West Highland Line closed for track and bridge work

OCTOBER 5-13 saw the West Highland Line closed for essential repairs to track and structures between Crianlarich and Fort William.  During the week-long line closure, engineers worked around-the-clock to refurbish and repaint bridges near Spean Bridge and Corrour, and renew drainage systems between Tyndrum Upper and Bridge of Orchy. 

Transport for NSW: The Transport Digital Accelerator

In the past when Transport for NSW procured products and services, there was a tendency to publish Requests for Proposals (RFP) or Requests for Quotes (RFQ) with a specific list of requirements. This restricted the ability for industry to come up with innovative solutions. For this reason, we now use the

Nomad Digital Launch Private Trackside Radio Technology

Nomad Digital is delighted to launch its new Trackside Radio Networks solutions, available now for mainland rail and metro. Nomad has developed unique Trackside communications technology, that will provide passengers with a seamless, high-speed WiFi connection throughout their journey. In today’s rail environment providing good quality, consistent passenger WiFi is increasingly

Industry Insider Week 48 · 11 Must-Read Rail News Stories

Joondalup Extension Works to Yanchep Commence | Infrastructure METRONET in Perth, Australia, has commenced the early works for the Joondalup Railway Line extension, which will connect the city to the northern suburbs, terminating in Yanchep. The total length of the extension will be 14.5km. The main construction works will begin in

South Western Railway 27-day strike begins

Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Wire Commuters are being warned to expect delays as workers on South Western Railway begin a 27-day strike. Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union will walk out for 27 days between today and New Year’s Day, threatening travel chaos for commuters and Christmas shoppers. Passengers have been

nVent ERICO Rail 
Heating System

The nVent ERICO Rail Heating System is the smart solution that is up to 30% more energy efficient than constant wattage heating elements. Environmental sustainability is a core strategic value across many industries, especially in rail. Networks throughout the world have set forth ambitious climate protection goals that call for the

Bombardier: “Rail Will Play an Important Role in Solving Australia’s Mobility Needs”

RN: “What will you be focusing on at AusRAIL?” Wendy McMillan, President, Southeast Asia and Australia Region: “We are proud to present Bombardier’s latest innovations for sustainable mobility at the AusRail Rail Conference and Exhibition 2019. Wendy McMillan “We will discuss with customers, operators and government officials; our complete value chain of

Elastomeric Bearings for Construction, Industry and Track

Constant research and development, over 45 years of experience and certified quality management is the reason for choosing Calenberg Ingenieure for successful projects at home and abroad. The application of Calenberg products in the field of static load bearings is especially effective where rigid building parts are put in contact with

The Future of Transportation

Safety First Arguably the most eagerly anticipated development in the transportation industry is the self-driving or connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) which, despite perception, is set to increase passenger safety across multiple transportation modalities. Trains could very well be first out of the gate as fully autonomous forms of transportation. And

Industry Insider Week 46 · 14 Must-Read Rail News Stories

Alstom to Supply 19 Coradia Trains to Baden-Württemberg | Rolling Stock DB Regio, Deutsche Bahn’s regional operator, has ordered 19 EMUs from Alstom, type Coradia Continental. The trains will gradually enter service from December 2022 onwards, in a contract worth 120 million euros. Once delivered, the trains will become the property

16 November: news in brief

Weekend extra Green light for West Coast franchise NEW assurances by FirstGroup and Trenitalia over competition concerns about the West Coast Partnership franchise have been accepted by the Competition and Markets Authority. The partners have undertaken to cap fares and to maintain cheap Advance fares. The new franchise is due to begin

Rail Baltica Tender for Riga International Airport Announced

Construction Phases The construction works will take place in six stages. The first stage will see the construction of the station building, which has three levels. This stage also includes constructing the overpass building structures and access roads with all the associated infrastructure. Next, the contractor will create the building façade with

Guide to Network Rail’s routes and regions

Network Rail’s new geographic regions, established in June, takes on accountability for the delivery of all projects within their borders, including track and signalling.  This is the second phase of the company’s transformation into a customer and passenger focussed business. Andrew Haines, chief executive said: “Network Rail’s drive to be more customer and

Elizabeth Line delays will affect suburban links too

Updated 12 November THE predicted costs of Crossrail are set to rise again by as much as £650 million to more than £18 billion. Phased openings, now set to begin in 2021, will mean initial Elizabeth Line services to Shenfield will start from Liverpool Street main line, and Reading and Heathrow services

Worcester Parkway on track for December opening

Construction work is almost complete on the new Worcestershire Parkway station, with testing and commissioning expected to be complete ready for opening on December 15.  The split-level station will be operated by Great Western Railway (GWR) on behalf of Worcestershire County Council, with CrossCountry Cardiff to Nottingham trains serving the lower

Gail Valley Railway Electrification Almost Complete

Austrian Federal Railways (OEBB) has been electrifying the Gail Valley Railway (Gailtalbahn). Now, the project is entering its final phase. Following a construction period of almost two years, OEBB has modernised the route and put in place all of the electrification infrastructure. The last bits of work along the tracks and

4 November: news in brief

Arriva sale could be closer PRIVATE equity group Carlyle is in exclusive talks to buy Deutsche Bahn subsidiary Arriva for more than £2 billion, it is reported. However, according to Sky News, the Northern franchise is not included in the sale. DB needs to raise funds to reduce its debts, and

Bishopsgate Tunnel track replaced

ALMOST a mile of track has been replaced in Bishopsgate Tunnel, on the approach to London Liverpool Street, Britain’s third busiest station.  This view highlights the difficulty of renewing infrastructure on the approaches to London Liverpool Street. Network Rail engineers are seen replacing track in Bishopsgate Tunnel during one of six

Vivarail’s Ongoing Success Leads to Expansion

Vivarail has decided to move its manufacturing base to Southam after ongoing success within the company has necessitated expansion. Vivarail’s mission to develop emission-free trains and its increasing orderbook have driven it to move its manufacturing base. The train manufacturer started out at the Quinton Rail Technology Centre in Long Marston

Wabtec Celebrates ‘Make in India’ Project Milestones

Wabtec’s 6000 hp diesel-electric locomotive – the first of its kind in India – is currently undergoing testing on Indian Railways track. It will shortly enter revenue service. Wabtec’s Marhowra Factory The workforce at the Marhowra factory comprises 75 percent men and 25 percent women. Together with international and local suppliers, Wabtec

Expansion work at Leeds station this weekend

Northern multiple units await their next duties in the former parcels platforms at Leeds, which are currently being modified to create an additional platform (platform 0). NETWORK RAIL The next major stage of expansion work at Leeds station will take place on October 26-27, when services will be reduced to accommodate

British Steel Gains Light Rail Recognition

The judges were extremely impressed with the high standard of entries, noting that it shows “industry partners are sharing best practice and expertise as we all look to bring down costs, improve safety and sustainability and deliver the best possible passenger experience.” The judges’ comments for the high commendations were as

ECML deserted for Bank Holiday engineering work

STARK warnings to passengers about avoiding the East Coast Main Line (ECML) over the August Bank Holiday weekend appear to have done their job as Network Rail completed major work as planned at several locations.  On August 24 and 25, engineers worked around the clock to complete the renewal of signalling

23 October: news in brief

First London tram fitted with automatic brakes THE installation of an automatic braking system on London trams has begun, Transport for London has confirmed. The equipment was ordered in the wake of the fatal derailment at Sandilands in Croydon three years ago, when a tram overturned on a curve. Automatic braking

Vienna-Bratislava Upgrade Works: 1st Overpass Complete

The removal of level crossings improves safety along the line and also benefits the environment as there are no more idling car engines while barriers are down. Upcoming Construction Works To ensure that all existing railway crossings can remain open during the Vienna-Bratislava upgrade works, there will be detours and traffic restrictions.

Unipart Rail and McCulloch Rail Host Visit for DMIA

Following our rail handling talk and meetings in Kuala Lumpar Malaysia last month regarding the McCulloch Rail Equipment, we have recently hosted a visit to the UK by DMIA – Dhaya Maju Infrastructure (Asia) SDN Berhad – the biggest Rail contractor in South Asia. DMIA are currently servicing a Malaysian Government contract to replace

Leo Express Receives First Sirius EMU from CRRC

CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive Co., Ltd signed a contract with private rail operator Leo Express for three EMUs in December 2016. The contract includes an option for an additional 30 units. The total contract value lies at 5 billion CZK (190 million euros | 210 million USD). Sirius EMU Features Sirius is able

Railway Accidents: Lamentable Failures

Thirty-one people lost their lives on Tuesday, October 5, 1999, when a Thames Trains Class 165 ‘Turbo’ collided with a First Great Western InterCity125 at a combined speed of 130mph at Ladbroke Grove, two miles from London Paddington. Fraser Pithie looks back 20 years to one of Britain’s worst post-Privatisation

The Infrastructure Progress Report

Spanish rail infrastructure manager Adif is investing more than 45 million euros in refurbishing the Recoletos Tunnel in Madrid. The original tunnel construction works began in 1933 but it wasn’t until 1967 that it entered service. These renovation works, which began in June this year, will affect the route, electrification and

No Greater Anglia ‘Aventras’ before 2020

By Ben Jones GREATER Anglia (GA) has confirmed it will not be able to introduce its Class 720 ‘Aventra’ EMUs before the end of 2019.  Production and testing of the new trains is running significantly behind schedule after Bombardier experienced delays with the introduction of Crossrail Class 345s and

Five things you may not know about the Big Boy

This year, a ground-breaking five-year landmark project to restore a Union Pacific Railroad Big Boy 4-8-8-4 to working order was accomplished, with No. 4014 making a star-studded appearance at the 150th anniversary of the linking the USA’s two coasts by rail. The world has waited six decades to see a Union

Industry Meets at ROBEL In-House Exhibition

Open House to the Future – ROBEL In-House Exhibition 2019. For four days, more than 500 rail infrastructure experts have used the in-house exhibition at the ROBEL premises to engage in the current topics of track maintenance. As a consequence, the conversations at product demonstrations, presentations and workshops have been all about

Battery-fitted trams for Oklahoma

THE new light rail system in Oklahoma City opened on December 14, 2018, and is operated as two loops: a 7.8km north-south Downtown Loop, which also shares tracks with almost all of the route used by the 3.2km Bricktown Loop in the Bricktown entertainment district.  Oklahoma Streetcar 201804 leaving the Memorial Museum

Official Kick-Off for Robel North America Corporation

Robel machines are working on the railroad tracks of around 100 countries worldwide. Now the time has come for the next step on the company’s path to strategic internationalisation. Robel is establishing close proximity to the market and the customer by setting up a separate company in North America. At the


RN: In 2017 then chief executive of Network Rail (UK) Mark Carne said to The Guardian newspaper that he had secured a pledge from the government that toilets on trains allowing raw sewage to be dumped on to the tracks were to be phased out by 2019 in favour of

RMT to stage industrial action over tube track noise

A TRACK fastening system which is alleged to be the source of excessive noise on parts of London Underground has sparked industrial action by the RMT on four deep tube lines. Pandrol Vanguard is described by its manufacturer as ‘a unique rail fastening system with very low vertical dynamic stiffness that

Third open train doors error in just over a year

THE Rail Accident Investigation Branch has been notified of another incident of doors being opened wrongly – the third in just over a year. In this case several passengers jumped down on to the line, because the doors involved were not next to a platform. This incident was reported at Hockley

The Policy Update North America

Canada, Vancouver In January 2019 the Canadian Transportation Agency opened an investigation into whether BNSF, CN and CP breached their level of obligations in the Vancouver, BC, area between October 2018 and January 2019. It has found that neither BNSF nor Canadian Pacific breached their level of obligations, but that Canadian

ORR Implements New ‘On Time’ Punctuality Measure

Punctuality Findings Using the ‘On Time’ punctuality measure, the ORR found that “64.7% of stations were arrived at on time” in the year to June 2019. The previous public performance measure registered 87% of trains as being punctual. The ORR said that with the new method of calculating punctuality performance was up

Harsco Rail Secures Major Rail Equipment Order in Germany

About Harsco Rail Harsco Rail, a worldwide operating segment of Harsco Corporation, is a technological and innovative global supplier of railway track maintenance products and services. Harsco Rail provides expert engineering, vehicles and equipment, innovative technology, safety technology, dedicated parts and services, contracting services and quality maintenance from nine main locations

Reliable Technology for Chinese High-Speed Trains

China is home to the largest and most extensively used network of high-speed trains in the world. Based in Beijing, the Chinese Academy of Railway Sciences (CARS) is the leading research and development institute, supporting this important industry with its specialised subsidiary, the Beijing Zongheng Electro-Mechanical Technology Development Co. Stäubli

Train Tracking Using Frauscher Axle Counters

Application Options: In DC track circuit-activated crossings, the replacement of only the island circuits with axle counters  Island circuits are the most challenging part of DC track circuit-based crossings, since they easily collect road salt and debris In this application, only the island circuit (middle track section) is replaced with two Wheel Sensors

£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

RegioJet Launches Double Deckers in Slovakia

Czech rail company RegioJet operates ‘public service obligation’ regional trains between Bratislava and Komárno (Slovakia). RegioJet has now begun running double-decker trains on this line. The double-decker coaches will increase capacity during peak hours – the morning and afternoon services. The addition of double-decker coaches on this line is significant. Just

This year at TRAKO

Where: AmberExpo Exhibition and Congress Center, Gdańsk. When: 24–27 September 2019 23 Sep (Pre-TRAKO Day): 10am–6pm: technical conferences & seminars requiring pre-registration 24 Sep: 10am–5pm: open hours 11am–12:30pm: opening ceremony 3pm–3:30pm: Stadler presentation of its FLIRT for Poland; location: TZ 06 25 Sep: 10am–5pm: open hours 3pm–5pm: feature event: ‘State of Railway Safety’ debate; location: room 1A 26 Sep: 10am–5pm: open hours 11am–noon: feature event: ‘Digitalisation in

Practice & Performance: A West Highland celebration

Marking the 125th anniversary of the West Highland line, Keith Farr concludes his performance summary of different traction types by looking at the diesel classes that replaced steam. In the August issue I took advantage of the 125th anniversary of the West Highland line to discuss steam performance between Glasgow and

13 September: news in brief

RMT announces industrial action on Underground and CrossCountry THE RMT has said limited industrial action will begin on the District Line of London Underground later this month. The action has been called in protest at what the RMT said are ’growing levels of violence and anti-social behaviour at work’. From 27

Trackmobile: A Leader in Safety and Innovation

Innovation and safety aren’t Trackmobile’s only commitments—they also value quality and quality management. Trackmobile earned the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System certification, which is based on a wide array of quality management principles, like a strong customer focus, clear documentation processes, internal organization, and continual improvement. In short, this means

ROBEL. Whatever The Task.

Competent & Certified: The Service One-Stop Shop Robel service delivers support across the full range of small and large railway construction machines with the key European workshop approvals from Germany, France, the UK and Scandinavia. The performance includes training, supply of spare parts, machine fault repair, full maintenance servicing schedule, retrofit

Regular services launched at new London station

A NEW half-hourly suburban service has started running between Stratford and Meridian Water in north east London, which was opened in June as part of a £6 billion development of the area being led by Enfield Council. Eventually, 10,000 homes are to be built in the station's catchment area, although the

Mechan Adds New Landmark To Liverpool Depot

Sheffield manufacturer, Mechan, is ensuring a newly renovated rail depot in Liverpool has the lifting power to keep its maintenance roads operating efficiently. The lifting and handling specialist has installed a brand-new jib crane at the main doors of the Kirkdale depot, to transfer bogies to storage tracks at the side

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

Socomec | The New Breed of Electrical Ecosystem

As a Top 100 supplier, integrated power manufacturer, Socomec, has been invited to take part in the annual CBRE Supply Partner Event on Thursday October 3rd 2019. The event showcases market leading products with an emphasis on delivering demonstrable value and exceptional user outcomes. Participants in the event are carefully selected

Alstom Rolling Stock Solutions at Expo Ferroviaria 2019

Railway Infrastructure Alstom has three rail infrastructure solutions for trams it will present at Expo Ferroviaria. They are all catenary-free solutions. Firstly, the APS ground-power system. Inspired by third rail technology in use on metro lines, the APS solution also features a ‘third rail’ between the two guide tracks. However, it

Yorkshire BLS tour raises £15k for charity

THE Branch Line Society and West Coast Railways operated the ‘Luca Pezzulo Express’ on July 20, visiting rare freight lines around Yorkshire.  Highlights included a rare trip over the remnants of the Woodhead Route, running beyond the Network Rail boundary into Liberty Steel’s Stocksbridge Steelworks, near Sheffield, and the former Tinsley

Chinese-built steam back on USA main line

ONE of two Chinese-built ‘QJ’ 2-10-2 steam locos – based on the Iowa Interstate freight railroad – has been in action this summer operating short-distance day trips to raise funds and awareness for local fire departments in towns along the railroad’s route.  Two ‘QJs’ (Nos. 6988 and 7081, built in 1985 and

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

Stoneblower derailment causes chaos at Victoria

GATWICK Express and Southern services suffered severe disruption on July 9 after a Network Rail stoneblower derailed at London Victoria.  The vehicles had been engaged in overnight track maintenance in the station throat when one of the three sections became derailed on pointwork at around 03.00.  GEX services were

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

Work to resume on Transnordestina

BRAZIL: Construction of the huge Transnordestina project in northeastern Brazil was due to resume at the end of August, Governor of Piauí state Wellington Dias announced during the Forum on Regional Infrastructure held in Teresina on August 22. Participants at the forum included the Brazilian Infrastructure Association and numerous investors. Work began

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

OmniTRAX acquires Cleveland Commercial Railroad

USA: OmniTRAX has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Cleveland Commercial Railroad and its wholly owned subsidiary Cleveland Harbor Belt Railroad for an undisclosed price. The transaction is expected to close by the end of August, with the CCRL to be renamed as the Cleveland & Cuyahoga Railway and

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

World rail infrastructure market – August 2019

Australia: ARTC has appointed Turner & Townsend and SNC-Lavalin to provide programme management office services for the Inland Rail project. Canada: Thales is to supply SelTrac CBTC signalling for Toronto’s Finch West light rail line and Stage 2 of the O-Train Confederation Line in Ottawa. Croatia: HŽ Infrastruktura, the Port of Rijeka

A West Highland celebration

In the first of two features focusing on the West Highland line, which marks its 125th anniversary this year, Keith Farr analyses steam-hauled journeys over this scenic and demanding route. Glasgow (Queen Street) high-level terminus is being transformed. Platforms are being extended to cope with more frequent and longer trains