All the important rail news of the week, summed up for you in one place: our Railway-News Industry Insider Week 19 for 06–10 May 2019:
On 9 May the European Union observed Europe Day, a celebration the bloc holds every year on the anniversary of the Schuman Declaration of 1950, which advocated for a single coal and steel community to foster solidarity rather than enmity between France and Germany. This led to the ECSC, the precursor or the European Union. To mark this year’s celebrations, Deutsche Bahn has lit up Berlin Central Station in the European flag, noting that the values of the European Union are also the values of Deutsche Bahn.
Read more | Deutsche Bahn Celebrates Europe Day 2019
The cargo train referred to as ‘Noah’s Train’ has reached Italy on its expedition to promote cargo trains as a more eco-friendly option over road freight. Noah’s Train commenced its journey in December 2018 departing from Katowice, Poland, as part of the COP24 events. The train has since continued its journey to cities such as Vienna, Berlin, Paris, Brussels and now Rome. Climate change is an ever more pressing issue and freight’s modal shift to rail is a key way in which rail can contribute to the solution.
Digitalisation and the Deutschland-Takt (a co-ordinated, nationwide timetable to increase capacity, reliability and punctuality) were the key focal points of the rail summit hosted by the German Federal Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). During the summit the BMVI released a report on the alliance between government, business and associations to promote rail (‘Zukunftsbündnis Schiene’).
An agreement has been signed by Russian Railways and Azerbaijan Railways to develop a collaborative approach to Eurasian transport corridors. The agreement was signed 6 May with the intention of Russia and Azerbaijan co-ordinating their policies. Key goals include improving foreign economic relations and providing the best-possible transport conditions for import, export and transit.
Newag, the Polish train manufacturer, will supply Laude Smart Intermodal with four six-axle Dragon 2 electric locomotives, two of which will possess a diesel access module. The contract is worth 60.4 million Polish zloty (14.08 million euros / 15.76 million USD). The locomotives are to be delivered by 2020.
Hochtief and Graham have both won contracts to build and upgrade a number of stations along the Elizabeth line (London). The contract for Graham is worth £46 million ( 53.76 million euros / 60 million USD) with work on the projects starting immediately. Both contracts are scheduled for completion by December 2020.
On 8 May Qatar Rail began running preliminary services between Al Qassar and Al Wakrah for the new Red Line (metro). This preliminary service has begun a year ahead of the original 2020 commencement date and aims to assess the Doha Metro systems and examine the Red Line’s capabilities. The preliminary services will run every six minutes between 8am and 11pm on weekdays only. This will enable work on the line to continue during weekends.
Read more | Doha Metro Red Line Starts Preview Services
OEBB’s plans to evolve the new Lower Inn Valley railway are being presented to the transport department for the environmental impact assessment in July 2019. The plans which include a new 20km line between Schaftenau and Radfeld have undergone extensive checks by specialists. Many vital improvements have been incorporated following resident feedback and other consultations.
A partnership between Vivarail and Arcola Energy has been agreed. Vivarail has been remodelling the old London Underground trains (Class D78) into Class 230 battery-electric multiple units (BEMUs). It will now marry Arcola’s hydrogen fuel cell technology with its expertise to deliver new hydrogen/battery hybrid trains. The new trains will start testing by early 2020 at the latest and aid in the decarbonisation of the transport system in the United Kingdom.
Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) is redesigning the Travel Smart Programme (TSR) to incorporate more localised services. The purpose of the redesign is to reflect how the rail network has evolved since the programme’s establishment in 2012. In order to do so, the new programme will include the launch of Travel Smart Rewards. The underlying goal, however, remains the same, namely to distribute passengers more evenly throughout the day, taking pressure of peak-time services, by offering passenger incentives.
Read more | Singapore LTA to Introduce Travel Smart Rewards
BLS says it will now not run the two long-distance services between Bern and Biel and between Bern, Burgdorf and Olten in 2020. This is due to a complaint submitted by Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) on which the Federal Administrative Court has to rule. Until the court has made a conclusive ruling on the situation, the transfer of the two lines from SBB to BLS will be postponed.
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