The latest news, trends and data from the rail industry
ith the global rail industry facing increasing pressure to reduce its environmental impact, operators and governments are emphasising the importance of finding greener fuels and alternative propulsion methods to cut down on emissions. Electrification and battery power remain at the forefront of discussion around replacing diesel-powered locomotives, but many countries in Europe have highlighted the potential of hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) technology, which produces electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen in a chemical reaction, and leaves water as the only emission.
The introduction of hydrogen-powered trains on major rail networks is no longer a pipedream. French manufacturer Alstom’s revolutionary Coradia iLint has been a fixture in the headlines since its first appearance at InnoTrans 2016, with the train already running on several lines in Germany, and the company is now in discussions to bring it to other countries, including the US. Both France and the UK have outlined plans to introduce hydrogen-powered trains on their networks by 2022, with the latter testing a hydrogen train demonstrator, named HydroFLEX, on a mainline railway this year.
Recently, a study commissioned by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) and Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking (S2R JU) analysed the extent to which fuel cells and hydrogen technologies could be introduced within the European rail market. The study showed that some of the current hydrogen-powered rail cases in Europe highlight a positive total cost of ownership for fuel cells, while in others it could be the ‘most adequate zero-emission alternative’.
Crossrail Ltd, the company behind the creation of the Elizabeth Line in London, UK, has pushed back the opening of the line until the first half of 2022
Around 8,300 diesel and alternatively powered locomotives were delivered worldwide between 2015 and 2019, according to consultancy SCI Verkehr
According to Amtrak, the company has completed positive train control implementation across its routes, covering 898 miles
China recently announced plans to extend its railway network even further, to 200,000km, before 2035
As part of the country’s ‘Relaunch France’ initiative announced at the start of September, French state railways are expected to receive €4.7bn in new funding from the French Government
The number of platforms at New York’s Grand Central Terminal station, the world’s largest station by number of platforms according to Guinness World Records.
Maximum temperature along the Rail Baltica route, according to a new report into the effect of climate change on the multi-national project.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps after the release of an interim report on the tragic Scotrail derailment in Stonehaven, Scotland in August:
“We owe it to those who lost their lives, were injured, and were affected by this incident to learn and act on every possible lesson to ensure this is never repeated. The independent investigation will enable us to understand exactly what went wrong and make sure it does not happen again.”
Transportation Technology Center president Lisa Stabler, after the US-based organisation’s Security and Emergency Response Training Center launched a new online training programme for emergency responders on the railways:
“Railroads’ commitment to the safety and the communities we serve runs deep, which is why we make every effort to ensure first responders are prepared to safely respond to a potential rail incident. This innovative new training model adapts to today’s challenges and meets first responders where they are despite the ongoing pandemic.”
According to the International Union of Railways (UIC), over 3,000 high speed trains run on this network carrying about 1.6 billion passengers annually. The number of passengers carried annually by HSR is more than the entire population of India. pic.twitter.com/VAvXcEJ1wt— NHSRCL (@nhsrcl) January 7, 2019
🤪 We heard you like trains, so we put a train on your train ✅— Network Rail (@networkrail) September 9, 2020
🙌 It's one of the many mega bits of kit we use to move track quickly, efficiently, safely and at speed - just look at it go!
It doesn't stop there 👉 https://t.co/UXHZm0ReFG#PuttingPassengersFirst @balfourbeatty pic.twitter.com/e5yvRPyKAM
South India’s First “Kisan Rail” flagged off from Anantapur (Andhra Pradesh) to Adarsh Nagar (New Delhi).The inaugural Kisan Rail loaded with Tomato, Bananas, Sweet Orange, Papaya, Muskmelons and Mangoes.https://t.co/Vlqk23gpqJ pic.twitter.com/VGCLr6h1uQ— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) September 9, 2020
EU commits $966m to modernise Polish rail network
Nigeria awards $3.9bn Abuja-Lokoja rail line contract to CRC
Etihad Rail awards $435.5m contract to Hitachi Rail
AAR senior vice-president John T. Gray, following the announcement of major rail traffic decreases in April compared to last year.
“We don’t know exactly when it will happen, but our economy – and rail traffic – will rebound. No matter what, the men and women on our nation’s railroads will do their part to keep supply chains moving safely and efficiently as they link our businesses and communities to each other and to the world.”
DB Cargo UK head of sales Roger Neary, after the company and Transfesa Logistics launched a new express 72-hour rail service to transport supermarket supplies from Spain to London.
“We are delighted to be working with our DB Cargo group partners at Transfesa Logistics to deliver this essential rail freight service across the continent in these challenging times. Rail freight has a vital role to play in the sustainable transportation of international goods and it’s currently more important than ever that we ensure these supplies reach the UK.”