SDR driver experience raises money for RBL

THE Royal British Legion benefited from the South Devon Railway’s special Driver for Armistice footplate experience sessions on November 10. A total of 50 slots were available, appropriately priced at £11.11, offering participants the opportunity to drive GWR ‘4575’ 2-6-2T No. 5542 on a two-mile round trip from Buckfastleigh.All places were taken,

Gloucs-Warks honours fallen railway workers

THE Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway’s remembrance commemorations took place on November 18 when the line paid tribute to the railwaymen and women who gave their lives during both world wars. The special event was organised by Chris Blake of the railway’s operating department to tie in with a larger Armistice 100th anniversary

Siemens and Alstom submit proposal to address merger concerns

SIEMENS-ALSTOM: A package of proposals intended to address the European Commission’s competition concerns regarding the proposed merger of Siemens Mobility and Alstom were submitted by the two companies on December 12. Having opened an in-depth investigation under the EU Merger Regulation in July, on October 29 the Commission issued its statement

CRRC wins Egyptian EMU order

EGYPT: CRRC Qingdao Sifang has won an order to supply 22 six-car electric multiple-units to operate on a railway linking Cairo to 10th of Ramadan City. The 120 km/h EMUs will be designed with wind- and sand-resistant components to cope with conditions on the 68 km route with 11 stations that is currently

Faster fastening installation in Estonia

ESTONIA: Infrastructure contractor Leonhard Weiss has awarded Pandrol a contract to supply more than 430 000 Fastclip FE rail fastenings for the 65 km line between Tapa and Narva. This follows a previous contract covering the 57 km Tapa – Tartu route. As part of the project, the contractor acquired a Pandrol

Victoria to fund The Overland in 2019

AUSTRALIA: The government of Victoria is to increase its financial support for The Overland passenger service between Melbourne and Adelaide to ensure that it can continue to run until the end of 2019. Operator Great Southern Rail is also to undertake a full review of the service in early 2019

FSE orders EMUs

ITALY: A €24·2m firm order for Polish manufacturer Newag to supply regional operator Ferrovie del Sud Est with six more three-car Impuls II electric multiple-units was finalised on December 7. In December 2015 FSE ordered an initial five of the Impuls II EMUs, designated ETR.322 in Italy, with an option for

NSW appoints Digital Systems programme systems integrator

AUSTRALIA: The New South Wales government has awarded Network Rail Consulting the A$16m System Integrator contract within its Digital Systems programme, which forms part of a A$880m package of planned investment in the Sydney Trains network. The Digital Systems programme contains three main elements:  replacing trackside signalling equipment with ETCS Level 2; implementing

ICF prepares to launch next-generation MEMU

INDIA: A prototype for the next generation of Mainline Electric Multiple-Unit for Indian Railways is expected to be rolled out for test running on December 15, according to Integral Coach Factory General Manager Sudhanshu Mani. Developed at the ICF plant in Chennai, the MEMU family is designed to cater for short

SNCF to run fuel cell train in 2022

FRANCE: National operator SNCF expects to start testing hydrogen technology during 2021, and to run its first fuel cell powered train in the first quarter of the following year, according to Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Rail Systems & Technology, Pierre Izard. Addressing a meeting of regional government representatives on December 5,

Rail grapple launched

TOOL: Rototilt has launched a 5 000 kg capacity grapple designed for heavier tasks such as working with rails and sleepers. ‘With the demand we’ve seen for a more powerful grapple module optimised for railway work, it feels good to be able to present the new grapple to our customers’, said

RMT calls new South Western strike

THE RMT has said it will stage a further 24-hour strike on South Western Railway on 22 December, after talks over on-train staffing remained deadlocked. The news came as the union prepares another walkout on Northern tomorrow (8 December) after talks with Arriva also failed to make progress. RMT general secretary Mick

Siemens presents first Mireo EMU

GERMANY: Siemens presented the first Mireo electric multiple-unit at its Wildenrath test facility on December 6. The aluminium-bodied modular articulated EMU design is intended for commuter and regional services. DB Regio became the launch customer in February 2017 when it placed a firm order for 24 three-car units. These are to

RFI completes Adriatic Corridor gauge clearance work

ITALY: Infrastructure manager RFI opened the double-track Frentani tunnel near Ortona south of Pescara on December 2.  Built at a cost of €25m, the tunnel is 523 m long and has been excavated 30 m south of the existing single-bore Castello tunnel. RFI now intends to close this bore for gauge enhancement

Flying Scotsman limited-edition print

The stunning limited edition print of Flying Scotsman, as advertised on page 75 of the December 2018 issue of The Railway Magazine, has now dropped to a new pre-Christmas price. Advertised in the magazine at £149 (inclusive of p&p) the supplier has now reduced the price and is making it available

Performance falls again

NEW figures from the Office of Rail and Road show that the number of trains running late is rising, and more services have been cancelled. The number of trains on time nationally in the second quarter of 2018-19 was 85.9 per cent, down 2.5 percentage points from a year earlier, while

Rhein-Ruhr-Express trains are ready to roll

GERMANY: The first Desiro HC EMUs being built for Rhein-Ruhr Express services by Siemens Mobility are on course to enter service with the December 9 timetable change, following their formal approval by the Federal Railway Office using its new authorisation process. Under a €1·7bn contract from a consortium of local authorities

Korail-Supreme Railways merger plan back on

SOUTH KOREA: The government has revived plans to combine national passenger operator Korail with new entrant Supreme Railways, Korail’s Vice-President for Passenger Transport Hyungik Cho has told Railway Gazette. The Ministry of Land & Infrastructure has commissioned a feasibility study into the effects of the possible merger, and its conclusions are

More EU funding to enhance the Kosovan network

KOSOVO: A second tranche of EU funding worth €17·2m has been awarded to Kosovo to support rehabilitation of the railway between Fushë Kosovë and Mitrovicë, which is on the main line running south towards the border with FYR Macedonia and is part of pan-European Corridor X. The EU funding is being

Converted Class 769s set for Northern debut in New Year

TESTING of Class 769 ‘Flex’ bi-mode trains converted from former Thameslink Class 319s has now reached an advanced stage, with production of sets for Northern, Transport for Wales and GWR set to ramp up over the coming months. The two pre-production sets – Nos. 769434 and 769456 – have been undergoing dynamic testing

Railways mark the Armistice centenary

TRAIN operators, Network Rail and many others held events in the lead-up to the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War and Remembrance Day on November 11. Some trains were specially named, notably GWR, with its unveiling of IET No. 800306 giving the names of all 2,545 men who

First Stadler UK ‘Flirt’ unit arrives

THE first of a fleet of 34 ‘Flirt’ bi-mode multiple units for Greater Anglia arrived in the UK on November 14. Class 755 No. 755405 was hauled from Ripple Lane to Norwich Crown Point by DB Cargo’s No. 66002 the next day. Rail Operations Group has been appointed as the test operator for the

Early electrification: Addicted to steam?

Early LNER non-steam traction to the birth of ‘British Railways’ Bob Gwynne takes a fascinating look into the history of pioneering electric and diesel traction and its use by the London & North Eastern Railway (and other companies) up to the formation of British Railways in 1948. When people talk of the


Headline News Northern denies crisis talks; Virgin scraps Friday ticket restrictions; ‘Scotsman’ nameplate sells for £64,500; Vintage Trains launches main line ‘Polar Express’; Talgo plans Scottish factory; West Somerset closes for three months; TPE’s ‘Nova 3’ delayed until May; Porterbrook ‘Flex’ sets for new year debut; Immingham coaling tower demolished; Days

Trains return to Churchill

CANADA: The first VIA Rail passenger service for 18 months arrived at Churchill in northern Manitoba on December 4, having left Winnipeg two days earlier. Following the arrival of a freight train on November 25, the occasion marked the reopening of the Hudson Bay Railway, which provides the only land route

NSW to study regional high speed rail options

AUSTRALIA: The New South Wales state government has commissioned a study of four preferred corridors for high speed rail services, which it believes could transform travel patterns on regional routes radiating up to 300 km from Sydney. Announcing the study on December 3, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said ‘we know a fast

Van carriers boost wagon flexibility

EUROPE: Mercitalia’s international rail freight subsidiary TX Logistik is piloting the use of specialist load carriers to transport commercial vehicles on intermodal pocket wagons. Branded as ‘roadrailLink’, the load carrier has been developed by Salzburg-based Vega International Car-Transport & Logistic-Trading (Vegatrans), and manufactured by Kässbohrer Transport Technik. Fitted with adjustable loading

Wien – Bratislava upgrade inaugurated

AUSTRIA: The first phase of modernisation work on the Wien – Marchegg – Bratislava route was formally inaugurated on November 30, paving the way for expansion of the Austrian capital’s S-Bahn network with the December 9 timetable change. Double-tracking and electrification of the 3·7 km section between Erzherzog-Karl-Straße and a new interchange

Dual identity ‘Saint’ makes its public debut at Didcot

CLEAR skies and late-autumn sunlight provided perfect conditions for the public debut of the Great Western Society’s near-completed Churchward ‘Saint’ 4-6-0 No. 2999 Lady of Legend at Didcot Railway Centre on November 17-18. Plenty of visitors turned out during the aptly named Black Saint Weekend to get their first glimpse of the

Hopes rise for trans-Korean rail traffic

ASIA: The first train in a decade to cross the border between the two Koreas passed through the Demilitarised Zone on November 30 as negotiations begin to restore international rail traffic between the two countries. Staffed by 28 South Korean specialists, the test train is due to spend 18 days surveying

Temporary grounding for ScotRail Class 385s

THE introduction of ScotRail’s new Class 385 fleet was temporarily stopped after a driver reported a braking issue. It was the second such issue for the fleet and comes on top of electrification delays, software problems and windscreen issues that have dogged the upgrading of Scotland’s trains and services. In the first

Ilford works repaint for Virgin ‘Super Voyager’

A FULL repaint into the revised Virgin Trains livery for Class 221 ‘Super Voyager’ No. 221101 has been completed by owner Beacon Rail at Ilford Works. Emerging in a livery emulates that being applied to the ‘Pendolino’, but a Virgin spokesman told The RM, that for the moment, it’s a one-off. The unit

First Siemens Class 717 makes Moorgate debut

THE first Class 717 destined for service on the Great Northern to Moorgate made an impromptu one-off preview service on September 28 from Moorgate to Gordon Hill. The ‘717’ is based on the Class 700 built by Siemens. The lease for the first unit – No. 717007 – had been signed the previous

Threat to Australia’s long-distance ‘Overland’ service

ONE of Australia’s iconic long-distance passenger trains is threatened with withdrawal in 2019 as politicians cannot agree on future funding. ‘The Overland’ has run between Adelaide and Melbourne since October 1887 when it was known as the ‘Intercolonial Express’. All GSR services are hauled by locos provided by freight company Pacific National.

Baldwin diesel survivors in France

IN SEPTEMBER there was a rare opportunity to travel in a passenger train operated by one of the 70-year-old former French Railways (SNCF) Baldwin-built diesel locos at the Chemin de Fer Touristique du Rhin heritage line, near Colmar, in Alsace. The train was organised by the UK-based enthusiasts behind the European

Rail communications platform migrated to Amazon cloud

EUROPE: Rail industry data exchange technology company Hit Rail, which is owned by 12 European railways and used by 50 companies across 21 countries, has completed the migration of its HEROS Infrastructure as a Service communications platform to the Amazon AWS cloud. The migration was supported by consultancy inQdo, which will

Feature articles in the December 2018 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 Delivering infrastructure still matters News Main Line Urban Rail Market Industry Innovations Pointers Analysis EU policymakers seek to strengthen passengers’ rights, India’s Dedicated Freight Corridors come on stream, SBB looks beyond

FMN orders Stadler EMUs for TILO services

EUROPE: An agreement was signed in Milano on November 30 for Stadler to supply nine six-car electric multiple-units which FNM will lease to Trenord for use on TILO cross-border services between Lombardia in Italy and Ticino in Switzerland. FNM called tenders last year, and has placed the €114·4m order in two

FNM orders Stadler EMUs for TILO services

EUROPE: An agreement was signed in Milano on November 30 for Stadler to supply nine six-car electric multiple-units which FNM will lease to Trenord for use on TILO cross-border services between Lombardia in Italy and Ticino in Switzerland. FNM called tenders last year, and has placed the €114·4m order in two

Alstom plant equipped to produce an EMU car per day

POLAND: A production line dedicated to the InterCity New Generation electric multiple-units ordered by Dutch national passenger operator NS has been officially inaugurated at Alstom’s Katowice plant. The 6 500 m2 hall has 20 work stations covering stages from pre-fitting to cabling and interior fit-out. Bodyshell welding and erection, painting and

EIB loan to finance eight upgrades

CZECH REPUBLIC: The cabinet approved on November 7 a KC11·5bn loan from the European Investment Bank which will be used to modernise eight sections of rail corridors 1 and 2 in 2019–25. The sections involved are Velim – Poříčany; Choceň – Uhersko; Ústí nad Orlicí – Brandýs nad Orlicí; Adamov – Blansko; Brno-Maloměřice – Adamov; Lipník nad

Rail fare increases announced

TRAIN fares will increase on average by 3.1 per cent In January. There have been protests about the rises from consumer groups and unions. The Rail Delivery Group pointed out that this is the fourth time in the last six years that fares have been held below the previous July’s RPI inflation

Northern strike goes ahead, in spite of RMT offer

UPDATED: THE RMT has offered to suspend industrial action on Northern this weekend, so long as the company agrees to a series of ‘crucial guarantees’ concerning the second crew member on their trains. The RMT set the company a deadline of midday today if Saturday’s strike was to be called off.

RMT offers to cancel Northern strike

BREAKING: THE RMT has offered to suspend industrial action on Northern this weekend, so long as the company agrees to a series of ‘crucial guarantees’ concerning the second crew member on their trains. However, the RMT has set the company a deadline of midday tomorrow if Saturday’s strike is to be

Arriva blamed for Welsh train problems

THE poor state of the Welsh train fleet is being largely blamed on the previous franchise holder Arriva. Many rail services in Wales are still short-formed or being replaced by buses, after many trains were damaged by the autumn conditions. However, there have been talks with Network Rail, and the situation

Yorkshire Wolds looks to the future

THE Yorkshire Wolds Railway is one of Britain’s smallest standard gauge heritage railways, and does not currently have any operational rolling stock. Now in its fourth year of operation, a project launched in October 2008 aims to restore a section of the Malton & Driffield Junction Railway, closed to passengers in

Superb restoration work on APT power car at Crewe

APT-P motor power car No. 49006 has been restored to its former glory. It arrived at the Crewe Heritage Centre (CHC) from storage at the now-closed Electric Railway Museum, Coventry in dreadful external condition at the beginning of the year. APT-P power car No. 49006, superbly restored at Crewe Heritage Centre, having arrived

East Lancs ‘Grid’ back in service after repair

CLASS 56 No. 56006 returned to traffic on the Saturday of East Lancashire Railway’s September 21-23 gala when it moved Class 47 No. 47765, which had failed. The ‘Grid’ then worked its rostered trains the rest of the weekend without any problems. The Class 56 Group’s No. 56006 heads the 10.06 Rawtenstall-Heywood at Roch

‘Northern Belle’ hired for Kent Hospice charity trip

HEART of Kent Hospice is chartering the ‘Northern Belle’ on May 11, 2019 for a steam-hauled lunchtime excursion through the Kent countryside. A Stanier ‘Black Five’ 4-6-0 from the West Coast Railway Co pool will haul the luxury train as passengers enjoy champagne and canapés, followed by a four-course meal, prepared

New York MTA to acquire Grand Central Terminal

USA: New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority has agreed to purchase Grand Central Terminal and sections of the Hudson and Harlem commuter rail lines, correcting what it terms a ‘historical quirk’ of New York infrastructure ownership. The acquisitions, valued at $35m, were approved at an MTA finance committee meeting in mid-November. MTA’s

Etihad Rail Stage 2 funding agreement signed

UAE: Tendering for the civil works for Stage 2 of the planned national railway network is expected to be launched shortly, after the UAE’s Ministry of Finance and Abu Dhabi’s Department of Finance signed a financing agreement on November 27. The 264 km Stage 1 was completed in 2015, and now

Glacier Express reveals Excellence Class coaches

SWITZERLAND: Two coaches which have been upgraded to provide a premium ‘Excellence Class’ on the tourist-focused Glacier Express service have been unveiled by operating partners Rhätische Bahn and Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn. The interiors were designed by Nose Design Experience, and refitting of the coaches provided by RhB and MGB was undertaken

Ferrocarril Central PPP contract winner confirmed

URUGUAY: The national court of auditors has given the go-ahead for the government to formally award the Ferrocarril Central public-private partnership contract to the Via Central consortium.  The contract covers the design, financing, construction works and maintenance for 22 years of the 273 km main line running north from Montevideo to Paso

DB orders wagons from Russian supplier UWC

GERMANY: Russian manufacturer United Wagon Co has won what it says is a ‘major breakthrough’ order to supply wagons to Deustche Bahn, beating rival bids submitted by ‘leading companies from Europe and the USA’. The order announced on November 27 covers 130 Sggrs80 articulated container flat wagons which will be supplied

Požarevac – Majdanpek line reopens

SERBIA: The 90 km Požarevac – Majdanpek line southeast of Beograd reopened for freight traffic after five years of suspension on November 21, and passenger operator Srbija Voz expects to revive passenger services on February 19 next year. Reopening follows a €92m rehabilitation project undertaken by Infrastruktura Železnice Srbije. The track

Welsh cancellations set to continue indefinitely

TRANSPORT for Wales has warned that train services are now expected to be disrupted until further notice, because of a combination of autumn conditions and recent storm damage which has left more trains than usual out of service for repairs. One member of the National Assembly for Wales has protested that

Medway seeks Iberian freight growth

PORTUGAL: Private freight operator Medway is planning to invest €25m in a new intermodal terminal at Famalicão. The subsidiary of shipping line MSC Group hopes that construction can begin next year, once Famalicão municipality and infrastructure manager Infraestruturas de Portugal have given final sign-off.  According to Medway President Carlos Fernandes, Famalicão

World rolling stock market – November 2018

Bangladesh: Hyundai Rotem announced on October 11 that it had won a US$239m order to supply 70 diesel-electric 110 km/h locomotives for BR’s metre-gauge Dhaka – Chittagong route. Production at Changwon is due to begin in 2020 for delivery by 2023. Canada: VIA Rail has awarded Rail GD a C$16·4m contract to

Marmaray corridor to open in Q1 2019, minister says

TURKEY: Transport Minister Cahit Turhan provided a progress update on November 16 on three new line projects as they near completion under the railway investment Master Plan. The government’s priority is completion of the surface works along the Marmaray corridor which runs across Istanbul from Gebze on the Asian side to

Västtrafik increases EMU order

SWEDEN: Västra Götaland transport authority Västtrafik announced an order for a further five  Bombardier Transportation Zefiro Express electric multiple-units on November 22. The order has been placed as an option on a SKr3·8bn contract for an initial  40 of the units which was announced in March and included provision for up

Talgo selected for Latvian EMU contract

LATVIA: National passenger operator Pasazieru Vilciens has selected Talgo to supply a fleet of 32 electric multiple-units for suburban and regional services, CEO Rodzers Janis Grigulis announced on November 21. Formal award of the contract is expected to follow the 10-day regulatory standstill period. The Talgo VitTal EMUs are to be

Hydrogen train operation planned

GERMANY: The Länder of Brandenburg and Berlin are planning the joint award of a contract for the development and operation of hydrogen fuel cell powered trains on the RB27 Heidekrautbahn route. The proposed contract would start in December 2022 and run for 15 years, a length selected to provide experience of the

Wabtec offers hosted PTC back-office for ASLRRA members

USA: The American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association has entered into an agreement for Wabtec Railway Electronics to provide Positive Train Control to its member railways using a hosted multi-tenant back office system. This is designed to offer complete PTC back-office functionality within a package which is cost-effective for short

ScotRail maps out December timetable improvements

SCOTRAIL has confirmed one of the biggest timetable changes for many years will take place from December 9. The move follows various major infrastructure schemes having come to fruition and the arrival of new trains. ScotRail says the expanded timetable will deliver faster journeys, extra seats, and more services for its customers,

£9million roof repairs for Aberdeen to take a year

ABERDEEN station’s glass roof will be repaired and improved in a £9million scheme lasting 12 months. Discoloured glass panels will be replaced with modern, lightweight polycarbonate glazing, and a new access system will make it safer for staff to work on the Grade A-listed structure in future years.Previously, a lack of

Derby remodelling completed on time

INDUSTRY leaders are hailing the 79-day Derby blockade as a great success after the remodelled station was handed back on schedule on October 8. In the early hours of the morning, Network Rail and its contractors removed the final pieces of equipment and machinery from the lines to the north of

FNM orders diesel-battery multiple-units

ITALY: A framework agreement for Stadler to supply Lombardia regional operator FNM with between 30 and 50 battery-equipped 140 km/h diesel multiple-units for use on Ferrovienord services was signed in Milano on November 21. The agreement runs for eight years with a value of €6·395m per unit, and envisages the provision

Niedersachsen awards fleet refurbishment contract

GERMANY: Niedersachsen transport authority LNVG has awarded manufacturer Bombardier Transportation a €80m contract to modernise a total of 51 double-deck coaches and 37 Traxx electric and diesel locomotives. The work is to be undertaken at Bombardier's Hennigsdorf and Kassel plants, with an initial 11 pre-series vehicles to be completed by the

‘Broad coalition’ needed to deliver HS2

UK: ‘It will take a broad coalition involving us, the supply chain and local and national government to deliver this project’, Mark Thurston, Chief Executive of government high speed rail project delivery company HS2 Ltd told the All-Party Parliamentary Rail Group on November 20. He was updating parliamentarians on progress to

Siemens tube deal overcomes legal objections

A CONTRACT worth £1.5 billion to supply 94 tube trains to Transport for London has finally been signed by London Underground and Siemens, which was named as preferred bidder in June. TfL said: ‘The initial order is for 94 trains and an associated Fleet Services Agreement covering the supply of spares

Czech electrification contract awarded

CZECH REPUBLIC: Infrastructure manager SŽDC has selected a consortium of Skanska, EŽ Praha and AŽD Praha to electrify the 5·6 km Kadaň-Prunéřov – Kadaň line at 25 kV 50 Hz. The KC339m project includes resignalling, modernisation of Kadaň station and construction of a halt at Kadaň-Sídliště. The work is scheduled for completion in January 2021,

Indian rail fastening factory opened

INDIA: The Pandrol Rahee Technologies joint venture of rail fastening supplier Pandrol and infrastructure contractor Rahee Group has opened a fastening manufacturing plant in Hyderabad. The 3 500 m2 facility has includes an automated clip forming line with an advanced coating technology process. It is expected to produce 4 million clips per year,

CDG Express operator selected

FRANCE: The government has selected the Hello Paris consortium of Keolis and RATP Dev as preferred bidder for the concession to operate the future CDG Express airport rail link, the Ministry of Sustainable Development announced on November 19. Keolis said the consortium expected to sign the contract before the end of

Operator selected for CDG Express airport rail link

FRANCE: The government has selected the Hello Paris consortium of Keolis and RATP Dev as preferred bidder for the concession to operate the future CDG Express airport rail link, the Ministry of Sustainable Development announced on November 19. Keolis said the consortium expected to sign the contract before the end of

‘Deep seated problem’ revealed by Waterloo crash

THE chief inspector of railway accidents has warned that the low-speed collision between a passenger train and wagons at London Waterloo last summer has revealed ‘a deep-seated problem’. Simon French of the Rail Accident Investigation Branch said the incident on 15 August, which involved an early morning train and stationary engineering