£26m to rescue Island Line

THE uncertain future of Island Line has been secured by a new rolling stock deal as well as a Network Rail commitment to renew the pier at Ryde, which carries the line into the town. The investment will total £26 million. The five two-car Class 484 sets will be D-Trains from

How Darlington became the centre of the railway universe

Explore the story of how Darlington cemented its place in the history books as the world’s most important railway town. Jonathan Webb, author of new Mortons bookazine Darlington, looks ahead to the bicentenary of this historic rail town in 2025 and outlines four of the key turning points which helped put Darlington on

Virgin Trains staff donate uniforms to help the homeless

Scarves and blankets made from Virgin Trains staff’s worn-out uniforms are being donated to people living on the streets. Garments such as coats, shirts and trousers originally worn by Virgin Trains staff have been given a new lease of life by prisoners at HMP Northumberland at its onsite textile factory. Photo: Virgin

More Green Energy for Deutsche Bahn

Deutsche Bahn (DB) have renewed their commitment to green energy across the network by signing a Power Purchase Agreement, with the Nordsee Ost wind farm, for the next five years. 100% Green by 2038 Already the largest consumer of green-power in Germany, DB has set itself the goal of powering the entire

Global Centre for Rail Excellence Backed by Welsh Politicians

Proposals for a new Global Centre for Rail Excellence in South Wales has received a boost after backing from five prominent Welsh politicians. Tonia Antoniazzi MP (UK Welsh Affairs Select Committee member), Christina Rees MP (Shadow Welsh Secretary), Lee Waters AM (Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport), Jeremy Miles AM, and Cllr Dean Cawsey, all visited the site and heard about the proposals

Industry Insider Week 36 – 7 Must-Read Rail News Stories

Trains for Blackpool | Northern Continues Fleet Roll-Out | Rolling Stock Northern will begin operating new electric trains between Blackpool and Liverpool on Monday 9 September. The train operating company says further trains will be launched to serve Blackpool-York and Blackpool-Bolton-Hazel Grove. Northern are replacing their fleet of Pacer trains with

Calls for HS2 building works to continue despite being over-budget

The building of HS2 should continue despite being behind schedule and over-budget, a business group has claimed. Confederation of British Industry director of infrastructure Tom Thackray admitted the problems facing the high-speed railway are disappointing but insisted it “promises to bring huge economic benefits across the country”. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire He went

Swiss Combi buys stake in SBB Cargo

SWITZERLAND: Swiss Combi AG, a joint venture formed of four road transport and logistics companies in the private sector, has bought a 35% stake in SBB Cargo AG for an undisclosed sum, although SBB AG retains a 65% majority holding. Swiss Combi consists of Planzer Holding AG (40%), Camion Transport AG

RegioJet to standardise on Traxx locomotives

CZECH REPULIC: Expanding independent operator RegioJet has ordered 15 Bombardier Transportation Traxx MS3 multi-system electric locomotives, with an option for more. The contract announced on September 3 follows RegioJet’s 2017 order for eight Traxx MS2e locomotives, which entered service last year. The additional locos are intended to work domestic routes including

Deutsche Bahn Completes 2020 Timetable

Up until 8 April passenger train and freight operators were able to submit their preferred slots for the 2020 timetable on Germany’s rail network to Deutsche Bahn. The German state rail company received more than 72,000 applications. This also caused more than 3,000 conflicts – i.e. when different operators want

Systra buys British Steel’s TSP Projects business

UK: Systra announced the acquisition of British Steel’s TSP Projects subsidiary on August 30. The international transport consultancy said this would double its presence in the UK, with TSP Projects’ extensive experience of civils, electrification and track works complementing its existing UK rail engineering services and providing it with an

Young Rail Tours to explore the world of rail

INTERNATIONAL: UK-based networking and educational association Young Rail Professionals has launched Young Rail Tours in partnership with the Young Members sections of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Railway Division, the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers and the Institution of Engineering & Technology Railway Technical Professional Network. YRT is intended to deliver

Deutsche Bahn to Halve Use of Glyphosate in 2020

It is one of Deutsche Bahn’s most important business goals, as part of its new strategy ‘Starke Schiene‘ (strong rail), to adopt measures that are beneficial to our climate and our environment. And as a mode of transport, rail likes to position itself as the most environmentally-friendly option. Consequently, Deutsche

LNER to pilot UK rail ticketing reform

UK: East Coast Main Line operator LNER is to pilot proposed reforms to Great Britain’s fares system from January 2 2020, with tickets going on sale from November 29. Announcing the trial on August 29, the Department for Transport said its aim was to ‘significantly boost customer confidence and flexibility in

Entire DB Cargo Fleet to Go Digital by 2020

DB Cargo says it will equip its entire fleet of freight cars with intelligent sensors and telematics by 2020. In total, DB Cargo has a fleet of around 68,000 cars. The company has now reached the half-way milestone: the 34,000th freight car has been equipped with modern telematics and intelligent

Australian investment group FSI to buy Patriot Rail

USA: Australian investment group First State Investments announced an agreement to acquire 100% of the equity of short line group Patriot Rail & Ports from SteelRiver Infrastructure Partners on August 26.  Terms were not disclosed. Formed in 2006 and acquired by SteelRiver in 2012, Florida-based Patriot now has 12 lines totalling

SOB and SBB in Co-operation Agreement | Traverso Presentation

Schweizerische Südostbahn (SOB) and Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) will co-operate on two long-distance routes starting in 2020. SOB will use its Stadler Traverso trains for these services. From December 2020 onwards SOB will operate an hourly service across the Gotthard mountain route to Locarno, alternating between Zurich and Basel at the

Vossloh Sells Locomotives Business to CRRC

German transport technology manufacturer Vossloh says it is selling its locomotives business to CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive Co., Ltd, a subsidiary of CRRC Ltd. Vossloh is currently unable to reveal the purchase price, as various adjustments affecting the balance sheets are still outstanding. However, the anticipated sum lies in the low single-digit

Ministers accused of HS2 costs cover-up

MINISTERS knew three years ago that the costs of HS2 were going to be higher than the official figure of £55.7 billion, according to reports. It is said that documents seen by the BBC admit that the budget was not enough, although the DfT has continued to maintain that the project

Vossloh to sell Locomotives business to CRRC

GERMANY: On August 26 Vossloh AG announced its intention to sell its Locomotives business unit to Chinese state-owned rolling stock group CRRC. Vossloh Locomotives is based in Kiel, where a new production facility was completed in March 2018. The business specialises in producing small and medium sized diesel and dual-mode locos

World rolling stock market – August 2019

Australia: The UGL Unipart 70:30 JV has been awarded a five-year extension to its contract to maintain Sydney Trains’ fleet of more than 1 050 vehicles. The contract runs for five years from July 1, replacing a two-year extension announced in January. South Australia has awarded Bombardier a contract to supply

UK Government Launches Oakervee Review into HS2

The High Speed 2 project, which would connect London to the North of England via Birmingham, received a blow yesterday (21 August) as the UK government announced it was opening up an independent review “into whether and how to proceed with the […] project”. Douglas Oakervee, a retired engineer who was

RTB Cargo to lease Smartron locomotives

GERMANY: Leasing company Northrail has signed a full-service agreement to provide RTB Cargo with three Siemens Mobility Smarton electric locomotives for up to five years. Announcing the contract on August 20, Northrail said the locos would be delivered by spring 2020 for use on automotive trains within Germany. Paribus Group’s Northrail business

Abellio Takes Over East Midlands Franchise

Abellio, which won the East Midlands franchise in April this year has started operating the line, which serves the Midland Main Line. Operating as East Midlands Railway, major calling points include London St Pancras, Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Sheffield, Leeds, York and Scarborough. The franchise contract is set to run for eight

Consultation on trans-Pennine route modernisation

UK: Network Rail is to begin public consultation this summer on plans to rebuild and electrify a 13 km section of the trans-Pennine corridor between Manchester and York via Leeds. The plans form part of the infrastructure manager’s £2·9bn Transpennine Upgrade programme, which is intended to modernise the route by adding capacity,

Japanese take over Rio suburban network

BRAZIL: A consortium of Mitsui and West Japan Railway has purchased a majority stake in Rio de Janeiro suburban operator SuperVia, at a reported cost of around ¥20bn. The Japanese trading group had previously held a 24% stake in the concessionaire, through its stake in SuperVia parent Odebrecht Mobilidad. It has

MIRA and PGGM to acquire all of Genesee & Wyoming Australia

AUSTRALIA: Existing shareholders Macquarie Infrastructure & Real Assets and PGGM have agreed to assume full ownership of the Genesee & Wyoming Australia business. This announcement on August 6 follows an agreement for GWA’s parent company Genesee & Wyoming Inc to be acquired by Brookfield Infrastructure and GIC in a transaction which

Bombardier sees ‘positive market outlook’ for rail

BOMBARDIER: ‘The positive market outlook for the rail industry remains unchanged’, said Bombardier when it presented its second quarter results on August 1. ‘At Transportation, we have made significant progress and remain on track to complete the transformation by 2020’, said, Bombardier Inc President & CEO Alain Bellemare. ‘As we simultaneously

Snowdon Mountain Railway orders battery-diesel locos

UK: Snowdon Mountain Railway has ordered two battery-diesel hybrid locomotives from Clayton Equipment Ltd, which specialises in the production of bespoke designs for specialist railway, metro, mining and tunnelling applications. The 800 mm gauge railway runs steam and diesel locos up the highest mountain in Wales using the Abt rack and

Loram to acquire Aurizon’s rail grinding business

AUSTRALIA: Loram Maintenance of Way has agreed to purchase Aurizon’s rail grinding business, along with its contracts to serve four customers. ‘Loram recognises substantial opportunities in the Australian rail market’, explained Stephen Mannix, Managing Director of local subsidiary Loram Pty Ltd, when the agreement was announced on August 12. ‘This acquisition

DB to Analyse Passenger Behaviour Using Big Data

The branch of Deutsche Bahn dealing with new digital business models, DB Digital Ventures, is teaming up with Teralytics. This Swiss start-up performs mobility analyses using big data, something DB believes holds far-reaching potential for a customer-oriented development of its services. Using data obtained from mobile phones Teralytics supplies reliable information

Inquiry launched into power cuts

AN inquiry has been launched by the government after widespread power cuts brought many trains to a stand, particularly in the London area. Tyne & Wear Metro was also disrupted by the widespread outages, on Friday afternoon. The problems were caused by the failure of two generators according to National Grid,

RegioJet Adds Budapest to Its Destinations

RegioJet says it will add Budapest, Hungary, to its list of destinations starting in June 2020. Last week RegioJet announced that it was terminating its contract with GKB and instead collaborate with WESTbahn, who will operate all RegioJet services in Austrian territory starting 15 December 2019. This affects RegioJet services that

Bombardier Transportation Appoints New EMEAI Region President

Bombardier EMEAI region president Andy DeLeone In his role as regional president, Andy DeLeone will report directly to company president Danny Di Perna. He will be wholly in charge of Bombardier Transportation’s business in the EMEAI region. For example, he will oversee customer relationship management, sales, services and project management. As EMEAI

Unipart Rail Shortlisted for Two HR Awards

Unipart Rail has been shortlisted for two Personnel Today Awards 2019. Lucy Weaver is named in the HR Director of the Year category and Unipart Rail is up for the Graduate Scheme of the Year category. Unipart Rail Graduates As HR Director for Unipart Rail, Lucy Weaver is responsible for more than 850

Siemens Mobility selects Softil software for LTE-R development

COMMUNICATIONS: Siemens Mobility is to use Softil’s BEEHD framework in the development of LTE-R communications technology to succeed GSM-R, and also mission-critical push-to-talk applications for transport use. The next-generation data communication system is required to support ETCS and automatic train operation as well as secure voice communication between drivers and signallers,

Industry Insider Week 31 – 12 Must-Read Rail Stories

All the important rail news of the week, summed up for you in one place: our Railway-News Industry Insider Week 31 for 29 July–02 August 2019: Rail yard behind the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke, Virginia © Donnie Nunley under licence Business Stadler manufactures the Berlin S-Bahn at its Pankow site © Railway-News Stadler

Cybersecurity firm raises seed funding

ISRAEL: Railway cybersecurity startup company Cervello has raised US$4·5m during a seed funding round. Investors include North First Ventures of Israel and Awz Ventures of Canada, along with Nissim Bar-El, the founder of technology security consultancy Comsec Group. ‘As operators further digitise their infrastructure, the railway industry is adopting an active

Feature articles in the August 2019 issue of Railway Gazette International

Feature articles in the latest issue of Railway Gazette International, the leading business journal for railway operators and suppliers, read in 140 countries. Subscribe to Railway Gazette International today. Comment Jumping on the night train News Main Line Urban Rail Market Industry Innovations Pointers Analysis Safety crisis prompts reform in Taiwan, ERA’s cross-authorisation of rolling

Vossloh sales up as rationalisation progresses

VOSSLOH: Reporting its half-year results on July 25, Vossloh Group announced that sales had increased by 4·6% to €437·1m from €418·1m for the first six months of 2018. An 18·6% increase in orders received to €568·9m had helped to lift the group’s order backlog by 33·7% to €726·9m at the

Televic Rail acquires information systems supplier GSP

EUROPE: Belgian communications and control technology company Televic Rail has acquired German train, metro and tram passenger information system supplier GSP Sprachtechnologie as part of its international growth strategy. The acquisition ‘gives us greater access to the highly attractive German market and the larger Germany, Austria and Switzerland region’, said Televic

Talgo signs Egyptian co-operation agreement

EGYPT: Spanish rolling stock manufacturer Talgo has signed a framework co-operation agreement with the Arab Organization for Industrialization for the joint development of capacity and performance improvement projects on the Egyptian rail network. Signed in Madrid by Talgo CEO Jose Maria Oriol Fabra and the Chairman of AOI’s SEMAF rolling stock

Robel takes stake in Vogel & Plötscher

GERMANY: Track maintenance plant supplier Robel has taken a majority stake in Vogel & Plötscher GmbH, which specialises in track measurement systems and electric drives. Based at Breisach in Baden-Württemberg, Vogel & Plötscher will continue to trade as an independent business following the acquisition of a 70% stake in it by

UK railway news round-up – August 1

On July 25 TransPennine Express accepted the first of the Nova 2 branded Civity EMUs which are being supplied by CAF and Eversholt Rail. The five-car Class 397 units will enter service later this year on TPE’s services from Manchester and Liverpool to Edinburgh and Glasgow via the West Coast

25 More Light Rail Vehicles for San Diego

Siemens Mobility has been awarded a contract for 25 S700 low-floor Light Rail Vehicles (LRV’s) from San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System (MTS). The first Siemans S70 from the 2011 order, departs the San Diego Train Station © Paul Sullivan under license Changing Standards The new vehicles, which will replace the existing Siemens Mobility

Legal row over track safety rule change

BELGIUM: Infrastructure manager Infrabel said on July 30 that it had been forced to defend itself and changes in its maintenance policy in a case brought before the Brussels Francophone Business Court by freight operator Lineas. Services run by Lineas and other operators had been affected by an unexpected change

FreightCar America Announces Roanoke Facility Closure

United States: On 22 July 2019, FreightCar America Inc. announced that its Roanoke, Virginia, manufacturing facility is closing. The company is closing the facility in order to continue its progress towards its long-term cost and footprint reduction strategies. FreightCar America will save around 5 million USD (4.02 million GBP / 4.49

ADLINK Announces New Rugged, Fanless, Real-Time Video/Graphics Analytics AIoT Platform for Railway

ADLINK, a global provider of advanced Edge Computing products, has released its latest rugged, fanless NVIDIA Quadro embedded AIoT (AI and IoT) platform, the PIS-5500, designed for real-time video/graphics analytics applications in the rail industry. ADLINK PIS-5500 AIoT platform © ADLINK Technology Inc. Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies are being adopted globally by

Phasor Achieves ISO 9001 Certification

Phasor, the leading developer of enterprise-grade electronically-steered antenna (ESA) systems for satellite-based mobile broadband applications has announced that it has achieved ISO 9001 Certification ahead of the commercial release of its products for the land mobile, maritime and aviation markets. ISO 9001 is the internationally recognised standard for a quality management

Industry Insider Week 30 – 10 Must-Read Rail News Stories

All the important rail news of the week, summed up for you in one place: our Railway-News Industry Insider Week 30 for 22–26 July 2019: Current Westbahn KISS interior © Westbahn Rolling Stock Siemens, Bombardier and DB reach an agreement about the ICE 4 trains © www.siemens.com/press Deutsche Bahn Will Resume Acceptance of ICE 4

Stadler Berlin Expansion Plans on Track

Stadler is expanding its Berlin location. The works, which will cost around 70 million euros, include the construction of an additional production hall as well as new offices and a modern canteen for its employees. Stadler says it wishes to start using the phase 1 premises starting in early 2021.

Low-Emission Locomotives Enter Service on California Northern Railroad

Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W) have announced that two new US EPA Tier 4 compliant low-emission locomotives are now in service with subsidiary company California Northern Railroad Company (CFNR), after successfully completing trials. Built by Knoxville Locomotive Works in Tennessee, the 2,400-horsepower diesel locomotives use selective catalytic reduction technology to meet

Rail Minister Reaffirms Commitment to Zero-Emission Technology

UK: Rail Minister Andrew Jones has reaffirmed the government’s commitment to greener rail journeys. The pledge was made while visiting Steamology, a Hampshire-based company, which received £350,000 in government funding this year to invest in its ‘Water to Water’ (W2W) system. As a zero-emission compact steam generator that works using oxygen and

Alstom completes first Class 175 DMU refurbishment

UK: Alstom's Technology Centre at Widnes has rolled out the first of 27 Class 175 long-distance 160 km/h regional diesel multiple-units to be refurbished in a £6·7m programme which is being undertaken for Transport for Wales. The Alstom-built Class 175 has received TfW’s exterior branding, with interior changes including fitting USB

Network Rail: Route Directors Appointed for Eastern Region

Rob McIntosh, managing director of Network Rail’s Eastern Region, recently announced the Route Directors who will form his new senior management team. Several Network Rail employees have been appointed and will be responsible for ‘putting passengers and freight customers first’. Rob McIntosh, managing director of Network Rail’s Eastern Region © Network

California Northern Railroad commissions low-emission locos

USA: Two Knoxville Locomotive Works low-emission diesel locos have entered service on Genesee & Wyoming’s California Northern Railroad following the completion of trials. The 1·79 MW locomotives have 12-cylinder MTU engines and use selective catalytic reduction technology to meet Tier 4 emissions requirements. They are expected to provide fuel savings of

FreightCar America to close Roanoke factory

USA: Wagon manufacturer FreightCar America is to permanently close its factory at Roanoke, Virginia, by mid-November. The company has leased the site from Norfolk Southern since 2005.   ‘The closure of our Roanoke facility is another next step in our “Back to Basics” strategy as we continue to streamline our manufacturing

HS2 Unveils Designs for Automated People Mover

On July 16 2019 HS2 revealed the designs for its new automated people mover (APM). The 20 metre long driverless people mover will link Birmingham interchange station with a number of new stops. HS2 will present further designs to the public at a number of events throughout July of this

22 July: news in brief

Upgrade for Cardiff Central announced by DfT THE Department for Transport has announced that up to £58 million has been allocated for an upgrade of Cardiff Central station, but the work will depend on a business case. Although few details have been given, the DfT said the work would ‘ease

Industry comments on Williams Rail Review

UK: Organisations from across the rail sector have responded to Keith Williams’ speech in Bradford on July 16 during which he provided an update on the strategic review of the rail sector which he is undertaking for the government. Rail Delivery Group ‘Businesses, communities and passengers across the country have told us

Unipart Rail Engineering Director Awarded Professorship

Steve Ingleton, Unipart Rail Engineering Director, has been appointed as a visiting professor at the University of Huddersfield, within the Institute of Railway Research. Steve Ingleton, Engineering Director © Unipart Rail This achievement is in recognition of the hard work and commitment that Steve has demonstrated within the University, supporting projects and

ADLINK Launches New Embedded Graphics Products for Edge Computing Applications

ADLINK Embedded Graphics Increases Performance, Life Cycle, and ROI for Embedded Applications ADLINK Technology, a global provider of leading edge computing solutions and NVIDIA® Quadro® Embedded Partner, has introduced the latest additions to its new series of embedded graphics products for edge computing applications, the EGX-MXM-P1000 and EGX-MXM-P2000 Mobile PCI Express

Williams reiterates call for UK franchising changes

UK: Greater accountability and a clear customer focus are the principal requirements for reform of the UK rail sector, according to Keith Williams, the independent chairman of the rail review established by Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling in the wake of the May 2018 timetable change debacle. Ahead of

Fertiliser producer orders stainless steel tank wagons

RUSSIA: United Wagon Co’s TikhvinChemMash plant is supplying fertiliser producer PhosAgro’s Apatit business with 87 chemical wagons with stainless steel tanks. The Type 15-6900-01 design has 25 tonne axleload bogies and a capacity of 54·5 m3 or 76·5 tonnes, up to 8·5 tonnes more than older designs. The stainless steel tanks

SBB halts court battle with BLS

SWITZERLAND: Swiss Federal Railways has asked the Federal Administrative Court to suspend its appeal lodged in July 2018 against the decision by the Federal Office of Transport to allocate two routes in the national long-distance passenger service concession to BLS. The Bern – Biel and Bern – Burgdorf – Olten routes

UK: Cutting-Edge Experimental Rail Facility Gets Funding

The British government has confirmed funding for a research facility covering conventional and high-speed rail in Leeds.  The University of Leeds’ Institute for High Speed Rail and System Integration has set itself the goal of revolutionising how railway systems are invented, developed and put into service in the UK and globally.

Mobility+ brings the last mile to InnoTrans 2020

INNOTRANS: A new addition to the Public Transport section of the InnoTrans 2020 trade fair in Berlin will be Mobility+,  an area of the exhibition focusing on the increasingly important ‘last mile’ of passengers’ journeys. Mobility+ will provide exhibitors with the opportunity to highlight shared mobility including electric scooters, hire bicycles

Westermo acquires Neratec

SWITZERLAND: Beijer Group company Westermo has acquired 100% of Neratec Solutions, which supplies wireless communication products for on-train and trackside applications. Bubikon-based Neratec has 25 employees and recorded sales of SFr6·5m in 2018. ‘The acquisition of Neratec will strengthen Westermo’s offering to the rail industry to include a strong wireless portfolio that

CP and EMEF to merge ahead of market opening

PORTUGAL: The government has approved a €45m capital investment programme for both national operator CP and rolling stock maintenance business EMEF. To be funded from the state budget, the 2019-22 plan approved on June 27 has two parts. The first covers investment of €9m in 2019, primarily to enable EMEF to

Locomotive Services gets two Class 73s

CREWE-based Locomotive Services Limited (LSL) has acquired two Class 73 electro-diesel locos. One of the pair is the first of the class – a ‘JA’ type, which dates from 1962. No. 73001 (E6001) has been acquired from the Dean Forest Railway and arrived at Crewe by road on May 2.

Genesee & Wyoming to be acquired in US$8·4bn deal

INTERNATIONAL: A consortium of Brookfield Infrastructure, GIC and Brookfield’s institutional partners have agreed to acquire short line group Genesee & Wyoming Inc in a US$8·4bn transaction. The consortium would pay US$112 per share in cash, with G&W becoming a privately held company. ‘We believe this transaction is an excellent outcome for all

Midlands Hub plan to boost east-west connectivity

UK: The Midlands Connect consortium of local authorities and regional transport bodies has unveiled proposals for a £2bn package of targeted improvements to boost rail services in the East and West Midlands. The group is seeking £25m in government funding to develop the business case for its Midlands Rail Hub programme,

Network Rail regions go live

UK: The first phase of a restructuring of infrastructure manager Network Rail into 14 routes reporting to five regions was implemented on June 24. This is intended to devolve responsibility and decision-making to smaller organisations which are closer to customers, and to give local managers the ability to tackle performance issues. In

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