Alstom and Eversholt partner on hydrogen train fleet development

11 november | technology

French rolling stock manufacturer Alstom has joined forces with Eversholt Rail to provide the UK’s first new hydrogen train fleet.

Under the memorandum of understanding, the firms will share technical and commercial expertise.

This will help Alstom design, construct, and commission a fleet of ten three-car hydrogen multiple units (HMUs).

The new HMU fleet, which will be built on Alstom Aventra platform, will be constructed by Alstom in Britain.

Final contracts for the fleet are projected to be signed next year.

16 July | Contract

Arup AECOM JV secures consultancy contract for Northern Link project

The Arup AECOM joint venture (JV) has secured a preliminary design consultancy contract from Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway (MTR) to conduct the planning and design for the proposed Northern Link main line project.

Work will include the development of the scheme into an engineering design, preparing the construction programme and gazette plans, as well as determining the cost estimate.

The Arup AECOM JV will work closely with MTR’s Capital Works team to deliver the works.

16 november | rolling stock

Siemens to deliver battery-electric trains for East Brandenburg rail

Siemens Mobility has secured an order from private railway operator Niederbarnimer Eisenbahn (NEB) to deliver 31 two-car battery-operated Mireo Plus B trains.

The order also covers a service and spare parts supply contract, which will continue for 12 years until 2036.

These battery-electric, emission-free regional trains will operate on all East Brandenburg rail network tracks in Germany.

NEB, which secured the contract for the network in June, is expected to deliver the Mireo Plus B trains in 2024.

With the planning and financing from the federal states of Berlin and Brandenburg, these trains will be put in service for the first time in the VBB network in Berlin and Brandenburg.

These trains are projected to cut down yearly consumption of diesel fuel by around 4.4 million litres in the East Brandenburg network.

12 november | operations

Knorr-Bremse and CAF sign maintenance framework agreement

German braking systems manufacturer Knorr-Bremse has struck a global maintenance framework pact with Spanish company Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF).

This agreement will initially have a tenure of eight years.

The contract includes the maintenance of several Knorr-Bremse subsystems deployed onboard various kinds of trains operating worldwide.

This deal has been granted under CAF’s plan to develop a global purchasing approach based on creating long-term agreements with its suppliers.

CAF expects to improve the quality of its services and competitiveness through this strategy.

The agreement includes a comprehensive technological and commercial outline, which will allow the companies to skip the negotiation of maintenance contracts.

11 november | infrastructure

Thales and Egyptian National Railway reach framework agreement

The Egyptian National Railway (ENR) has entered a framework agreement with French multinational Thales to upgrade signalling and telecommunication, overhaul tracks, and duplicate two railway lines.

These lines include the 94km Qalyoub–Menouf–Tanta Line and 64km Qalyoub–Shebin El Qanater–El Zagazig line.

In addition, Thales and ENR signed a memorandum of understanding to upgrade two interlocking stations in Farz and Limon bridge.

The framework agreement is the continuation of a deal that was struck between the two parties in September this year. These two lines face heavy congestion in the Delta region and ENR is planning to enhance their capacity.

Thales will offer a turnkey proposal to enhance signalling and telecommunication systems and restore the track. It will duplicate the tracks, upgrading them from single to double lines.

The company will also work towards the incorporation of a national centralised traffic control  system for ENR Network, as well as an ETCS L1 solution along the two tracks.

10 november | rolling stock

Hitachi and Eversholt make progress in tri-mode train development

Hitachi Rail, in collaboration with Eversholt Rail, has proceeded to the advanced phases for designing and engineering an electric-diesel-battery (tri-mode) train.

The intention is to undergo testing on a Great Western Railway (GWR) Class 802 next year.

For functional trial and incorporation onto the train, work has commenced for the development of the battery while the proof of concept and layout have reached the last stages of approval.

The 6m x 2.2m battery will replace one of the diesel engines on a five-car GWR Class 802 train.

This battery system, which will comprise two operating modes, can function on partially electrified track between Penzance and London.

It will be able to run solely on battery when moving on non-electrified segments of the GWR network.

9 november | rolling stock

Indian Railways to launch new Vande Bharat trains next year

Indian Railways is expected to commence operations on the third rake of the semi-high-speed Vande Bharat Express train by early next year.

Two semi-high-speed Vande Bharat trains are currently operating in the country, with  one from New Delhi to Varanasi and another from New Delhi to Katra.

The trains’ coaches will be produced at Chennai’s Integral Coach Factory, Kapurthala’s Rail Coach Factory, and Rae Bareilly’s Modern Coach Factory.

Nearly 102 trains are anticipated to commence operations by 2024.

A senior official of Integral Coach Factory informed Livemint that, at present, six body of Vande Bharat Express trains are ready and work on their propulsion system is in progress.

The official added that the third rake, which will include additional technical features, is scheduled to be launched by the end of March 2022.

In brief

Alstom to maintain Santo Domingo’s metro electrification 

A consortium of Alstom and Sofratesa has secured a contract for the upkeep of power and catenary systems on Santo Domingo metro’s lines 1 and 2 in the Dominican Republic.

Cambridge Quantum and DB team up to improve scheduling

Cambridge Quantum has joined forces with German Deutsche Bahn Netz AG to look into the potential of quantum computers in enhancing rescheduling of rail traffic.

SBST’s Downtown Line to shift to new rail financing framework

The Downtown Line in Singapore will soon move to the New Rail Financing Framework Version 2, a move that will enable the government and operator SBS Transit to co-share risks and profit.

Hitachi Rail and ScottishPower sign renewable energy deal

ScottishPower has secured a contract to provide 100% renewable electricity to Hitachi Rail’s UK operations for the upcoming three years.

The energy firm will supply around 21GW of electricity to all of Hitachi Rail’s UK maintenance and manufacturing sites.

Eiropas Dzelzceļa līnijas launches tender for Rail Baltica main track

Eiropas Dzelzceļa līnijas, the implementing body for Latvia’s Rail Baltica project, has floated a tender for the construction of the Rail Baltica railway line in Latvia.

This tender is said to be the largest launched in connection with the project.

8 november | rolling stock

Greater Anglia renews fleet to minimise carbon emissions

British train operating firm Greater Anglia has announced plans to swap all of its old trains with new greener ones.

Some of the new trains have already started operations on routes, such as the intercity, Stansted Express and regional lines.

Greater Anglia’s new five-carriage electric commuter train is expected to take 362 cars off the road, while one of its full intercity trains could remove 504 cars.

A new four carriage bi-mode train is projected to remove 152 cars, while a three carriage bi-mode train could replace 111 cars.

Manufactured by Stadler, the bi-mode trains that operate on electricity and diesel have replaced every old diesel trains of the company.

These have also been ‘future-proofed’ to allow them to operate on battery power in the future.

Built from aluminium instead of steel, the new electric trains are lighter compared to previous trains.

Their fronts have also been designed to become more ‘aerodynamic’ compared to the more boxy or flat fronts of the old vehicles.

The new trains are equipped with energy-saving intelligent computer systems that oversee the maintenance status of the trains.

In brief

AF JV secures Sydney Metro West first tunnelling contract

The Acciona Construction Australia and Ferrovial Construction (Australia) joint venture (AF JV) has secured the first major tunnelling contract for the Sydney Metro West project. The $1.46bn contract will involve delivering 11km of twin metro rail tunnels stretching from Sydney Olympic Park to The Bays.

Estonia’s Operail launches LNG freight locomotive

Estonian railway logistics firm Operail has launched a LNG freight locomotive as part of its sustainability efforts. The company converted an American General Electric C36 locomotive to enable dual-fuel operations. Work involved reconstruction of the locomotive’s diesel fuel tank, installation of LNG tanks, as well as other systems. According to Operail, the vehicle is the first LNG freight locomotive in the Baltics and the neighbouring region.

Skeleton to supply ultracapacitors for CAF P&A’s OESS-powered trams

Skeleton Technologies has secured a contract to deliver ultracapacitors for trams powered by CAF Power & Automation’s (CAF P&A) onboard energy storage systems (OESS). The Skeleton cells will be included in the Greentech OESS portfolio that is used by several railway companies for catenary-free applications, in countries including the UK, Estonia, Luxembourg, Australia and Spain.

CHSRA enters partnership to advance Palmdale rail station planning

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) in the US has entered a new partnership to proceed with work for the proposed high-speed rail station in downtown Palmdale. The authority signed an agreement with the City of Palmdale to provide funds for a grant application to the US Department of Transportation’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) programme. CHSRA is seeking a $1.35m RAISE grant to complete Palmdale high-speed rail station master plan.