''', "Navigator"

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-->-- --> - '''Music/ThePogues''', "Navigator"



London has several major railway stations, referenced in media (there's even a case from the ''ThomasTheTankEngine'' where engines argue about which station is London, not realising they are all correct). In all, at least ''twelve'' stations in Central London open today can be counted as being "major" termini--rather more than the number in other large cities (for comparison, Paris has six, Berlin four, and New York two[[note]]Although the low number for New York can be attributed in part to the general decline of rail travel in the United States and in part to the American mania for "union stations"--that is, single stations to host multiple railroads (New York Penn presently plays host to three, even with the decline)--the fact that the rail-crazy Europeans also have fewer stations just goes to show how strange London is.[[/note]]). This is in large part because of the aforementioned bit with the large number of railway companies in Britain; each liked to operate its own smaller station rather than gather together in a few larger ones. So we now have twelve big stations. In clockwise order from the West direction, these are the current ones:

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London has several major railway stations, referenced in media (there's even a case from the ''ThomasTheTankEngine'' where engines argue about which station is London, not realising they are all correct). In all, at least ''twelve'' stations in Central London open today can be counted as being "major" termini--rather termini - rather more than the number in other large cities (for comparison, Paris has six, Berlin four, and New York two[[note]]Although the low number for New York can be attributed in part to the general decline of rail travel in the United States and in part to the American mania for "union stations"--that stations" - that is, single stations to host multiple railroads (New York Penn presently plays host to three, even with the decline)--the decline) - the fact that the rail-crazy Europeans also have fewer stations just goes to show how strange London is.[[/note]]). This is in large part because of the aforementioned bit with the large number of railway companies in Britain; each liked to operate its own smaller station rather than gather together in a few larger ones. So we now have twelve big stations. In clockwise order from the West direction, these are the current ones:



* London Cannon Street - a commuter station serving the City of London (ie the financial district) with platforms extending onto the river. The original victorian concourse was replaced by a bland 1960s building, but the red brick walls and towers at the river end have been refurbished. Trains using the station have to negotiate a tight curve around Southwark Cathedral, which causes a lot of wear and tear on the wheels.

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* London Bridge (always called that, since it's the actual name of the nearby bridge). The main part of the station is a terminus, but some lines run past it and on to Waterloo East and Charing Cross, or to Cannon Street, or to Blackfriars, St. Pancras and beyond on the Thameslink line. Trivia: the station is right next to London's tallest building (as of 2014), the Shard.
* London Cannon Street - a commuter station serving the City of London (ie the financial district) with platforms extending onto the river. The original victorian concourse was replaced by a bland 1960s building, but the red brick walls and towers at the river end have been refurbished. The original arched glass roof over the platforms was removed during WW2 to protect it from bomb damage, and placed in storage in a safe location, which got bombed. Eventually the empty space was used for an office building which makes the station look, from the river side, as if a giant hovercraft is taking a dump in it. Trains using the station have to negotiate a tight curve around Southwark Cathedral, which causes a lot of wear and tear on the wheels.



* London Charing Cross. One of the smaller termini with only six platforms, home to Southeastern Trains services to the south-east of England. The closest station to Trafalgar Square and the West End, it sits on the north bank of the Thames, and can be seen from Waterloo. Southeastern Trains are known for their tendency to shut down their entire network if even a single millimeter of snow is detected, something which naturally pisses off the thousands of commuters who rely on it every day.
* London Victoria: Until the advent of Eurostar and direct connections through the Channel Tunnel, Victoria was where you started your journey to the continent. Regular trains ran to Dover and Folkestone to connect with the channel ferries, not to mention more luxurious trains such as the Golden Arrow and the London extension of the Orient Express network. It still has some international connections, as many tourists use it to go to and from Gatwick Airport because nobody's told them it's cheaper to go from Blackfriars.
* London Bridge (always called that, since it's the actual name of the nearby bridge). The main part of the station is a terminus, but some lines run past it and on to Waterloo East and Charing Cross, or to Cannon Street, or to Blackfriars, St. Pancras and beyond on the Thameslink line. Trivia: the station is right next to London's tallest building (as of 2014), the Shard.




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* London Charing Cross. One of the smaller termini with only six platforms, home to Southeastern Trains services to the south-east of England. The closest station to Trafalgar Square and the West End, it sits on the north bank of the Thames, and can be seen from Waterloo. Southeastern Trains are known for their tendency to shut down their entire network if even a single millimeter of snow is detected, something which naturally pisses off the thousands of commuters who rely on it every day.
* London Victoria: Until the advent of Eurostar and direct connections through the Channel Tunnel, Victoria was where you started your journey to the continent. Regular trains ran to Dover and Folkestone to connect with the channel ferries, not to mention more luxurious trains such as the Golden Arrow and the London extension of the Orient Express network. It still has some international connections, as many tourists use it to go to and from Gatwick Airport because nobody's told them it's cheaper to go from Blackfriars.



* Mark 3 coaches - still very common on long-distance routes, usually hauled by a locomotive with a driving trailer at the other end or sandwiched between two HST power cars - the HST versions are not compatible with other Mark 3 stock). These include the above-mentioned manually operated doors and in most cases, toilets that flush directly onto the track... which is why there are signs telling you to flush them while stationary.

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* Mark 3 coaches - still very common on long-distance routes, usually hauled by a locomotive with a driving trailer at the other end or sandwiched between two HST power cars - the HST versions are not compatible with other Mark 3 stock). These include the above-mentioned manually operated doors and in most cases, toilets that flush directly onto the track... which is why there are signs telling you not to flush them while stationary.in stations.



** The Australian XPT was also a modification of the HST.



* LMS Stainier Class 5 aka 'Black Five' - 842 of these steam locos were built for mixed traffic work and survived into the BR era; 18 ended up preserved and remain highly popular for railtours.

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* LMS Stainier Stanier Class 5 aka 'Black Five' - 842 of these steam locos were built for mixed traffic work and survived into the BR era; 18 ended up preserved and remain highly popular for railtours.



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5th Jul '15 5:06:57 AM swordfish
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The British railway system was the first in the world and one of the most developed, but is now somewhat smaller than it was in the past. This was significantly due to a man named Dr. Richard Beeching who helped close down about a third of the network (mostly smaller branch lines, but it also included most of the longer Great Central Railway (GCR) from London to Manchester via Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield) on grounds of economic non-viability (he proposed further cuts but these were rejected). This didn't really work and some of the lines have since been reopened as railway use has grown, with further reopenings planned or actively campaigned. In addition, there is a controversial proposal to build a up to 250mph (400 km/h) high speed line from London to Manchester, dubbed '[=HS2=]', which may or may not see the light of day.

to:

The British railway system was the first in the world and one of the most developed, but is now somewhat smaller than it was in the past. This was significantly due to a man named Dr. Richard Beeching who helped close down about a third of the network (mostly smaller branch lines, but it also included most of the longer Great Central Railway (GCR) from London to Manchester via Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield) on grounds of economic non-viability (he proposed further cuts but these were rejected). This didn't really work and some of the lines have since been reopened as railway use has grown, with further reopenings planned or actively campaigned. In addition, there is a controversial proposal to build a up to 250mph (400 km/h) [[superscript:km]]∕[[subscript:h]]) high speed line from London to Manchester, dubbed '[=HS2=]', which may or may not see the light of day.
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