Alstom demonstrates battery-operated train

8 September | technology

Alstom has carried out a technical demonstration journey of its battery-powered train, which travelled to Flöha and Zschopau and then back to Chemnitz in Germany.

This battery-powered electric multiple unit train was developed as a prototype at Alstom’s Hennigsdorf site.

During the demonstration, the train’s drive was switched to battery power from catenary operation. Alstom initiated this project in research partnership with the Technical University of Berlin in 2016.

The project involves the development, approval, and operation of the battery-powered passenger trains, along with proving the economic feasibility of battery operation for mainline railways. It covers the preparation of recommendations for operators and public authorities for running these trains on non-electrified or partially-electrified lines.

The trains feature a drive system that includes a traction battery developed and tested by the company in Mannheim.

Alstom developed this battery-powered train in collaboration with DB Regio, the German National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology, and the Technical University of Berlin.

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.

20 september | rolling stock

Alstom to deliver new X’Trapolis 2.0 trains for Australia

Australia’s Victoria Government has signed a train-building contract with Alstom for the design and construction of 25 X’Trapolis 2.0 vehicles.

These new trains will be developed and manufactured at Alstom’s facility in Ballarat.

The project is expected to create around 750 jobs in manufacturing and the supply chain, including a 60% local content quota to support local skilled industrial jobs.

Detailed design work is currently in progress following the completion of a two-year interactive design procedure.

The new X’Trapolis 2.0 trains will enter the production stage in 2022 and progressively replace Melbourne’s Comeng fleet.

These new trains are anticipated to be ‘more accessible, reliable and energy efficient’.

As part of the $713.53m (A$986m) project, financed in the Victorian Budget 2021/2022, improvements will also take place at the Craigieburn Train Maintenance Facility.

The facility will feature additional space for these new trains, along with the enhancement of train maintenance to improve durability.

15 September | technology

Hexagon unveils security and surveillance portfolio for rail

Hexagon’s Safety, Infrastructure & Geospatial division, in collaboration with its Geosystems division, has introduced a security and surveillance portfolio for rail.

This portfolio comprises an integrated range of solutions, which are already tested by rail operations across the world. These solutions will allow the railway operators to better protect their assets, improve safety, and trim service interruptions.

Hexagon stated that the portfolio addresses the entire incident management lifecycle to enable detection and subsequent response to threats and incidents.

The portfolio includes the Leica BLK247 and accur8vision 3D surveillance and security systems, which are integrated with LiDAR technology, thermal sensors, video and 3D tracking and planning software.

These systems are designed for tunnels and rolling stock and other high value areas.

The portfolio also includes the ‘HxGN OnCall Security | Guardian’, which provides operational picture for alarms, sensors, Internet of Things and intrusion devices, and video data to boost situational awareness.

15 september | technology

SNC-Lavalin to deliver rail signalling equipment test facility in UK

SNC-Lavalin Group, the parent company of Atkins, has signed an agreement with the UK railway owner and operator Network Rail to deliver an advanced signalling equipment test facility.

Under the ten-year deal, the company will design, deliver and operate the new National European Train Control System (ETCS) Test Verification, Validation and Integration Laboratory in collaboration with Multitel.

This test facility will support the installation of the ETCS, as well as the European Rail Traffic Management System across the rail network.

The testing will facilitate the safe and efficient modernisation of the UK’s railway network.

The new laboratory is currently being installed at SNC-Lavalin’s Signalling Integration Centre located in South East England. It is expected to become completely operational by February next year.

15 september | rolling stock

New South Wales orders additional double deck passenger cars

Transport for New South Wales in Australia has awarded the RailConnect NSW joint venture (JV) a contract extension for 56 additional double deck passenger cars for the Mariyung fleet.

The RailConnect NSW consortium is a JV between Hyundai Rotem Company, Mitsubishi Electric Australia, and CIMIC Group company UGL.

The new order will increase the total New Intercity Fleet to 610 carriages.

The contract extension also requires the JV to install an additional transformer at the maintenance facility at Kangy Angy on the NSW Central Coast.

In a statement, UGL said that the contract extension will generate revenue of more than $73.38m (A$100m) for the company.

14 september | stations

MTA installs security cameras at all 472 subway stations

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority in the US state of New York has completed the installation of security cameras at all 472 subway stations.

The programme involved deploying thousands of cameras across the subway system in a bid to reduce crimes and enhance passenger safety.

Last year, then-New York City Transit interim president Sarah Feinberg expedited the deployment programme after identifying a new class of cost-effective cameras that can be installed swiftly.

By the end of 2020, around 200 subway stations were under security camera coverage.

In brief

AB Transitio and EIB sign loan agreement for new regional trains

Sweden-based AB Transitio has signed a $55.71m (Skr480m) loan agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the procurement of new regional trains.

The loan amount will be utilised for acquiring 12 new double-decker electric multiple units that will offer regional services with Mälardalstrafik MÄLAB AB in the Stockholm-Mälaren area.

Alstom to provide long-term service support for Sydney Trains

Alstom has secured two contracts from Transport for New South Wales and Sydney Trains to design, supply and provide long-term service support for European Train Control System Level 2 trackside signalling technology.

Alstom will deliver its AtlasTM and SmartlockTMtrackside signalling technologies for deployment between Bondi Junction and Erskineville on the Sydney Trains network.

Keolis-MHI assumes charge of operating Dubai Metro and Tram

Keolis MHI Rail Management and Operation has assumed the responsibility of running and maintaining Dubai Metro, along with the operation of Dubai Tram from Serco Middle East.

Dubai Metro and Tram’s operation and maintenance contract will have a duration of 15 years, including nine base years and six additional years, renewable every two years.

GTR installs new cycle parking spaces at rail stations

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has deployed more than 1,000 new cycle parking spaces at over 50 stations across England. GTR operates the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern rail franchise.

The initiative aims to encourage rail passengers to use their bikes more often to reduce carbon and improve their health.

As part of the project, an additional 250 spaces have been replaced to provide modern sheltered facilities.

Nexus to receive four additional Metro trains from Stadler

Tyne and Wear Metro owner and operator Nexus has placed an order for four new Metro trains with Swiss train builder Stadler.

In February 2020, Stadler secured a contract from Nexus for the delivery and maintenance of 42 metro trains.

The additional order will bring the total ordered trains to 46 and will be delivered under a $497.91m (£362m) programme aimed at improving the journey experience for Metro commuters.

7 september | Infrastructure

Thales secures fibre-optic technology contract from Network Rail

A consortium led by Thales Ground Transportation Systems has secured a contract from Network Rail to develop and test fibre optic acoustic sensing (FOAS) technology.

This technology will help enhance safety and performance on the railway.

The data fusion of the FOAS technology will boost the ‘listening’ capabilities of optical fibres covering a length of 20,000km on Britain’s railways.

The technology is expected to improve the remote condition monitoring of assets and furnish data for minimising disruption for commuters and improving train performance.

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.