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Work to connect Swanage Railway line to the main line

Work is taking place to connect the line to the main line Credit: ITV NEWS

The historic removal of the old boundary between Network Rail and Swanage Railway is taking place today. The old branch line is nearing the completion of its forty year dream to reconnect to the main line.

Work is taking place to connect the line to the main line Credit: ITV NEWS

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First Great Western apologise for rail chaos

Delays were caused by signalling problems Credit: @RDGNOW

The MP Rob Wilson has received a letter of apology and explanation from Network Rail and First Great Western following last week’s travel chaos. The severe disruption resulted in train delays and cancellations - it took some people 5 hours to complete their journey.

The joint letter from Patrick Hallgate, Route Managing Director for Network Rail, and Mark Hopwood, Managing Director for First Great Western, acknowledged that performance had been ‘well below the standards customers should expect’ and that the organisations were sorry for the ‘frustration and inconvenience’ felt by passengers.

The delays and disruptions were caused by signalling failures. Billions are being invested in the rail network to replace and modernise older equipment and improve signalling.

Rob Wilson said, “It’s good that Network Rail and First Great Western have apologised for the severe disruptions to the network. It’s important that the service providers recognise the immense frustration felt by commuters when the system grinds to halt. Whilst apologies and explanations are welcome, they will be of little comfort to commuters who have to suffer when trains are delayed and cancelled. There is huge investment going into transport infrastructure in Reading and the surrounding areas, but without improved performance and increased reliability this investment will be immaterial."

Off-shore windfarm debate rumbles on

A planning hearing into the controversial Navitus Bay windfarm got underway today - giving people the chance to have their say on what could become Europe's largest offshore facility.

Energy giants Eneco and EDF want to build it off the Dorset and Isle of Wight coastlines. Either a hundred and twenty - or a hundred and ninety turbines - would be put up across an area of sea half the size of the Isle of Wight, powering 700,000 homes. It has has support from green energy campaigners but opponents claim it'll ruin the local tourist economy - and the view.

Interviewees:

Chris Lisher is the harbour master at Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight, one of three ports which could become the base for Navitus Bay's onshore support facilities.

Mick Pearce runs a guest house right on the seafront looking out towards the turbines.

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