Crossrail, named the Elizabeth line, is a new 73-mile railway line in England, which crosses London from Berkshire and Buckinghamshire in the west to Essex in the east. At each end of the central core, the line will divide into two branches: to the west, to stations at London Heathrow Airport and Reading. In May 2015, a section of one of the eastern branches, between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, was transferred to TfL Rail; the project was approved in 2007 and construction began in 2009 on the central section and connections to existing lines that will become part of the route. Estimated to cost £15.4 billion, in December 2018 it was announced that the project would require a £1.4 billion bailout. A main feature is 13 miles of twin tunnels below the city running from Paddington to Stratford and Canary Wharf. An entirely new line will branch from the main line at Whitechapel to Canary Wharf in part under the River Thames with a new station at Woolwich and connecting with the North Kent Line at Abbey Wood.
New nine-carriage Class 345 trains will run at frequencies in the central section of up to 24 trains per hour in each direction. It is expected to relieve pressure on existing east-west London Underground lines such as the Central and District lines, as well as the Jubilee line extension and the Heathrow branch of the Piccadilly line. Crossrail will be operated by MTR Corporation Ltd as a London Rail concession of Transport for London, in a similar manner to London Overground. TfL's annual ticket revenues for the project are forecast to exceed £800 million per year in 2020/21 and over £900 million per year from 2022/23. In August 2018, the scheduled opening of the core Elizabeth line was postponed from December 2018 to autumn 2019. In December 2018, executives were unwilling to give a firm opening date at the same time announcing additional funding to complete remaining works; the opening of the core Elizabeth line in autumn 2019 was put in doubt. The concept of large-diameter tunnels crossing central London to connect Paddington in the west and Liverpool Street in the east was first proposed by railwayman George Dow in The Star newspaper in June 1941.
The project that became Crossrail has origins in the 1943 County of London Plan and 1944 Greater London Plan by Patrick Abercrombie. These led to a specialist investigation by the Railway Committee, appointed in 1944 and reporting in 1946 and 1948; the term "Crossrail" emerged in the 1974 London Rail Study Report. Although the idea was seen as imaginative, only a brief estimate of cost was given: £300 million. A feasibility study was recommended as a high priority so that the practicability and costs of the scheme could be determined, it was suggested that the alignment of the tunnels should be safeguarded while a final decision was taken. The Central London Rail Study of 1989 proposed tunnels linking the existing rail network as the "East–West Crossrail", "City Crossrail", "North–South Crossrail" schemes; the east–west scheme was for a line from Liverpool Street to Paddington/Marylebone with two connections at its western end linking the tunnel to the Great Western Main Line and the Metropolitan line on the Underground.
The City route was shown as a new connection across the City of London linking the Great Northern Route with London Bridge. The north–south line proposed routing West Coast Main Line and Great Northern trains through Euston and King's Cross/St Pancras under the West End via Tottenham Court Road, Piccadilly Circus and Victoria towards Crystal Palace and Hounslow; the report recommended a number of other schemes including a "Thameslink Metro" route enhancement, the Chelsea–Hackney line. The cost of the east–west scheme including rolling stock was estimated at £885 million. In 1991 a private bill was submitted to Parliament for a scheme including a new underground line from Paddington to Liverpool Street; the bill was promoted by London Underground and British Rail, supported by the government. In 2001 Cross London Rail Links, a joint-venture between TfL and the DfT, was formed to develop and promote the Crossrail scheme, a Wimbledon–Hackney scheme. While CLRL was promoting the Crossrail project, alternative schemes were being proposed.
In 2002 GB Railways put forward a scheme called SuperCrossRail which would link regional stations such as Cambridge, Oxford, Milton Keynes Central Southend Victoria and Ipswich via a west-east rail tunnel through central London. The tunnel would follow an alignment along the River Thames, with stations at Charing Cross and London Bridge. In 2004 another proposal named. Like SuperCrossRail, Superlink envisaged linking a number of regional stations via a tunnel through London, but advocated the route safeguarded for Crossrail. CLRL evaluated both proposals and rejected them due to concerns about network capacity and cost issues; the Crossrail Act 2008 was given royal assent in July 2008, giving CLRL the powers necessary to build the line. Construction began on 15 May 2009. In September 2009 the project received £1 billion in funding; the money was lent to TfL by the European Investment Bank. Both the Labour and Conservative parties made commitments in their manifestos for the 2010 election to deliver the railway, the coalition government formed after the election committed to the project.
The original schedule was that the first trains
Abbeyhill Junction was a railway junction in Abbeyhill area of Edinburgh. It was used to connect the East Coast Main Line towards Abbeyhill railway station. Passenger services stopped using this line in the 1960s but reopened in 1986 as a shuttle service was set up from Waverley station and Meadowbank Stadium railway station for the Commonwealth Games. Abbeyhill Junction signal box closed on 6 November 1938, when an old box at Waverley East took over control of the junction; the junction closed in 1986 as the line was not being used any more for freight. In 1988, the tracks were disconnected at both ends of the line; the tracks remained, for over 18 years until 2007 when the lines were dismantled and the area where the lines were was concreted over
British Rail Class 385
The Class 385 is an electric multiple unit built by Hitachi Rail for Abellio ScotRail. A total of 70 units have been divided into 46 three-car and 24 four-car sets; the new trains were bought to operate services on newly electrified lines in the Central Belt on a mixture of both suburban and inter-urban routes and entered service in July 2018. In October 2014 after being awarded the ScotRail franchise, Abellio, a subsidiary of the Dutch national rail operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen, announced that it had concluded an agreement with the Japanese manufacturer Hitachi Rail to procure 234 new EMU carriages from its AT-200 product series for use on routes in Scotland that were being electrified; the trains, which are formed into a mix of three and four-car units, were intended to operate along the main Glasgow to Edinburgh via Falkirk Line from December 2017, across Central Scotland. The electrification programme, purchase of new EMUs to operate services, will allow a subsequent cascade of the diesel multiple units used elsewhere on the network.
The order for the new EMUs was the first operator-based purchase of a Hitachi product for use in the UK following the IEP procurement, its subsequent construction of its new Hitachi Newton Aycliffe facility at Newton Aycliffe, England. The bulk of the new fleet will be constructed there, with the first seven units being built at Hitachi's Kasado Works factory in Kudamatsu, Japan. Construction of the first units began in November 2015 and the first units were delivered in December 2016. An additional ten 3-car units will be purchased by Abellio if Transport Scotland exercise the option to extend the Scotrail contract from 7 to 10 years; these units would enter service in 2023. It was reported in February 2018 that during testing, problems had been found with the visibility and curvature of the driver windows, which are smaller than usual, leading to drivers seeing "two or three signals", when only one exists, it was reported in March 2018 that there were software issues with the trains, causing the entry into service to be further deferred to December 2018.
However, following progress to resolve the windscreen issue, the trains entered service on 24 July 2018. Due to a critical brake failure involving the brakes being locked off and isolated, all units were withdrawn on 4 October 2018, but the units re-entered service on 13 October 2018. Due to delays with the Class 385 entering service, ScotRail hired ten Class 365 as an interim measure between 2018 and 2019, until sufficient new Class 385 units had entered service; as of 5 December 2018, twenty-six Class 385 units have entered service. The units operate on the Glasgow-Edinburgh via Falkirk line and the North Berwick Line; the new trains will operate on the newly electrified Croy and Shotts lines as well as replacing existing stock on the electrified Carstairs and Cathcart Circle Lines. This will allow for the replacement of ScotRail's Class 314 fleet, allow for the cascading of a number of Class 156, Class 158 and Class 170 units; the trains are provided to Abellio Scotrail through a leasing arrangement.
The Ownership resides with Caledonian Rail Leasing Ltd a subsidiary company of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation 1: ^ Conditional on Abellio ScotRail franchise being extended
High Speed 2
High Speed 2 is a high-speed railway awaiting construction in the United Kingdom which, when completed, will directly connect London, the East Midlands and Manchester. Scheduled to open in phases between 2026 and 2033, high-speed trains will travel up to 400 km/h on 330 miles of track. HS2 will be the second high-speed rail line in Britain, the first being High Speed 1, which connects London to the Channel Tunnel, commissioned in the mid-2000s; when complete, HS2 will configure the letter "Y": London at the base, Birmingham at the split, Leeds top right, Manchester top left. The two phases of the project will be: Phase 1 – from London to the West Midlands, with the first services scheduled for 2026. Phase 2 – from the West Midlands to Leeds and Manchester, scheduled for full completion by 2033. Phase 2 is split into two sub-phases: Phase 2a – from the West Midlands to Crewe, with the first services scheduled for 2027. Phase 2b – from Crewe to Manchester, from the West Midlands to Leeds, with the first services scheduled for 2033.
Peak hour capacity at the HS2 London terminal at London Euston is predicted to more than triple when the network is operational, increasing from 11,300 to 34,900 passengers each way. Services on the new routes will be provided by two fleets of trains: One dedicated only to the high-speed track, named "captive" trains, servicing Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester. HS2 is being developed by High Speed Two Ltd, a private company limited by guarantee established by the UK government. In July 2017, decisions on the full "Y" route were approved by Parliament and the complete project is estimated to cost £56 billion. Construction of Phase 1 began in 2017. High-speed rail arrived in the United Kingdom with the opening in 2003 of the first part of High Speed 1 between London and the Channel Tunnel; the assessment of the case for a second high-speed line was proposed in 2009 by the DfT under the Labour government, to be developed by a new company, High Speed Two Limited. Following a review by the Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition, a route was opened to public consultation in December 2010, based on a Y-shaped route from London to Birmingham with branches to Leeds and Manchester, as put forward by the previous Labour government, with alterations designed to minimise the visual and other environmental impacts of the line.
In January 2012 the Secretary of State for Transport announced that HS2 would go ahead in two phases and the legislative process would be achieved through two hybrid bills. The High Speed Rail Act 2017 authorising the construction of Phase 1 passed both Houses of Parliament and received Royal Assent in February 2017. A Phase 2a High Speed Rail bill, seeking the power to construct Phase 2 as far as Crewe and make decisions on the remainder of the Phase 2b route, was introduced in July 2017. In November 2018, Andrea Leadsom MP questioned the viability of the project at a meeting of the all-party parliamentary rail group. In response, HS2 suggested some changes to the project; these included: reducing train speeds by 30 mph, reducing the frequency from 18 to 14 trains per hour and changing from slab track to ballasted track. CEO Mark Thurston was quoted as saying: "If, at some point in the future, we are instructed to consider any of these options more detailed work on the effect of such changes would of course take place..."
Phase 1 will create a new high-speed line between London and Birmingham by 2026. A high-speed link will be provided to the existing West Coast Main Line just north of Lichfield in Staffordshire, which will provide services to the North West of England and Scotland, in advance of phases. Four stations will be included on the route: the London and Birmingham termini will be London Euston and Birmingham Curzon Street, with interchanges at Old Oak Common and Birmingham Interchange respectively. From the London end, the route will enter a twin-bore tunnel at the Mornington Street bridge at Euston Station's throat. After continuing through the underground station at Old Oak Common, an 8-mile tunnel follows until West Ruislip, where trains emerge to run on the surface; the line crosses the Colne Valley and the M25 on a viaduct, through a 9.8-mile tunnel under the Chiltern Hills to emerge near South Heath, northwest of Amersham. It will run parallel to the existing A413 road and the London to Aylesbury Line, to the west of Wendover in what HS2 call a'green tunnel'.
This is a cut-and-cover tunnel which has soil spread over the final construction, to enable it to be used for agriculture or amenity. After passing west of Aylesbury, the route will run along the corridor of the former Great Central Main Line, joining the former line north of Quainton Road to travel through rural North Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire up to Mixbury, south of Brackley from where will cross the A43 and open countryside through South Northamptonshire and Warwickshire. North of a bored tunnel under Long Itchington Wood, the route will pass though rural areas between Kenilworth and Coventry and cross the A46 to enter the West Midlands. Birmingham Interchange station will be on the outskirts of Solihull, close to the strategic road network including the M42, M6, M6 toll and A45. North of the station, a triangular
The Thameslink Programme Thameslink 2000, is a £6 billion project in south-east England to upgrade and expand the Thameslink rail network to provide new and longer trains between a wider range of stations to the north and to the south of London. The development will facilitate cross-London journeys, where passengers will no longer be required to change trains in London. Work includes platform lengthening, station remodelling, new railway infrastructure, additional rolling stock; the project was proposed in 1991 following the successful introduction of the initial Thameslink service in 1988. After many delays, planning permission was granted in 2006 and funding was approved in October 2007. Work started in 2009 and is expected to be complete in December 2019; the Thameslink Programme is being carried out by Network Rail in association with the relevant train operating companies. The original Thameslink rail network was created by joining the electrified network south of the Thames with the recently electrified line between Bedford and St Pancras to the north via the Snow Hill tunnel, allowing passengers to travel between stations to the north and south of London, including Bedford, Luton Airport, Gatwick Airport and Brighton, without changing trains or using the London Underground.
New dual-voltage rolling stock was required for the service on account of differing electrification standards north and south of London. Services began in 1988 and the route was inaugurated in May 1990. Passenger traffic between destinations in north and south London served by Thameslink services quadrupled after the first year of operation; the success of this initial project encouraged British Rail to develop proposals to extend the network. British Rail proposed to expand and upgrade the original network in the early 1990s, with plans to increase the number of stations served from 50 to 169 and to increase passenger capacity by allowing 12-carriage trains and allowing more trains per hour. In 1994 responsibility for the project, intended to be complete by 2000, was transferred to Railtrack as detailed in the Railways Act 1993; this privatisation, combined with a recession in the UK economy, caused the first of many delays to the project. Railtrack applied for Transport and Works Act 1992 powers on 21 November 1997, but two months London and Continental Railways, a company created to build the High Speed 1 railway between London and the Channel tunnel, announced that it would require a further direct government grant of £1.2 billion to finance the rail link.
The Government and LCR did however reach agreement in June 1998 allowing the construction of High Speed 1 and the associated works required for the Thameslink programme to proceed. During this period Railtrack carried out an extensive public consultation exercise, which resulted in the revision of the original proposals. Given the size of the project, the Deputy Prime Minister decided to call for a public inquiry, which began in June 2000 and closed in May 2001; the Inspector spent several months compiling a report on the proposals submitted by Railtrack and the feedback provided by various parties for and against the project before submitting the report to the Government. On 30 July 2002, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister published the Inspector's report, which stated that although there was a strong case for the project, the Inspector did not recommend that the project should be given approval as there were three'deficiencies' that he was not satisfied with: The poor quality proposals for the redevelopment of London Bridge station.
As a result, the Deputy Prime Minister said in January 2003 that the project would not receive approval and that Network Rail must submit improved proposals and a new Environmental Statement. The delay led to the'Thameslink 2000 Agreement', the contract that obliged Network Rail/Railtrack to maintain responsibility for funding the project, being terminated in April 2003. Responsibility for the projects funding was subsequently transferred to the Strategic Rail Authority. Network Rail revised the original proposal and submitted it along with an updated Environmental Statement dated 14 June 2004; the Deputy Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Transport called for a new public inquiry to begin in September 2005. During this period the Strategic Rail Authority was abolished by the Railways Act of 2005, the Department for Transport took over funding responsibility for the project in July 2005; the second public inquiry took place between September and December 2005, the Inspector completed the report in February 2006, submitted to the DfT for consideration.
In October 2006 the DfT published the second report, declaring that the Inspector was satisfied that the deficiencies of the previous proposals had been resolved, recommending that the project be approved. In 2004 TfL had wanted to bring the Thameslink network into the London Underground network or have the route branded as a London Overground route; this would have meant the network being re-branded. The drawback to this idea was that t
Scottish National Party
The Scottish National Party is a Scottish nationalist and social-democratic political party in Scotland. The SNP campaigns for Scottish independence, it is the second-largest political party by membership in the United Kingdom, behind the Labour Party and ahead of the Conservative Party. The current Scottish National Party leader, Nicola Sturgeon, has served as First Minister of Scotland since November 2014. Founded in 1934 with the amalgamation of the National Party of Scotland and the Scottish Party, the party has had continuous parliamentary representation in Westminster since Winnie Ewing won the 1967 Hamilton by-election. With the establishment of the devolved Scottish Parliament in 1999, the SNP became the second-largest party, serving two terms as the opposition; the SNP gained power at the 2007 Scottish Parliament election, forming a minority government, before going on to win the 2011 Parliament election, after which it formed Holyrood's first majority government. It was reduced back to a minority government at the 2016 election.
The SNP is the largest political party in Scotland in terms of both seats in the Westminster and Holyrood parliaments, membership, reaching 125,482 members as of August 2018, 35 MPs and over 400 local councillors. The SNP currently has 2 MEPs in the European Parliament, who sit in The Greens/European Free Alliance group; the SNP is a member of the European Free Alliance. The party does not have any members of the House of Lords, as it has always maintained a position of objecting to an unelected upper house; the SNP was formed in 1934 through the merger of the National Party of Scotland and the Scottish Party, with Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham as its first president. Professor Douglas Young, the leader of the Scottish National Party from 1942 to 1945 campaigned for the Scottish people to refuse conscription and his activities were popularly vilified as undermining the British war effort against the Axis powers. Young was imprisoned for refusing to be conscripted; the SNP first won a parliamentary seat at the Motherwell by-election in 1945, but Robert McIntyre MP lost the seat at the general election three months later.
They next won a seat in 1967, when Winnie Ewing was the surprise winner of a by-election in the safe Labour seat of Hamilton. This brought the SNP to national prominence, leading to the establishment of the Kilbrandon Commission; the SNP hit a high point in the October 1974 general election, polling a third of all votes in Scotland and returning 11 MPs to Westminster. This success was not surpassed until the 2015 general election. However, the party experienced a large drop in its support at the 1979 General election, followed by a further drop at the 1983 election. In the 2007 Scottish Parliamentary general election, the SNP emerged as the largest party with 47 seats, narrowly ousting the Scottish Labour Party with 46 seats and Alex Salmond became Scottish First Minister; the Scottish Green Party supported Salmond's election as First Minister, his subsequent appointments of ministers, in return for early tabling of the climate change bill and the SNP nominating a Green MSP to chair a parliamentary committee.
In May 2011, the SNP won an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament with 69 seats. This was a significant feat as the additional member system used for Scottish Parliament elections was designed to prevent one party from winning an outright majority. Based on their 2011 majority, the SNP government held a referendum on Scottish independence in 2014; the "No" vote prevailed in a close-fought campaign, prompting the resignation of First Minister Alex Salmond. Forty-five percent of Scottish voters cast their ballots for independence, with the "Yes" side receiving less support than late polling predicted; the SNP rebounded from the loss in the independence referendum at the UK general election in May 2015, led by Salmond's successor as first minister, Nicola Sturgeon. The party went from holding six seats in the House of Commons to 56 at the expense of the Labour Party. All but three of the fifty-nine constituencies in the country elected an SNP candidate. BBC News described the historic result as a "Scots landslide".
At the 2016 Scottish Parliament election, the SNP lost a net total of 6 seats, losing its overall majority in the Scottish Parliament, but returning for a third consecutive term as a minority government. The party gained an additional 1.1% of the constituency vote from the 2011 election, losing 2.3% of the regional list vote. On the constituency vote, the SNP gained 11 seats from Labour, but lost the Edinburgh Southern constituency to the party; the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats each gained two constituency seats from the SNP on 2011. At the United Kingdom general election, 2017 the SNP underperformed compared to polling expectations, losing 21 seats to bring their number of Westminster MPs down to 35; this was attributed by many, including former Deputy First Minister John Swinney, to their stance on holding a second Scottish independence referendum and saw a swing to the Unionist parties, with seats being picked up by the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats and a reduction in their majorities in the other seats.
Stephen Gethins, MP for North East Fife, came o
Glasgow is the most populous city in Scotland, the third most populous city in the United Kingdom, as of the 2017 estimated city population of 621,020. Part of Lanarkshire, the city now forms the Glasgow City council area, one of the 32 council areas of Scotland. Glasgow is situated on the River Clyde in the country's West Central Lowlands. Inhabitants of the city are referred to as "Glaswegians" or "Weegies", it is the fourth most visited city in the UK. Glasgow is known for the Glasgow patter, a distinct dialect of the Scots language, noted for being difficult to understand by those from outside the city. Glasgow grew from a small rural settlement on the River Clyde to become the largest seaport in Scotland, tenth largest by tonnage in Britain. Expanding from the medieval bishopric and royal burgh, the establishment of the University of Glasgow in the fifteenth century, it became a major centre of the Scottish Enlightenment in the eighteenth century. From the eighteenth century onwards, the city grew as one of Great Britain's main hubs of transatlantic trade with North America and the West Indies.
With the onset of the Industrial Revolution, the population and economy of Glasgow and the surrounding region expanded to become one of the world's pre-eminent centres of chemicals and engineering. Glasgow was the "Second City of the British Empire" for much of the Victorian era and Edwardian period, although many cities argue the title was theirs. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Glasgow's population grew reaching a peak of 1,127,825 people in 1938. Comprehensive urban renewal projects in the 1960s, resulting in large-scale relocation of people to designated new towns; the wider metropolitan area is home to over 1,800,000 people, equating to around 33% of Scotland's population. The city has one of the highest densities of any locality in Scotland at 4,023/km2. Glasgow hosted the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the first European Championships in 2018; the origin of the name'Glasgow' is disputed. It is common to derive the toponym from the older Cumbric glas cau or a Middle Gaelic cognate, which would have meant green basin or green valley.
The settlement had an earlier Cumbric name, Cathures. It is recorded that the King of Strathclyde, Rhydderch Hael, welcomed Saint Kentigern, procured his consecration as bishop about 540. For some thirteen years Kentigern laboured in the region, building his church at the Molendinar Burn where Glasgow Cathedral now stands, making many converts. A large community became known as Glasgu; the area around Glasgow has hosted communities for millennia, with the River Clyde providing a natural location for fishing. The Romans built outposts in the area and, to keep Roman Britannia separate from the Celtic and Pictish Caledonia, constructed the Antonine Wall. Items from the wall like altars from Roman forts like Balmuildy can be found at the Hunterian Museum today. Glasgow itself was reputed to have been founded by the Christian missionary Saint Mungo in the 6th century, he established a church on the Molendinar Burn, where the present Glasgow Cathedral stands, in the following years Glasgow became a religious centre.
Glasgow grew over the following centuries. The Glasgow Fair began in the year 1190; the first bridge over the River Clyde at Glasgow was recorded from around 1285, giving its name to the Briggait area of the city, forming the main North-South route over the river via Glasgow Cross. The founding of the University of Glasgow in 1451 and elevation of the bishopric to become the Archdiocese of Glasgow in 1492 increased the town's religious and educational status and landed wealth, its early trade was in agriculture and fishing, with cured salmon and herring being exported to Europe and the Mediterranean. Following the European Protestant Reformation and with the encouragement of the Convention of Royal Burghs, the 14 incorporated trade crafts federated as the Trades House in 1605 to match the power and influence in the town council of the earlier Merchants' Guilds who established their Merchants House in the same year. Glasgow was subsequently raised to the status of Royal Burgh in 1611. Glasgow's substantial fortunes came from international trade and invention, starting in the 17th century with sugar, followed by tobacco, cotton and linen, products of the Atlantic triangular slave trade.
Daniel Defoe visited the city in the early 18th century and famously opined in his book A tour thro' the whole island of Great Britain, that Glasgow was "the cleanest and beautifullest, best built city in Britain, London excepted". At that time the city's population was about 12,000, the city was yet to undergo the massive expansionary changes to its economy and urban fabric, brought about by the Scottish Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution. After the Acts of Union in 1707, Scotland gained further access to the vast markets of the new British Empire, Glasgow became p