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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

by James Scannell

Mayor of London, UK, launches Night Overground services

On December 15th the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, launched 24-hour Night Overground services in the capital for the first time. 24-hour weekend services began on the London Overground between Dalston Junction and New Cross Gate, making it faster and easier for thousands of Londoners working late hours or enjoying nights out, to get around, and will be extended to Highbury & Islington in 2018. The launch follows the huge success of the Night Tube which has seen more than nine million journeys, helped cut late night journey times by an average of 20 minutes, created more than 3,600 jobs and contributed more than £170M [$242M] to London’s economy in its first year. Night Overground will help more people enjoy this diverse and buzzing area of east London, rich with museums, galleries, restaurants, bars and nightspots. Enhancing transport options throughout the weekend will help those working shifts or in the service sector, providing safer journeys and reduced journey times. The Night Overground is part of the Mayor’s draft Transport Strategy, which aims to create a fairer, greener, healthier and more prosperous city by improving public transport. Many other night shift workers, including hospital staff and those who work for the emergency services, will also benefit from Night Overground with frequent and reliable services helping them to travel around east London more easily. Connecting with the Night Tube network at Canada Water on the Jubilee line and, from next year, Highbury and Islington on the Victoria line, the Night Overground will transform journeys and open up London at night for thousands of people. Passengers using Night Overground will benefit from much shorter journey times than currently available at night. Specially trained Travel Safe Officers will also travel throughout the night across the London Overground network alongside TfL-funded British Transport Police officers who work across the London Overground and Tube networks.

Upgrade to Tram Services in Manchester UK

Metrolink customers are set to benefit from later running trams, better connections and improved capacity and resilience following a service pattern change introduced on January 28th. • Airport line services running to Victoria (previously Deansgate-Castlefield), providing better connections and additional capacity through the regional city. • Sunday services extended by approximately an hour into the evening. • Additional platforms at Altrincham and Victoria stops brought into operation to improve reliability; customers are advised to check when using these stops. • Services from MediaCityUK running to Etihad Campus (previously to Piccadilly). • Altrincham services that previously ran to Etihad Campus terminating at Piccadilly. Trams will continue to operate either a six or twelve-minute frequency as now. Metrolink staff will be on hand at key stops in the first weeks of the new pattern to explain any changes and guide customers. Customers also noticed a change to the network map, which was re-designed to reflect recent service changes and took into consideration feedback from customers. Coloured lines have been reintroduced on the network map to make it easier to distinguish the services that operate as well as numbered flags. Additional trams introduced on the Altrincham and Bury lines before Christmas will continue to operate, providing additional capacity at peak times on the network’s two busiest lines.

€65 million package for French Grand Est rural lines

On November 28th 2017 a convention was signed by Grand Est and SNCF Reseau committing €65M to upgrade and safeguard six rural lines in the Grand Est Region. The €65 million package is made up of €35 million from the Grand Est Region, €20.7 million from the State, and € 9.3 million from SNCF Réseau. Priority will be given to the Molsheim-Saint-Dié section of the Strasbourg-Saint-Dié line where, since December 2016 for reasons of safety, a 50km/h speed restriction on the Saales - Saint-Dié-des-Vosges section has lead to the elimination of almost all rail services. A €15.9 million package will see the replacement of 9,000 ties between Saales and Saint-Dié with the intention of restoring the normal line speed and an increase in services by September 2018. Restoration work will also take place on the Colroy Tunnel, including replacement of the ballast, and the Magel bridge between Molsheim and Rothau. A second stage will see 16 km of track replaced between Rothau and Saales by 2021. The package is intended to secure the Strasbourg- Saint-Dié line for the next thirty years.

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Revised: Apr 2018