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  1. National

HS2 boss to say he would like to start second phase

Launching his report in Manchester, Sir David Higgins, HS2's recently appointed chairman, will say that he would like work to start on the second phase at the same time as the first phase.

An anti HS2 sign in Whittington, Staffordshire. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The second phase, taking the line in a Y-shape to north west and north east England is set for completion around 2032/33. He is also expected to recommend a completely new station at Euston - the site for the line's London terminus.

Sir David, the former London Olympics supremo who has joined HS2 Ltd after being Network Rail chief executive, is also expected to recommend scrapping plans to link HS2 with HS1, the London to Kent coast Channel Tunnel high-speed line.

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Investigation after woman dragged down platform by train

Train standing at Newcastle Central station platform 10 Credit: First Transpennine Express

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) is investigating after a passenger became trapped in train doors and dragged a short distance at Newcastle Central Station.

It happened on 5 June 2013 on a Transpennine Express service from Newcastle to Manchester Airport.

It was reported to the RAIB on 3 July.

The doors were closing as the passenger reached the train, so she put her hand between them, expecting them to re-open.

The doors continued to close around her wrist.

The train then started to move, forcing the passenger to walk and jog alongside.

The conductor, who was leaning out of the rear cab window, could not see the trapped passenger due to the curvature of the platform.

Passengers on board the train noticed what was happening and pulled the emergency door release which automatically applied the brakes.

The train moved less than one coach length and the passenger was able to remain on her feet, receiving minor injuries.

'Dry' train on Tyne Valley rail route

Dry train service to try to stop alcohol related incidents Credit: ITV

Alcohol is to be banned on the Newcastle to Carlisle rail route.

Starting on Saturday 22 June, the 7.25 pm service will be a ‘Dry Train’ meaning no alcohol will be allowed on board.

Alcohol is already banned on the 9.18 pm Newcastle to Carlisle service.

Martyn Guiver, Head of Crime Management for Northern Rail, said:

“We have had a number of complaints about alcohol related incidents, due to a small minority drinking alcohol on the train.

"We put the safety of customers and employees first and so this will now be a ‘Dry Train’.”

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  1. National

East Coast bids open after National Express pulled out

The East Coast rail line runs from London to Scotland's major cities, including Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow.

Empty train at King's Cross Station Credit: Press Association

Over three years ago the line had to be nationalised because operator National Express revealed it couldn't afford to pay the franchise. The company was commited to a £1.4 billion contract.

No formal bidders have yet been confirmed, but it could reignite competition between Virgin Trains and FirstGroup who went head-to-head to run the West Coast line.

  1. National

Passengers to help decide who runs rail services

This programme is a major step in delivering tangible improvements to services, providing long-term certainty to the market and supporting our huge programme of rail investment.

Above all, in future franchise competitions we are placing passengers in the driving seat by ensuring that their views and satisfaction levels are taken into account when deciding which companies run our railway services.

Franchising has been a force for good in the story of Britain's railways, transforming an industry that was in decline into one that today carries record numbers of passengers.

– Patrick McLoughlin, Transport Secretary
  1. National

East Coast rail route set for privatisation

East Coast Main Line train pulls out of Peterborough Train Station Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The East Coast rail route will be put back into private ownership after a long period under state control, the government will confirm this week.

Patrick McLoughlin, the Transport Secretary, will unveil plains to seek tenders for the London to Edinburgh service over three years after it was nationalised.

The decision to put one of Britain's most used rail routes back into private sector hands is expected to reignite the rivalry between Virgin Trains and FirstGroup, who competed for the West Coast franchise last year.

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