by Josephine Cordero Sapién
05 May 2020
The first test run with the top speed of 275km/h took place in the Ceneri Base Tunnel on the night of 30 April–1 May.
After test operations resumed on 20 April following strict adherence to the guidelines set by the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (BAG), a new milestone was set when the first train test run at the top speed of 275km/h took place in the tunnel. Further test trips will be performed in the 15.4km base tunnel between Camorino and Vezia under the supervision of AlpTransit Gotthard AG (ATB) before the Ceneri Base Tunnel is handed over to SBB on 1 September 2020.
On 17 February the ATG received permission to start testing on 1 March 2020. The first test trips with the European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 2 took place a short while later. SBB also began testing the digital communication system GSM-R and the tunnel radio.
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, testing had to be interrupted in mid-March and new, revised test plans developed. Then, on 20 April 2020 ATG resumed testing in the Ceneri Base Tunnel under the strict adherence to the BAG requirements. The high-speed tests began on 29 April 2020. To perform these tests the specially equipped high-speed measuring train ICE-S was hired from Germany. During these high-speed tests the train speed was gradually increased. The first trip at 275km/h – the highest tested speed in the Ceneri Base Tunnel – was conducted successfully in the night from 30 April–1 May.
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Estonian railway operator Eesti Liinirongid (Elron) has taken up the option for a further 10 electric trains from Škoda Group.
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New funding has been announced for Network Rail to deliver transformational rail projects in the South West of England.
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RATP Dev has been awarded a one-year Early Operator Assistance contract for the Belgrade automated metro system.
VR Sweden has renewed a contract with Alstom to provide maintenance for the 30-strong Tåg i Bergslagen’s (Tågab) fleet of regional trains.
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ÖBB Rail Cargo Group (RCG) has founded a new subsidiary in Belgrade, Serbia to provide sustainable rail freight transport.
Sydney Metro has contracted Hyundai Movex to install mechanical gap fillers at stations for the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project.
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Stadler has signed an agreement with DB Netz to retrofit up to 80 maintenance and track service vehicles with its GUARDIA ETCS system.
The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has confirmed the first instalment of its 72 million GBP investment in Coventry Very Light Rail.
CAF has taken ownership of the former BWW Bismarck railway depot in Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW).
Île-de-France Mobilités has announced plans to update metro line 6’s entire fleet of MP73 trains and update the line's track and platforms.
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GB Railfreight (GBRf) has signed a new 10-year locomotive leasing deal with rolling stock leasing company, Akiem.
FEATI University, the Philippines, has set its sights on becoming a leading academic institution in railway engineering and technology.
EMR and the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre are developing a simulation tool to improve depot efficiency.
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Alstom will carry out an overhaul of ScotRail’s Class 334 fleet of 40 trains that operate between Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Brightline has released a video and renderings of the future station at Orlando International Airport in Florida.
Deutsche Bahn (DB) is introducing real-time occupancy information displays on regional routes for the very first time.
Irish Rail has awarded John Sisk and Son the contract for phase 1 works to reinstate the Limerick to Foynes rail line for freight services.
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The West Coast mainline near Carstairs has been reopened for passenger services after emergency engineering works was completed.
Orlando's Right Rail and Universal Orlando Resort have announced plans to open a new SunRail station at the Orange County Convention Center.
The construction tender for the second section of Rail Baltica mainline in Estonia has been announced. Construction is to begin later in 2023.
The Austrian Federal Railways (OEBB) is continuing with its largest ever expansion and investment programme in 2023.
Renfe Mercancías has announced plans to invest 122.7 million EUR into the decarbonisation and digitisation of freight rail in Spain.
Beijing MTR, a subsidiary of MTR Corporation, has announced the opening of Beijing Metro Line 16’s phase III southern section.
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Network Rail has completed a series of improvement works for the Transpennine Route Upgrade between Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds and York.
Egypt National Railways (ENR) has commenced the commercial operation of Talgo Intercity trains between Cairo and Alexandria.
An Alstom consortium has been awarded two new signalling and electrification contracts to support rail modernisation in Romania.
Slovakian rail company ZSSK has ordered a further five RegioPanter electric units from Skoda Group as part of the modernisation of its fleet.
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Deutsche Bahn (DB) has opened its extended vehicle hall at the ICE maintenance plant in Berlin-Rummelsburg.
Progress Rail has been contracted to supply 12 new GT46 locomotives to Qube, an import and export logistics service provider in Australia.
Alstom has completed the extension of the PHX Sky Train automated people mover (APM) system at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Brightline has celebrated the ribbon cutting of its Aventura and Boca Raton train stations in Florida, US.
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Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and King Felipe VI have inaugurated the Madrid-Murcia high-speed railway line.
Transdev is modernising its fleet in Germany with the introduction of 16 four-unit Stadler FLIRT 3 XL articulated trainsets.
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Amtrak has unveiled renders of its newest train, the Amtrak Airo. The new trains will begin operating across Amtrak routes in 2026.
Renfe has ordered an additional 49 additional Coradia Stream high-capacity trains from Alstom. These will be manufactured in Barcelona.
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A 22-metre-long mock-up model has been unveiled of the VDV TramTrain that will operate in regions across Austria and Germany.
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Northern Rail has upgraded its TrainCare Centre in Hull to increase its maintenance and servicing capacity and improve service reliability.
CAF has signed a contract with Dutch national operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) for 60 double-decker Civity trains.
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HS2 has revealed designs for the Curzon 2 bridge: a 150-metre section of viaduct on the approach to Birmingham’s new Curzon Street Station.
Deutsche Bahn (DB) is commencing service on the Wendlingen–Ulm high-capacity main line to improve connections between Stuttgart and Munich.
Hitachi Rail has provided an update on the schedule for its acquisition of Thales’s Ground Transportation Systems (GTS) business.
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