Alstom rolls out first Intercity New Generation EMU for NS

Following the completion of tests at Salzgitter, the 200km/h ICNG set, which is based on Alstom’s Coradia Stream platform, will move to the Velim test circuit in the Czech Republic for dynamic testing. One of the trains will also be sent to the Rail Tec Arsenal facility in Vienna for

Stadler to expand Berlin Pankow facility

Plans include the construction of a new production hall and a new logistics centre together with the additional office space and a modern canteen. “We are very pleased to be able to use the new building project to invest sustainably in securing future large-scale projects and securing Berlin as a location,”

No business case for Finland – Norway Arctic rail link, says study

A preferred route was selected for the study in March 2018. According to the report, the 450km line would be built in phases and would take at least 15 years to complete with a “long and multi-stage” planning process. Freight volumes of at least 2.5 million tonnes a year would be required

Indian prime minister launches Train 18 inter-city EMU

The 160km/h Train 18 set is being used on Delhi – Varanasi Vande Bahrat Express services, which operate daily, except on Mondays and Thursdays with intermediate stops at Kanpur – Allahabad. The 16-car air-conditioned train will seat 1128 passengers and features passenger Wi-Fi, a GPS-based passenger information system, bio-vacuum toilets, and

Russian Railways awards long-term coach contract

RUSSIA: An agreement for the supply of up to 3 730 coaches worth 237bn roubles by 2025 was signed by Russian Railways’ long-distance subsidiary Federal Passenger Co and Transmashholding on February 14. This includes a firm order for 2 644 coaches, with the rest as options. The order covers a variety of types

TVZ signs contract with FPK for up to 3730 passenger cars

The contract was signed in Sochi by FPK general director, Mr Peter Ivanov, and TVZ general director, Mr Andrei Solovey, in front of Russian prime minister, Mr Dmitry Medvedev, on February 14. The contract, worth Roubles 237bn ($US 3.5bn) excluding VAT, includes an initial order 2644 coaches and an option for

Irish implementation plan focuses six-year rail spend

Substantial investment in heavy and light rail is envisaged under the National Transport Authority’s Draft Integrated Implementation Plan for 2019-24. Tony Miles investigates IRELAND: Construction of Dublin’s north-south underground MetroLink line, renewal of the DART suburban EMU fleet and further investment in light rail are key elements in the National Transport

Latvian EMU order goes to Skoda after tender re-evaluation

Škoda and CAF filed complaints with the Latvian Procurement Monitoring Bureau in December after PV selected Talgo as preferred bidder for the contract. The appeals were upheld by the IUB, which last month blocked PV from concluding the deal with Talgo and ordered the operator re-evaluate the bids from all

Five companies bid for Portugal fleet renewal

CP’s selection board will now examine the applications to ensure they qualify, with a decision due to be made 44 days after the tender closed on February 12. All candidates who meet the technical and financial capacity requirements will be invited to submit. CP published the tender notice after the government

Irish Rail seeks second-hand DMUs to boost fleet capacity

The transaction would take the form of either a lease with a minimum term of seven years or an outright purchase by the NTA, which is the Contracting Authority, or by IE. The trains will operate in three or four-car formations and must be available for delivery by February 28 2020. The

Thameslink fleet stake to be sold

UK: A consortium of Dalmore Capital and Equitix Investment Management has signed agreements to acquire 3i Infrastructure’s one-third stake in Cross London Trains Holdco 2 Ltd. This was established by 3i, Innisfree and Siemens in 2011 to finance, own and maintain the fleet of 115 Desiro City Class 700 EMUs

Alstom begins MP 14 tests on Paris Line 1

Alstom delivered the first trains to Paris Transport Authority’s (RATP) Fontenay-sous-Bois depot in December 2018 and has begun testing on Line 1, which is equipped for driverless operation. Following static tests, dynamic tests are being carried out until summer 2019 to check the train’s performance and functions such as braking, traction,

Balfour Beatty awarded £220m TfL renewals contract

The contract encompasses all aspects of track renewal on the 1047km network including rails, points, crossings, sleepers and trackside drainage, while Balfour Beatty will also introduce new measures and technologies such as remote surveying systems and viewing software to generate efficiencies and reduce disruption. The contract replaces a previous eight-year agreement

ALFA-X nose is 22 m long

JAPAN: East Japan Railway has unveiled the second driving car for its experimental ALFA-X Shinkansen trainset, which features a 22 m long aerodynamic nose designed to mitigate the sonic boom effect of entering and passing through tunnels at very high speed. Built at Hitachi's Kasado plant, Car 10 has a 26·5 m body

RZD signs infrastructure development agreements

RZD signed a Roubles 655m ($US 9.8m) contract with the authorities of the Kaluga region in western Russia to build a freight line from Moscow to the Kaluga special economic zone (SEZ) under a public private partnership (PPP). Under the contract, signed by the head of RZD’s Investment Department, Mr Yuri

Honolulu councilwoman seeks metro project audit

The audit is needed “to determine whether an employee or other person has exploited internal control weaknesses to misappropriate assets or commit other illegal actions,” Tsuneyoshi wrote in a Honolulu city council resolution she filed on February 12. Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (Hart) is building a 32km driverless elevated metro line

CAF to replace New South Wales regional train fleet

AUSTRALIA: The New South Wales government signed a contract for 117 multiple-unit cars to replace its entire regional train fleet on February 14. The Momentum Trains consortium of CAF, Pacific Partnership and DIF Infrastructure V has been awarded an availability-based PPP contract to design, build, finance and maintain the new regional

CAF consortium wins New South Wales regional fleet renewal contract

The $A 2.8bn ($US 1.9bn) programme includes the construction of a new train maintenance facility at Dubbo, where final fit-out and commissioning will also take place. The capital cost of the new fleet of diesel-electric trains, the depot, enabling works and other project delivery costs is $A 1.26bn. Deliveries are due

București airport rail link tendering underway

ROMANIA: Infrastructure manager CFR has called tenders for the design and construction of a 2·95 km rail connection to Terminal 1 at Henri Coandă International Airport, which would allow the operation of a direct rail service from the airport to București Nord station. The alignment would include a 1·5 km viaduct. The

Snow-covered steam: Harz Winter Wonderland

There is nothing more spectacular than steam locos working hard through a snow-covered landscape. Such scenes are rare in Great Britain, but Chris Milner reflects on a trip to an historic and scenic part of Germany, where steam trains run all year round and there’s usually snow over the winter. THINK

Heritage Explorer: Four lines in four days

Last summer Robert Drysdale embarked on an 800-mile round trip to visit four heritage railways in four days using the national rail network and occasionally a local bus. His personal account provides some interesting observations and food for thought. On the morning of Friday, July 3, 2018, I arrived at Newark

Timo Riihimäki appointed as CEO of Rail Baltica project

Riihimäki will begin on March 11, based at RB’s headquarters in Riga, Latvia. Riihimäki previously held several management positions at NRC Group, and at VR Track, which was acquired by NRC Group in October 2018. At NRC Group, he was involved in leading the Finnish railway engineering, construction and maintenance division,


In this month’s Practice & Performance, John Heaton FCILT recalls loco trials undertaken by the LMS to assess locomotive coal consumption in a bid to discover whether trains of lower overall weight could cut costs on lesser used lines.  Any casual lineside observers on September 9, 1931 at Chellaston (some four

ELP Eurodual tests underway in Valencia

ELP announced plans in mid-2018 to enter the market offering the six-axle locomotives, ordering two units specifically for use in Scandinavia and eight for use in Germany. The Scandinavian units are suitable for use in temperatures as low as -40°C and are fitted with Swedish and Norwegian signalling equipment. All 10

Saudi high-speed services stepped up

Commercial operations began on October 11 2018 with four return services each day linking the holy cities on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. All trains call at Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC). Following a successful launch phase, Saudi Railways Organisation (SRO) and the Saudi Public Transport Authority have authorised

Santiago – Valparaíso proposal submitted

CHILE: Proposals to build a high-performance railway between the capital Santiago and the port of Valparaíso have been formally submitted to the Ministry of Public Works by the Tren Valparaíso Santiago consortium of local firm of Sigdo Koppers and China Railway Engineering Corp. According to the promoters, the US$2·5bn project could

California’s governor scales back high-speed rail project

“Let’s level about high-speed rail,” Newson told the legislature. “I have nothing but respect for governor Brown’s and governor Schwarzenegger’s ambitious vision. I share it. And there’s no doubt that our state’s economy and quality of life depend on improving transportation. But let’s be real. The current project, as planned,

Warsaw to order up to 213 trams from Hyundai Rotem

The base order for 123 LRVs comprises 85 33m-long bidirectional vehicles, 18 33m-long unidrectional vehicles, and 24 24m-long unidirectional vehicles. The contract includes an option for 45 33m-long vehicles of each type. Hyundai Rotem submitted a bid of Zlotys 1.85bn ($US 480m) net. Warsaw Tramways says it rejected an offer from

EC adopts no-deal contingency measures as Brexit edges closer

The EC says the proposal will ensure the validity of safety authorisations for certain parts of rail infrastructure for “a strictly-limited period of three months” to allow long-term solutions in line with EU law to be put in place. The measures are aimed particularly at the Channel Tunnel, Britain’s only direct

‘Radical’ Network Rail changes unveiled

THE new chief executive of Network Rail has revealed his plans for the organisation’s future, after a three-month period of consideration. Andrew Haines had already warned that railway operation was too far down Network Rail’s agenda, and Network Rail said the new plans involved ‘reorganising to put passengers and freight users

High speed line approved

CHINA: Construction of the 176 km Chengdu – Zigong Yulin Passenger-Dedicated Line has been approved, with a budget of 35·9bn yuan and opening planned for 2023. The Chengdu – Tianfu section will be built for 250 km/h operation, and the Tianfu – Zigong section for 350 km/h. There will be intermediate

California high speed rail plan scaled back

USA: A scaling back of the high speed rail project in California was announced by Governor Gavin Newsom in his first State of the State address on February 12. Newsom said the project 'as currently planned' would 'cost too much and take too long', and added that there had been too

Autonomous tram to be tested in Moscow

Over the next two months, the two companies will test the autonomous train in closed facilities with a driver in the cab, before conducting tests on one of Moscow’s tram lines. Cognitive Technologies says the autonomous driving system reliably detects vehicles and other trams, traffic lights, pedestrians, tram and bus stops,

Network Rail reorganisation aims to bring ‘radical change’

UK: Plans for a reorganisation designed to ‘put passengers and freight users first’ and address concerns about poor operating performance on the increasingly busy network were announced by infrastructure manager Network Rail on February 12. ‘The need for radical change is clear’, said Chief Executive Andrew Haines, reflecting on his first

British Steel secures Translink contract

The contract will see British Steel supply premium rails for a series of major projects over the next eight years including the multi-million-pound North-West Multimodal Transport Hub in Londonderry, which is designed to encourage people to move from cars to public transport. Construction started in September 2018 and is scheduled

Nigerian introduces test rides on new standard-gauge line

Nigeria’s transport minister Mr Rotimi Amaechi was on-board the first run together with local politicians and the managing director of Nigerian Railway Corporation, Mr Fidet Okhiria. The Lagos – Ibadan line is being constructed by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation and follows the alignment of the existing 1067mm-gauge Lagos – Kano

Aqaba railway feasibility study agreed

JORDAN: The Saudi Jordanian Investment Fund and the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority have signed a memorandum of understanding to undertake feasibility and technical studies for the development of a 195 km railway connecting a planned inland dry port at Ma’an with port facilities around Aqaba. The existing 1 050 mm gauge railway to

Florence opens airport light rail extension

The opening ceremony was attended by the Italian president, Mr Sergio Mattarella, the minister of infrastructure, Mr Danilo Toninelli, and the European Union’s commissioner for regional policy, Mrs Corina Cretu. The opening extends the Florence light rail network to 16.8km with 37 stops. Gest, a subsidiary of Groupe RATP, which operates

Irish Rail signs €40m track maintenance services contract

Under the €40m contract, 14 rail-mounted machines owned by IE will be used by Rhomberg Sersa to deliver track maintenance services to ensure safety, speed, journey time improvements and passenger comfort. IE says Rhomberg Sersa expects to employ 56 people to deliver the contract. This includes Rhomberg Sersa professionals working alongside

Stagecoach secures direct award contract for East Midlands franchise

In a written statement to parliament published on February 12, minister for rail, Mr Andrew Jones, said Stagecoach would continue to operate inter-city services from London St Pancras International to Leicester, Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield as well as local rail services in the East Midlands until August 18. The contract includes

Amber Rail Freight Corridor goes operational

Capacity requests should be addressed to the Corridor One-Stop Shop, which provides all necessary information about infrastructure capacity along the corridor. The main goal of the corridor is to facilitate competitive cross-border rail freight between important industrial centres and intermodal terminals in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia, including the Adriatic seaport

Interim East Midlands franchise awarded

UK: The Department for Transport has directly awarded incumbent Stagecoach Group subsidiary East Midlands Trains an interim contract to continue to operate the East Midlands passenger franchise. The new short-term contract announced on February 12 will start when the most recent extension of the current franchise expires on March 3 and

Government ‘fully supports’ HS2

THE Prime Minister has insisted that she remains ‘fully committed’ to HS2, after a Channel 4 documentary claimed that ministers are seeking to cancel the project, or at least restrict it to Phase 1, which is the London to Birmingham section. A spokesman at No 10 Downing Street said: ‘The PM

Chaoma inter-city railway agreed

CHINA: An agreement for the construction of the Chaoma inter-city railway was signed by municipal authorities in Hefei and Ma'anshan and the Anhui Province Investment Group on January 27. The 76 km line will start at Chaohu Dong station in Hefei city, pass though Hanshan county and Zhengpugang Xinqu in Ma'anshan

Rhomberg Sersa wins Irish maintenance contract

IRELAND: Iarnród Éireann has selected Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group as preferred bidder for a €40m contract to provide track maintenance services, including the operation of 14 on-track machines owned by the national railway. Rhomberg Sersa expects to employ 56 people to undertake work under the contract announced on February 11, which

Yekaterinburg Metro orders Metrovagonmash vehicles

The contract was signed by the director of Metrovagonmash, Mr Boris Bogatyrev, and the director of Yekaterinburg Metro, Mr Andrei Panaiotidi, on February 11. The trains will consist of two powered driving vehicles and two intermediate trailer vehicles. The two trains can operate in combination with Yekaterinburg metro’s existing fleet. Flame retardant

Siemens awarded Singapore electrification contract

The order, worth around €70m, includes delivery of the dc and ac rail electrification system as well as overhead power lines for the NELe. The lines will be upgraded with the Siemens Catenary System Standard Rigid (Sicat SR) aluminium overhead busbar system. Siemens say that compared with conventional overhead power lines,

ADB grant to help CAREC countries move from landlocked to land-linked

ASIA: The Asian Development Bank has awarded a US$2m regional technical assistance grant to support the development of railway strategies and institutional capabilities in the Central Asia Regional Economic Co-operation countries. CAREC comprises Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and six multilateral institutions. ADB said the

ScotRail gets second performance warning

UK: Citing poor customer satisfaction figures, Transport Scotland issued a Remedial Plan notice to ScotRail on February 8. This is the operator’s second warning in quick succession, following a Remedial Notice issued on December 24 because of poor operational performance, during November and December. According to Transport Scotland, ScotRail had failed

Ziyun freight railway opens

CHINA: The Ziyun local freight railway at Zhijiang in Hubei's Yichang region opened on January 18. The 36·7 km line runs from Zhijiang station on the Jiaozuo – Liuzhou line to serve four River Yangtze ports at Yunchi, Baiyang, Tianjiahe and Yaojiagang, and adjacent industrial parks. The line will also connect

Long-life screwbolts developed for Crossrail

UK: The bespoke corrosion-resistant PLUS bolt was developed by screwbolt specialist Excalibur to meet the demanding requirements of the Crossrail project in London. Crossrail Ltd requires anchors used in the tunnel lining to demonstrate a 120-year design life instead of the standard 50-year span of a standard fixing. The twin-helix Excalibur

DB launches ‘world’s fastest laboratory’ test train

DB says the test train is available to the whole industry to test future technologies, which it says are the key to providing more rail capacity, more climate-friendly mobility services, better system reliability and greater customer comfort. The test train is a class 605 ICE-TD DMU. DB says the diesel-electric drive

First tram tracks laid for Westside Metro extension in Birmingham

British transport minister, Mr Jesse Norman, was the special guest to mark the laying of the first tracks for the 2km extension, which is being developed in two phases by the Midland Metro Alliance partnership on behalf of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA). The milestone was also celebrated by

Russell steams to Beddgelert for first time since 1937

The Welsh Highland Heritage Railway’s (WHHR) Hunslet 2-6-2T Russell made an historic trip from its Gelert’s Farm base onto Welsh Highland Railway (WHR) metals to steam to Beddgelert on November 25. This was the first time Russell had steamed over the Porthmadog to Beddgelert section of WHR since 1937. Russell hauled replica

Hastings Miniature Railway celebrate 70th anniversary… again!

The 10¼in-gauge Hastings Miniature Railway (HMR) held its final 70th anniversary event on September 29-30. Two previous visitors (RM Sept, p78) returned for the occasion: Eastleigh Lakeside Railway Guest Engineering 4-4-2 No. 1908 Ernest Henry Upton and Randall & Day-built ‘Schools’ class 4-4-0 No. 905 Tonbridge, from the private Ingfield Light Railway (ILR),

North of England leaders back Northern Powerhouse Rail

Further detailed development work funded by a £37m allocation in the government’s autumn budget will take place on the Northern Powerhouse Rail project over the next 18 months as the government considers the document, ahead of the submission of a strategic outline business case. This document will outline how the

Southern Diesel Tour visits South Island, New Zealand

An extensive tour covering many lines on the South Island of New Zealand was operated in October. A good proportion of the lines have no regular passenger services. The ‘Southern Diesel Tour’ was hauled by preserved English Electric-built locos owned by the Diesel Traction Group: Di 1102 (Co-Co built in 1966

Old electric locos making a comeback in Germany

Veteran electric locos have made a comeback on several routes in Germany, replacing modern EMUs, which are out of service because of accident damage or maintenance. Centralbahn’s 110383 on arrival at Nienburg (Weser), having worked the 16:01 from Minden (RE78) on behalf of Eurobahn Keolis Deutschland on Monday 19 November 2018. In

German approval for Fehmarn Belt project signed

EUROPE: Denmark to Germany rail and road tunnel promoter Femern A/S has formally received a letter providing the Land of Schleswig-Holstein’s approval of the construction plan for the German elements of the project. The legal document runs to more than 1 000 pages, and is based on a 14 000-page application prepared

Danny Di Perna replaces Laurent Troger to head Bombardier Transportation

It’s all change at the top as Laurent Troger resigns as president of Bombardier Transportation to “pursue opportunities outside the company”. Danny Di Perna, who joined Bombardier in 2018 and is head of Bombardier’s Aerostructures and Engineering Services (BAES) segment, has been appointed in his place. Alain Bellemare, president and chief

RMT digs in over SWR deadlock

Updated 10.30 THE RMT has accused South Western Railway of trying to mislead the public over its attitude to on-train staffing. Three new strike dates have been announced on SWR, although strikes on Northern over the same issue have been suspended after talks made progress this week. RMT general secretary Mick Cash said:

Bombardier Transportation appoints new president

Di Perna joined Bombardier’s aviation division last year as president of aerostructures and engineering services, and previously served as vice president, global sourcing with GE Power. Troger was appointed Bombardier Transportation president in December 2015, succeeding Dr Lutz Bertling.     The post Bombardier Transportation appoints new president appeared first on International Railway Journal.

European passenger rail market growing, says EU report

The Sixth Rail Market Monitoring Report (RMMS), adopted by the EC on January 6, showed that by 2016, EU passenger traffic volumes had reached 450 billion passenger-km out of around six trillion passenger-km of land transport overall. Rail passenger traffic is mostly domestic, with only 6% crossing borders in 2016. In

Railpool prepares for growth with €800m refinancing

Railpool says the total volume of the refinancing measures exceeds €800m. Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (CIB) acted as advisor for the refinancing, with KfW-Ipex bank acting as agent. The two banks are participating in the bank financing as Mandated Lead Arrangers, alongside ABN AMRO Bank, Bank of America Merrill

Turkmenistan combines transport ministries

TURKMENISTAN: President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has signed an order establishing a Ministry of Industry & Communication. This brings together the formerly separate ministries of industry, railways, motor transport and communications, as well as the state’s maritime, river and air transport services. The former ministries are now sector agencies within the new ministry. Tahyrberdi Charyberdiyevich

VHB to carry out Brooklyn-Queens Connector environmental review

VHB will be responsible for developing a “comprehensive compliant environmental review” as well as helping to prepare and file applications required under the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) rules. By completing an environmental review that adheres to standards set by the federal National Environmental Policy Act, the city would be

DB launches digital research train

GERMANY: Deutsche Bahn has unveiled a four-car laboratory train which will be available to the rail sector across Germany for testing digital technologies. Branded the Advanced TrainLab, the train is a former ICE-TD diesel-electric set able to run at 200 km/h. One of the train’s first duties has been to test mobile

Dutch extend plans for high-frequency operations

The Public Transport Future Vision 2040 plan is effectively an extension of the high-frequency inter-city concept introduced on the Amsterdam – Utrecht – Eindhoven corridor in December 2017. By 2040, the high-frequency ‘ring’ will encompass the Randstad conurbation, which includes Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht, as well as the cities

CAF wins fleet maintenance contracts in Spain and Saudi Arabia

Actren, a 51:49 CAF-Renfe joint venture, has been awarded a four-year contract to maintain class 446 and Civia EMUs as well as class 596 and 598 DMUs used by Renfe Operadora on services to and from Madrid. Metro Bilbao has awarded CAF a contract to overhaul 218 bogies on 24 of

Liège light rail PPP contract signed

The consortium, which comprises Colas Belgium, Colas Projects, Colas Rail Belgium, CAF Investment Projects, and investment fund DIF Infrastructure V was selected as preferred bidder for the contract in September 2018. The 31-year contract includes a 45-month design and construction phase and a 27-year maintenance phase. The line will serve 21 stations,

European Commission blocks Siemens-Alstom merger

Siemens and Alstom confirmed immediately after the Commission’s announcement that the merger will not go ahead. The decision to reject the merger follows an in-depth investigation launched in July 2018, which considered more than 800,000 documents. During the investigation, the EC received complaints from customers, competitors, national competition authorities, industry associations

HS2 announces London station construction partners

UK: The preferred bidders for the Construction Partner contracts to build High Speed 2’s two London stations were announced by project promoter HS2 Ltd on February 6. A joint venture of Mace and Dragados has been selected to undertake the rebuilding of the London Euston terminus, while the Old Oak Common

Harz steam loco gets stuck in snow!

A GERMAN steam train became stuck in snow 3,675ft up a mountain on January 8 – a very rare and unusual occurrence. Harzer Schmalspurbahnen’s 10.25 from Wernigerode to Brocken, hauled by 2-10-2T No. 99 234 (99 7234) with five carriages, became marooned at the summit station as the weather deteriorated rapidly when

Bahamas test run throws up ‘unexpected problems’

A LIGHT test run for ‘Jubilee’ 4-6-0 No. 45596 Bahamas threw up a couple of unexpected problems on January 17, but also showed why test runs are held. Bahamas was rebuilt at Tyseley using part of a £780,000 Heritage Lottery Fund award, and completed last September. The intervening months have involved resolving any

Electric trains reach Newbury

ELECTRIC stopping trains are now serving Newbury and local stations to Reading, with services provided by GWR. Completion of the electrification work fell behind schedule because of cost and technical issues, and plans to electrify on to Bath and Bristol were abandoned. This means Newbury is now the extent of the electrified