LUXEMBOURG: National railway CFL has awarded Alstom a contract to equip 34 Coradia Stream EMUs for automatic train operation, in what the supplier says will be the first project in Europe to fit a regional train fleet for Grade of Automation 2 using ATO over ETCS.
CHINA: The first electrified railway in Tibet was inaugurated on June 25, with ceremonies in Lhasa to mark the start of operations on the Lhasa – Nyingchi section of the Sichuan - Tibet railway.
Having amassed nearly 10 years of cumulative experience of satellite technologies for use with ERTMS, including virtual balises and radio frequency interference, RFI has gained sufficient confidence to start work on its first operational application.
SWITZERLAND: Rhätische Bahn is using a track and electrification inspection and measuring vehicle designed to provide metre-gauge railway operators with detailed data to help plan maintenance and renewal works.
GERMANY: Paribus Rail Investment Management has signed a framework agreement with Siemens Mobility for the supply and full-service maintenance of up to 30 Vectron Dual Mode electro-diesel locomotives, with a firm order for an initial seven.
TURKEY: The joint venture which is modernising the line linking Istanbul with Bulgaria has appointed CAF Signalling as subcontractor to install signalling on the 153 km western section between Çerkezköy and the border at Kapıkule.
EUROPE: With plans to celebrate 2021 as the Year of Rail having been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, five European transport associations have jointly called on the European Union to extend and expand the concept and make 2022 the European Year of Rail & Public Transport.
RUSSIA: An agreement to co-operate to develop hydrogen fuel cell and lithium-ion battery hybrid locomotives has been signed by Russian Railways, locomotive supplier Sinara Group and nanotechnology investor Rusnano.
Turkey’s plans to build a ship canal connecting the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara are being carefully monitored by the European Commission in case the scheme interferes with the project to upgrade Turkey’s main line link to Bulgaria and the rest of Europe. David O’Byrne reports.
GUINEA: President Alpha Condé attended the inauguration on June 18 of the 125 km Santou – Dapilon railway, which has been built by the Société Minière de Boké-Winning consortium to link bauxite deposits at Santou II and Houda with the River Nunez port of Dapilon near Kolabouio.
GERMANY: The use of battery trains on non-electrified routes and a 30% increase in services are included in the next Netz Ostbrandenburg operating contract, which Berlin-Brandenburg transport authority VBB has awarded to incumbent Niederbarnimer Eisenbahn following a comeptitive tendering process.
GERMANY: DB Regio subsidiary S-Bahn Hamburg has confirmed an order for Alstom to supply a further 64 three-car Class 490.1 dual-voltage electric multiple-units to support expansion of the city’s S-Bahn network.
News from the world rail freight market
HUNGARY: A consortium of Strabag Rail (66%) and a local partner V-Híd has been awarded a €364m contract to double-track and renew the 30 km line between Békéscsaba and Lőkösháza at the Romanian border on the route to Arad.
GERMANY: Having received no expressions of interest from other potential operators, central Sachsen transport authority VMS has directly awarded DB Regio’s Erzgebirgsbahn an extension to its contract to operate Dieselnetz Erzgebirge passenger services.
UK: Calling on the government to commit to placing orders for hydrogen trains, the Railway Industry Association has published a briefing document highlighting the role that hydrogen could play on the rail network.
USA: CSX will be the first railway to demonstrate Wabtec’s Trip Optimizer Zero-to-Zero technology for the automatic starting and stopping of trains, and has placed orders for locomotive modifications which are designed to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
Measures to expand the available spectrum for free-to-air wi-fi present an opportunity for railways to improve onboard connectivity, but will require the adoption of forward-compatible components.
News from the global railway supply chain
GERMANY: DB Regio has awarded Alstom a €130m contract to supply ETCS and automatic train operation technology as part of a project to upgrade the Stuttgart S-Bahn network under the Stuttgart 21 programme