The Forth Bridge in Scotland and the Britannia Bridge in Wales are celebrating their birthdays this week.
Opened in 1890, the Forth Bridge is celebrating the 130th anniversary of its opening, while the Britannia Bridge, completed in 1850, will celebrate its 170th anniversary.
The Forth Bridge in Scotland remains the longest cantilever bridge in the world. It was the first major structure in Britain to be made of steel. Its construction enabled the East Coast rail route connecting London and Aberdeen.
The Forth Bridge Company commissioned John Fowler and Benjamin Baker to develop the cantilever design. It now features three double cantilevers with two suspended spans between them. These spans, 1700ft in length, were the longest in the world during the time of construction. The railway line is 46m above the water. Each of the bridge’s four towers has four steel tubes that reach 110m above high water. In total, the bridge, coupled with its approach viaducts, is 2,467m long, while the main structure, portal to portal, is 1,630m long.
The bridge cost 3 million GBP and at the height of construction employed 4,600 people.
At the time of its construction the Britannia Bridge in Wales had the longest continuous wrought iron span in the world. It used Robert Stephenson’s iron tubular bridge design.
The bridge was devastated by fire on 23 May 1970. It was subsequently rebuilt using the masonry supports in Stephenson’s original structure. The bridge was to link Anglesey with the mainland, connecting London via Chester to the Port of Holyhead. Robert Stephenson was appointed its chief engineer.
Construction of the railway line between Chester and Bangor and between Llanfair PG and Holyhead was complete by 1848. The bridge across the Menai Straight would complete the line. To keep the Menai Straight navigable, the headroom was designed at 31.5m above high water level.
The original bridge featured two main spans of 460ft as well as two smaller ones on either side measuring 230ft. All spans were supported by masonry towers, the tallest measuring 221ft.
Both railway lines on the bridge opened to traffic on 19 October 1850. After the fire of 1970, the rebuilt bridge opened to traffic once more in 1972. A road deck was later added, which opened to vehicles in 1980.
Alstom has signed an MoU with oil and gas company MOL to explore the use of hydrogen technology for rail transport in Hungary.
Transport for Wales (TfW) has taken delivery of the first of 35 Stadler Class 231 FLIRT trains ahead of testing.
As part of Alstom's acquisition of Bombardier Transportation, the companies agreed to divest a number of assets, including the V300 ZEFIRO.
Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern have now received the necessary regulatory approval from Mexican authorities regarding their merger.
Alstom has signed a contract with Metrolinx to refurbish 94 BiLevel series VII commuter rail cars for GO Transit.
Stanton Precast has been awarded the contract to deliver three 'green tunnels' for HS2 by the main works contractor EKFB.
A second track on Homburger Damm north of Frankfurt’s city centre has been put into operation by Deutsche Bahn.
The ORR has published its Rail Industry Finance report for 2020–21, showing that the sector is recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.
Network Rail is creating a special bridge for endangered wild hazel dormice in Lancashire in a bid to grow their populations.
Alstom and Liebherr – Aerospace and Transportation SAS have signed a collaboration agreement aimed at optimising hydrogen systems.
Hitachi has been chosen to design and build a fleet of N100 express trains for Tobu Railway Company's Tokyo and Nikko and Kinugawa service.
A new DB Cargo subsidiary, DB Cargo Transasia, has been established in Shanghai due to the popularity of the New Silk Road rail route.
Turkey’s AYGM and Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality have chosen Alstom to help upgrade the country's signalling infrastructure.
CZ LOKO is looking into the feasibility of building a hydrogen-powered locomotive. This has tentatively been named the HydrogenShunter 1000.
STM has entered the rail infrastructure services market with the establishment of a new railway infrastructure division.
Alstom has agreed to hand over its Reichshoffen production site and Coradia Polyvalent and TALENT3 platforms to CAF.
The trial operations phase of the Elizabeth line has now begun. This is the final stage of the project before the line opens in 2022.
Work on HS2’s Old Oak Common 850-metre-long station box has begun. The reinforced concrete structure will form the station's frame and base.
Deutsche Bahn is applying new requirements for passengers to carry proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative COVID-19 test.
Etihad Rail has completed the excavation of the nine tunnels that make up Package D of Stage Two of the UAE National Rail Network.
Regular train services resumed on the Dartmoor Line between Exeter and Okehampton this past weekend after a 50-year hiatus.
Hynamics has signed a new partnership agreement with Alstom to reduce the time needed to refuel hydrogen trains.
Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) has applied for a building permit to expand the railway line between Grellingen and Duggingen to double tracks.
An Implenia/Webuild (and swiss subsidiary CSC) joint venture has been awarded Lot H41 of the Brenner Base Tunnel project.
Silkway Transit has celebrated the arrival of its first ‘Black Granite’ electric locomotives at Nurly-Zhol railway station.
The Integrated Rail Plan published today, 18 November 2021, announces a huge slash in new railway lines being built in England.
The second of two Alstom light rail vehicles (LRV) has now arrived at the Finch West Maintenance and Storage Facility (MSF) in Toronto.
The first of three DMUs ordered from Stadler by the SBCTA has now left the manufacturer’s factory in Salt Lake City.
Alstom formally opened its new manufacturing facility in Coimbatore, India with a ceremony attended by France’s Ambassador to India.
Eiropas Dzelzceļa līnijas has launched the international tender for the construction of Rail Baltica’s main line in Latvia.
Baselland Transport and Stadler have signed a contract for the manufacture and delivery of 25 TINA (total integrated low-floor drive) trams.
NEB has ordered 31 two-car, battery-operated Mireo Plus B trains from Siemens Mobility for the new East Brandenburg rail network.
Following the collision between a SWR train and a GWR train on 31 October, the line is set to reopen to passenger traffic on 16 November.
Knorr-Bremse, manufacturer of train braking systems, HVAC systems and entrance systems has signed a maintenance framework agreement with CAF.
Jonn Elledge laments COP26's focus on electric vehicles to the exclusion of all other modes of transport, including the cleanest of them all.
Israel Railways has issued a notice to proceed for the supply of 36 TRAXX P160 AC3 electric locomotives manufactured by Alstom.
For Transport Day at COP26 (10 Nov 2021), UITP and UIC have released a joint statement urging a focus on rail and public transport.
Alstom and Eversholt Rail have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at the development of 10 three-car hydrogen trains for the UK.
Hitachi Rail and Angel Trains have agreed to retrofit batteries on to TransPennine Express Nova 1 intercity trains.
The Office of Rail and Road has published its Signalling Market Study, launched in November 2020, to improve competition in the sector in GB.
Following severe flooding in Germany in July, Deutsche Bahn has reopened part of the Ahr Valley Railway to passenger traffic again today.
Alstom has won the largest metro rolling stock contract in Egypt: it will supply 55 Metropolis trainsets for the Cairo Metro Line 1.
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China's first fully automated, driverless elevated monorail has entered passenger service in Wuhan with 28 six-car Innovia trains.
Hitachi Rail and ScottishPower have signed a three-year deal for 100 percent renewable electricity (wind, solar, hydro-electric).
East Midlands Railway's Eastcroft depot near Nottingham is being upgraded to the tune of two million GBP. Works will be complete in June 2022.
Hitachi Rail and FERROVIENORD have signed a contract for the delivery of 50 high-capacity regional trains for Lombardy, Italy.
The RAIB said wheel slide was at play in the collision between a SWR and a GWR service at Salisbury Tunnel Junction on 31 October 2021.
The Stadler-built EuroDual locomotives, part of the European Loc Pool fleet, have been approved for operation in Austria.
Deutsche Bahn says it is getting into industrial 3D printing in order to make the maintenance of its trains faster and easier.
Germany is lagging behind the rest of Europe when it comes to rail network electrification says Allianz pro Schiene.
Network Rail and GWR are trialling a new information service designed to enable passengers to make more informed decisions.
Deutsche Bahn (DB) is training dogs to detect protected species in order to speed up construction projects.
Commuting into London lags behind rest of the UK says RDG, putting the recovery of London’s shops, theatres, restaurants and bars at risk.
Siemens Mobility is celebrating a milestone - the 1000th Vectron locomotive has left its site in Munich, Germany, destined for Denmark.
Rail Baltica has been granted an additional 19.7m euros in funding thanks to a Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) cross-border grant agreement.
Deutsche Bahn (DB) is launching four new everyworks co-working facilities in main stations across Germany.
VINCI Construction will build the operation and rolling stock maintenance centre for the Grand Paris Express’ future Line 18.
The Railway Industry Association is asking the UK Government to urgently publish an update of its Rail Network Enhancement Pipeline.
Škoda Transportation Group has signed a contract with Hyundai Rotem to deliver 17 sets of complete electrical equipment.
ILSA has awarded Hitachi Rail España the contract for the maintenance of its fleet of 20 new ETR trains for 30 years.
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HS2 has published a shortlist of bidders for the Phase 2a Design and Delivery Partner contract. The winner will be announced next summer.
308 exhibitors have signed up to take part and showcase their latest innovations and expertise at the 12th edition of SIFER.
The Railway Industry Association (RIA) has set out six key actions for UK Government ahead of its Spending Review next week.
Sinara Transport Machines’ (STM) Trading House has signed an agreement with SilkWay Transit to deliver 22 2ES7 Black Granite locomotives.
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Ile-de-France Mobilités and RATP have ordered 37 Alstom Citadis X05 trams for the Ile-de-France T1-Line in an order worth 130 million euros.
Brightline has begun testing its full operating train schedule between West Palm Beach and Miami in preparation for its return to service.
London’s Night Tube will resume service on the Central and Victoria lines from 27 December on Saturdays and Sundays.
Southeastern services begin under the government's Operator of Last Resort following last month's franchise breach announcement.
In this month's column, Jonn Elledge muses on the future of HS2's eastern leg and the political tug of war taking place behind the scenes.
Next month the first phase of industry engagement on the UK’s new passenger service contracts (PSCs) will begin.
KiwiRail has signed a long-term framework agreement with Stadler, with a first call off for 57 diesel mainline locomotives.
Network Rail has awarded Hitachi Rail and Linbrooke S a contract to design a digital signalling solution for the Gloucester area.
The world’s first self-operating train, the digital S-Bahn, has made its first run at the opening of ITS in Hamburg.
After a 50-year hiatus, the Dartmoor Line will resume regular passenger services between Okehampton and Exeter St Davids next month.
Alstom has been awarded the contract to design and supply the rolling stock for the Île-de-France network’s Line 18.
Trans Regio Deutsche Regionalbahn (Trans Regio) has signed a long-term lease with Alpha Trains for 23 EMU trains.
Stadler is to appeal against an Austrian Court’s decision to nullify a contract it had been awarded by the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB).
The East Kilbride and Barrhead electrification project will pass through East Renfrewshire and South Lanarkshire to the south of Glasgow.
The Connecting Europe Express has reached its final destination of Paris after 36 days travelling across Europe.
Alstom is investing €14m to modernise its Taubaté factory in Brazil following the signing of multiple national and international contracts.
New figures from the Office of Rail and Road show that UK rail travel started to rebound between April and June 2021.
RedCabin, together with its host partner Irish Rail, today announces the return of its Railway Interior Innovation Summit.
A footbridge made from super-strong fibre-reinforced plastic has been installed in Bicester to replace a footpath level crossing.
A new night train travelling between Vienna to Paris comes into service this December thanks to a collaboration between the ÖBB, SNCF and DB.
Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) has awarded Stadler a framework agreement for up to 510 new single-decker FLIRT multiple units.
A joint German-Dutch project to trial the control and remote monitoring of automated freight trains has begun this month.
Scotland’s First Minister has said that decarbonising transport, including rail services, can help reduce the threat of climate change.
Deutsche Post DHL and Deutsche Bahn are expanding their partnership with new connections that will allow more parcels to travel via rail.
Alstom has delivered its 100th and final Flexity light rail vehicle (LRV) to the Department of Transport in Victoria.
HS2 tunnel boring machine ‘Florence’ has passed the one mile mark, cutting through a mix of chalk and flint beneath the Chiltern hills.
An Alstom-led consortium has been awarded a contract to provide an integrated metro system for Taipei Circular Line Phase Two.
Network Rail has announced a £25m plan to protect the Newport-Gloucester line from further damage caused by extreme weather.
Siemens Mobility has received an order to build 23 four-car Mireo trainsets for rail operator agilis Eisenbahngesellschaft.
Vivarail’s next-gen battery train will be launched at COP26 this November, and will run daily services throughout the event.
Transdev Group and Strides International Business awarded shadow operator contract for four new Greater Paris driverless metro lines.
Knorr-Bremse is expanding its range of digital products and services for train manufacturers and rail operators around the world.
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