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NEWS


GWML structures awarded protected status


Railway structures along the Great Western Main Line have been awarded protected status, or had their protection upgraded.


Swindon station, four viaducts, 12 tunnel structures and 26 bridges have been awarded protected status, including Maidenhead bridge, which has been upgraded to the highest Grade 1 status.


Heritage minister John Penrose said:


“Our part railways of our and the


historic buildings that go along with them are a wonderful and emotive


national


heritage, symbolising for many of us a sense of romance, history and adventure.”


FTPE funds conservation projects


First Trans-Pennine Express (FTPE) is donating £30,000 for woodland conservation projects in northern England and Scotland.


It has announced a new partnership with the Forestry Commission to fund the work, with grants up to £2,000 offered to community groups, charities, schools and individuals who wish to run environmental projects.


The funding forms part of a six- year, £125,000 commitment to provide and protect green areas.


Rail passenger info consultation launched


The ORR has launched a consultation on information for passengers on services, costs, safety and performance.


New research suggests passengers are especially keen for more information to help them avoid busy trains.


ORR chief executive Richard Price said: “Too often the rail industry has shot itself in the foot by holding data back and looking like it has something to hide. I am delighted that the train operators and Network Rail have started to put that right. I want to see the next steps to make customers and taxpayers much better informed.”


8 | rail technology magazine Aug/Sep 12 © Alvey & Towers


Security screening considered on railways


The Home Office is considering mass security screening at mainline stations and on the Tube to scan for terrorist threats, as it launches a research brief for new technology.


The search would focus on emerging technology capable of rapidly screening huge numbers of passengers to detect explosives, guns and knives as well as chemical and biological materials.


The high volumes of passengers on the railway mean that traditional forms of screening are


not possible. Suitable screening points could be at ticket barriers, the top and bottom of escalators and platforms and the equipment could be either fixed into the station


or portable flexible use.


Passengers are largely positive about the need for checks, the DfT has stated, but it accepts that most people would be unwilling to accept major delays to their journey.


The current official UK threat level is at ‘substantial’, indicating a terrorist attack is highly possible.


for more


TUCA training complete for first 1,000 students


The first 1,000 students have completed their training at the Crossrail Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy (TUCA).


The academy in east London has also launched new courses to meet industry demand and is providing new facilities, including a high-tech concrete testing laboratory.


TUCA provides nationally- recognised qualifications to upskill those already working in the industry and helps students


to gain employment. A range of pre- employment courses are available, including


an


introduction to general construction and metal framework.


Claire Parry, head of skills and employment at Crossrail said: “TUCA has been a huge success since opening less than a year ago. Over 1,000 people have now been trained to work on Crossrail and other construction projects.


“The Academy is the only


purpose-built facility for training people in key skills in tunnelling and underground construction with an unrivalled range of specialist plant and equipment.”


TUCA’s specialist training facilities include a simulated tunnel environment, sprayed concrete lining equipment and loco driver training facilities.


Strike called off by Aslef and EMT


Planned strike action by train drivers in opposition to pension changes at East Midlands Trains was cancelled following talks that reached a “positive settlement”.


Drivers’ union Aslef had planned strikes for August 6, 7 and 8,


which would have significantly disrupted rail services during the Olympic Games.


East Midlands Trains had proposed changes to the staff pension, intended to begin in July, which would mean both workers


and the operator paying lower contributions into the pension scheme.


Following industrial action and bitter public attacks on each other, a final statement from the two sides on July 26 read: “Following further constructive discussions today, East Midlands Trains and Aslef are pleased to confirm that a positive settlement of all issues relating to planned pensions changes reached.”


has been


© British Transport Police


© Crossrail


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