ITxPT standard helps Pilotfish enter the rail IT market

NETHERLANDS: Swedish company Pilotfish is to work with German firm IVU Traffic Technologies to supply its vehicle gateway units and a back-office system for the 18 new Stadler WINK and 51 refurbished GTW diesel multiple-units which Arriva is to operate on regional routes in Friesland and Groningen under the Noordelijke Lijnen concession

SNCF rolls out GIRO scheduling software

FRANCE: SNCF is to deploy GIRO’s Hastus integrated scheduling and operations software to replace the existing tools which are used to manage staff and rolling stock on its network of high speed services. The software will cover around 380 trains, 5 000 drivers and onboard staff and 9 000 employees at 187

Serbian infrastructure contracts signed during Putin visit

SERBIA: Further agreements for Russian Railways to support the modernisation of the Serbian rail network were signed when Russia’s President Putin visited Beograd on January 17. Representatives of the two governments signed a memorandum for the joint implementation of infrastructure maintenance activities, while Infrastruktura Železnice Srbije and RZD International signed contracts

Russian Railways signs MOU with Serbia for Belgrade – Budapest works

The contract was signed in Belgrade during a meeting between Russian president Mr Vladimir Putin, RZD director general and chairman of the board, Mr Oleg Belozyorov, and Serbian vice chairman of the government and minister of construction, transport and infrastructure, Mr Zorana Mikhailovich. The MOU covers the supply of materials and

DB sign second framework contract for 100 Siemens Vectron locomotives

German Rail (DB) says the locomotives will be used for cross-border operation in several European countries. The framework agreement follows a similar agreement signed for 100 locomotives in August 2017, which included an initial call for 60 locomotives. A spokesperson for Siemens Mobility said the option for 40 additional locomotives has

Slovakian passenger service reinstated

SLOVAKIA: Passenger services on regional Line 153 running 74 km south from Zvolen to Šahy on the Hungarian border were reinstated by national operator ZSSK with effect from January 2. Services had been withdrawn in February 2003 owing to low ridership. The revived service is aimed at students and commuters. On weekdays there

DB sets out five-point improvement plan

GERMANY: Passengers travelling with Deutsche Bahn can expect to see better punctuality and performance later this year thanks to a package of ‘step-by-step’ improvements announced on January 17. Presented to Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer and other government representatives by CEO Dr Richard Lutz on January 17, and board members Ronald Pofalla

Voith and Pilotfish announce strategic partnership

Pilotfish has installed systems in more than 10,000 buses, trains and trams, and provides applications, hardware and consulting services. Its portfolio includes eco-driving, an open standard vehicle communication platform, tachograph download, automatic fault report, navigation and automatic vehicle data transfer directly into cloud-based analytics. Pilotfish generated approximately €6m in revenue in

Network Rail awards Scotland and North East CP6 contracts

BAM Nuttall has been awarded a renewals and enhancements framework contract valued at £320m, the most significant work-bank for SNE. The framework contract covers a wide range of projects including replacing and refurbishing structures across the route and delivering improvements at stations. Two Geotech framework contract worth a combined £147m have

Strukton increases stake in Italian infrastructure firm

CLF is active in the design, construction, maintenance and modernisation of railway infrastructure and operates in the main line, light rail and metro sectors. In addition to its main domestic market the company has also carried out work in Algeria, Morocco, Bulgaria and Venezuela. CLF Group subsidiaries and affiliates include Uniferr

ODEG makes major gains in Berlin with new Elbe-Elster regional contracts

While DB Regio and ODEG already operate the services concerned, there are some significant changes in the allocation of service groups, giving ODEG a much greater share of the network. The complete group of services on offer total 28 million train-km annually. ODEG has won the Lot 1 contract for Regional

Taiwan orders 50 inter-city trainsets

TAIWAN: A NT$44·3bn contract for Hitachi to supply 50 12-car inter-city trainsets was signed by Taiwan Railway Administation and its procurement agent Bank of Taiwan on January 15. The contract covers half of the new trains to be ordered under TRA’s development plan for 2015-24. The 1 067 mm gauge 25 kV 60 Hz

PT Inka and Stadler to build Indonesian rolling stock plant

Under the collaboration agreement between the two companies, PT Inka will fund the land and buildings while Stadler will provide technology and machinery. An 84-hectare site has been secured for the plant, although only 12 hectares will be required for the initial stage. An investment of Rupiah 500bn ($US 27m) is

State approves Bangalore suburban rail network

INDIA: The Karnataka state cabinet has approved a four-route suburban railway network planned for Bangalore. Services would use dedicated tracks to serve 81 stations, including 30 elevated. The estimated Rs230·1bn cost would be funded by the central government (20%), the state government (20%) and loans from multilateral or domestic financial institutions. At

Progress Rail locomotives delivered to Tunisia

SNCFT awarded Progress Rail a Dinars 160m ($US 54m) contract in December 2016 to supply 20 of the six-axle metre-gauge locomotives. The locomotives are being built at the Progress Rail plant in Muncie, Indiana. The order is being financed by a consortium of Tunisian and international lenders. For detailed data on locomotive

Stadler to supply additional narrow-gauge DMUs to southern Italy

The new trains, which will be delivered within 24 months, will increase FAL’s fleet of 950mm-gauge DMUs to 23. The latest contract follows an order for 17 of Stadler DMUs which FAL took delivery of in 2012. The vehicles will be used on the 183km network in Apulia and neighbouring Basilicata

Narrow and minimum gauge at Warley show

Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway’s 4-6-2 No. 2 Northern Chief on show at the NEC. War Office Locomotive Trust’s Hunslet 4-6-0T WDLR No. 303 displayed at the Warley show. PICTURES: TIM EASTER FULL-sized narrow gauge exhibits at the November 23-25 Warley Model Railway Exhibition at Birmingham’s NEC featured Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch

New boiler for Darent

A NEW boiler barrel is being built for Hampton & Kempton Waterworks Railway’s (H&KWR) resident steam loco Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST Darent. The chassis is undergoing overhaul at London Museum of Water & Steam (RM Oct), withthe boiler having been sent to A G Bicknell & Co Ltd for assessment and repair. The

Downpatrick completes Bulleid ‘Park Royal’ restoration

PASSENGERS are once again able to experience travelling in one of Córas Iompair Éireann’s (CIÉ) Park Royal carriages after the Downpatrick & County Down Railway (DCDR) completed the restoration of 1955-built Brake Standard Open No. 1944. The vehicle emerged fromthe DCDR’s workshops on November 24 for its first gauging runs over the

Busy winter scheduled for Middleton Railway workshop

VOLUNTEERS at the Middleton Railway (MR) will be kept busy this coming winter as the Leeds line works to complete a number of mechanical and engineering projects during the pre-season ‘quiet’ spell. Top of the list is finishing the overhaul of ex-LNER Sentinel 4wVBT No. 8837 (BR No. 68153), which is now in

No. 2874 centenary sees 2-8-0 become GWR memorial

NOVEMBER marked the 100th anniversary since the completion of unrestored GWR ‘28XX’ 2-8-0 No. 2874 at Swindon. To mark the anniversary – and also the centenary of the end of the First World War – the 2874 Trust has dedicated the heavy freight loco to the GWR employees who lost their lives

Main line comeback for Thompson ‘B1’ Mayflower

THOMPSON ‘B1’ No. 61306 Mayflower is back! Overhaul of David Buck’s 4-6-0 was completed at the West Coast Railways workshop at Carnforth in November, and on the 29th the loco underwent an engine-and-coach main line test run from Carnforth to Barrow-in-Furness and back. A loaded test run followed over the Carnforth-Hellifield-Preston circuit

Eurotunnel calls for clarity on post-Brexit border

EUROPE: Channel Tunnel concessionaire Eurotunnel has called on political leaders to clarify ‘as soon as possible’ the nature of the border relationship and controls that will exist following the UK’s expected departure from the EU, which is currently set to occur on March 29. Eurotunnel’s call came immediately after a January 15 vote

US Department of Justice completes review into Wabtec – GE Transportation merger

The boards of General Electric (GE) and Wabtec approved the $US 11.1bn merger on May 21 last year. The merger will make Wabtec a Fortune 500 company and a major player in the railway equipment and services market with operations in more than 50 countries. “The DOJ’s decision to close its

Alstom train makes first run in Dakar

SENEGAL: President Macky Sall was among the invited guests who joined the first test run of an Alstom Coradia Polyvalent multiple-unit in Senegal on January 14. The train’s first run marks a further step in preparations for the opening of the 55 km Train Express Régional rail link between the capital Dakar

Renfe awards fleet maintenance contracts to Alstom

The contracts encompass preventative, predictive and corrective maintenance on 106 suburban trains used in the Barcelona area and full maintenance services for 15 class 104 Pendolino EMUs, which operate services from Madrid to Ciudad Real, Puertollano, Toledo, Córdoba and Seville. All work will be carried out by Irvia, a joint venture

The UK’s most interesting train stations

For people with an interest in the rails, an interesting train station can be the equivalent of a museum or a major city landmark. Whether it is a state-of-the-art, modern facility, an ornate and beautiful old hub, or simply a place with a meaningful location or history behind it, a

President of Senegal attends Dakar TER handover

The Dakar TER project is a central component of the government’s Plan for an Emerging Senegal policy framework. The 57km 14-station standard-gauge line from Dakar city centre to the new Blaise Diagne International Airport (AIBD) near Ndiass largely follows the western stretch of the metre-gauge Dakar – Diourbel line, which is

New 30-year West Midlands rail plan unveiled

A NEW era of rail services for the wider Birmingham and Wolverhampton area has been set out by the West Midlands Rail Executive, as it publishes its planning strategy for the next 30 years. The plans have been divided into three categories – short, medium and long term. The short term

Wheelchair ramp on test

UK: Greater Anglia has worked with design consultancy Trainways and manufacturer Portaramp to test a prototype wheelchair ramp, ahead of the entry into service of its new fleets of Bombardier Transportation and Stadler trainsets. Testing included consultation with people with assistance animals to ensure the ramp meets a range of

Brazil sets timetable for renewal of railway concessions

According to the agency, public hearings will be held next month to discuss the renewal of concessions held by MRS Logistics and Central Atlantic Railway (FCA), which is operated by VLI, and MRS Logistics, although specific dates have not been disclosed. In addition, ANTT says final reports will be released on

ÖBB subsidiary plans Athens – Thessaloniki passenger services

Rail Cargo Logistics Goldair (RCL Goldair) CEO, Mr Zak Kiseoglou, says his company has submitted an application to the Greek Regulatory Authority for Railways (RAS) seeking authorisation for the operation of passenger services on the Greek network. According to local media reports, RCL Goldair is also looking to launch direct passenger

Narrow gauge DMU contract signed

ITALY: Ferrovie Appulo Lucane has awarded Stadler a €22·8m contract to supply four three-car 950 mm gauge diesel multiple-units for its network around Bari, with an option for a further four. The tailor-made DMUs are to be delivered within 24 months, Stadler said when it announced the contract on January 14. This

Automatic braking system to be installed on Croydon LRV’s following fatal derailment

The installation of automatic braking at high-risk locations was one of 15 recommendations set out by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) following a fatal accident on November 9 2016 involving an LRV which derailed and overturned on the approach to Sandilands Junction on the Croydon Tramlink network south of

Brightline celebrates one year of operation

Initial services were launched between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale on January 13 2018, before extending services to Miami in May 2018 and ramping up the frequency to almost hourly in August 2018. Brightline operated more than 8000 services, carried 16,984 children and 1540 pets and hosted passengers from 41

New automatic system to brake speeding trams

THE first automatic control system for trams in Britain should be introduced in London this year. The system, which is similar to some elements of automatic train control, has been developed in the wake of the fatal derailment of a tram in Croydon in 2016. Seven people were killed and many others

ČD buys ex-DB GTW DMUs

CZECH REPUBLIC: National operator ČD has purchased 12 second-hand Stadler GTW2/6 two-car diesel multiple-units from DB Regio for an undisclosed price. The Class 646 DMUs were previously deployed on RE6 Prignitz-Express regional services north of Berlin, but were replaced by other types following a series of engine fires in 2017. ČD intends

Co-operation to promote Eurasian rail freight

INTERNATIONAL: The International Union of Railways and freight association FERRMED signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at promoting a more efficient and sustainable Eurasian logistics chain during the 23rd UIC general assembly which was held in Paris last month. The two organisations aim to exchange knowledge and best practice to support

Dangerous goods regulations updated

INTERNATIONAL: The latest version of the Regulation concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail came into force on January 1. RID 2019 replaces the 2017 edition, which may continue to be used during a transitional period running to June 30. RID applies to the international carriage of dangerous goods

Bengaluru suburban railway project approved

Karnataka and the Indian government will each meet 20% of the Rs 320.9bn ($US 3.3bn) project cost, with an external loan financing the remaining 60%. Largely utilising existing alignments, the four-line network will serve 81 stations, with extra platforms and track doubling or quadrupling to provide additional capacity. The four corridors include: Kengeri

Engineering contract awarded for Bart Silicon Valley Phase 2 extension

The consortium will be responsible for taking the project to the 30% engineering level, supporting cost and scheduling estimates required to demonstrate the integrity of VTA’s management, financial and implementation plans. This will feed into VTA’s application to participate in the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Expedited Project Delivery pilot programme. VTA

Competitive Freight Wagon deployment to be planned

EUROPE: Wagon leasing company Ermewa is to draw up a deployment concept for innovative wagons to support the business case for investment in vehicles which are being developed under the Competitive Freight Wagon research initiative. Backed by the EU Shift2Rail research programme, the Competitive Freight Wagon consortium includes technology company Scheidt

Spain to cut high-speed track access charges in bid to boost competition

The proposal will now be submitted to the Ministry of Development for inclusion in the Draft Law of General State Budgets (PGE). The revised tariff, which has already been endorsed by National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC), is intended to align infrastructure charges more closely with costs directly attributable to

Beacon leases dual-mode locomotives to SNCF Captrain Spain

Beacon Rail Leasing says the acquisition of the 120km/h dual-mode locomotives is a natural extension of its strategy as well as its commitment to supporting investment in dual-mode locomotives. “These Bitracs add to our existing portfolio of dual-mode locomotives allowing us to continue leveraging our existing skills, expertise, and experience,” says

KRC to order new DMUs for Nairobi Commuter Rail network

“DMUs are a key part of the NCR revitalisation masterplan and will be important in helping us achieve our goal of moving eight million commuter passengers by 2022,” KRC says. According to KRC around 30,000 passengers a day currently travel on locomotive-hauled trains on the 160km NCR network. Last week KRC introduced

Veolia out of transport as Rethmann acquires Transdev stake

FRANCE: German family-owned transport, food and waste company Rethmann Group has completed the acquisition of a 34% stake in public transport operating group Transdev. The announcement on January 9 follows German, Austrian and Australian regulatory approval for the deal which had been announced on October 2. Rethmann has paid €340m to acquire

Consortium to deploy next-generation wagon prototype

Ermewa and the consortium partners will draw up an operating and deployment concept for the first application by mid-2019. This will rely on the requirements of existing services and customer relationships, and refer to the concept for the chassis and relevant components, the car body, electrical equipment and wagon intelligence

DB long-distance punctuality well below target in 2018

Three years ago DB Long Distance announced plans to significantly improve the punctuality of ICE and Intercity/Eurocity trains. Long-distance punctuality was 76% at the time, but through its Future Rail programme, DB planned to boost on-time performance to 81% in 2017 and 90% in 2018. DB defines a train as on

TEX Rail commuter line opens

USA: The 43 km TEX Rail commuter line linking central Fort Worth with Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport opened on January 10, when the first train left North Side station at 03.38. The line developed by regional transport authority Trinity Metro starts at the Texas & Pacific Station in Fort Worth and follows

Accusations mount in Crossrail dispute

THE controversy about the delays to Crossrail under central London is growing, after former chairman Sir Terry Morgan clashed with the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan over the sequence of events last year. The Elizabeth Line is not now expected to open between Paddington and Liverpool Street until the autumn at

France to competitively tender loss-making inter-city services

Both lines are part of the so-called Balance of Territory (TET) network of loss-making inter-city services, which are currently operated by SNCF Mobility. Under the government’s rail reforms, which were approved by the National Assembly and the Senate last June, the state has become the organising authority for the TET network.

RZD records growth in passenger and freight traffic

Overall passenger numbers on RZD infrastructure reached 1.155 billion last year, with volumes increasing 5.2% to 129.3 billion passenger-km. This includes a 5.7% increase in long-distance volumes, which reached 96.2 billion passenger-km, and a 3.7% rise in regional and suburban volumes, which reached 33.1 billion passenger-km. Freight volumes on the RZD

German rail market report highlights continued growth

The BNetzA is responsible for ensuring there is a competitive rail market in Germany and achieves this in part through an annual detailed survey covering a wide variety of companies operating trains, infrastructure and support services. For the 2018 report – which covers the performance of the network in 2017 –

New Toddington firm takes on Standard Mogul restoration

FORGOTTEN Riddles ‘4MT’ 2-6-0 No. 76077 will have its restoration completed by a brand new company based at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway. The Horwich-built Mogul has been handed over by former owner Chris Hinton to newly formed Toddington Standard Locomotive Ltd (TSLL), which has been set up by Mr Hinton and other

‘Highline’ for London?

After the success of New York’s ‘High Line’ project, which converted a disused railway in to a hugely popular pedestrian walkway, Keith Fender looks at plans to bring a similar project to London. NEW York was by no means the first city to develop a linear urban park based on an

Railway relics

Steve Ryszka presents another selection of railway architecture images showing erstwhile railway company names, crests and signs, which still provide a reminder of the halcyon days of railways. There’s plenty of character in the Grade II-listed facade of Hatch End station, completed in 1911 and designed by Gerald Horsley. ALL: STEVE

Shirebrook diesel depot

Robin Stewart-Smith remembers the busy Nottinghamshire motive power depot which, in its heyday, provided locos for many coal trains emanating from local collieries. SHIREBROOK Diesel Depot officially opened in June 1965 as a new-build ‘running shed’ resulting from the BR’s Modernisation Plans. It was ideally placed to service the diesel locomotive fleet

Abellio approaches cliff edge with ScotRail

THE Scottish Government has come its closest yet to threatening Abellio with the loss of its ScotRail franchise, as performance levels continue to fall below targets. Abellio now has eight weeks to demonstrate improvements before further action is taken. Transport secretary Michael Matheson, answering a question from Labour MP Colin Smyth in

NS to test contactless card payment

NETHERLANDS: National passenger operator NS is to test the use of contactless bank card payment as an alternative to the OV-chipkaart national multimodal transport smart card. NS said using a bank or credit card for travel was a ‘logical and easy’ choice for many people, as they would not need to

Court overturns Fehmarn Belt tunnel financing approval

EUROPE: The Court of Justice of the European Union has overturned the European Commission’s approval for the financing model for the Fehmarn Belt fixed link project, finding that procedural errors were made. The Commission must now provide a new approval. Project promoter Femarn A/S told Railway Gazette it had secured access

Denmark bans pocket wagons after Great Belt accident

The prohibition notice follows an accident on the Great Belt Bridge on January 2, when a Danish State Railways (DSB) passenger train was struck by debris from a passing freight train, killing eight passengers and injuring 16. Police and accident investigators believe the accident was caused by one or more road

CN and CP exceed grain revenue entitlements

CANADA: The Canadian Transportation Agency has ruled that Canadian National and Canadian Pacific exceeded their maximum grain revenue entitlements for the crop year running from August 2017 to July 2018. The Canada Transportation Act requires the CTA to set an annual limit to the average revenue per tonne which the two federally-regulated railways

NS plans contactless bank card trial

Under the six-month trial, passengers will be able to use a bank or credit card to activate ticket barriers for travel between Leiden and The Hague. NS has invited passengers travelling regularly between the two stations without a season ticket to participate in the trial. Currently passengers must use the OV-Chipkaart

Adif AV tenders for 22 service locomotives

The tender is budgeted at around €167.8m and the contract includes eight years maintenance from the delivery of the first two locomotives 36 months after the contract is awarded. The remaining units will follow by month 40. The 160km/h locomotives should use proven technologies. Mixing basic technologies from primary components such

JR Central to test N700S at 360 km/h

JAPAN: President of Central Japan Railway Shin Kaneko announced on January 6 that the N700S prototype trainset will be tested at up to 360 km/h later this year. Running trials with the 16-car N700S prototype began in March last year, and the train has since achieved a maximum speed of 330 km/h.

Bi-mode trains ordered to develop parcels traffic

Flex trains are former class 319 four-car 750V dc/25kV ac EMUs to which diesel engines have been added to convert them into bi-mode units. The two Flex trains for ROG will be further modified to carry parcels rather than passengers. Porterbrook says increasing road congestion coupled with a shortage of lorry

Electro-diesel multiple-units ordered for postal services

UK: Leasing company Porterbrook is to supply Rail Operations Group with two Flex electro-diesel multiple-units equipped to carry postal and other just-in-time light freight traffic. Delivery is planned for early 2020. The trains are to be rebuilt from Class 319 EMUs formerly used on Thameslink passenger services, and will be equipped

Breeze UK hydrogen multiple-unit proposal unveiled

UK: Alstom and leasing company Eversholt Rail have unveiled their ‘Breeze’ proposal to convert surplus Class 321 electric multiple-units to hydrogen power. The 25 kV 50 Hz Class 321 EMUs which were built by BREL in 1998-90 are scheduled to be withdrawn by the end of this year.  Greater Anglia is