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Rail News – Late July 2023

Estimated reading time 4 minutes

The Government has launched a study to look at options for running HS2 trains to Leeds that will shunt any decisions down the track onto the next government.

It is already more than 600 days after the HS2 to Leeds study was announced as part of the Integrated Rail Plan for the North and Midlands in November 2021.

Transport minister Huw Merriman has also confirmed that the government accepts the recommendation of the Transport Select Committee to “reconsider the case for the development of a new station in Bradford”.

The study will be undertaken by Network Rail with support from HS2 and is expected to take two years.


CAF has secured an agreement to extend the contract awarded in June 2019 for the supply of trains for the DLR managed by Transport for London (TfL). This extension agreement includes the supply of 11 additional units, which will be added to the 43 initial units included in the contract. The contract amount of this extension surpasses €90 million.

Just like the previous units, the new ones will each consist of 5 cars and will offer a range of additional improvements for passengers, including state-of-the-art real-time visual and audio travel information, as well as air conditioning, mobile device charging stations, multi-purpose areas (for pushchairs, bicycles and luggage), and wheelchair spaces.


Arcadis has been selected to lead a major revamp of Leicester City Centre’s Grade II Listed railway station, a key transport hub in the East Midlands that will significantly boost connectivity in the region.

Working in partnership with Leicester City Council and Network Rail, Arcadis will act as lead designer, project manager and commercial manager on the scheme, which includes the development of the station as well as improvements to the public realm and a new commercial offering. The original listed building will be carefully restored, and the heritage asset will become the focal point of the development.

More than £17m from the government’s Levelling Up Fund will be added to money from Leicester City Council to kickstart the development.


TransPennine Trains Limited and Angel Trains have awarded Hitachi Rail an eight-year contract to continue maintenance of 19 intercity Class 802 trains.

The Hitachi built ‘Nova 1’ fleet has proved very successful since its introduction in 2019, providing an extra 161 seats per train on TransPennine Express journeys between Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh.

Hitachi has been rewarded for its impressive maintenance and reliability, with the Nova 1 fleet currently 70 per cent more reliable than the industry average.


UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK government’s export credit agency, has underwritten €781m of financing – equivalent to £680m – to support construction of a 286km high-speed electric railway in southern Turkey.

With financing provided through UKEF’s Buyer Credit Facility, Rönesans Holding will finish construction of the Mersin-Adana-Gaziantep High Speed Railway on behalf of the Turkish Ministry of Transport.

The deal is expected to create new, multimillion-pound export contract opportunities for the UK’s infrastructure, engineering and project management sectors, supporting the Prime Minister’s priority of growing the UK economy.


The HS2 rail line has been given an “unachievable” rating by an official watchdog.  It has been given a “red” warning for its first two phases – from London to Birmingham then onto Crewe – by the Infrastructure and Projects Authority.

The project aims to create high-speed rail links between London and central and northern England but has faced major delays and criticism.

The government says it remains committed to delivering HS2.


Part of a £5bn rail project linking Cambridge and Oxford is now regarded as “feasible” – but still has “significant issues”, a report states.

The Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) analysed two stages of East West Rail, having last year deemed them “unachievable”.

It said issues, while ongoing, were now resolvable if “addressed promptly”.

East West Rail said the IPA’s revised opinion reflected “the hard work we have put in over the past year”.


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