New year, new Industry Insiders! We hope you have had a good break over the festive season, were able to switch off your emails and over-indulge in scrumptious food and drink. We’ve definitely re-charged our batteries and are back with the Railway-News Industry Insider for weeks 1 and 2 (1–11 January 2019):
Tommaso Spanevello, the Public Affairs Manager for the Association fo the European Rail Industry (UNIFE), writes about what the Graz Declaration agreed by all Transport and Environment Ministers from EU Member States on 30 October 2018 means for the future of passenger and freight rail in the EU.
Independent experts from the European Commission have issued a positive review of the Latvian railway electrification project. In response, Latvian Railways will submit the project’s documentation to the EC. The European Commission will then make its final decision regarding the project’s approval. The European Union is providing funding for the project from its Cohesion Fund.
Delhi Metro’s Line 7, the Pink line, partially opened in March 2018. Further sections were opened in August, October and December of that year. This leaves just a short section of this line remaining. It is an automated, driverless metro. Bombardier Transportation contributed its CITYFLO 650 train control system to the line. It uses radio networks together with a moving block signalling system.
Deutsche Bahn has begun work to upgrade 600 older signal boxes in Germany. This work relates to signal boxes that are mechanical and electro-mechanical. Deutsche Bahn says it will upgrade 50 of these signal boxes in 2019 and plans to have upgraded around 600 of them by the end of 2023. These works will cost around 90 million euros.
Bombardier Transportation has signed a contract with New Jersey Transit Corporation for 113 multilevel (double-decker) III passenger cars. The contract, which is worth 669 million US dollars, also includes an option for 886 additional cars. This is NJ Transit’s third order with Bombardier.
Alstom has delivered 30 Coradia Nordic regional trains to Skånetrafiken. The Swedish public transport operator placed orders with Alstom in 2014 and 2015. These 30 trains will add to Skånetrafiken’s existing fleet of 69, making theirs one of the largest in the country.
Chinese rolling stock manufacturer CRRC has announced that it received rolling stock orders worth almost six billion US dollars. The main buyer of its rolling stock is China Railway Corporation. Other customers include the Costa Rica National Railway Administration; Chile’s national operator EFE, Chengdu Jiaotou Railway Investment Group and Hunan Intercity.
Eurostar launched a direct rail service from London to Amsterdam in April 2018. Thanks to competitive pricing to entice passengers away from low-cost airlines (or to avoid passengers leaving rail in favour of air travel) this service has proved popular. In response, Eurostar says it will launch a third direct rail service to Amsterdam in June 2019. Tickets for this service are now available for purchase.
Alstom has partnered with ROSCO Eversholt Rail to refurbish a fleet of British Rail Class 321 trains, upgrading them to run on hydrogen power. Named ‘Breeze’, these environmentally friendly trains could enter service in the UK as early as 2022. Alstom and Eversholt Rail have now revealed their design for these innovative trains.
MTR Corporation received two new light rail vehicles from CRRC. They are part of an order MTR placed with CRRC in 2016. The remaining vehicles in this order will be delivered to Hong Kong by 2023. After undergoing final testing, these vehicles should enter passenger service in 2019.
CAF has signed one of its largest international orders to date. It is with Dutch operator NS for 302 CIVITY passenger cars, which will be configured into 50 three-car trains and 38 four-car trains. This order follows a previous order CAF and NS signed in 2014. CAF says it will deliver all 118 trains from that order by 2020 and then immediately commence delivery of this current order.
2019 marks a big year for the UK in terms of rolling stock. 7,000 new and refurbished rail vehicles will enter service between 2019 and 2021, with an additional 6,400 trains running per week. Overall, 11 train operating companies are making major introductions. The oldest trains to be replaced date back to the 1970s.
Alstom has signed a contract with Canadian rail company Rocky Mountaineer for the rebuilding of two additional SilverLeaf cars. RockyMountaineer operates two types of trains, its SilverLeaf and GoldLeaf services, both of which are used on four tourist routes in western Canada and Washington state. The refurbishment contract for these two cars brings the total number of cars Alstom has been contracted for to twelve.
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