Bombardier installs Stratasys 3D Printing machine

17 May 2019

House of Lords urges UK Government to control HS2 rail costs

17 May 2019

The Economic Affairs Committee of the House of Lords has recommended capping speeds and stopping trains at London terminus Old Oak Common rather than Euston to control the cost of the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail project.

The House of Lords has also warned that failing to rein the expenses will derail the expectation of a better northern rail connection.

The latest report, which comes four years after an earlier report that was also submitted by Lords Economic Affairs Committee in March 2015, has also criticised the government for not giving satisfactory answers of the issues raised in the previous report.

Economic Affairs Committee chairman Lord Forsyth said: “Commuter services in the north of England are badly overcrowded and reliant on ageing trains. Rail connections between northern cities are poor.

“As the Committee suggested in its 2015 report, rail infrastructure in the north should be the government’s priority for investment, rather than improving north-south links which are already good.

“The north is being short-changed by the government’s present plans, especially as construction on HS2 is starting in the south. Any overcrowding relief from HS2 will mainly benefit London commuters.”

Lord Forsyth further said that the project is not likely to be completed within the government’s allocated budget of £56bn.

Forsyth concluded: “Hence, the plans for Northern Powerhouse Rail should be combined with the plans for the northern section of HS2, and funding for the project ringfenced. It will provide rail investment in the north to be prioritised where it is most needed.”

The first phase of HS2 between London and Birmingham is scheduled to be concluded by 2026. By 2033, the government plans to extend the high-speed railway to Manchester and Leeds.

HS2 is expected to provide extra rail capacity, boost connectivity and deliver economic benefits of approximately £92bn for people and businesses across the north.

Vinci Energies secures contract for Gothenburg Korsvägen station

17 May 2019

Eitech, a Swedish subsidiary and electrical installation specialist of Vinci Energies, has won a €50m contract to provide all technical installations for the Korsvägen station project in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Eitech signed the contract in collaboration with its consortium partners, Swedish construction company NCC Sverige and Wayss & Freytag Ingeniurbau.

The contract includes an underground commuter train station and almost 3.2km of line, as well as a new underground station in central Gothenburg.

The scope of the Korsvägen station contract for Eitech’s part includes complete responsibility for the execution of all technical installations and the temporary installations for power and lighting of the new station.

Vinci Energies Europe West general manager Julio de Almeida said: “Eitech has nearly 20 years of experience in collaboration and execution of large and complex installation projects.

“Several projects have already been carried out together with both NCC and the Swedish Transport Administration. This new success is a perfect illustration of our long-term strategy for both our local and global brands in the Scandinavian markets.”

The Korsvägen section is approximately 3.2km-long and stretches from Landala to Örgryte/Jakobsdal through Korsvägen before connecting with the existing track in Almedal.

Vinci Energies said that the lengths include a rail tunnel, as well as a parallel service and rescue tunnel.

Vinci Energies operates as a subsidiary of French concessions and construction company Vinci

In August last year, Vinci Energies signed a €55m contract with NCC Sverige to carry out all technical installations for the upcoming E02 Central Station in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Amtrak and NJ Transit invest in NEC railroad infrastructure

16 May 2019

Amtrak and NJ Transit have agreed to make a joint investment of $31m to refurbish railroad infrastructure along the Northeast Corridor (NEC) in New Jersey, the US.

The investment builds on the existing partnership between the two entities, which was announced in February, to facilitate infrastructure improvement works and better passenger experience.

Amtrak board chairman Tony Coscia said: “We are proud to continue our strong and cooperative relationship with NJ TRANSIT. Together, we are improving our shared infrastructure, the safety of the railroad, and our customer experience through projects of every size, from basic track work up to the Gateway Program.”

The latest move encompasses various projects across New Jersey, including upgrade works at the Newark Penn Station, where a total of 95ft of wooden ties on track 1 and 1,100ft of wooden ties on track 4 will be replaced with concrete ties.

With the investment, the NJ High-Speed Rail Program will also work to complete catenary upgrades to increase capacity and reliability.

The scope of works under this programme includes equipment replacement and installation of constant tension catenary on four tracks.

Additionally, it includes improving Portal Bridge conditions by overhauling tracks two and three by replacing dilapidated timber decks.

Amtrak will carry out extensive timber and switch replacement work at Fair Interlocking in Trenton.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said: “The bridges and rails that cross New Jersey serve as a lifeline for our state’s economy, and the Northeast Corridor is an indispensable branch.

“I’m proud to stand beside Amtrak and NJ Transit as they work together to keep our infrastructure in good repair and serve as much-needed partners as we work to keep our region’s economy at full strength, ensuring that New Jersey moves in the right direction.”

LNER rolls-out first Azuma train on London-Leeds route

16 May 2019

London North Eastern Railway (LNER) in the UK has introduced the first Hitachi-built Azuma train into service.

In its maiden run, the train travelled between London King’s Cross and Leeds.

The British train operator will introduce 65 vehicles to replace its older fleet of 45 trains to ensure more reliable services on the East Coast line between Scotland and London.

LNER managing director David Horne said: “The launch of the first Azuma trains is a truly momentous event for LNER and the communities that we serve.

“Setting new benchmarks in rail travel is part of our DNA, and the new Azuma trains are the next big step for LNER in making the customer experience the best that it can be.”

Hitachi started manufacturing Azuma trains for LNER in August at its Newton Aycliffe facility in County Durham.

These trains are based on Japanese bullet train technology and are manufactured with 70% locally-sourced parts.

The first class section is equipped with larger tables and reclining seats, as well as USB and plug sockets at every seat. The standard seats also feature legroom to ensure a comfortable journey.

Additionally, the trains are equipped with a traffic light seat reservation system to find seats and fast Wi-Fi services.

The Azuma trains will run using overhead electric wires for the majority of routes and on will use diesel power for non-electrified sections.

New trains will be added to the fleet gradually to expand operations to the North East of England and Scotland.

Around £780m has been invested to upgrade the East Coast mainline and support the rollout of the new trains. The upgrades are also expected to increase service frequency.

CP Group and other companies to build $6.8bn Thai high-speed project

15 May 2019

IVU to deliver fleet management system to Copenhagen suburban line

15 May 2019

German firm IVU Traffic Technologies has received a contract to deliver its fleet management system suite for an upcoming suburban light rail line in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Under the contract, the company will deliver an integrated standard solution IVU.suite for the Ring 3 light rail.

As a part of the project, all the Siemens-built trams will be equipped with an on-board computer.

The computer, along with IVU.cockpit control software, will enable a connection with the control centre, deliver essential information to the driver during the journey and provide information to passengers.

The ITCS IVU.fleet technology processes vehicle location data and facilitates decision making during traffic situations.

The passenger information solution IVU.realtime will be directly connected to the control system and offer real-time data to passengers through digital displays and an app.

IVU Traffic Technologies Public Transport Projects division manager Harald Schirrmeister said: “We are delighted that we are able to help Greater Copenhagen further develop public transport services with our integrated standard solution.

“With IVU.suite, the region is getting a future-proof system that can be easily integrated into a wide variety of IT landscapes and flexibly enhanced.”

The 28km-long Ring 3 Light Rail will stretch from the Lyngby municipality in the north of Copenhagen to Ishøj in the south-west.

The line will include 29 stops and will facilitate an end-to-end journey within an hour. The Copenhagen suburban line is expected to transport around 14 million passengers annually once it becomes operational.

Siemens has been contracted to supply 29 Avenio trams for the network. The company is also responsible for all project coordination and implementation.

RB Rail awards first Rail Baltica design contract in Latvia

14 May 2019

RB Rail, the joint venture (JV) to build the Rail Baltica project, has awarded the first contract for design and design supervision services for a section of railway line in Latvia.

Spanish firms IDOM Consulting, Engineering, Architecture and Ingeniería y Economía del Transporte (INECO) secured the contract after submitting a winning proposal amounting to €12.99m.

The scope of the contract includes a 56km-long section through Riga and comprises three sub-sections, namely- Upeslejas–Rīga Central Station, Torņakalns–Imanta and Rīga International Airport–Misa river.

In 24 months, the Spanish firms will carry out site investigations and value engineering, as well as devise the master design and detailed technical design.

Additionally, they will supervise works during the construction phase.

The contract will be signed with the winning companies next month following the completion of necessary procedures, including a ten-day standstill period.

RB Rail, in collaboration with the Rail Baltica national implementer SIA Eiropas dzelzceļa līnijas (EDzL) and the Ministry of Transport of Latvia, has formed a cooperation format to organise meetings with several local NGOs and organisations in Riga to carry out the project works.

The quarterly meetings will apprise the local community on upcoming project works and discuss safety and accessibility issues.

Currently, seven out of 11 procurement procedures for detailed technical design services have been launched. Overall, it covers around 57% of the entire length of the line.

In February, RB Rail awarded the contract to provide design and supervision services for the construction of the line between Pärnu and Rapla. This contract was also won by IDOM Consulting, Engineering, Architecture.

RB Rail is a JV formed by the Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia to implement the Rail Baltica project.