Deutsche Bahn intensifies cooperation with railroad and vehicle manufacturers in China

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(Beijing/Berlin, 13 June 2016) Deutsche Bahn is increasing its general presence in China. In the course of Chancellor Dr Merkel’s visit to the country, agreements were signed in Beijing today with the aim of expanding projects in the rail sector.

Speaking in Beijing, Chairman of the Management Board and CEO of Deutsche Bahn AG Dr. Rüdiger Grube said, “The People’s Republic of China is an important market for us and will remain so in future. In view of the plans to invest more than 300 billion euros in transport infrastructure, we wish to benefit from the growth and potential in China. Our expertise is in high demand and our successful international activities also strengthen our position in our home market of Germany.”

Two Memoranda of Understanding were signed today, one of which was with the Chinese rolling stock manufacturer CRRC (China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation) confirming continuation of the parties’ cooperation in the establishment and optimization of a maintenance system for high-speed multiple units and the provision of mutual support in remedying operating problems related to wheel-on-rail contact. CR operates an approx. 19,000-km long high-speed network with a fleet of 1,400 trains. DB will provide maintenance and repair support for the company.

“There is a second project of which I am particularly proud: Our experts from DB Engineering & Consulting are the first foreigners to work on a regional transport project in China. As part of a consortium, they have a consultancy contract for the operation of regional transport routes in Dalian, a city with a population of 6 million,” said  Dr. Grube.

DB has been active in China since 1966. DB Schenker alone has more than 5,000 employees in the country. Amongst other things, DB was involved in the construction of Metro Shanghai, the development of the high-speed network and the Transrapid in Shanghai. As China meanwhile also offers good products for the rail sector, DB has had a procurement office in Shanghai since the end of 2015.

 

Abellio orders 43 TALENT 2 EMUs for Baden-Württemberg

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  • Abellio to receive new fleet of regional trains valued at 215 million euro
  • All trains to be equipped with Wi-Fi
  • Another successful tender for Bombardier in Germany’s Baden-Württemberg region

Rail technology leader Bombardier Transportation has won a contract to supply European rail operator Abellio Rail Südwest GmbH with 43 BOMBARDIER TALENT 2multiple unit trains. The order is valued at approximately 215 million euro ($244 million US).

Starting in June 2019, the new electric multiple units will gradually enter passenger operation on the Stuttgart regional network in Baden-Württemberg’s Neckar Valley region in Germany. Bombardier will supply all 43 trains to Abellio by June 2020. The multiple-unit trains will be built at the Bombardier site in Hennigsdorf, Germany and the bogies are to be produced at the Bombardier plant in Siegen, Germany.

“Abellio has already established a long-standing successful collaboration with Bombardier, which we will now continue in the Neckar Valley region network. We consider the company a reliable partner and together with them we will happily provide our passengers with a comfortable and safe travel experience on the way to their destination,” said Abellio CEO Stephan Krenz at an event to mark the contract signing. “With these new vehicles, we also want to set new standards in Baden-Württemberg that attain the same quality of leadership as we have achieved on the North Rhine-Westphalia networks,” explained Krenz.

“This order is a great achievement for Bombardier’s rail business and it also signifies the continuation of our successful and cooperative relationship with Abellio,” said Germar Wacker, President of Mainline and Metros, Central/Eastern Europe at Bombardier Transportation. “We are pleased that Abellio relies on our modern TALENT 2 trains to further expand its mobility offering in Germany. These vehicles feature a high degree of passenger comfort and score points with their strong performance in terms of energy efficiency and reliability.”

The TALENT 2 trains for Abellio will be configured into 24 three-car and 19 five-car train sets, each with 163 or 273 seats respectively. These vehicles will be equipped with Wi-Fi and provide easy access for travellers with limited mobility as well as space for either 24 or 39 bicycles. In total, more than 350 of Bombardier’s TALENT 2 trains are already in service on Germany’s rail network. These trains form the backbone of the German national rail operator Deutsche Bahn’s regional fleet and are also in use by private transport companies such as Abellio, National Express and the Southwestern German Transport Company (SWEG). Thanks to their modular design principle, the TALENT 2 train can be flexibly adapted and used as both commuter and regional transport.

The contract with Abellio is another achievement for Bombardier in the most recent tenders in Baden-Württemberg. The company asserted itself last year as a train supplier for Deutsche Bahn Regio AG with the TALENT 2 trains during the tender for the regional network Gäu-Murr. The so-called “Baden-Württemberg Model” is supporting the vehicle financing for both networks. This arrangement sees the transport company selling the vehicles to the regional rail authority of Baden-Württemberg (Landesanstalt Schienenfahrzeuge Baden Württemberg, SFBW) with the regional rail authority leasing them back to the transport company.

Board of Directors of Russian Railways praises Company’s activity in 2015 to improve efficiency

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The Board of Directors of Russian Railways has conducted a review of the Company’s performance in 2015.

“We discussed the results of our work at Russian Railways in 2015. Despite the difficult economic situation, the Company improved its key performance indicators, maintained reliability and stable operations and made profits and dividend payments to the budget by increasing efficiency. The Board of Directors gave the Company a positive assessment. We hope that the government will support our findings,” said Arkady Dvorkovich, Chairman of the Board of Russian Railways and Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, after the meeting.

In his turn, the President of Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov noted that the Company had reduced costs in 2015 and thus achieved savings of 39.8 billion roubles. In addition, revenues from the sale of subsidiaries amounted to 19 billion roubles.

“We have increased our revenue base and reduced expenditure across virtually all areas of our work,” said the Company’s President.

Eurostar reports strong forward bookings for Euro 2016 as fans take the train to the game

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Eurostar, the high speed rail service between the UK and mainland Europe, today reports strong forward bookings for the Euro 2016 tournament as football fever kicks in.  With direct high-speed Eurostar services to the main host cities including Lille, Paris, Lyon and Marseille, nearly half a million passengers from across the UK are scheduled to travel during the tournament.

Over the last few weeks Eurostar has seen a surge in ticket sales, with June 10th proving to be the busiest day as the hosts open the tournament in the Stade de France in Paris.  With the successful introduction of Eurostar’s new fleet of e320 trains at the end of 2015, football fans can now connect to the free onboard wifi and entertainment system to follow their team whilst on the move.

Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Executive of Eurostar, said:

We have seen an unprecedented demand from football supporters keen to get the Euros by train. With our city-centre to city-centre services and a brand new state-of-the art fleet of trains, we are ideally placed to carry fans from the UK direct to the heart of the action in France.

Challenging first quarter of 2016

The strong bookings for Euro 2016 follow a challenging first quarter of the year. Travellers remain cautious following the terrorist attacks in Brussels and demand is dampened.

The impact has been particularly evident in international markets with Eurostar reporting a slowdown in travellers from the US and Asia. As a result, passenger numbers in the first three months of the year were 2.2 million, a 3% reduction on the same period last year (2.3 million: Q1 2015) and sales revenues were 6% lower year on year (£201 million Q1 2016: £215 million Q1 2015).

Testing for the new London-Amsterdam service

Plans for the launch of Eurostar’s new route between London and Amsterdam are gathering momentum as the new e320 train was tested on the Dutch network for the first time last month.  The journey marked the initial phase of a comprehensive testing programme with commercial services expected to start at the end of next year.

With journey times of around four hours and a city-centre to city-centre service, Eurostar will revolutionise travel between these capital cities offering a comfortable and convenient alternative to the airlines.

Nicolas Petrovic continued:

The start of testing for the e320 on the Dutch network marks a major milestone in the run-up to the launch our new service.  With over 3 million passengers travelling by air between London and Amsterdam, this new route is key to our growth plans.  Our fast, comfortable, point-to-point service is set to transform travel between these important financial and tourist hubs.”

With a lead-in price  from just £29 one way, no additional charges for luggage or seats and a direct link between city centres, Eurostar represents a highly competitive alternative to travelling by plane.   For more information visit www.eurostar.com

“Rail Baltica”: essential decisions should be taken jointly by Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia

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High-level transport ministries representatives of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have agreed for closer political level cooperation on “Rail Baltica” railway project in the meeting of 16 May in Riga.

This will facilitate an agreement on intergovernmental treaty, which should structure necessary commitments at the States level implementing “Rail Baltica” fast conventional European gauge railway in all three countries, as well as define basic conditions for completing this strategic project.

Representatives concluded that intergovernmental treaty has to take into account interests of all participating countries and ensure sustainable framework for coordination of actions between the countries.

R. Sinkevičius: I hope that construction works of Phase 2 of Rail Baltica will start soon

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Rimantas Sinkevičius, the Minister of Transport and Communication of Lithuanian considers the key event of the year for European transport – the TEN-T Days  to be another opportunity to discuss the details of further implementation of Phase 2 of the Rail Baltica Project with European politicians and experts.

“This is an excellent opportunity for presenting Rail Baltica. I believe that the project that has been recognised as a priority EU project will receive due attention. I also hope that our neighbours will also start the preparatory and construction works under the Rail Baltica Project which is financed by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)”, says Minister Rimantas Sinkevičius.

It should be noted that Phase 1 of the Rail Baltic Project that has already been completed by Lithuania is considered a success story by the European Commission (EC). A section on the North Sea – Baltic Corridor on the EC‘s website states that, despite recession and lack of funds, Lithuania undertook the construction of the 1435 mm gauge railway and completed the line between the Lithuanian-Polish border and Kaunas.

Lithuania and its partners – Latvia and Estonia have already agreed with the European Commission that, along with the works on the Rail Baltica line, the implementation of a European signalling and control system (ERTMS) in the section between the Lithuanian-Polish border and Kaunas will be funded. This is a very important agreement, showing the economic viability of Rail Baltica in the nearest future.

“We will do our best to achieve that the second phase of the project is successful as well. I am grateful to Ms Catherine Trautmann, the European Coordinator for the TEN-T North Sea – Baltic Corridor who is investing lots of energy to ensure that the project partners undertake the works of construction of the European gauge railway in their respective countries”, says Minister Rimantas Sinkevičius.

This year the TEN-T Days are held in Rotterdam on 20–22 June. The development of the Trans-European Network is the main subject of the event, with a focus on the issues of implementation and financing of the main network corridors.

Violeta Bulc, the European Commissioner for Transport, and Melanie Schultz van Haegen, the Minister of Infrastructure and Environment of the Netherlands, are inviting the EU Ministers of Transport, Members of the European Parliament, and other interested parties to take part in discussions held during the TEN-T Days.

Alstom awarded major re-signalling project in the UK

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Alstom [1] has been awarded a contract by Network Rail for the full re-signalling of the Great Western Main Line between Reading and Paddington in the west of London. This major contract is worth over €100 million [2]. 

Network Rail and Alstom have worked in close collaboration to develop an interlocking solution based on Alstom’s Smartlockrange that will be ready for ETCS installation allowing trains with ETCS capability to operate on that section of the line. Smartlock interlocking proven solutions has been developed for the most complex and challenging major railway re-signalling projects. The works, which include both the renewal of the existing Interlocking and some track remodelling, have already started in order to maintain the tight delivery programme. They are due to reach completion by the end of 2017.

Alstom is very proud to take part in this project and will provide Network Rail with state-of-the-art, proven and reliable solutions” declared Nick Crossfield, Managing Director Train Control solutions in UK.

In February 2014, Alstom joint venture, ABC Electrification Ltd, had been selected as one of four suppliers to deliver a €2.4 billion electrification programme which will electrify more than 3000 kilometres of Britain’s railways over the next seven years. In November 2015, Alstom was awarded a Network Rail framework agreement to design and develop European Train Control System (ETCS level 2) using Alstom’s proven Atlas technology, and was awarded recently a first contract to deploy ETCS trainborne solution on intercity trains.

Alstom is now responsible for providing signalling renewals and enhancements as primary supplier in three out of eight geographical regions in the UK: Central East, Great Western Inner and Great Western Outer. Alstom also is the secondary supplier in four other geographical regions: Scotland, Central West, Wales and Western and Kent and Anglia.


[1] Through SSL: Alstom acquired 100% of Signalling Solutions Ltd (SSL), in the United Kingdom in May 2015. On 1 April 2016 SSL was formally integrated into Alstom.
[2] Booked in Q4 of fiscal year 2015/16

About Smartlock 400
The latest generation in computer-based interlocking systems for station and line control, Smartlock 400 reduces operating costs through the full automation of route settings and direct links to station services such as passenger information systems. The fully integrated train detection system, direct interface with point machines and signals (no need for traditional signalling relays) and remote diagnostics help to reduce maintenance costs. Installation can be simplified thanks to the system’s modular architecture and extensive factory testing of the final configuration.

Rail Accident Investigation Branch has today released its report into a tram collision with a pedestrian near Market Street tram stop, Manchester, 12 May 2015.

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At about 11:13 hrs on Tuesday 12 May 2015, a tram collided with and seriously injured a pedestrian, shortly after leaving Market Street tram stop in central Manchester. The pedestrian had just alighted from the tram and was walking along the track towards Piccadilly.

The accident occurred because the pedestrian did not move out of the path of the tram and because the driver did not apply the tram’s brakes in time to avoid striking the pedestrian.

Recommendations

As a result of this accident, RAIB has made three recommendations. One is made to Metrolink RATP Dev Ltd in conjunction with Transport for Greater Manchester, to review the assessment of risk from tram operations throughout the pedestrianised area in the vicinity of Piccadilly Gardens.

A second is made to UK Tram, to make explicit provision for the assessment of risk, in areas where trams and pedestrians/cyclists share the same space, in its guidance for the design and operation of urban tramways.

A further recommendation is made to Metrolink RATP Dev Ltd, to improve its care of staff involved in an accident.

Rail Accident Investigation Branch has today released its report into a passenger train derailment at Godmersham, Kent, 26 July 2015

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At around 21:40 hrs on 26 July 2015, a passenger train derailed after striking eight cows that had gained access to the railway at Godmersham in Kent, between Wye and Chilham stations. There had been a report of a cow on the railway an hour earlier, but a subsequent examination by the driver of the next passing train did not find anything. There were no further reports from other trains that passed before the accident occurred.

The train involved in the accident was travelling at 69 mph (111 km/h) at the point of impact. There were 67 passengers on board plus three members of staff; no injuries were reported at the time of the accident. Because the train’s radio had ceased to work during the accident, the driver ran for about three-quarters of a mile towards an oncoming train, which had already been stopped by the signaller, and used its radio to report the accident.

The accident occurred because the fence had not been maintained so as to restrain cows from breaching it, and because the railway’s response to the earlier report of a cow on the railway side of the fence was insufficient to prevent the accident. In addition, the absence of an obstacle deflector on the leading unit of the train made the derailment more likely.

Recommendations

As a result of this accident, RAIB has made five recommendations addressing the fence inspection process, clarification of railway rules in response to reports of large animals within the boundary fence, the fitting of obstacle deflectors to rolling stock (two recommendations), and the reliability of the train radio equipment.

RAIB has also identified two learning points for the railway industry, relating to the railway’s response to emergency situations, including the response to reports of large animals within the boundary fence and the actions to take following an accident.

​TransPennine Express and Angel Trains orders 95 Inter City rail carriages from UK manufacturer Hitachi

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Thursday 31st March- The new TransPennine Express (TPE) franchise, operated by FirstGroup, is a step closer to delivering improvements in capacity, reliability and comfort having been given the go-ahead by government to complete a new rolling stock contract with Hitachi Rail Europe to supply 95 brand new, state of the art train carriages.

The contract, for the fleet of AT300 ‘Inter City’ trains is the first to be finalised by TransPennine Express, which will operate the franchise from April. The deal, which has been financed by Angel Trains, will lead to the procurement of 19 five-car Hitachi AT300 bi-mode trains, capable of operating on both electric power and diesel power.

The AT300 trains have been designed with the customer in mind and will completely remodel the experience of train travel in the North. They will be amongst the most advanced Inter City trains in the UK, running at speeds of 125 miles per hour. The modern interior and spacious seating will offer significant improvements in comfort, while free, fast and unlimited Wi-Fi will provide extra entertainment options on every train and allow customers to stream movies and TV on mobile devices. On board catering facilities will allow for hot and cold food options.

Each of the new trains will provide an extra 161 seats compared to the average class 185 train and will offer excellent reliability and efficiency as well as advanced customer information systems.

Hitachi Rail Europe was successful in securing the contract following a comprehensive procurement process. The majority of the carriages will be assembled at Hitachi’s Rail Vehicle Manufacturing Facility at Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. The new trains will be introduced to the network from December 2019.

Hitachi will also provide full service provision, including all maintenance, cleaning and stabling, at its Doncaster Carr and Craigentinny (Edinburgh) maintenance centres, while overnight stabling and servicing will be undertaken at the Edge Hill, Heaton and York depots.

TransPennine Express Managing Director designate Leo Goodwin said:

“The signing of this contract is the first major step for the new franchise. These brand new state of the art Hitachi trains will lead to significant improvements in seating, capacity and provide a more reliable and efficient service. These trains will be able to run at speeds of 125 miles per hour but they also have the capability of running at 140 miles per hour if the network allows for it in the future. These speeds will reduce journey times across our network, bringing our great towns and cities in the North closer together. The overall comfort and experience will also be enhanced with more entertainment options, free Wi-Fi, better catering and real-time information systems. Hitachi is a reliable train manufacturer with a great reputation. We are very pleased to be working with the Hitachi to build these intercity trains which will help to better connect the North and Scotland.”

Karen Boswell, Managing Director of Hitachi Rail Europe said of the deal announcement;

“Hitachi is thrilled to be delivering a fleet of new Inter City trains for TransPennine Express, connecting cities and people with greater speed, comfort and capacity across the Northern Powerhouse region. Last September, Hitachi brought rail manufacturing back to its birthplace in the North East of England and so it is entirely fitting that our facility at Newton Aycliffe is where these new AT300 trains will be built.

“Building on our contracts to deliver new IEP trains for the East Coast and Great Western Main Lines, commuter trains for Scotland, Inter City trains from London to Devon and Cornwall, as well as our existing HS1 ‘Javelin’ services operating from London and Kent, Hitachi is on track to transform rail travel for millions of fare-paying customers throughout the UK.”

The new TPE franchise will deliver a total of 44 new state of the art trains. A deal for the procurement of the remaining 25 new trains is expected to be finalised soon. The first of these trains will be delivered in Spring 2018.

TransPennine Express will lease the carriages from Angel Trains which financed and will own the new trains.

Malcolm Brown, Chief Executive Officer for Angel Trains, said:

“We are delighted to be procuring, financing and leasing these new bi-mode trains that will transform intercity travel in the North. Passengers will be able to travel seamlessly across the TransPennine network, regardless of whether the route is electrified or unelectrified, on reliable and comfortable new trains offering modern amenities, including Wi-Fi. We are committed to providing value and meeting passengers’ needs both now and in the future, and this new fleet is further demonstration of that commitment.

We have already invested over £3.8 billion in the UK rail industry and, working with our partners in the industry, we look forward to continuing to make further significant investments in rolling stock in future.”

The fleet of AT300 trains for the North will be closely related to the Class 800 bi-mode trains designed for the Department for Transport’s InterCity Express Programme (IEP), but will utilise higher engine operating power to cope with the gradients in the region. They will run as electric trains on the electrified network, and are equipped with bigger fuel tanks and brake resistors to cope with the challenging terrain.

TPE will also retain around half of its current Class 185 trains with them all undergoing a £20million+ refurbishment programme. The refurbishment will include improvements throughout first and standard class, improved catering, the installation of modern customer information systems, free Wi-Fi and entertainment servers.

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said of the contract award;

“This investment by FirstGroup will deliver more capacity and modern, high quality trains for passengers on the TransPennine Express Franchise.

“This will also help support jobs and the economy of the North, as the majority of the vehicles will be assembled at the facility in Newton Aycliffe in County Durham. It is deals like this, supporting this Government’s record investment in transport in the North, that are helping to build a Northern Powerhouse.”

Cllr Liam Robinson, Chair of Rail North, which will co-manage the delivery of the TPE franchise under the terms of a ground-breaking devolution agreement, said;

“This brand new inter-city rolling stock is a major step to transforming services across these routes, linking together the major economic centres of the North. It’s great to see that passengers will benefit from more seats and more modern trains on longer journeys”

  • The carriages will become 19 five car bi-mode AT300 trains.
  • AT300 Inter City trains will be capable of operating on both electric power and diesel power, providing TPE with resilience and flexibility.
  • These trains will be able to run seamlessly across electrified and unelectrified routes.
  • In times of disruption on electrified routes, these trains can switch to its diesel engines or be diverted around the disruption on non-electrified routes.
  • The initial trains will be built at Hitachi’s Kasado Works in Japan, with the majority to be assembled at Hitachi’s Rail Vehicle Manufacturing Facility at Newton Aycliffe, County Durham

Other features of the Hitachi Bi-mode trains:

  • capable of running at 125 miles per hour
  • modern interior with spacious seating and improved comfort
  • five carriages in length
  • Wi-Fi and entertainment servers to allow customers to stream movies and TV shows on mobile devices
  • better reliability and efficiency
  • advanced customer information systems
  • air conditioning
  • power sockets at every seat
  • extra space for luggage