Nov 28, 2013

First Steam, Then Diesel. Will LNG Be Next to Power the Railroads?

Rich-Joseph Facun for The Wall Street Journal

CSX Corp.CSX +0.70% is the latest North American freight railroad to become smitten by natural gas.

CSX and locomotive maker General Electric Co.GE +0.19% are planning a pilot program that will deploy locomotives that can run on either liquefied natural gas or diesel, which has been the fuel of choice for train engines since steam locomotives were phased out during the 1950s. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc.BRKB 0.00%, also is pursuing a gas engine pilot program and at least three other railroads are considering test programs as well.

But the devil is in the details. And there are a lot of devils to be exorcised before CSX and other railroads can launch pilot programs, let alone convert 200,000 long-distance diesel locomotives in to natural gas.

“The approved use of this energy technology is still in a very rudimentary stage.” Kevin Thompson, associate administrator for the Federal Railroad Administration. “The FRA is still evaluating the merits of a pilot program, and a path forward for future use is still to be determined.”

Rail is one of the industries with a high potential for natural gas penetration in the coming years. Low-priced natural gas could decrease a railroad’s fuel costs by the as much as 50%, without sacrificing the towing power generated by diesel power. That’s an appealing proposition for cost-conscious railroads. Moreover, converting the railroads to gas from diesel could provide more than a decade of orders for locomotive builders GE and Caterpillar Inc.CAT +0.37%’s Electro-Motive Diesel

But the freight railroads and the regulators are starting from scratch with LNG. There are no rules or industry standards yet for gas equipment, especially the refrigerated tank cars, known as tenders, that would be coupled to locomotives to carry gas. The last tenders to operate on U.S. railroads carried coal and water for steam locomotives.

In the aftermath of July’s catastrophic fire in a small Canadian town when a train of crude oil-filled tank cars derailed, regulators aren’t likely to make concessions on safety procedures and collision-resistant features to get LNG tenders into service quickly. The railroads, federal transportation agencies and the tank car owners are already knee-deep in a debate over a potentially expensive retrofit of tank cars already in service that haul flammable liquids, such as crude oil and ethanol.

Tenders, which would carry up to 33,700 gallons of super-chilled liquefied gas, would be coupled between two locomotives to provide fuel for both. That means the tenders would have to be constructed to withstand being sandwiched between behemoth locomotives during a train crash, according to the railroad administration, which has approval authority over the railroads’ pilot programs.

The few details revealed so far about the agency’s requirements pilot programs include a detailed analysis of the proposed routes for gas-powered trains to identify highway-rail crossings where there have been incidents. Extra notification measures at crossings could be mandated, such as using flagmen to stop auto traffic as a gas-powered train passes a crossing. So far, Burlington Northern is the only railroad with a pilot program application pending at the FRA.

If the railroads’ pilot programs meet expectations, a formal set of standards and regulations for the entire rail industry would still have to be adopted to permit a full-scale rollout of gas locomotives. Railroads routinely use each other’s routes and transfer cars and locomotives from one railroad to another, making standard procedures and equipment particularly important.

The rail industry’s trade group, the Association of American Railroads, recently formed a study group to develop industry-wide standards for tenders. The AAR’s technical advisory group, or TAG, is wading through specifications for gas tender designs and various components such as hoses, piping and the tender-locomotive connections. The proposals generated by the group would likely become the basis for federal standards for gas tenders.

“We’re working as fast as we can, but we’re dealing with essentially a new machine,” said Mike Iden, director of car and locomotive engineering for Union Pacific Railroad and a TAG member, during September panel discussion in Chicago.

Obama's Ticket to Ride

A California lower-court ruling this week might be fatal to the state's 500-mile bullet train. To keep the project alive, California's high-speed rail authority will need a cash infusion and legal bypass from the Obama administration.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny on Monday blocked the state from spending $8.1 billion in state bond money because he determined that the rail authority failed to comply with the 2008 voter initiative authorizing the borrowing. To wit, the state didn't obtain environmental clearances for 270 miles of tracks or show how it planned to procure the $31 billion needed to finance the train's first 130-mile leg from Merced to the San Fernando Valley.

The feds have provided just $3.25 billion in grants, which are attached to tight strings. For instance, the Department of Transportation has required the state to match the federal money dollar for dollar and spend most of Washington's largesse by September 2017. Judge Kenny's ruling will preclude both.

It took five years for all of the necessary federal, state, regional and local agencies to sign off on 31 miles of tracks, and now the rail authority will have to obtain environmental clearances for 270 more miles. And much of this span will run through hostile territory such as Kings County, which sued to stop the bullet train.

Now the state must return to the drawing board and develop a new financial plan that pinpoints its funding sources. Private investors have evinced little appetite for financing the train's construction. Even were Democrats to win back the House in 2014, more federal cash likely won't be forthcoming since the congressional delegation representing the Northeast Corridor is demanding first dibs on any additional funds earmarked for high-speed rail.

Which leaves Sacramento. California Democrats no doubt could find a way to finance the bullet train. One idea that Gov. Jerry Brown has suggested in the past is to tap cap-and-trade revenues. But will Democratic legislators really want to appropriate tax revenues for a project that is deeply unpopular and could cost the party its supermajority?

All of which suggests that the only way the project rolls forward now is if the Obama administration scraps its restrictions. The White House has already loosened the terms of its grant agreement five times since 2010 to accommodate the rail authority.

Unless the state can miraculously find another $20 billion or so, the federal money will merely be spent on seizing business and residential property and tearing up land for a railway which will likely never be built. And high-speed rail was supposed to be a stimulus?

Barcelona-Paris bullet train starts up on Dec. 15

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, left, and French President Francois Hollande review troops upon their arrival at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, for their meeting, Spain, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013. Rajoy is holding talks with French President Francois Hollande as part of a bilateral summit.(AP Photo/Gabriel Pecot)(Credit: AP)

MADRID (AP) — The leaders of Spain and France have announced that a new high-speed rail link between their countries will be inaugurated on Dec. 15.

Speaking in Madrid, Spain’s Mariano Rajoy and France’s Francois Hollande hailed the new bullet train service as a sign of closer ties between the two nations.

The trip between Barcelona and Paris will take just over six hours. It will eliminate the border hassle travelers currently face of changing trains, and is an alternative to an overnight train trip lasting 11 hours.

Rajoy and Hollande on Wednesday also discussed European issues such as a banking union and high youth unemployment. Hollande urged the European Central Bank to find ways to ease tight credit hurting small and medium size businesses in Spain and France.

Bullet train snag could affect Transbay Terminal

The latest version of the metal scrim that will cover the Transbay Transit Center is perforated aluminum with a coat of mica-flecked white epoxy. The design of the panels is based on a geometrical pattern discovered in the 1970s by British mathematical physicist Dr. Roger PenrosePhoto: Pelli Clarke Pelli Critics have complained that California's high-speed rail project is shaping up to be the bullet train to nowhere. Now that a judge has thrown the project's future into doubt, San Francisco is left to wonder whether it will be stuck with a $400 million train station connected to nothing.

With or without a high-speed-rail line, officials have said the underground station is going to be built at the new, $2 billion Transbay Terminal at First and Mission streets. All the money is in place, and the station is due to be finished in 2017.

But with Judge Michael Kenny having pulled the emergency brake on high-speed rail Monday in Sacramento County Superior Court, the San Francisco station probably will sit empty for some time.

Here's why: Although the station itself is fully funded, much of the $2.5 billion needed to build the 1.5 miles of track from the Transbay Terminal to the existing rail terminus at Fourth and Townsend streets "still needs to be secured," said Adam Alberti, spokesman for the Transbay Joint Powers Authority.

The financing fallback, should high-speed rail fall apart, has always been turning the Transbay Terminal station into the end point for Caltrain service. However, that turns out to have been an odd fallback, because Caltrain would need high-speed-rail money to make it happen.

Caltrain is banking on $600 million in bullet-train cash to electrify its fleet of diesel trains. The only way Caltrain can run trains through a downtown tunnel is if they are electric.

"You can't run diesel underground. There are too many safety issues," said Caltrain communications manager Jayme Ackemann.

And with Kenny having halted bullet-train bond sales - saying there's no evidence the state will have the cash to build more than a few miles in the Central Valley of the line it wants to run from San Francisco to Los Angeles - all bets are off.

So let's review. We're constructing a train station for a high-speed-rail line that may never be built. The backup plan is to use the station for the local trains, only that may not happen, either.

The possible end result: an empty - but paid-for - train station under a very expensive bus terminal and shopping center.

The big picture: The folks behind high-speed rail put on a brave face after JudgeMichael Kenny dealt their $68 billion project a severe blow, but they had no answers for how they will salvage the bullet train.

Dan Richard, chairman of the state's High-Speed Rail Authority, insisted the problems are "fixable" - but as of Tuesday, he was still unable to say where the billions of dollars in private money needed to swing the deal would come from.

But Michael Brady, the Peninsula attorney who has been fighting the project on behalf of Kings County and a couple of property owners, says the math simply doesn't add up.

In court, he argued that the state needs to show it has at least $31 billion lined up to build the first 300-mile leg of the project from Merced to the Los Angeles basin.

At most, Brady says, California has $6 billion - half from the feds, and half in matching state funds that are now in jeopardy because of the judge's ruling.

"That means they have to come up with $25 billion in new money, and where are they going to get that?" Brady said.

"No local government has ever offered anything, and no private investor for five years has offered a dime," he said. "And the feds aren't going to give them any more matching funds."

That leaves Richard & Co. scrambling to buy time - and looking for answers.

"We are just not ready to announce how we are going to approach this," Richard said.

In the meantime, with enough federal money to keep things rolling until April, the state plans to proceed with a signed contract to build the first 29 miles of track from Madera to Fresno.

Will it also prove to be the end of the line?

"I am keeping a scrapbook of all the times the project was declared dead," Richard said. "We will read it at the groundbreaking."

Arming up: Birdies tell us that Oakland City Councilwoman Libby Schaaf, getting ready to run against Mayor Jean Quan next year, has signed up San Francisco political consultant Ace Smith and his SCN Strategies - whose clients include Gov. Jerry Brown, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Kamala Harris.

And why not Doug Linney, the veteran East Bay consultant who ran Schaaf's council race in 2010?

He's no longer available, having signed on back in September - before Schaaf showed any interest - to run the mayoral campaign of Joe Tuman, a San Francisco State Universitypolitical communications professor and former KPIX political analyst.

Neither Schaaf nor SCN officials would comment - but look for the rookie councilwoman to open a mayoral committee within days.

By the way, Schaaf is already busy polishing her resume. She's about to introduce two council initiatives - one to get a better grip on the city's chronic police-staffing shortages, the other establishing animal welfare guidelines that, among other things, would put a tighter leash on circuses that come to town by requiring local inspections.

San Francisco Chronicle columnists Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross appear Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays. Matier can be seen on the KPIX-TV morning and evening news. He can also be heard on KCBS radio Monday through Friday at 7:50 a.m. and 5:50 p.m. Got a tip? Call (415) 777-8815, or e-mail

Metro’s Silver Line is coming to Tysons, but don’t look for lots of new commuter parking

(Matt McClain/ The Washington Post ) - A connecting bridge is viewed from the McLean Station on Nov. 4 in Fairfax County.

By Lori Aratani, Thursday, November 28, 5:08 AM E-mail the writer

For years, Fairfax County residents have watched as cranes and bulldozers have ripped up roads and disrupted commutes to make way for the dramatic aerial structures that will carry Metro’s newest rail line through Tysons Corner and into Reston.

Now that the Silver Line is about to open, many potential riders have one simple question: Where do we park?

Parking spaces planned along the Silver Line

Parking garages — and the large surface parking lots that have long dominated the Tysons landscape and suburban Metro stations elsewhere — don’t fit with the new vision of an area seeking to swap its congested, car-centric image for that of an urban, pedestrian-friendly enclave.

And so Fairfax officials did not include parking garages at the four Silver Line stations in Tysons.

That decision has been cheered by “smart growth” advocates, but some residents are concerned that their streets will become de facto Metro parking lots. And some potential Silver Line riders — accustomed to driving to Metro stations to board their trains — wonder how they’ll get to the new rail line if they can’t drive.

“The plan did not originally include parking because there were advocates that claimed that having parking garages would draw cars into Tysons,” Fairfax County Supervisor John W. Foust (D-Dranesville) said. “In my opinion, those cars are coming anyway, and they’re going to be driving around looking for a place to park.”

The situation underscores the delicate balance that Fairfax officials must strike as they try to remake one of the Washington area’s most car-centric zones into a transit-oriented, pedestrian-friendly destination. They don’t want to bring more vehicular traffic into the area, but many of the improvements designed to make it bike- and pedestrian-friendly won’t be in place for several years. And persuading commuters accustomed to driving to a Metro station to hop on a bus or a train is likely to be a hard sell.

“The reason places like Bethesda are popular is because you can drive and park,” said John Lucas, who lives about a mile from Tysons. “Now we have to get in the car and drive past two or three stations to get to where we can park. It’s going to be impossible. There are not alternate forms of transportation that are reliable.”

The first phase of the $5.6 billion rail extension, expected to open for passenger service early next year, has four stops in Tysons: McLean, Tysons Corner, Greensboro and Spring Hill. A fifth station, Wiehle Avenue, is in Reston, and that stop will have an underground parking garage with 2,300 spaces.

Surveys were done in 2011 as part of a study of how people get to and from Metro, and about 73 percent of respondents said they drove to a station. About 23 percent said they walked or took a bus.

Too many Metro commuters arriving in cars is one reason the county is investing millions of dollars to beef up bus routes. Fifteen Fairfax Connector routes are being created, and 28 are being redesigned with Silver Line service in mind. Three new routes will make loops around the Tysons area, connecting neighborhoods, shopping areas and office buildings with the stations. People who transfer from Metro to those circulating buses can ride them for free.
Source..washington post

Ring, circular rail lines better than Metro, monorail, says expert

Underlining the mismatch between vehicular growth and road space, T G Sitharam, the chairperson of Centre for Infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning (CiSTUP), IISc, has stressed linking Bangalore to its satellite towns with ring and circular rail lines. 

Addressing a day-long workshop on urban mobility here on Monday, Sitharam said short trains comprising four to five bogies could be run on these ring and circular rail lines at frequent intervals to meet the need for urban mobility, which would cost only Rs 100 crore whereas Metro or monorail needed thousands of crores. 

In his view, even after the huge investment, Metro and monorail cannot completely address the growing needs of urban mobility.

Sitharam also stressed the need to keep the urban poor in perspective in mobility plans. “Urbanisation is unstoppable but master plans integrated with mobility plans can answer many problems of urban transport. JnNURM no doubt has added elevated roads, underpasses and flyovers. These address only the current issues and should be supplemented with long-term plans to address the urban transport needs,” he explained. 
He reminded that bad mobility in urban India adversely affected the GDP growth, which has come down from high nine per cent to the low five per cent. Master plans for Bangalore for 2031 should lay stress on de-congestion of roads and encourage more public transport through additional busses and the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS). 

Widening alone was not sufficient but good roads would help in urban mobility, he added.
Source..deccan herald

More Metro Rakes Arrive from Brazil

A Metro Rail Rake Being Shifted From the Ship Berthed at Chennai Port to NTC Truck. Two New Trains Arrived at Chennai Port from Brazil on Wednesday. (Express photo | A Raja chidambaram)
A Metro rail rake, imported from Brazil, being transferred from a ship berthed at Chennai Port to a vehicle, on Wednesday. (Express photo | A Raja Chidambaram)

Two more Metro Rail trains manufactured in Brazil have reached Chennai Port and will be taken to Koyambedu within the next two-three days.

In all, eight rakes were unloaded using a 125 metric tonne mobile crane, according to a Chennai Metro Rail spokesman. They will be loaded on vehicles and shipped to the Metro rail depot in Koyambedu.

This comes in the wake of the arrival of a Diesel Shunting Locomotive, which is designed to haul four-six car trains. The locomotive will be used within Koyambedu depot, hauling trains for repairs or rescue from a viaduct or a tunnel.

Meanwhile, the first Metro train is undergoing a test run for 1,600 km before going in for a trial run on the elevated stretch. Metro Rail officials said that work on the Koyambedu station - the first station on the elevated stretch - is progressing smoothly. This station is connected to the depot and shunting neck and is the only station that will have a foot overbridge on the platform.

For accessing the foot overbridge, lift and escalator will be provided.

A total of 95 per cent of the block work has been completed. Two out of nine roof trusses have been erected. Similarly, four out of six escalators have been erected. Ninety per cent of the granite flooring has also been completed, Metro rail sources said. indian express

New SCR GM meets CM, Governor; Gears up to Face the threat of cyclone ‘Lehar’

Secunderabad: SCR General Manager Mr.P.K.Srivastava who has taken over as the general manager of South Central Railway recently, called on Governor of AP Mr. E.S.L. Narasimhan at Raj Bhavan here on Tuesday as a matter of courtesy and discussed the likely impact of Lehar on Railways. Later, he reviewed the situation with senior officers including the Vijayawada Divisional Railway Manager and directed them to put the railway administration on high alert.

A control room is being set up at Rail Nilayam, Secunderabad and also at the office of the DRM in Vijayawada, Guntur and Guntakal. Officials from various departments will be present 24×7 at these control rooms to monitor the situation and take action.Patrolling of railway tracks by engineering staff on foot has been taken up. Bridges, bunds, deep cuttings at vulnerable locations will be kept under watch.

Trains with engineering material will be ready at Rajahmundry (16 wagons); Krishna Canal Junction (23 wagons); Bitragunta (11 wagons); Allur Road (10 wagons) and Manubolu (8 wagons) to rush to any area requiring repairs.

Additional diesel locomotives will be kept ready to operate trains in case of any disruption in power supply to the overhead traction. Senior engineering officials will be camping at Eluru and Rajahmundry to keep a watch on the situation


To cater to the transport needs of the residents of Kashmir region during the ensuing chill winter period, Northern Railway has decided to run o­ne pair of 04612/04611 DEMU Special Trains between Budgam – Banihal from 25.11.2013 to 31.01.2014 in both directions as per the following programme:

The 04612 Budgam-Banihal DEMU Special train shall depart from Budgam o­n all days of the week except Sunday at 06.05 a.m. to reach Banihal at 07.55 a.m. the same day. In the return direction, the 04611 Banihal-Budgam DEMU Special train shall depart from Banihal o­n all days of the week except Sunday at 08.15 a.m. to reach Budgam at 10.15 a.m. the same day

Consisting of six car- coaches powered by two driving cars, the 04612/04611 DEMU Special Train will stop at Sringar, Pampora, Kakapora, Awantipora, Panjam, Bijbiara, Anantnag, Sadura, Quazigund and Hillar Shahabad Halt stations enroute in both directions.

Indian Railways Institute of Signal Engineering and Telecommunications Celebrates 56th Annual Day

Indian Railways Institute of Signal Engineering and Telecommunication (IRISET) celebrated its 56th Annual Day today (24th November 2013) at its premises Tarnaka Road, Secunderabad. Shri Pradeep Kumar Shrivastava, General Manager / South Central Railway presided over the function. Shri M Suresh, Addl. Member (Signal), Railway Board and Shri P K Srivastava, Addl. Member (Telecom), Railway Board were the Guests of Honour, Shri K L Pandey, Addl. General Manager / SCR, Shri Satyender Kumar, Director IRISET, Principal Heads of Departments and other Senior Officials, Faculty / Trainees of IRISET participated in large numbers. Shri Pradeep Kumar Srivastava, General Manager released “Gyandeep” Technical Magazine anniversary issue o­n the occasion.
Speaking, o­n the occasion Shri Pradeep Kumar Srivastava called upon the trainees to acquire command over the subject and get a right frame of mind in the Institute for rendering excellent services by Indian Railways ensuring safety and punctuality. He congratulated all the trainees for completing their courses successfully and winning various awards of excellence. He assured to provide all essential support to the growth and development of the Institute. He presented awards of excellence to meritorious trainees of various courses.

Shri M Suresh, Addl. Member (Signal) said that IRISET has achieved remarkable progress in imparting training in the field of Signal and Telecommunication by providing education to 67588 Officers/Supervisors and enable them to handle Railways expansion and modernisation since inception. He also lauded the Institute for imparting training to many foreign nationals.

Shri P K Srivastava, Addl. Member (Telecom) said that IRISET is a top Training institute in Asia imparting training to Railways & PSUs. The institute also emphasizes o­n all round development of personality by providing meditation, yoga, indoor and outdoor sports facilities. He advised the faculty to take up courses like finance in PPP projects for officers which is going to help the administration in future development programs.
Shri Satyender Kumar, Director, IRISET, while presenting the Annual Report said that the Institute has imparted 120 courses and trained 3447 number of Railway personnel during the academic year. The Institute also organised 221 Extension Lectures in modern technology for the benefit of trainees.

Earlier, P K Srivastava, Additional Member (Telecom) inaugurated a lab equipped with Railway specific mobile phone technology called GSM-R; Installation of training model of Electronic Interlocking and animated training module o­n Auto- Signalling System; Electronic Interlocking studio software for in house Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) in Microlok II;Gymnasium and a renovated shuttle court at IRISET premises.
(K.Sambasiva Rao)
Chief Public Relations Officer


S. Anantharaman

Shri S. Anantharaman, IRTS of 1982 batch took over charge as Chief Operations Manager, Southern Railway o­n 20.11.2013. He had earlier held the posts of Chief Safety Officer, Southern Railway; Divisional Railway Manager / Chennai Division of Southern Railway and Chief Safety Officer / Hajipur, East Central Railway.

He has undergone training in Heavy Haul Rail Movement in South Africa and Container Terminal Management in the Port of Rotterdam.\

Source - CPRO, S RLY

Almost every major rail operator hit by Christmas engineering works

Rail passengers face major disruption over Christmas and New Year as upgrade work affects the majority of routes
Public holidays are the best time to carry out major rail upgrade work, passenger groups say Photo: Reuters

Almost every major rail operator in the UK will be hit by line closures and engineering works over Christmas and New Year, causing travel misery for thousands.

Passengers travelling with 21 of the country’s 26 train companies will have to contend with delays and buses replacing trains.

The disruptions include the axing of all Gatwick Express services from Christmas Day to the end of New Year's Day.

Even operators not impacted by engineering and upgrade work are running a reduced service over the festive period, and closing completely on Christmas Day.

However, passenger groups have welcomed the news as they say that public holidays are the best time to carry out such work, ensuring minimum disruption and resulting in improved services in the long run.

Merseyrail, Island Line Trains, Grand Central, c2c, and Eurostar are the only operators not affected, but none are running services on Christmas Day and all will operate reduced services over the period.

A spokesman for Passenger Focus said that the engineering work is essential and research and “common sense” show that it is best to do it over the holidays, when service are quietest.

The cancellations on the Gatwick Express, which runs from London's Victoria station to West Sussex airport, are due to a major tranche of engineering work being carried out at Gatwick station, at Victoria and between Redhill and Purley in Surrey.

This extensive work will also affect services operated by the First Capital Connect (FCC), First Great Western (FGW) and Southern train companies Certain trains will not run over the festive period, with bus replacement services operating on some routes.

Engineering work is taking place between Paddington station in London and Slough in Berkshire from December 27 to January 3. This will mean disruption to some FGW services, while some Heathrow Express services will be affected from December 30 to January 1.

FGW passengers will also have to put up with engineering work between Oxford and Hanborough from December 27 to 29, while FGW services and those run by the CrossCountry are being disrupted by engineering work between Reading and Basingstoke from December 27 to 30.

FGW passengers will have to use buses instead of trains between Maidenhead and Marlow from December 27 to 29 due to engineering work, while FGW services will also be disrupted from December 29 to January 3 by engineering work between Reading and Didcot Parkway.

A major £19 million upgrade at Gravesend station in Kent will mean the Southeastern company will not be able to run any trains from or through Gravesend between December 22 and January 5. Buses will replace the Gravesend trains

The Gravesend work will also affect Southeastern's high-speed services.

Engineering work between Retford and Lincoln and between Gainsborough Lea Road and Lincoln will mean buses replace trains between Doncaster/Retford and Lincoln from December 21 to January 5.

From December 23 to 27 there will be engineering work between Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport stations with lines closed at various times. Buses will replace trains on some routes during this time. There is also engineering work in the Manchester Victoria area which will affect Northern Rail services between December 27 and January 1.

Engineering work from December 28 to 30 will mean East Midlands Trains passengers will have to take buses instead of trains between Spalding and Sleaford in Lincolnshire.

Buses will replace trains on parts of London Overground between December 23 and 27 due to engineering work between Surrey Quays and New Cross Gate/New Cross.

Platforms 1-9 will be closed at Waterloo station in London from December 27 to 29, with disruptions to services by South West Trains.

On the Victoria, Gatwick and Surrey disruptions, Network Rail Sussex route managing director Tim Robinson said: "These are three significant infrastructure upgrades which have been carefully planned to take place at the same time to keep disruption to a minimum."

One good bit of news for travellers is that the Chiltern train company will for the first time be running some services on Boxing Day. Its trains will operate for around 12 hours, with the first train northbound from London to Bicester North at 8.15am and the last to Princes Risborough at 6.45pm.

Southbound, the first train will run from High Wycombe to Marylebone station in London at 8.29am and the last will run from Bicester North to Marylebone at 6.57pm.

On the Tube there is track replacement work at Earl's Court in west London over the festive period. There will be part closures on the District and Jubilee lines between December 27 and 30, while a section of the Northern line will be shut on December 28 and 29.





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