The picture shows the last special train to travel over the Ivanhoe line, this was the “Three Panniers” rail tour of 2017 that travelled from Leicester to Burton on Trent on its way back to Tysleley via Wychnor Junction. Attempts have been made in the past by various groups to run a special charter over the line purely in support of a restoration of passenger services. The last such attempt occurred in 2017 when Railfuture collaborated with East Midland Trains, however, after fruitful beginnings this failed to materialise. It remains an objective of CRIL to organise a charter train that would carry out two return journeys between Burton and Leicester on a Saturday, when the line is unused, using rolling stock as close as possible to the type that would operate the first restored passenger services. The landscape has changed, we are in contact with the Network Rail department that handles such operations and have contacts within Train Operating Companies that have expressed a willingness to explore the possibility. There is a long way to go, and many discussions to be had, before this can become a reality. However, should this materialise, we can promise that our members will be the first to know and be given first option to buy tickets. Watch this space!
If we’re going to create a railway for the 21st Century, it makes sense to equip it with rolling stock to suit.
We’ve long trumpeted the fact that the Ivanhoeline snakes its way through the beautiful National Forest – a visionary project that seeks to plant 20 million trees across an area once ravaged by open cast coal mining.
To compliment this transformative project, we’ve got really hooked on the idea of hydrogen powered trains.
Thes have been in development for some time. The concept is that hydrogen is stored under pressure within the vehicle instead of diesel. The hydrogen is then run through a fuel cell which creates electricity. The train thus becomes and electric train, but without the necessity to build overhead gantries which are extremely costly.
Initial trials show that these trains can be extremely quiet – a significant benefit now that many houses have been built backing onto the line.
We’re talking to rail operators and research groups about this concept and think the Ivanhoe line could be a great test bed for such technology.