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there was very little difference in the cost of leasing high-speed trains (HSTs) and Class 180 DMUs, so FGW opted for extra HSTs as they can carry more customers. CrossCountry also opted for the use of HSTs, complete with one power car rebuilt from scrap-yard condition, as it was more cost- effective to do that than lease other available rolling stock. Kendall told the audience that CrossCountry would be sub-leasing an HST set to East Coast in due course. Looking to the future, Hopwood speculated that to better utilise its rolling stock, FGW may use more turbo traction (Class 165/166 DMUs) on the North Cotswold line, and on lightly loaded late-night services to and from Bristol Temple Meads, rather than HSTs, which can be largely empty off peak. Castledine added: ‘On behalf

of the IRO SW Area, I’d like to extend grateful thanks to both Mark Hopwood and Sarah Kendall for freely giving their time for such an informative and well received inaugural event.’

For more information on anything concerned with the IRO SW, please contact Andy Castledine at FGW on: andy.castledine@

IRO celebrates a decade


The IRO celebrated its 10th anniversary on 23 April, when

a First Great Western HST power

car was named The Institution of Railway Operators.

First Great Western’s managing

director, Mark Hopwood, and the institution’s chief executive, Chris Daughton, performed the naming

ceremony, which took place at Swindon Station. Daughton said: ‘Thanks to First Great Western for naming the power car after the IRO. What better way to mark our 10th anniversary?’ IRO members watched the ceremony on Swindon station’s platform one before travelling to

the nearby Steam Museum for the institution’s annual lunch. Hopwood said: ‘First Great

Western has had a strong association with the institution since it was set up a decade ago. We’re very pleased that the IRO chose Swindon for its annual lunch and delighted to name the power car.’

Mark Hopwood, left, with

Chris Daughton

‘We’re very pleased that the IRO chose Swindon for its annual lunch and delighted to name the power car’

Irish Area

For information on Irish Area events, contact Kay Doyle at: Kay.doyle@railwayoperators. org or Hilton Parr at: hilton.parr@

Scottish Area North West Area

For information on the Scottish Area, contact Ross Campbell on: 0141 242 8620 or email Jim Gillies: at scottish@

North East Area

14-18 June: Visit to Ireland, in conjunction with the Irish Area Council. Full details are on the IRO website. For further details, contact: 10 July: Family day/social event – visit to Falsgrave signalbox Scarborough and the North Bay Miniature Railway. Details will appear on the IRO website in due course.

15 June: Visit – Boxes of Stockport. The trip will take in Stockport No 1 and No 2 Boxes to look at absolute block signalling. Time: 18:00 venue: Stockport station. 10 July: Family day – visit to Llanberis Lake Railway and Snowdon Mountain Railway. Please contact Tom Cox at: thomascox1@ for more information.

All events and enquiries about the North West Area should be via Carl Phillips at: General membership enquires to Clive Evans at: northwest@

For information on North East Area events, contact David Monk-Steel at: northeast@ or by telephone on: 01751 473799 during office hours. North East Area meetings take place at 17:30 for 18:00 in York.

Midlands Area

19 June: Visit to The National Tramway Museum, Crich Tramway Village, Matlock, Derbyshire. Details will appear on the IRO website in due course.

For information on Midlands Area events, contact Julia Stanyard on: 0121 345 3833 or email: Unless otherwise indicated, our events start at 17:30.

South West Area

14 June: Question Time! Railway Safety – How Safe is Safe Enough? Time: 18:00-20:00 venue: Brunel Train Shed (Brunel’s Board Room), adjacent to Bristol Temple Meads station. 3 July: Visit to Merehead Quarry and Railhead, plus talk by Alan Taylor, managing director of Mendip Rail. Time: 11:00-16:00. Further details will appear on the IRO website in due course.

For information on South West Area events, contact Andy Castledine at: andy.castledine@

South East Area

All South East events will now take place at London Underground’s HQ, 55 Broadway, St James Park, SW1, with a 17.30 for 18.00 start, unless otherwise indicated.

7 June: Train maintenance depot visit. Venue: FCC, Hornsey. Contact: 19 July: Evergreen 3 and the vision for the Chiltern Main Line. Time: 18:00 venue: LUL HQ. Contact: glen.merryman@

For further information on the IRO South East Area, contact Chris Howard at: southeast@

More details of area events are listed on the IRO website.

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