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Rail News

13 January 2020, Volume 1, Issue 1

9 months ago by Rail Personnel

​Dear Readers

Welcome to our first issue of the decade!

As Australia finds itself in the grip of a bushfire emergency, we extend our thoughts to our industry participants who have been affected by these tragic events.

Should readers wish to assist, donations to the following organisations will go towards bushfire relief:

NSW Rural Fire Service, Victorian Country Fire Authority, South Australian Country Fire Service

The Salvation Army bushfire appeal

Red Cross' Disaster Relief and Recovery

The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR), who support affected communities

Givit, who specialise in donating goods to those in need

RSPCA's bushfire appeal to help fire-affected animals

Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) who rehabilitate injured wildlife

(Source: Sydney Morning Herald)

This week, we have 4 exciting Jobs of the Week. In Malaysia, we're looking for a System Assurance Engineer. In Sydney, we are looking for a Test Engineer to perform ongoing software change analysis and testing and in Vietnam, we are seeking a Quality Assurance Manager. Also in Sydney, we're looking for a Rolling Stock ICT Engineer.

Regards

Ceri Taylor

Editor

This Week's Headlines:

12 Jan 2020. Philippines. Japan wants to fast-track rail projects

Japan has signified its intention to help fast-track ongoing railway projects in the country, the Department of Transportation said.

Source: The Philippine Star

10 Jan 2020. DB Cargo UK to run new service to East Midlands Gateway Terminal

DB Cargo UK has launched a new route for Maritime Intermodal to its new East Midlands Gateway (EMG) Terminal in Castle Donington

Source: DB Cargo UK

10 Jan 2020. UK. Keolis Amey fined for poor performance

Train operator Keolis Amey, which is responsible for running train services in Wales, has been fined £2.3m for poor performance

Source: Wales online

9 Jan 2020. UK. TfW opens South Wales Metro Infrastructure Hub

Transport for Wales (TfW) has opened the South Wales Metro Infrastructure Hub in Treforest in Wales.

Source: Railway Technology

9 Jan 2020. UK. Northern Rail on the brink of collapse

Troubled rail operator Northern has the finances to continue only "for a number of months", the government has said.

Source: BBC

Jobs of the Week:

System Assurance Engineer, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Job ID#: 12871

Discipline: Systems Assurance

Position Type: Contract

Job Description:

Our client is an international consultant and is is looking for a systems assurance engineer to undertake assurance work on rail projects in Malaysia to be based in their Kuala Lumpur office.

Job Requirements

- Preferably local Malaysian

- 8-10 + years experience in preparing SA arguments / RAM assessments

Contact: David Hyland (davidh@railpersonnel.com)

Test Engineer, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Job ID#: 12878

Discipline: IT

Position Type: Permanent

Job Description

This Sydney CBD based company is a market leader providing sustainability solutions and energy reduction technology products and associated services to the rail industry. They offer support tools that can be used for advanced planning of railways and for real time and near real time decision making and efficiency for operating railroads. Our Client base are global Railway Owners and Operators in the public and private sector and suppliers and contractors to Owners and Operators.

This company currently has a position available for a Test Engineer to be based in Sydney, Australia.

Responsibilities:

* Perform ongoing software change analysis and testing

* Perform existing legacy manual test operations

* Develop automated GUI and API test cases across server, desktop, mobile and embedded devices

* Contribute to the automation framework development across the product & technology range

* Analyse written requirements, technology & API specifications

* Write reports and test artefacts such as detailed test plans, case designs and test result reports

Job Requirements

* Computer Science Degree or equivalent is required

* At least 4 years' experience in a commercial software development environment

Contact: Jackie Hendry (jackie@railpersonnel.com)

Quality Assurance Manager Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Job Description

Job ID#: 12766

Discipline: Quality

Position Type: Contract

Our client is seeking a Quality Assurance Manager to assist with activities as part of the Design and Construction Project for all E&M System (Rolling Stock, Signaling, Telecommunication, Power Supply, OCS, Track work, PSD, AFC, Depot & Workshop Equipment, F-SCADA, Signage & Graphics) for New MRT Line-1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Job Details;

a) Interact and negotiation with the Employer, Consultant and any third parties

b) Accountable for the definition and planning of all need activities in our Contract Agreement and ISO9001 (and/or other applicable international and local Standards) for Quality Management

c) Accountable for the definition and planning of all needed activities as defined in IEC62278, IEC62279 and IEC62425 (and/or other applicable international and local Standards) for to RAM and safety management.

d) Accountable for the definition and planning of needed activities as defined in IEC62278, IEC62279 and IEC62425 (and/or other applicable international and local Standards) for the V&V and Testing at Integrated System Level.

Job Requirements

- Years of Experience

a) Total Year of Experience ; 15 years

b) Experience as Quality Assurance Staff for Railway Project ; 12 years

c) Experience as Quality Assurance Manager for Railway Project ; 5 years

- Certificate of Graduation (bachelor's degree or more over)

- Certificate of English (such as TOIEC) more than 800 points if mother language is not English.

Contact: Saras Jay (sarasj@railpersonnel.com)

Rolling Stock ICT Engineer Sydney, Australia

Job Description

Job ID#: 12554

Discipline: Rolling Stock

Position Type: Contract

Our client is a premium provider of engineering services, with the expertise and technical capabilities to devise innovative solutions to their clients' transport project challenges. They are looking for a highly capable ICT Engineer to support their rapidly growing business.

This role will be based in the Sydney CBD area on the Regional Rail Project. This is a 1-2 year contract.

Working on large-scale rolling stock projects, you will:

- Provide technical advice in relation ICT aspects of design, manufacturing, testing & commissioning, acceptance and/or maintenance activities;

- Conduct the review of formal submissions from Suppliers, including participating in workshops with the Supplier;

- Witness inspections and tests, which may include overseas locations;

- Participate in audits and technical meetings;

- Undertake short-term domestic and/or international travel if required.

The successful candidate will also have the opportunity to be involved in new business development.

Job Requirements

- At least five years' rolling stock ICT experience, ideally with design, integration and/or testing & commissioning experience;

- Experience in Signalling and ETCS is desirable;

- Experience in Radio Communications e.g. DTRS / NTCS also desirable;

- Bachelor of Electrical, Software or Mechatronics Engineering Degree with strong results;

- Strong verbal and written communication, consultation skills and the ability to deal effectively with people at all levels.

Contact: Renee Wade (renee@railpersonnel.com)

Rail News:

12 Jan 2020. Philippines. Japan wants to fast-track rail projects

Japan has signified its intention to help fast-track ongoing railway projects in the country, the Department of Transportation said. Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has met with a Japanese delegation headed by Japanese House of Councilors member Iwai Shigeki where they discussed ongoing and future railway projects under Japan’s official development assistance (ODA). During the meeting, the Japanese delegation expressed its desire to help accelerate the railway projects which are currently ongoing, such as the MRT-3 rehabilitation. For MRT-3, Tugade said Japan would be able to help further advance the rehabilitation and maintenance of the train system, as well as accelerate the use of the Dalian trains. Other rail projects being funded through Japan ODA are the North-South Commuter Railway Project, LRT-2 East Extension, Metro Manila Subway, and LRT-1 Cavite Extension (for its light rail vehicles and depot).

Source: The Philippine Star

10 Jan 2020. DB Cargo UK to run new service to East Midlands Gateway Terminal

DB Cargo UK has launched a new route for Maritime Intermodal to its new East Midlands Gateway (EMG) Terminal in Castle Donington. The first commercial service arrived in to the new terminal from the Port of Felixstowe on Tuesday, 7th January and will operate five times per week. The new 17-acre interchange is capable of handling up to sixteen 775metre-long freight trains daily. Planning permission was granted earlier this year for a three-storey, 20,000ft2 office at EMG that will act as a headquarters for Maritime’s rail subdivision.

Source: DB Cargo UK

10 Jan 2020. UK. Keolis Amey fined for poor performance

Train operator Keolis Amey, which is responsible for running train services in Wales, has been fined £2.3m for poor performance. It has been running the £5bnWales and Borders franchise since October 2018.The day-to-day contract is managed by Transport for Wales which is part of Welsh Government. The fines are as a result of various issues over different periods and includes failing to meet performance targets. It also covers the impact of a shortage of trains on a day-to-day basis because of refurbishments and weather delays. Transport for Wales said there had been a series of challenges including a shortage of fleet available to operate on a day-to-day basis

Source: Wales online

9 Jan 2020. UK. TfW opens South Wales Metro Infrastructure Hub

Transport for Wales (TfW) has opened the South Wales Metro Infrastructure Hub in Treforest in Wales. TfW will use the hub to carry out the next transformation phase for the South Wales Metro valley railway lines. The facility also includes management offices and distribution facilities. The Cardiff Capital Region and the UK Department for Transport provided funding for the project. The European Regional Development Fund also contributed through funds allocated to the Welsh Government. For the next five years, TfW will use the facility as the material distribution centre. Following the first transformation phase, the facility will act as a maintenance depot until the current rail service contract ends. The project management offices are expected to create jobs for around 200 personnel. This will create a central location in which to carry out Metro work.

Source: Railway Technology

9 Jan 2020. UK. Northern Rail on the brink of collapse

Troubled rail operator Northern has the finances to continue only "for a number of months", the government has said. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced he is evaluating a proposal from the train operator on options for continuing its franchise. The process could ultimately lead to the government taking control of services, he said. Arriva Rail North, which operates Northern services, apologised to customers for ongoing disruption. The company has faced a range of issues in recent years, such as widespread cancellations amid the introduction of new timetables. A final decision on the future of Northern will be taken later this month.

Source: BBC

9 Jan 2020. UK. Hitachi to invest £8.5m at Newton Aycliffe train factory

Hitachi Rail’s factory at Newton Aycliffe, Durham will this year complete one of the UK’s largest train manufacturing orders – the £5.7 billion, government-backed Inter City Express Programme (IEP). As the final train for the East Coast Mainline fleet will be delivered in the coming months, preparations are beginning for the next phase of manufacturing at Newton Aycliffe. The factory is embarking today on the transition to a new core workforce model, including a 45-day consultation process with employees at the factory. Additionally, Hitachi will make its single largest investment since the factory was built – around £8.5m – introducing brand new manufacturing capabilities which will benefit its customers. The investment will be spent on creating new carriage welding and painting facilities, taking its total investment in the factory in the past five years to around £110m. The increased capability will be significant, allowing Newton Aycliffe to become a full-scope manufacturing facility, from welding panels through to building fully rail-ready trains.

Source: Hitachi Rail

9 Jan 2020. Italy. EIB finances new trains of Naples Circumvesuviana network

A new fleet of 40 electric trains for the railway network serving Naples and the province of Naples, the so-called Circumvesuviana, to help significantly relieve traffic congestion and considerably reduce pollution in the entire area. That is the aim of the five-year investment plan of Ente Autonomo Volturno (EAV), the Campania Region's railway management authority, supported by the European Investment Bank via a EUR68m loan. The EIB loan is guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), one of the pillars of the Investment Plan for Europe, also known as the Juncker Plan. EAV's total investment of around €220m will be used to replace 40 trains that have reached the end of their useful life. The new trains will be deployed on the six lines of the Circumvesuviana, which serve one of the most densely populated areas in Europe: 47 municipalities with around 2.5 million inhabitants. The busiest line is the Naples-Sorrento line which, besides being a commuter line, also serves many tourist destinations and cultural heritage sites such as Herculaneum and Pompeii.

Source: European Commission

8 Jan 2020. UK. Alstom to refurbish and maintain Avanti West Coast Pendolinos

Britain’s most iconic train fleet is to undergo a major refurbishment that will create scores of high-skilled engineering jobs and secure hundreds more roles throughout the UK. In a boost to the manufacturing sector, all 56 electric Pendolino trains deployed on the West Coast Mainline will be overhauled in a seven-year deal worth approximately €755m (£642m) signed between the route’s new operator, Avanti West Coast, and Alstom which built the fleet. As well as covering a €150m (£127m) upgrade programme of the Pendolinos, which is believed to be the biggest train upgrade programme ever undertaken in the UK, the deal will see Alstom maintain them until 2026 alongside a new train fleet recently ordered from Hitachi.

Source: Alstom

8 Jan 2020. UK. PM signals end of the line for West Midlands Rail franchise

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has threatened beleaguered trains operator West Midlands Rail its franchise could soon hit the buffers. Responding to a question from Harriet Baldwin, Conservative MP for West Worcestershire, the PM warned ‘the bell is tolling’ for the company. It recently pledged to freeze the price of season tickets for 2020 to compensate passengers for delays and overcrowding in 2019. Passengers have received £2.5 million in ticket refunds for delays since May 2019.

Source: Coventry Observer

8 Jan 2020. Taiwan. MOTC to build new railway connecting high-speed rail, TRA lines

Transportation Minister Lin Chia-lung has announced that a spur line will be built to connect a high-speed rail station and regular railway station in central Taiwan to boost local tourism. The NT$1.818bn (US$59.7m) project will allow bullet train passengers to get off at Changhua Station and transfer directly to the Taiwan Railways Administration's (TRA's) Tianzhong Station, where they can take the scenic Jiji Line to visit other townships in the area. Construction of the 3-km project, which received initial approval of the Cabinet in September 2019, could start by the end of 2022 and take four years, according to Lin. Lin said the ministry will spend another NT$2.3 billion to modernise the Jiji Line by 2025 that will shorten service intervals from 80 minutes to 60 minutes.

Source: CNA

8 Jan 2020. Australia. Old trains, repairs put pressure on Sydney's rail network

Decades-old trains, passenger crowding, forecasts of a A$1.3bn maintenance backlog and a surge in demand for services will heap pressure on Sydney's already stretched rail network as the city balloons to 6 million people over the next decade, an internal government report reveals. The report underscores the need for the state government to inject even more funding into the backbone of the public transport system as an extra 1.4 million people are forecast to call the city home by 2031. Despite recently retiring old trains, almost one-quarter of the state's passenger trains are still more than 30 years old, and nearly half of the fleet is more than two decades in age. However, Transport for NSW said it was investing at record levels to keep pace with unprecedented demand on the rail network through a A$4.3nb program to deliver more trains and services.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

7 Jan 2020. South Western Railway could lose franchise after £137m loss

South Western Railway (SWR) said it was in talks with the government over the future of the contract, which is due to expire in 2024.The operator, owned by FirstGroup and Hong Kong-based firm MTR, said it had been affected by issues including strikes and infrastructure reliability. SWR services were disrupted for 27 days in December by the latest in a series of strikes over the future of guards. SWR’s accounts, for the year ending 31 March 2019, showed a loss after tax of £136.9m. It said talks with the DfT could lead to a new contract or "termination of the [current] contract within the next 12 months". SWR said its owners had set aside funds for the "maximum unavoidable loss".

Source: BBC

7 Jan 2020. UK. Maintenance contract awarded for Network Rail's 'Flying Banana'

Network Rail has awarded a contract to Loram UK for the maintenance of its New Measurement Train following a competitive tender in 2019. The contract is budgeted for £8m over five years. The New Measurement Train monitors and records track condition information at speeds up to 125mph. Known as the Flying Banana because of its distinctive yellow livery, it is the fastest train in Network Rail’s infrastructure monitoring fleet, which identifies faults on the railway before they become a safety issue or affect performance. Equipped with high-tech measurement systems, track scanners and high-resolution cameras, the New Measurement Train is a converted Intercity High Speed Train that has been travelling around Britain’s railway network for 15 years. The train’s speed means it can measure large distances in a single operating shift. It covers 115,000 miles in a year and captures around 10TB of image data every 440 miles.

Source: Network Rail

6 Jan 2020. The Netherlands. APG acquires stake in Alpha Trains

Arcus European Infrastructure Fund 1 has sold its 41·1% stake in rolling stock leasing company Alpha Trains to Dutch investment group APG. Alpha Trains has a portfolio of 363 locomotives and 432 trainsets leased to operators in 17 countries including Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Benelux region. The majority of the fleet is electric, making a significant contribution to the decarbonisation of Europe’s transport sector. Peter Branner, CIO of APG, said: “The investment in Alpha Trains Group perfectly fits our investment strategy: Alpha Trains’ fleet of mostly electric trains and locomotives promotes sustainable, low carbon mass transport within Europe while also offering access to a long-term business model with strong growth and resilient cash flows. We are excited to be part of the ongoing European rail liberalisation process, where significant investment is required for new vehicles to increase rail’s share of the European transportation market and the replacement of ageing infrastructure to contribute to Europe’s greenhouse gas reduction targets.

Source: Global Railway Review

6 Jan 2020. India. Civil contract for the Tughlakabad-Aerocity Metro corridor awarded

The first civil contract for the Tughlakabad - Aerocity Metro corridor of Delhi Metro’s Phase 4 has now been awarded to the joint venture of Hindustan Construction Co. Ltd. (HCC) and VCCL The US$68.05m contract involves construction of Metro viaduct from Sangam Vihar to Saket - G including four elevated Metro stations - Sangam Vihar, Khanpur-Devoli, Ambedkar Nagar and Saket-G. This section will include a double decker viaduct which will comprising the Metro viaduct as well as an elevated six-lane flyover from Sangam Vihar to Ambedkar Nagar. The work shall be completed in about three years. The Tughlakabad – Aerocity Metro corridor is 20.20 kms long with 15 Metro stations. It will connect the Kashmere Gate – Raja Nahar Singh Violet Line with the Airport Express Link. Three corridors of Phase 4 have so far been approved under which, 61.679 kms of new Metro lines shall be constructed across three different corridors comprising of 45 Metro stations. The construction work of Phase 4 commenced on 30th December 2019.

Source: PSU Connect

6 Jan 2020. Fire damage shuts Blue Mountains line to electric trains for months

The Blue Mountains rail line is likely to remain closed to most passenger trains for at least another two months between Lithgow and Mount Victoria due to extensive damage to power and signalling equipment from massive bushfires. Train passengers have been forced to catch replacement buses since 21st December after the Gospers Mountain mega fire destroyed signalling and other railway infrastructure along a 25-kilometre stretch of the line in the Blue Mountains. While a small number of diesel-powered passenger trains are expected to begin operating on the line by late January, the extent of damage means it is likely to be at least two months before electric trains can run between Mount Victoria and Lithgow. The worst damage has been to signalling equipment and power supply.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald