New issue: RE168 May 2010

April 29, 2010

RAIL EXPRESS No. 168RE168: First with the news!
Inside the May 2010 issue:

• News: Infrastructure and freight operator Jarvis enters administration, taking subsidiary Fastline Freight with it. DB Schenker wins Network Rail test train contract and purchases Arriva for £1.6 billion. DBS also offers Class 58s for sale. First considers offloading GB Railfreight and Hull Trains. The Government warns that rising Network Rail debt is unsustainable. The Underground PPP is slammed by a MP Select Committee.
• News special: RAIL EXPRESS provides a guide to the rail policies of the major parties wanting your vote in the forthcoming General Election.
• News is pictures: GBRf celebrates Metronet 100, Freightliner’s ‘Powerhaul’ GEs branch out – first railtour, first infrastrucutre train. A Class 37 finds its way onto the Workington shuttles.
• Feature: One of the newest entrants to the freight market has met an untimely end despite securing a significant long-term coal haulage contract and recording impressive performance figures. Fastline Freight operations ceased on a few weeks ago after its parent company Jarvis was forced into administrations. Here, Paul Shannon looks back over the firm’s short but turbulent history.

RAIL EXPRESS No. 168

• Railtours: Our columnist reports from the latest Spitfire multi-traction railtour, the ‘Cumbrian Crusader II’, which saw the first appearance of an orange, black and yellow Class 66/8 on a passenger train.
• Preservation: One of the West Somerset Railway-based Class 33s, 33057, moves to Brush at Loughborough for attention and could be back in traffic later this year. Meanwhile, Scottish DMUs benefit from SRPS grant award for covered accommodation.
• Time Traveller: The famous depot at Finsbury Park, North London, was commissioned three decades ago this April. The celebrated maintenance facility, which closed in 1981, was responsible for looking after motive power on the southern section of the ECML and is best known for its association with the ‘Deltics’. With the Deltic Preservation Society marking the anniversary at its Barrow Hill depot in May, Murray Brown provides a flavour of the site’s early days of operation.
• Columns: Your favourite in-depth monthly reading –  Messroom, Traction & Rolling Stock, Unitary Authority, Coaches, Wagons and Irish Angle, complete with superb supporting photography.
• Modelling: All the news and reviews for D&E era modellers. Kernow transfers ‘Thumper’ production from Dapol to Bachmann, plus more RAIL EXPRESS Modeller reveals more upgrades for the Class 37/7 project. There are reviews of the new Class 86 locomotives released in ‘OO’ by Heljan and ‘N’ by Dapol. Peter Johnson details Brush prototype Falcon, while the Mostyn team reports from the Ally Pally exhibition.

On sale via subscription and specialist distribution (April 30th) or from your local newsagent (May 1st).


New issue: RE167 April 2010

March 26, 2010

RAIL EXPRESS No. 167RE167: Number one with the news and pictures!
Inside the April 2010 issue:

• News: The government announces that the expensive IEP project is on hold. Direct Rail Services Class 20/3s in line for London Underground ‘S’ stock delivery moves. The first stage of the HS2 route between London and Birmingham is revealed. Grand Central HSTs to be repowered with MTUs. Network Rail publishes strategies for the Great Western Main Line and Midland Main Line. First Great Western loco-hauled to be axed as cascaded DMUs arrive. General Motors Class 59/2s are taking over from the last operational Class 60s.
• News in pictures: A Direct Rail Services Class 66 gets Fastline colours, 66048 James the Engine is recovered and interesting workings for Colas machines.
• News is pictures special: With First GBRf taking over the Rio Tinto Alcan contract from DB Schenker, we present before and after coverage of the freight flow.
• Feature: The early privatisation era saw Pete Waterman’s fleet of former Rail express systems locos receive LNWR black, while the InterCity Charter Services coaching stock fleet was given plum and spilt milk. The full livery history of Waterman Railways loco fleet is here.

RAIL EXPRESS No. 167

• Railtours: Our columnist looks back at his first trip on a F&W Railtours charter, which took place 30 years ago! Includes full railtour listings for April.
• Preservation: BR blue is gaining in popularity. We illustrated newly repainted 20048 and former FM Rail 31128. The sorry tale of ‘Peak’ D14 reaches court.
• Time Traveller: Three decades ago, Bury Bolton Street station was axed in favour of a new Interchange station. Do you remember the Class 504 EMUs?
• Columns: Your favourite in-depth monthly reading –  Messroom, Traction & Rolling Stock, Unitary Authority, Coaches, Wagons and Irish Angle, complete with superb supporting photography.
• Modelling: With the arrival of the Hornby Mk. 3b DVT (reviewed in the previous issue), RAIL EXPRESS Modeller provides a guide to suitable formations as our popular Modeller’s Guide series returns. We also take a look at the latest new products, including the Heljan BTH Type 1 (Class 15) and new DCC-fitted Bachmann ‘Warship’. Finally, we have the full run down of new diesel and electric era items revealed by Bachmann for 2010, which includes a Class 85 (AL5), ‘Desiro’ EMU and an FNA nuclear flask wagon.

On sale via subscription and specialist distribution (March 27th) or from your local newsagent (March 30th).


New issue: REX166 March 2010

February 24, 2010

RAIL EXPRESS No. 166RE166: The best pictures of the wackiest workings!
Inside the March 2010 issue:

• News: Colas Rail Class 66s take over on ‘logs’, the Tories say hard won rail investment may be unaffordable, Grand Central threatens legal action over new ‘Eureka’ timetable, First GBRf wins West Highland alumina flow, Wembley Yard threatened with rationalisation, growing pains stall Class 70 revolution, NXEA employs a Class 20 on passenger trains!, Eurostar promises to buy new rescue diesels, and Network Rail strategy reports point to greater use of HS1 and reformation of the Class 460s.
• News in pictures: Irish Rail repaints RPSI 141 Class locos, Class 92 trialed on Mk. 3s ahead of sleeper use, Class 56 56098 gets Loadhaul livery and a Fastline Freight Class 66 visits Thorney Mill.
• Reviews: A new Atlas from the publishers of the Quail track diagram books brings a greater level of detail is reviewed, along with new DVDs from Sutton Park and Train Crazy, the latest volume of Freightmaster and a book which recalls South Wales’ colourful rail heritage.
• Feature: Thirty-five years have passed since David Rapson and members of the Merseyside Railway Society visited the Western Region junction station at Tiverton, now demolished. The Class 52s were still common power for many of the trains that thundered past, but they were slowly being usurped by Class 50s. The incredible variety of workings was recorded for posterity and the day’s obeservations are recalled in this feature.

RAIL EXPRESS No. 166

• Railtours: ‘Westerns’, ‘Whistlers’ and ‘Choppers’ feature heavily in the 2010 plans of railtour promoters. Our columnist provides the highlights of the upcoming year’s railtours, with special focus on Spitfire, Pathfinder and Compass.
• Preservation: The East Lancashire Railway’s Class 37 fleet, which includes No. 37109, 37418 Pectinade and ‘Slug 6’ 37906, sees use on infrastructure duties on the Manchester Metrolink network – ‘Crompton’ 6525 also sees use as a shunter at Bury.
• Columns: Your favourite in-depth monthly reading –  Time Traveller, Messroom, Traction & Rolling Stock, Unitary Authority, Coaches, Wagons and Irish Angle, complete with superb supporting photography.
• Modelling: A special extended edition of our RAIL EXPRESS Modeller supplement has something for everyone. Richard Dockerill describes an incredible upgrade of the Lima ‘O’ gauge Class 33 and the Mostyn team refurbish stalwart Class 24 No. 24047 with twin five-pole motors. There are reviews of Hornby’s Mk. 3b DVT, the latest ViTrains’ Class 47s and S-Kits’ FEA-F railhead treatment train flat. Plus, we reveal our next special edition models in the form of a four ‘Heavyweight’ Class 37/7 locos in shadow privatisation freight operator liveries and a pair of Bachmann Class 03 shunters – your only chance to buy authentic BR blue era machines.

On sale via subscription and specialist distribution (Feb 26th) or from your local newsagent (Feb 27th).


New issue: REX165 February 2010

January 27, 2010

RAIL EXPRESS No. 165RE165: The best pictures, the latest news
Inside the February 2010  issue:

• News: Chiltern Railways targets Oxford and plans Class 67-hauled trains to take over on key Birmingham services. East Coast Main Line timetable planners have a ‘Eureka’ moment with new clockface schedule, DfT looks to longer franchises, DB Schenker’s ‘Tesco Express’ starts with a bang as boss Keith Heller’s forthcoming retirement is commemorated with a new locomotive repaint. Failures and poor communication leave Eurostar passengers fuming, and HS2 route details leaked – madness as HS1 and Heathrow links unlikely to be included.
• News in pictures: Total whiteout as snow blankets the UK distrupting road, rail and air traffic. We publish the best images of the glorious sun and snow combinations presented to our contributing photographers.
• Feature: A by-product of the break up of British Rail under privatisation, Royal claret has been applied just one shunter and four main line locomotives in the last decade and a half. Our feature recalls the origins of the dedicated Royal Train fleet, which began with Res Class 47s and is now, controversially, provided by a German company with Spanish traction!
• Feature: Our traditional end of year summary looks back over a another busy year for the rail industry. 2009 was notable for a number of reasons. On the positive side the quantity of locomotive-hauled trains increased and a new diesel type arrived to challenge the domination of the Class 66s. This was balanced by the high profile failures of National Express and Advenza Freight, as well as DB Schenker’s plan to remove the Class 60s from traffic. Our look back includes some stunning photography.

RAIL EXPRESS No. 165

Railtours: This month our columnist takes a ride on a seasonal special organised by the Penistone Line Partnership, which took locals on a day out to a popular Christmas market at Skipton. Plus railtour listings for February.
Preservation: ‘Deltic’ D9016 Gordon Highlander enters preservation for the third time. There are green repaints for two more Class 47s, but the sale of 56134 falls through after it is robbed by thieves at Healey Mills.
• Columns: Your favourite in-depth monthly reading –  Time Traveller, Messroom, Traction & Rolling Stock, Unitary Authority, Coaches, Wagons and Irish Angle, complete with superb supporting photography.
• Modelling: A special extended edition of our RAIL EXPRESS Modeller supplement has something for everyone, providing they enjoy wagons and multiple units! There is a detailed history of the ‘Presflos’ by a well known expert to go with our review of the new Bachmann model, while the Mostyn boys describe the construction of their incredible BRCW Class 104 DMUs. There are first pictures of the new Bachmann Class 03 and Hattons Class 14, while we look back over the modelling highs and lows of 2009. What was our favourite model of the year and which one will get the wooden spoon?

On sale via subscription and specialist distribution (Jan 28th) or from your local newsagent (Jan 30th).


New issue: RE164 January 2010

December 18, 2009

RAIL EXPRESS No. 164RE164: Is the end near for Class 60?
Inside the January 2010  issue:

• News: Government commits to North West electrification infills and considers ECML franchise shake up, National Express to lose c2c and East Anglia routes, DB Schenker cuts Class 60 fleet to just four locos, DRS and the DfT praised for Workington flood response, First GBRf takes over FGW Taunton diagram and a study promotes Old Oak Common as the new High Speed 2 terminus.
• News in pictures: GM Type 5s take over heavy Murco flow, Devon & Cornwall colours for another Class 31, Cambrian Class 37 bonanza and Railhead Treatment Train season comes to an end.
• Reviews: A strong month for new books and DVDs sees a bumper reviews page, covering publications on the ‘Warships’, ‘Grids’, SR/BR EMUs, LMS diesel shunters, departmental wagon stock and the year 2009 in review.
• Feature: In the follow up to its well-regarded ‘Book of the Deltics’, specialist publisher Irwell Press has moved onto the D600 and D800 ‘Warships’. We present a taster for the modern traction reference work using a selection of images from the publisher’s files.

RAIL EXPRESS No. 164

• Columns: Your favourite in-depth monthly reading – Railtours, Preservation, Traction & Rolling Stock, Unitary Authority, Irish Angle, complete with superb supporting photography.
• Modelling: Extended coverage of the news from the Warley National Model Railway Exhibition at the NEC in November, along with latest product information from the major manufacturers. Bachmann to produce the General Electric Class 70, Heljan to make the BRCW Lion prototype and four early BR Railbuses, while Dapol announces more china clay wagons in a link up with Kernow. There are also reviews of the new Bachmann 4-CEP and retooled ‘intermediate’ Class 47, and Graham Farish’s Class 24. Finally, the Mostyn team’s big push sees 42 new DMU, coaching and freight stock added to the roster in time for the Wigan show!

On sale via subscription and specialist distribution (Dec 22nd) or from your local newsagent (Dec 23rd).