RailPersonnel www.railpersonnel.com
 
RailNews

1. 14 July 2005. UK. Hatfield manslaughter charges dropped

Manslaughter charges against five rail executives accused of killing the four people who died in the Hatfield train disaster have been thrown out by the judge five months into the trail at the Old Bailey. A corporate manslaughter charge against engineering giant Balfour Beatty was also dismissed. The judge made his decision after listening to submissions, reviewing evidence and considering issues which had arisen. He did not give reasons. Balfour Beatty and the five men - together with Railtrack, which became Network Rail - still face charges brought under the Health and Safety Act.
Source: icSouthlondon

Back to RailNews main menu

2. 14 July 2005. South Africa. Commuter trains crash

Two commuter trains have collided at a station in Soweto outside of Johannesburg, injuring 162 people, four seriously. Metrorail spokeswoman Thandi Mlangeni said the collision occurred at Soweto's Merafe station, where one train had apparently stalled at the platform amid a local power outage. She said the cause of the accident was under investigation. "There was a power failure but we cannot say that was the cause at this point."
Source: Reuters

Back to RailNews main menu

3. 13 July 2005. Pakistan. Three trains involved in fatal collision

Three passenger trains collided in southern Pakistan early this morning, killing over 130 people and injuring at least 200. The accident occurred when a train sitting in a station near Ghotki, in the southern Sindh province, was hit by a second train. The collision caused several carriages to derail and spill over onto another track, where they were struck by the third train causing further derailment. Ghotki is about 370 miles north east of Karachi, in the Sindh province. A railway official said the train in the station was the Quetta Express, which was bringing passengers from Lahore to Quetta when it developed a technical problem. Technicians were working on the train when it was hit by the Karachi Express, pushing three carriages into the path of the oncoming Tezgam Express. The general manager of Pakistan Railways said the crash was caused by a train conductor misreading a signal.
Source: The Guardian

Back to RailNews main menu

4. 13 July 2005. UK. Byers gives evidence in Railtrack case

Former Transport Secretary Stephen Byers has denied that he had “stolen” Railtrack’s assets by triggering an effective renationalisation of the company that had allowed the Government to avoid paying compensation to shareholders. “These are very serious allegations without foundation in fact and are simply wrong,” Mr Byers, told the High Court. He said that he had put the interests of the travelling public first. Mr Byers denied that his treatment of Railtrack between July and October 2001 was politically motivated, although he admitted that he had voted against privatisation of the railways while an Opposition MP. He said that he remained “unenthusiastic” about rail privatisation when he first became Secretary of State for Transport in 2001 but that he was also not keen on renationalising the transport infrastructure group.
Source: The Times

Back to RailNews main menu

5. 13 July 2005. Australia. Smartcard contract to US company

Victorian Premier Steve Bracks has announced the A$494 million contract for Melbourne’s new Smartcard ticket system had been won by a consortium led by American IT firm Keane. The Smartcard will replace the current Metcard in 2007 and will be used on metropolitan trams, trains and buses as well as V/Line trains and major regional bus networks. It will automatically charge passengers the cheapest fare for their journey, but commuters will have to validate their ticket twice, at the beginning and end of their trip. The winning consortium, to be known as Kamco, is led by Keane, while Swiss company Ascom will provide equipment such as ticket machines and electronic gates.
Source: The Age

6. 12 July 2005. UK. Report back train seatbelts

A report into last year's Berkshire rail crash has said the more research into whether train passengers should wear seatbelts should be carried. It also suggests that the rail industry should see whether a system can be developed to provide drivers with a warning of level crossing obstructions. In the report, the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) also recommended looking at ways of closing the level crossing involved near Reading. Emergency lighting should also be provided for all new passenger carriages and the possibility of fitting obstacle deflectors on the front of trains should be considered, it added.
Source: BBC

Back to RailNews main menu

7. 12 July 2005. China. Metro security under scrutiny

In the wake of the London bombings, the Chinese cities with existing metro systems are more than satisfied their security and emergency plans meet expectations. In Beijing, the law enforcement agencies and public health officials have teamed up with the subway for special training to make sure emergencies could be dealt. The Beijing municipal government plans to spend 3.7 billion yuan (US$447 million) between 2003 and 2007 on improving fire and riot prevention facilities and the telecommunication system in subways. Meanwhile in Guangzhou, the city's metro corporation has completed evacuation platforms along the tunnels of the Metro Line 3. All the carriages have been equipped with safety doors for easy access to the tunnels and permanent night lighting has been installed along the tunnels.
Source: China Daily

Back to RailNews main menu

8. 11 July 2005. UK. Improvement for Eurotunnel

Eurotunnel has reported that first-half revenues at its core Shuttle services business had increased by 6 per cent. The group, which is battling to cut its £6.4 billion of debts, made revenues of £146 million from Shuttle services in the first six months of the year, compared with £138 million in the same period last year. Jacques Gounon, the chairman who was re-elected at last month's annual meeting, has already warned that unless Eurotunnel can strike an agreement with its creditors by October, then it runs the serious risk of going bankrupt. It will have to start making capital payments, rather than just repaying interest, as from the beginning of 2007.
Source: The Times

Back to RailNews main menu

9. 11 July 2005. USA. Acela trains resume service

Amtrak has resumed a limited service with the Acela Express for the first time since April, when the high-speed fleet was halted due to cracks in many of the trains' brake rotors. Amtrak restarted the Acela service with two daily roundtrips, between New York and Washington. The remaining 18 Acela trains will be put back in service once they are equipped with the new brakes. Bombardier, Inc., which makes the trains, said its target date for equipping the entire Acela fleet with the new brakes is September. Bombardier is still investigating what caused the millimetre-size cracks in 317 of the Acela's 1,440 disc brake rotors.
Source: Associated Press

Back to RailNews main menu

10. 11 July 2005. UK. Computer virus exploits tube bombs

A Windows virus has been created that claims to link to amateur video footage of the aftermath of one of the bombs on the London Underground. The virus tries to look more legitimate by posing as a newsletter from US news organisation CNN. The virus is travelling in an e-mail which bears the subject line: "Terror hits London" and comes from a spoofed e-mail address. The body of the message tells those receiving it to click on the attached file which claims to show amateur video footage shot in the London Underground immediately after one of the bombs went off. Anyone clicking on the file will not be shown a video. Instead their PC will be infected by the as yet un-named Trojan. Because it relies on people clicking on the attachment, the malicious program can affect Windows 2000, 95, 98, Me, NT, XP and Windows Server 2003.
Source: BBC

Back to RailNews main menu

11. 10 July 2005. USA. Freight train collision in Mississippi

Two freight trains collided and partially derailed, killing four people and forcing residents to evacuate dozens of nearby homes, authorities said. The collision northeast of Bentonia in west-central Mississippi involved two Canadian National freight trains. The northbound train had 137 cars and two locomotives, and the southbound train had 107 cars and four locomotives CN spokeswoman Karen Phillips said the cause is still under investigation. It wasn't immediately clear why the trains were on the same track. One of the cars leaked vegetable oil and caught fire, but the flames were extinguished, said Amy Carruth, a spokeswoman with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.
Source: Associated Press

Back to RailNews main menu

12. 10 July 2005. UK. Historic rail bank notes on display

Two £5 notes dating back to the early days of rail travel have been donated to the Darlington Railway Centre and Museum in County Durham. The notes, one for the Darlington Bank and one for Stockton, date back to 1884 and 1887 and were made by the Jonathan Backhouse Company. The banknotes are framed together and are now on display in the Stockton and Darlington room at the museum. Benefactor Mr Backhouse helped to fund the Stockton and Darlington Railway. He was also the treasurer for receiving deposits for the railway between 1881 and 1833. Other items from the era on display include station and lineside signs, locomotive nameplates and number plates, signalling equipment, lamps and paintings.
Source: BBC

Back to RailNews main menu

13. 10 July 2005. UK. £35 million bid to speed up intercity rail link

Commuters between Glasgow and Edinburgh could have their journey times cut as a result of a multimillion-pound scheme to transform one of the country's slowest rail lines. Officials are studying a £35 million plan to speed up the Glasgow Central to Edinburgh service, which currently takes 95 minutes and stops at 19 stations. A limited-stop service, running in parallel with the existing one, will introduce new trains running every hour which stop at just four key stations and cut 35 minutes off the journey. It is hoped that the scheme, expected to be in place by 2007, could eliminate as many as 300,000 car journeys along the M8.
Source: The Scotsman

Back to RailNews main menu

14. 10 July 2005. UK. Metronet may lose Tube contracts

The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, will consider stripping London Underground operator Metronet of its contracts after it missed targets. He will make the decision after the publication of the Transport for London (TfL) annual report on the performance of the part-privatised Tube at the end of the month. According to sources, the report will reveal that twice in 12 months Metronet was ordered to undertake works to ensure the safety of the Underground infrastructure. Metronet is owned by Atkins, Balfour Beatty, Bombardier, EDF and Thames Water. TfL has the power to strip Metronet of key contracts or force the sale of the entire consortium to another company, if it believes that its performance is unacceptable.
Source: The Independent

Back to RailNews main menu

15. 9 July 2005. Viet Nam. Railway investment sought

Investment of around US$1.54 billion is needed to upgrade the country’s its railway sector between now and 2010, said a report of the Viet Nam Railway Corporation (VRC). Among the list of key projects of VRC in need of foreign and domestic investments, include the Ha Noi-Lao Cai, Ha Noi-Hai Phong, Ha Noi-Vinh routes in the north and Sai Gon-Loc Ninh and Bien Hoa-Vung Tau routes in the south. The country will also invest in modernising the national railway fibre optical communication system. Meanwhile, France has doubled its Official Development Assistance to reinforce the arches of four railway tunnels at the Hai Van Pass in central Viet Nam. The work will be done by French VSL-Freyssinet and the Viet Nam Railway subsidiary, the Hue Railway Works Company.
Source: Viet Name News

Back to RailNews main menu

16. 9 July 2005. Australia. More problems for Spencer Street Station

A number of major features of Melbourne's Spencer Street Station project, including the signature wave roof, have been scaled back or scrapped amid bitter infighting and cost blow-outs. The wave roof will now cover only about three-quarters of the station, not all platforms as planned, a footbridge linking Lonsdale Street and Telstra Dome will not be built, and plans for tiled platforms have been modified to a mix of tiled and asphalt surfaces. Much of the station is expected to be completed by the end of the year, but the entire project is unlikely to be finished before the Commonwealth Games next March.
Source: The Age

Back to RailNews main menu

17. 8 July 2005. USA. Mass transit alert goes to 'orange'

The United States put its subways, commuter trains and buses on high alert after the rush-hour London bombings, moving to code orange for mass transit amid concern about a possible "copycat attack" by terrorists. Stepped-up safeguards included bomb-sniffing dogs, increased video surveillance and more police at stations. U.S. counter terror officials said they received intelligence last month dating back to 2004 concerning terrorist strikes on rail systems in Europe and the United States, including derailing trains or crashing trucks into them. About 29 million people in the USA take commuter trains or subways on an average workday.
Source: AP Wire

Back to RailNews main menu

18.
8 July 2005. UK. Transport system halted after explosions

London's entire tube network was shut down as a result of the bomb blasts in central London. However, mainline stations in the capital, with the exceptions of King's Cross and Liverpool Street, reopened for the evening rush hour. The Metropolitan police could not say how long some of the stations would be treated as crime scenes. Tim O'Toole, managing director of London Underground, said it was hoped a limited service would be running by today (Friday). He said the Jubilee, Northern and Victoria lines were unaffected and that parts of the Circle and Piccadilly lines may also reopen. Network Rail said King's Cross would remain closed for some time, although the company was working with police in an attempt to get some suburban services running. Bob Crow, leader of the RMT rail union, said there was a clear need to review security after such an attack.
Source: The Guardian

Back to RailNews main menu


<< Main Page <<
© 2005-2006 Rail Personnel Inc. All rights reserved.
Web Guru Asia developed this site.