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Rail News – Late February 2024

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Passengers in South Wales could soon benefit from better connectivity as the Transport Secretary visits the Vale of Glamorgan today (19 February 2024) to announce the UK government’s support for plans to improve rail links in the region. As part of his visit, he will join local people including Vale of Glamorgan MP Alun Cairns to announce the UK government’s commitment to fund the development of a business case to look at options for a new station in St Athan. This could offer thousands of people better access to the region’s growing number of homes, jobs and business opportunities

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A battery-powered train is thought to have broken a UK record during a test journey.

Great Western Railway (GWR) has been trialling its FastCharge battery, which it hopes will eventually eliminate the need to use diesel.

On 14 February, a test train travelled 86 miles on battery power alone without charging, through Gloucestershire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.  A few days later, it travelled 70 miles on 45% of its battery capacity.

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The HS2 railway linking London to Birmingham could boost the West Midlands economy by £10bn during the next 10 years, according to research.

More than 40,000 new homes could be built, and 31,000 jobs created the report by consultancy Arcadis said.

The study found that since 2017, the region had attracted the most inward investment outside London and the South East.  There was also a knock-on effect on other building projects, Arcadis said.

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Network Rail has started the tendering process for its newest alliance contract, aimed at enhancing various rail lines and stations in and around Birmingham and neighbouring urban areas.

The search is underway for partners to execute the £1.4bn Midlands Rail Hub initiative, including infrastructure projects spanning the West, Central, and East Midlands regions.

Aiming to establish an alliance that will operate for eight years, the project focuses initially on enhancements around Birmingham Moor Street.

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