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:
The Swiss company Stadler has announced plans to expand its Berlin site. Stadler has already submitted the building application. The works will cost around 70 million euros (77.88 million USD). The expansion plans include the construction of an additional production hall as well as new offices and a modern canteen for its employees. The company hopes to begin using the phase 1 premises by 2021. Stadler plans to add a logistics centre to its Berlin Pankow site as part of phase 2.
Read more | Stadler Berlin Expansion Plans on Track
FreightCar America Inc. announced that its manufacturing facility in Roanoke, Virginia, is closing. FreightCar America is closing the site in order to progress towards its long-term cost and footprint reduction strategies. The company is expected to save around 5 million USD (4.49 million euros) in fixed costs per year. Essential employees will remain until November, select employees will be given the opportunity to relocate to other parts of the business.
The latest Citadis X05 trams manufactured by Alstom are now operating on three new lines in Caen la Mer, in France’s Normandy region. The 5-car tram features LED lighting, optimised air-conditioning and is 95 percent recyclable. Alstom has a total of 13 sites in France eight of which contributed to the design and manufacture of these Citadis trams.
Amtrak has announced the roll-out if its new Acela Nonstop service which will connect Washington D.C. and New York City. Services will begin on 23 September 2019 but will only run on weekdays as part of the initial schedule. The service between Washington Union Station (WAS) and New York Penn Station (NYP) will take approximately 2 hours and 35 minutes. All the features on the current Acela service will remain on the new service. There will also be new amenities which will be announced closer to the launch date.
Alstom has received an order for 5 additional Coradia Polyvalent trains to be delivered to the French regions of Occitanie / Pyrénées-Méditerranée. This order will bring the region’s fleet to a total of 51 trains. The order is worth around 30 million euros (33.45 million USD). The new trains will be delivered between October and December 2020 and will run on the line which connects Toulouse to Latour-de-Carol and Mazamet.
San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) has awarded Siemens Mobility a contract for 25 S700 low-floor light rail vehicles (LRVs). The vehicles were designed and manufactured in Siemens’s Sacramento facility in California and will operate on the entire MTS light rail network as well as the 11-mile Mid Coast Trolley extension. The vehicles are expected to be delivered by 2021. This purchase will complete the city’s transition to a fully low-floor and accessible fleet, a process which began in 2004.
Read more | 25 More Light Rail Vehicles for San Diego
Latvian State Railways (Pasažieru Vilciens) awarded Škoda Vagonka, a part of the Škoda Transportation Group, a 240 million euro contract to supply 32 single-deck electric trains for suburban transport in the country. The 35-year contract also includes servicing and maintenance. Škoda Vagonka was the only company able to offer dual-system trains which support the on-going track electrification process in Latvia.
Russian Railways (RZD) and the FESCO Transport Group (FESCO) have launched a freight service route running from the Republic of Korea to Europe via the Trans-Siberian Landbridge line. The first container was shipped from Busan on 25 June 2019 and arrived in Wroclaw, Poland, 21 days later, significantly faster than similar shipments by sea via the Suez Canal. The container arrived at Vladivostock Commercial Sea Port on the Sea of Japan before entering the Trans-Siberian Railway system and finally finishing its journey by road.
Alstom have received an order from the French region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes for an additional 10 Coradia Polyvalent Léman Express trains. The order is worth approximately 70 million euros. The trains feature a ‘suburban-style’ interior and will also be the first French regional trains to meet all European standards. The new trains will operate alongside the 17 already on order, which are due to come into service on the Franco-Swiss cross-border Léman Express in December 2019.
Abellio UK, franchisee of East Midlands Railway (EMR), has confirmed it has awarded a £400 million contract to Hitachi Rail for its new fleet of intercity trains. The new 5-carriage trains will come into service on the Midlands Main Line in 2022. The trains will produce lower carbon emissions and have the ability to run on electric overhead lines where available. The intercity train will produce up to 90 percent less emissions when running on diesel than the legacy High-Speed Trains.
On the 29 July, ScotRail launched its first eight-car Class 385 trains on the main line between Glasgow and Edinburgh. Built by Hitachi Rail, the EMUs will deliver faster journeys as well as more seating and improved services for passengers. The new trains offer 168 more seats per train than the diesel fleet they are replacing. The roll-out of these new eight-car trains form part of the government’s Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) as well as Abellio’s £475 million investment in Scotland’s Railway.
The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has published its new Accessible Travel Policy (ATP) guidance for train and station operators which it hopes will help older and disabled people travel by rail with more confidence. Around 1.3 million journeys were made in 2018–2019 with booked assistance, up 2 percent on the previous year. The Improved Assisted Travel consultation, which was carried out between November 2018 and February 2019, received 439 responses. The consultation showed an overall satisfaction from passengers with small areas which could use improvements. These areas included, audible announcements at stations and on trains, improvement in staff training and more.
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