The Railway-News Industry Insider for the week 5–9 November 2018:
Rail Cargo Group, a member of Austrian Federal Railways (OEBB), has launched additional freight services connecting countries such as Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland and Turkey for better transport times and improved intermodal connections.
The Eurasian Rail Alliance, which is owned by JSC Russian Railways, the National Union of Belarusian Railways and JSC National Company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, has announced that it has reached the milestone of sending its 2500th freight train this year. It departed Xian in China on 25 October and arrived in Poland in early November.
EU environment and transport ministers met in Graz, Austria, where they adopted a ‘green deal’ for Europe. The Graz Declaration contains several goals for increasing the efficiency and attractiveness of rail, such as strengthening digitalisation and automation in rail and pushing ahead with multimodality.
The German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer has announced that several projects previously in the ‘potential demand’ category in the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan 2030 have been upgraded to the highest priority level, ‘urgent demand’, following his introduction of the Deutschland-Takt timetable, which is intended to optimise rail travel for passengers and freight.
Rail Baltica, the infrastructure project connecting the Baltic states with Poland and Finland on a standard gauge network, has taken another step forwards. The 56km Riga section of the project, which includes the project’s only tunnel, has entered the second stage of the design procurement process. The deadline for proposal submissions is 22 January 2019.
Transdev Group, Germany’s largest private rail and bus operator, has received the contract to operate Hanover’s S-Bahn network, which covers ten different lines in the state of Lower Saxony. To fulfil this contract the company has ordered 64 Stadler FLIRT 160 electric trains. Transdev will take on the franchise in December 2021.
Alstom was awarded the contract to repaint and overhaul the 56 Pendolino Class 390 trains that operate on the West Coast Main Line in 2016. It began working on this job in 2017 and has just reached the milestone of completing the 28th train, meaning Alstom is on schedule to complete the entire contract by the end of 2019.
The Samaritans Small Talk Saves Lives campaign, launched in 2017 and implemented in conjunction with the British Transport Police, Network Rail and the wider rail industry, is a success: new figures show that there has been a 20 percent increase in the number of times a member of the public intervened to prevent a suicide, compared to 2017 figures.
Eisenbahn-Cert (EBC) has issued Škoda Transportaron its TSI certificate for its Emil Zápotek locomotives (109E3) that were ordered by Deutsche Bahn to operate on the Munich-Nuremberg Express line in Bavaria. Škoda says it hopes to deliver the fleet of six trainsets by June 2019.
RSSB has announced that Siemens has received its first RISAS certification for running gear and traction equipment for its site in Lincoln. The certification covers M01 wheel set, bogey and suspension components. The Lincoln site will start servicing the Velaro Eurostar e320 bogeys as its first major contract.
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