Industry Insider Week 3 2020 · 7 Must-Read Rail News Storie...
The Railway-News Industry Insider for week 3 of 2020: all the important news in brief from electrification to HS2 and Vivarail battery tests.
All the important rail news of the past two weeks, summed up for you in one place: our Railway-News Industry Insider Week 37 and 38 for 09–20 September 2019:
Following a signalling contract between WSW mobil GmbH and Alstom, the French transport company installed the latest version its Atlas ETCS system across the entire Wuppertal Suspension Railway (Wuppertaler Schwebebahn). Onboard ETCS equipment was also installed on to the 100-year-old imperial wagon (Kaiserwagen) and 31 new vehicles. The entry into service marks the completion of Alstom’s first full train control and signalling contract in Germany. The Wuppertal project is the first implementation of ERTMS Level 3.
After Poland’s accession to the EU, the country received massive economic investment as well as investment in its railway infrastructure and rolling stock. Some of the new rolling stock for the Polish market will be unveiled at this year’s TRAKO. Bombardier, a co-organiser of TRAKO, will present its new TRAXX DC3 locomotive which is being manufactured at Bombardier’s Polish site in Wroclaw. Stadler will present its electric low-floor EMU for Koleje Mazowieckie as well as its Tango NF2 ‘nOVA’ tram.
Read more | Rolling Stock Highlights at TRAKO 2019
Greater Anglia celebrated the launch of its brand-new trains on 4 September. A giant animatronic red hare and a steel band were the star attractions at the ‘transforming the railway’ celebration which was attended by VIP guests from the local community. The new trains which will be replacing the old diesel trains on rural routes are the Stadler Class 755 bi-mode trains. The new trains will offer passengers more seats, air-conditioning, plugs and USB points, cycle spaces and passenger information screens.
Network Rail will continue its work on the Dawlish (Devon) sea wall on 9 September. The works were originally put on pause to minimise disruption during the peak summer tourist season. In February 2014, the railway line at Dawlish was damaged after severe storms washed away a large section of wall. Initial repair works were delayed when new storms hit the region, just weeks later, causing further land slips and track flooding. The new wall will be 2.5m higher than the existing structure and have a curved edge designed to direct waves back towards the sea.
The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is supporting plans by the Welsh Government for a new Global Centre for Rail Excellence in South Wales. The campaign has recently received a boost after backing from five prominent Welsh politicians: Tonia Antoniazzi, Christina Rees MP, Lee Waters AM, Jeremy Miles AM, and Cllr Dean Cawsey. The politicians were invited to a site visit and to hear the proposals to bring economic investment and growth into the area. Currently the Welsh rail industry provides £1.14 billion in growth to the Welsh economy along with 20,000 jobs and £388 million in tax revenue.
Deutsche Bahn (DB) has signed a five-year Power Purchase Agreement with the Nordsee Ost wind farm in order to renew its commitment to green energy across the network. The German railway company has set itself the goal of powering its entire rail network with renewable energy by 2038. Approximately 57% of the company’s requirements already come from renewables. The five-year agreement involves Nordsee Ost supplying DB with 25 megawatts of energy and will begin in 2025. This amount of energy is equal to 8% of the total production of the wind farm.
Read more | More Green Energy for Deutsche Bahn
Railway Interchange, which is hosted by the RSI, REMSA and RSSI, takes place every two years. This year the event will be held in Minneapolis with the outdoor exhibition taking place at the BNSF Northtown rail yard. The outdoor track display will feature big industry names such as, BNSF Logistics, Plasser American Corporation, Robel, Trackmobile and more. The keynote speaker for this year’s Railway Interchange is Vernice Armour, America’s first African American female combat pilot.
Read more | What’s in Store at Railway Interchange 2019
ScotRail is engaging passengers in conversations about mental health through taking part in Conversation Cafés. The Scottish railway company want to support customers with mental health issues on trains and in stations. This plan of action was initiated when ScotRail employee Christopher Harvie made some quick thinking actions whilst assisting a vulnerable customer. Chris guided the vulnerable customer to a place of safety to prevent them from coming to any harm. Representatives from the Railway Mission, Samaritans, NHS24 Breathing Space, ScotRail and the British Transport Police are among those taking part in the Conversation Cafés.
Rail freight operator Lineas is increasing the capacity on its trains in and out of Antwerp. Lineas estimated that through increasing capacity on its trains around 2,600 to 5,300 containers per week can be moved from the roads and on to the rails. As the largest private rail freight operator in Europe, it has become the company’s mission to provide services to customers which allow them shift their goods from road to rail. Lineas is providing these services in an effort to improve the supply chain while reducing the negative impact on the environment.
Amtrak has improved its customers’ booking experience through improvements made to its mobile app. The version 4.0 update aims to bring enhancements which meet customer demands by offering more services such as making bookings easier and faster and monitoring travel while on the go. The update comes in the same week as PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe SA launches its Passenger Portal app which replaces the Railway timetable application. The apps for both services are available from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
This year’s TRAKO, a prestigious rail industry meeting, will be held at the AmberExpo Exhibition and Congress Center in Gdańsk, Poland. Last year the event hosted 700 exhibitors and had 16,421 trade visitors, 40 percent of whom came from outside of Poland. The event is truly international with pavilions for Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and the United Kingdom. Visitors at the event will be able to attend over 40 different activities such as, seminars, debates, conferences and presentations, which will address the most pressing topics in the rail industry today.
Read more | This year at TRAKO
Eurostar is celebrating 25 years of high-speed passenger service between the UK and mainland Europe. As part of the celebration, Eurostar unveiled a photo gallery which comprised passengers’ memorable images. Photo submissions from celebrity and regular Eurostar travellers alike were used to put together the celebratory gallery. Celebrity submissions included Olympian Dame Kelly Holmes and model Lily Cole. Customers who’ve uploaded pictures of their favourite Eurostar journeys from the past 25 years will be entered in the chance the win a pair of Eurostar tickets.
RegioJet operates ‘public service obligation’ regional trains between Bratislava and Komárno (Slovakia). The Czech rail company 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. RegioJet purchased the double-decker trains from DB Regio (Germany). The trains previously operated on suburban railway lines around Munich. The locomotives hauling the new coaches are Siemens Eurorunner diesel units.
Read more | RegioJet Launches Double Deckers in Slovakia
Alstom has received an order for 4 additional Coradia Lint trains from Danish train operator Nordjyske Jernbaner A/S. The DMUs will be manufactured at Alstom’s facility in Salzgitter, Germany. Alstom will deliver the trains by mid-2021. The diesel multiple units for Nordjyske Jernbaner A/S are two-car sets and will have a maximum seating capacity of 135. Passengers will be able to enjoy features such as wifi and air-conditioning. The trains will also be equipped with video surveillance and passenger information systems that will provide journey updates.
Read more | Denmark to Get 4 Additional Coradia Lint Trains
The Shanghai Pudong Passenger Rapid Transit System, which connects Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 to two new satellite halls, opened on 16 September. The contract for operating and maintaining the metro network for a period of 20 years was awarded to the Keolis joint venture Shanghai Keolis in October 2017. Through winning the contract to operate and maintain the airport metro Shanghai Keolis now operates two automated metros in China. Shanghai Pudong International Airport is the ninth-busiest in the world with predictions suggesting a rise to 80 million passengers annually.
Read more | Keolis Opens Shanghai Pudong Airport Metro
Deutsche Bahn is using hybrid technology to decrease the energy consumption of its fleet. For this reason it has been replacing locomotives and other major vehicles with new, energy-saving models. The German rail operator wants its maintenance fleet to become more environmentally friendly and powerful. Consequently it has signed a framework agreement for up to 56 specialist vehicles powered by hybrid technology. Deutsche Bahn is investing around 250 million euros in this project.
The Balfour Beatty VINCI SYSTRA joint venture has won the construction management contract for the HS2 Old Oak Common station. The contract is worth around 1 billion GBP (1.13 billion euros | 1.25 billion USD). In total the joint venture will deliver the final design, construction and commissioning of Old Oak Common station. This station will have six underground platforms as well as a maximum of eight platforms on the neighbouring Great Western main line. During the peak construction period of this project it will employ a direct management team of 140.
Read more | One Billion HS2 Old Oak Common Contract Awarded
SNCF originally issued a call for bids in early 2018. Following this, CAF has been chosen by SNCF as the preferred bidder for a contract to supply 28 intercity trains. The contract also includes options for a maximum of 75 additional trains. The medium and long-distance multiple units will operate out of Paris – to Clermont-Ferrand and Toulouse. The contract is worth around 700 million euros (774 million USD). SNCF Mobilités announced its decision on 18 September and will now present its decision to its Board of Directors on 24 October 2019.
Read more | SNCF Chooses CAF for New Intercity Trains
Transport for Wales (TfW) has published its ‘Station Improvement Vision’. The paper states that TfW will invest 194 million GBP (219 million euros | 242 million USD) in improving all 247 railway stations in Wales. The purpose of TfW’s ‘Station Improvement Vision’ is to highlight how Welsh stations will change over the next 15 years. Welsh stations can expect improvements such as free wifi, modern ticket machines as well as improved shelters, CCTV systems, bicycle storage and passenger information displays. All these improvements are expected to be completed by 2023.
New punctuality statistics that make it clearer whether trains are on time have been introduced by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), the body responsible for regulating the railways in Britain. The ORR’s new ‘On Time’ punctuality measure records trains as being on time when they arrive at a station within a minute of their scheduled time. One of the key benefits of this new measurement is that it will make it possible to pinpoint issues that cause delays, therefore, it can assist in finding solutions.
Read more | ORR Implements New ‘On Time’ Punctuality Measure
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