Industry Insider Week 8 2020 · 8 Must-Read Rail News Stories

Welcome to our Railway-News Industry Insider Week 8 2020, covering all the important rail news of the past week:

Ceneri Base Tunnel Gets Go-Ahead for Test Operations | Infrastructure

The Swiss Federal Transport Office, BAV, says it has approved test operations in the Ceneri Base Tunnel in advance of its opening to passenger and freight traffic later this year. The Ceneri Base Tunnel is the final component of the New Railway Link through the Alps (NRLA – NEAT) on the Gotthard axis. The contractor who built the tunnel, AlpTransit Gotthard AG, will begin testing in March. SBB will then take over the tunnel as operator in September.

Read more | Ceneri Base Tunnel Gets Go-Ahead for Test Operations

Ceneri Base Tunnel Westeroehre
Ceneri Base Tunnel

DB Regio Mitte Modernises Double-Decker Trains | Rolling Stock

DB Regio Mitte will modernise 54 Bombardier Twindexx double-decker trains that operate on the Frankfurt-Limburg connection on the RE20 and RB22 services. Three of these 54 trains have already returned to passenger service. Deutsche Bahn says that all 54 will have been modernised by the end of 2021. Furthermore, DB will modernise ten locomotives Class 146.1. These modernisation efforts are part of DB Regio Mitte’s 15-year operating contract (renewing its existing contract) that will begin in December 2021.

Read more | DB Regio Mitte Modernises Double-Decker Trains

These Are Europe’s Top 10 Stations | Infrastructure

The Consumer Choice Center has published its European Railway Index 2020, which looks at the 50 biggest stations in Europe and ranks them based on a number of different criteria such as annual passengers / number of platforms, the number of domestic and international destinations, lounges, accessibility, cleanliness and competition. The overall winner for 2020 was London St Pancras, while Germany did best as a country, winning five of the top ten stations: Leipzig Central, Munich Central, Hamburg Central, Berlin Central and Frankfurt Central.

Read more | These Are Europe’s Top 10 Stations

Alstom and Bombardier Sign Acquisition MoU | Business

Following rumours that Alstom was in talks with Bombardier to acquire Bombardier Transportation, both rolling stock manufacturers have now confirmed that this is the case. They announced they had signed a memorandum of understanding outlining the transaction and said that the agreed price would lie somewhere between 5.8 and 6.2 billion euros. If this deal gets past the relevant authorities, Alstom says it expects the transaction to close in the first half of 2021. Bombardier wishes to focus on its aviation business.

Read more | Alstom and Bombardier Sign Acquisition MoU

Alstom to Equip 19 ICE 1 Trains with ETCS | Rolling Stock

Alstom has won a contract with Deutsche Bahn to equip a further 19 of its first-generation ICE trains with the European Train Control System. The French company previously equipped 39 ICE 1 trains with the technology. These trains now run on the Berlin-Munich high-speed line. The 19 trains in this current contract will be fully retrofitted by September 2021. In total, this contract is worth 10 million euros.

Read more | Alstom to Equip 19 ICE 1 Trains with ETCS

Alstom Confirms Bombardier Acquisition Rumours | Business

Alstom has released a statement confirming that it is in talks with Bombardier about a potential acquisition of Bombardier Transportation. It has not, however, provided any more detailed information yet. This news comes a year after the European Commission said no to a merger between Alstom and Siemens because it would negatively impact competition in the rail sector, and Bombardier issued a statement in favour of the Commission’s decision at the time.

Read more | Alstom Confirms Bombardier Acquisition Rumours

Green Light for Panama Metro Line 2 Extension | Infrastructure

The extension for Line 2 of the Panama Metro has received the green light, meaning it will connect the Specialised Higher Technical Institute and Tocumen Airport. The plan is to complete the extension by February or March 2022, in time for the Central American and Caribbean Sports Games, which will take place in Panama City. The project will cost an estimated 39.4 million euros (42.7 million USD).

Read more | Green Light for Panama Metro Line 2 Extension

Siemens Mobility to Deliver 18 Mireo Trains to DB Regio | Rolling Stock

DB Regio has contracted Siemens Mobility for 18 three-car Mireo electric multiple units to operate on the Lusatia network when it takes over its operations in 2022. DB Regio has the contract to run services on the network until December 2035. Interestingly, these Mireo regional trains will also come with charging points for e-bikes. Siemens Mobility will manufacture the trainsets in Krefeld. The commissioning process will take place between October 2021 and November 2022.

Read more | Siemens Mobility to Deliver 18 Mireo Trains to DB Regio

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