All the important rail news of the past week, summed up for you in one place: our Railway-News Industry Insider Week 39 for 23–27 September 2019:
Swiss rolling stock manufacturer Stadler has signed a joint venture with PT INKA (Indonesia). The Stadler-PT INKA joint venture will develop and manufacture modern aluminium rolling stock in Banyuwangi (Java). This JV marks an important step for Stadler into the southeast Asian market. The two companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Banyuwangi in spring. The MoU included plans for a joint facility in Indonesia. In order for Stadler to begin with the technology transfer and with the training of the Indonesian employees, Stadler secured an initial contract for 500 S-Bahn cars.
Railway-News spoke to Ted Greener and Ian Jefferies from the Association of American Railroads (AAR) about the future of rail freight and the association’s activities at Railway Interchange 2019. The ARR represent major freight railroads in the US, Canada and Mexico as well as Amtrak and regional commuter railroads. AAR Executive Director, Public Affairs, Ted Greener said, “Similar to the RailxTech event, we hope to showcase the technology our members are using on the network to improve safety and efficiency and assist workers on the network. We will do so with virtual reality and interactive simulators.”
Read more | The Future of Rail Freight
Eurotunnel is one of the eight companies who have signed up for the UK government’s ‘freight procurement framework’ which will allow companies to transport critical goods after 31 October. This framework is to be in place for the coming four years. The government hopes this additional red tape will speed up procurement processes disrupted by Brexit. One of the major concerns caused by Brexit is the question of how to bring vital medicines into the UK following the country’s departure from the trading bloc. The Department for Transport has said it will work with ports and terminals that are the least likely to suffer disruption.
As part of the Public Transport Authority in Western Australia, METRONET is responsible for developing public transport in Perth. The company has recently announced a tender for the construction of the Bellevue railcar depot. The assembly and maintenance facility will build and service METRONET railcars that will run on METRONET lines. The tender also includes the construction of a high-voltage testing building. The successful bidder will be announced in late 2019 – likely November. Construction is then to begin in 2020.
Read more | METRONET Railcar Depot Tender Announced
Deutsche Bahn has recently set up a company which will work towards the digitalisation of the railway network. The company is called ‘Digitale Schiene Deutschland GmbH’, and it will begin overseeing projects from January 2020. Digitale Schiene Deutschland GmbH is to be the leading force towards the digital transformation of the railway network which has been gathering momentum. DSD GmbH will organise the establishment of digital rail operations and prepare the industrial roll-out of the technologies of the future.
Hyundai-Rotem has received an order from the Fiscal Management Control Board of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority for 80 new commuter rail double-decker coaches. The new coaches will provide more than 14,000 extra seats to the MBTA network every day. This contract is worth 278.5 million USD. An engineering and programme management service contract worth 41 million USD associated with the project was awarded to WSP INC. The company will deliver on this contract in close co-operation with Keville Enterprises Inc. and VP Engineering Inc.
An in-brief look at current rail policy in North America. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program and has made 272 million USD in funding available for ten rail projects in ten states. The Canadian Transportation Agency opened an investigation into whether BNSF, CN and CP breached their level of obligations in the Vancouver, BC, area and received 2 construction applications from the City of Ottawa and the City of Montréal for different rail projects and more.
Read more | The Policy Update North America
Changzhou’s first metro line opened on 21 September and has commenced passenger service. The Changzhou Metro Line 1 is running a full schedule. It will operate 216 metro cars (36 six-car trains). All the metro cars will feature Bombardier’s CITYFLO 650 CBTC system and MITRAC propulsion and control system. The Bombardier and New United Group (NUG) Signaling Solutions Co. Ltd (BNS) joint venture provided the CITYFLO 650 solution, while Bombardier NUG Propulsion System Company Limited (BNP) provided the MITRAC system.
Following issues during the test phase, the private Swiss rail operator BLS is halting the introduction of a new resource planning system. The new software, which would allow BLS to plan the deployment of trains and personnel, proved to be too slow. Consequently the risk would be too high that the operator could not respond quickly enough during disruptions. BLS decided to replace its current ‘RailOpt’ software in 2016 and had hoped to launch the new software by 2021. However, due to unmet requirements, BLS will continue running RailOpt, which it can do for at least five more years.
Read more | BLS Halts Roll-Out of New Planning Software
Deutsche Bahn is testing white rails on the high-speed line between Hanover and Würzburg in order to address the consequences of climate change. DB expects the results from this trial in a year. The company has painted a thousand metres of track on the Hanover-Würzburg high-speed line with environmentally friendly white paint. Successful tests of the cooling effect of white rails were recently performed on test tracks in summer 2019. This new real-world test will help determine the durability and wear of the paint as well as provide insights into how best to apply the paint over long distances.
An Alstom-Setec Ferroviaire consortium has been chosen by SNCF Réseau to supply Atlas ERTMS Level 2 for 500km of the Paris-Lyon high-speed line. The system will be configurable to the hybrid Level 3. This contract is worth around 50 million euros. Alstom will be responsible for the design, equipment supply, installation work, test and maintenance of the Atlas solution while Setec Ferroviaire will verify the design and perform integrated project management and testing. The Atlas ERTMS Level 2 system will be developed at Alstom’s centre of excellence for rail signalling systems in Charleroi, Belgium.
On 19 September Dallas Area Rapid Transit and local dignitaries marked the start of construction of the new 26-mile Silver Line. The regional railway line will connect Plano to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and allow passengers to get to and from the airport by rail. The construction of the Silver Line will be complete and ready to open by December 2022. The cost of this project is around 1.1 billion USD. Celebrations to mark the ground-breaking took place in five different cities – Addison, Plano, Dallas, Carrollton and Richardson.
The British train operating company Northern is currently in the process of replacing its Pacer trains with new rolling stock. However, the trains in its fleet which Northern is keeping are being refurbished. The company is investing 80 million GBP on the refurbishment works which are now two-thirds complete. In total, Northern is upgrading 243 trains to bring these diesel and electric multiple units up to an ‘as new’ standard. Northern is performing the refurbishment works at five different depots in Doncaster, Crewe, Wolverton, Loughborough, and Kilmarnock in Scotland.
Read more | Northern Fleet Refurbishment Two Thirds Complete
ScotRail has successfully trialled using GSM-R, the international wireless communications standard for railways, as a tool to give passengers more detailed information. ScotRail’s signalling control centre can use the technology to make announcements through the trains’ on-board PA system in order to provide information during disruptions etc. GSM-R is now being used on its Class 334, Class 380, Class 318 and Class 385 trains. Previously, ScotRail had only used the digital communications system to allow train drivers and signallers to communicate with each other.
Brigitte Zypries is the newest member of the supervisory board of Bombardier Transportation GmbH and Bombardier Transportation (Bahntechnologie) Holding Germany GmbH. Ms. Zypries has previous experience with working in the rail industry. She was a member of the supervisory board at Deutsche Bahn AG between January 2014 and March 2018. She says is excited to accompany Bombardier in developing state-of-the-art mobility solutions and supporting the company during its transformation in Germany.
Polish rolling stock manufacturer NEWAG S.A. is to deliver five Dragon 2 electric locomotives to Rail Capital Partners (RCP) as part of a framework agreement that includes five individual delivery contracts and service contracts between the two companies. As a ROSCO, Rail Capital Partners leases its vehicles to train operating companies and freight operators. Following the completion of this order RCP will have a total of 50 locomotives in its arsenal. The locomotives are expected to be delivered by 2020.
Read more | NEWAG to Deliver 5 Dragon 2 Locomotives to RCP
Alstom has been awarded a contract to equip 17 of Bombardier’s ICE 3 high-speed trains with its Atlas ETCS technology. Alstom will develop, design and manufacture the ETCS system and ensure the integration into existing national systems as well as work with Siemens (the ICE 3 manufacturer) to integrate the ETCS system into the on-board control technology. The contract is worth around 30 million euros. This contract is a step towards the trains being equipped for the new ETCS Level 2 high-speed line between Stuttgart and Ulm.
Read more | Alstom to Equip ICE 3 Trains with Atlas ETCS
On Sunday, 29 September, the new metro line in Copenhagen, Cityringen, opened to the public. The circular metro line is the third in the city and is another key step towards the ambitious goal of making Copenhagen the world’s first carbon-neutral capital by 2025. Celebrations took place to commemorate this key milestone and included live music displays, a ceremony and free travel on the city’s metro system until midnight. The M4 metro line, which will connect Orientkaj to Ny Ellebjerg, is currently under construction. The first section between Orientkaj and Åbner will open in 2020.
Read more | Copenhagen Cityringen Metro Line Opens Sunday
Industry Insider Week 37 / 38 – 20 Must-Read Rail News Stories
Industry Insider Week 36 – 7 Must-Read Rail News Stories
Industry Insider Week 34 /35 – 16 Must-Read Rail News Stories
Industry Insider Week 33 – 9 Must-Read Rail News Stories
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