Banner Default Blog

Rail News

27 January 2020. Volume 1, Issue 3

6 months ago by Rail Personnel

​Dear Readers

Happy Australia Day to those of you celebrating today – even though the actual date of Australia Day was yesterday (26 January).

On the subject of Australia, the Great Southern, is the continent’s newest luxury train journey.

The Adelaide to Brisbane service takes three-day and two-night to complete its 3,000-kilometre and features destinations that feel “like nowhere else in Australia”.

“Leaving Adelaide behind, you can relax, unwind and enjoy world-class service as the spectacular landscapes glide by,” Journey Beyond (the train’s owner) writes on its Great Southern website.

“Lap up the wild and spectacular scenery of the Grampians region, with its ancient sandstone mountains and diverse native wildlife. Delve into the art, history and culinary culture of Canberra, and discover the nation’s capital.

For Journey Beyond, the inauguration of the Great Southern marks the next chapter in its line-up of cross-Australian trains, which include The Ghan, Indian Pacific and The Overland.

The bush fire crisis recently saw passengers rerouted via Cootamundra, Parkes, Dubbo, Werris Creek and Muswellbrook, rather than the direct route from Melbourne to Sydney but the service is now back in full operation,

For further information or to make a booking go to www.journeybeyondrail.com.au

This week's Jobs of the Week are in Singapore. We are looking for a Power Supply Design Engineer, an Operations Lead - Rail Development, a Commercial Lead - Rail Development and an Engineering Lead - Rail Development.

Regards

Ceri Taylor

Editor

This Week's Headlines:

24 Jan 2020. USA. Federal Way light rail expansion receives Federal funding

Seattle-Tacoma transport authority Sound Transit has received US$790m grant from the Department of Transportation (DoT) for the Federal Way Link light rail expansion project.

Source: The News Tribune

24 Jan 2020. USA. NY MTA to study passenger options for Brooklyn freight corridor

New York MTA is to launch a formal study of proposals to introduce passenger trains over the 27 km Bay Ridge line in Brooklyn.

Source: Railway Gazette

24 Jan 2020. UK. HS2 construction must begin by April or face further delays

A new report by the National Audit Office (NAO), the official watchdog for public spending, says construction of the HS2 high speed rail line must begin by the end of March or the project will be delayed even further.

Source: The Telegraph

24 Jan 20120. UK. Birmingham’s Eastside tram extension approved

The Secretary of State for Transport has approved a Transport & Works Act Order granting the West Midlands Combined Authority powers to build and operate the Eastside extension of the West Midlands Metro tramway.

Source: Metro Report International

24 Jan 2020. India. Guntakal-Kalluru electrification, doubling project complete

The doubling of the rail line between Guntakal and Kalluru (41km) has been completed in all aspects, along with electrification

Source: The Hindu

Jobs of the Week

Engineering Lead, Rail Development Singapore,

Job ID#: 12902

Discipline: Civil

Position Type: Permanent

Job Description

Our client is seeking an Engineering Lead, Rail Development to be based in Singapore.

Responsibilities:

* Conduct research into the engineering and maintenance requirements and developments of potential opportunities identified by the company

* Lead in meetings with client to develop engineering and maintenance requirements

* Lead in meetings with potential partners to delineate engineering and maintenance responsibilities

* Liaise with Rail Engineering Departments to develop engineering and maintenance proposals

* Lead in the preparation of engineering and maintenance proposals (both quality and cost) for agreed tenders

* Prepare proposals and updates to senior management as required

* Provide regular reporting on the status of engineering and maintenance proposals to Head of Rail Development

Job Requirements

* Degree in Engineering (any discipline)

* 5 years of relevant experience in metro rail engineering and maintenance

* Experience in preparing rail tender bids would be preferred

* Able to write effectively

* Strong people, planning and organising skills

* Analytical mind

* Good communication skills

* Matured personality and good team player.

* Resourceful, self-motivated and result oriented

Contact: David Hyland (davidh@railpersonnel.com)

Commercial Lead, Rail Development Singapore,

Job ID#: 12901

Discipline: Finance

Position Type: Permanent

Job Description

Our client is seeking a Commercial Lead, Rail Development to be based in Singapore.

Responsibilities:

* Develop and foster business relationships with other parties to identify potential opportunities and/or partnerships for business growth.

* Market research for potential opportunities within the rail sector

* Prepare proposals to senior management where opportunities are identified

* Lead in meetings with clients to understand expectations and requirements

* Lead in meetings with potential partners to develop partnership framework and follow through to implement the partnership agreement

* Work with Engineering Lead and Operations Lead to develop the cost proposals for tender bids

* Ensure cost competitiveness of the client's rail tender bids

* Liaise with other departments for opportunity identification/tender submission as appropriate

* Provide regular reporting on status of business development and partnerships to Head of Rail Development

Job Requirements

* Degree in Accounting, Finance, Management or Engineering

* 5 years of business development experience in transportation sector

* Experience in rail business or preparing tender bids would be preferred

* Able to write effectively

* Strong people, planning and organising skills

* Analytical mind

Contact: David Hyland (davidh@railpersonnel.com)

Operations Lead, Rail Development Singapore,

Job ID#: 12900

Discipline: Operations

Position Type: Permanent

Job Description

Our client is seeking an Operations Lead, Rail Development to be based in Singapore.

Responsibilities:

* Conduct research into the operations requirements and developments of potential opportunities identified by the company

* Lead in meetings with client to develop operations requirements

* Lead in meetings with potential partners to delineate operations responsibilities

* Liaise with Rail Operations Departments to develop operations proposals

* Lead the preparation of operations proposals (both quality and cost) for agreed tenders

* Prepare proposals and updates to senior management as required

* Provide regular reporting on the status of operations proposals to Head of Rail Development

Job Requirements

* Degree in Engineering (any discipline)

* 5 years of relevant experience in metro rail operations

* Experience in preparing rail tender bids would be preferred

* Able to write effectively

* Strong people, planning and organising skills

* Analytical mind

* Good communication skills

* Matured personality and good team player

* Resourceful, self-motivated and result oriented

Contact: David Hyland (davidh@railpersonnel.com)

Power Supply Design Engineer Singapore,

Job ID#: 12884

Discipline: Electrical

Position Type: Contract

Job Description

Our client is seeking a Power Supply Design Engineer to assist with activities as part of the Power Supply Replacement and Upgrading for Bukit Panjang LRT in Singapore.

The Power Supply Design Engineer is in charge to perform and follow a part of the 'Power Supply and Distribution' design activity with the support of the Design Manager. He will have to perform calculation notes, to specify electrical equipment for Traction and Power sub-stations and to verify the conformity of suppliers "design with the Contract Specification. He will have to ensure the coordination of his design with all other equipment or system of the project, including the site installation methodology.

Job Requirements

- Bachelor’s Degree or Professional Certification in Electricity / Electrotechnic Engineering, with 3 to 5 years of experience in Electrical or Electromechanical design or Testing and Commissioning.

- Leadership, initiative and decision minded

- Proficient in electricity, electrical equipment, protection settings,…

- Proficient in Excel, PPT & Word

Availability: As soon as possible

Duration: 2 years

Contact: Renee Wade (renee@railpersonnel.com)

Rail News

24 Jan 2020. USA. Federal Way light rail expansion receives Federal funding

Seattle-Tacoma transport authority Sound Transit has received US$790m grant from the Department of Transportation (DoT) for the Federal Way Link light rail expansion project. The transportation department also awarded Sound Transit US$629.5m in low-interest loans to complete the project. The project will extend the light rail line 7.8 miles south into Federal Way and add three additional train stations: Kent/Des Moines, South 272nd Street, and the Federal Way Transit Center. A design and build contract for the extension was awarded to Kiewit Infrastructure West in May 2019. Preparatory works including utility relocation and land clearance began last year and main construction is expected to start shortly; the line is due to open in 2024.

Source: The News Tribune

24 Jan 2020. USA. NY MTA to study passenger options for Brooklyn freight corridor

New York MTA is to launch a formal study of proposals to introduce passenger trains over the 27 km Bay Ridge line in Brooklyn. Passing through a densely populated area of New York City, the Bay Ridge line is currently used primarily by freight operator New York & Atlantic Railway. The railway links docks at 65th Street Yard, which is served by a train ferry across the Hudson River, with NY&A’s main marshalling yard at Fresh Pond in Queens before turning north to join the Amtrak network near Hell Gate Bridge. A key objective would be to improve public transport links between Queens and Brooklyn and to enhance the potential for reverse commuting. MTA has awarded AECOM a US$1·3m contract to evaluate the potential for Subway, commuter rail, light rail or bus services that would operate in conjunction with existing and planned freight operations.

Source: Railway Gazette

24 Jan 2020. UK. HS2 construction must begin by April or face further delays

A new report by the National Audit Office (NAO), the official watchdog for public spending, says construction of the HS2 high speed rail line must begin by the end of March or the project will be delayed even further. More than 120 business leaders in the North and Midlands have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling on him to build HS2 and integrate it with wider important projects including Northern Powerhouse Construction. The NAO report states that the latest estimate of the cost of HS2 is between £65bn and £88bn, which is between 17% and 58% higher than the funding allocated to the project. It states that the programme is still at an early stage, and costs are uncertain and could change. Full services on the entire network, which will stretch to Leeds and Manchester, are now forecast to start between 2036 and 2040, three to seven years later than originally planned.

Source: The Telegraph

24 Jan 20120. UK. Birmingham’s Eastside tram extension approved

The Secretary of State for Transport has approved a Transport & Works Act Order granting the West Midlands Combined Authority powers to build and operate the Eastside extension of the West Midlands Metro tramway. This line would run for 1.7km from Bull Street in Birmingham city centre to High Street Deritend, with four stops. The extension is intended to support regeneration in Digbeth and connect the tram network to the future High Speed 2 station at Curzon Street. The double-track line will feature catenary-free running with the trams operating with battery power.

Source: Metro Report International

24 Jan 2020. India. Guntakal-Kalluru electrification, doubling project complete

The doubling of the rail line between Guntakal and Kalluru (41km) has been completed in all aspects, along with electrification. Passenger trains can now run on this section has been at 100 kmph. About 20 curves have been straightened to enhance the strength of the track. This will enable all types of passenger services with electric traction on this line, which acts as a bypass line for south-bound trains and vice-versa. The project was completed in different phases beginning with doubling of the section between Khadarpet-Gullapalyamu, electrification of the entire single line, doubling between Guntakal-Gullapalyamu, doubling between Khadarpet-Kalluru and finally electrification of the second line.

Source: The Hindu

23 Jan 2020. Japan. DB Cargo buys 50 Toshiba hybrid locomotives

Following the successful feasibility study on the joint development of a new hybrid locomotive, DB Cargo has ordered 50 Toshiba HDB 800 hybrid locomotives. The freight operating company will lease another 50 locomotives. Preparation of series assembly of the locomotives starts in 2021 at DB Cargo's maintenance depot in Rostock. The 50 new hybrid locomotives will replace 61 legacy locomotives The HDB 800 new drive systems allows shunting yards to work in a more resource-efficient way, with annual energy savings of 30% and diesel fuel savings of 1 million litres per year. The diesel-battery hybrid locomotives also offer greater quality to customers through higher average fleet availability. Furthermore, the battery modules can be charged via external power supply, further increasing the proportion of renewable energy used in rail freight transport.

Source: Toshiba

22 Jan 2019. UK. SWR faces public ownership after losing £139m last year

Train services operated by South Western Railway (SWR) could be taken into public ownership due to losses made by the franchise, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced. Poor punctuality and reliability combined with slower revenue growth has led to the operator's financial performance being 'significantly below expectation' since the franchise began in August 2017, he said. The franchise, owned by FirstGroup and MTR, made a pre-tax loss of £139m in the year to March 2019. SWR have 'not yet failed to meet their financial commitments' but the Department for Transport 'must prepare suitable contingency measures', Mr Shapps explained in a written ministerial statement. Potential options include issuing a new short-term contract to SWR's owners - FirstGroup and MTR - or transferring the operation of trains to public-sector body the Operator of Last Resort (OLR). The ORL took over services on the east coast route in June 2018 under the London North Eastern Railway brand, following the failure of the Virgin Trains East Coast franchise.

Source: Daily Mail

22 Jan 2020. Canada. Bombardier in talks to combine rail unit With Alstom

Bombardier is exploring a combination of its rail business with French rival Alstom SA, according to people familiar with the matter. However, representatives for Alstom and Bombardier declined to comment. The latest considerations between Bombardier and Alstom could face antitrust scrutiny, and there’s no certainty they will lead to a transaction.

A takeover of Bombardier’s rail business by Alstom would mark the latest attempt by some of the world’s biggest train makers to counter growing competition from China. Bombardier in 2017 held talks to combine its rail operations with Siemens AG until the German company suddenly opted to pursue a deal with Alstom. The European Union then in February 2019 blocked the merger, which would have created a European rail champion, after regulators refused to cave in to warnings about the looming threat of Chinese competition.

Source: Bloomberg

22 Jan 2020. Australia. New Australind rail car design unveiled

Western Australian (WA) Premier Mark McGowan and Transport Minister Rita Saffioti have unveiled the designs of the brand-new A$54m Australind railcar sets at Bunbury Station. A key part of the WA government’s A$1.25bn railcar program, the two new Australind trains, each consisting of a three-car set, will have a modernised interior, with USB connection points, Wi-Fi, an improved kiosk, upright storage for 16 bicycles, and three toilets. The Alstom designed Australind trains, which will be manufactured in Bellevue, are expected to be delivered in 2022-23. The WA government has also introduced a credit program for Australind rail passengers – if their train journey is delayed by more than an hour due to maintenance issues or failure of rolling stock, they will be given a credit to take their next journey free of charge.

21 Jan 2020. UK. ORR probe into Network Rail poor performance on northern routes

Network Rail is being investigated over its poor service on routes used by troubled train operators Northern and TransPennine Express. The government-owned firm has been put "on a warning" for routes in the North West and central region of England, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) said. The regulator said it was "not good enough" in those areas and was probing Network Rail's contribution to delays. Network Rail apologised for "very poor service" in the Midlands and the North. The ORR said its performance deteriorated in 2018 and "failed to substantially recover during 2019". Figures supplied by ORR show the proportion of scheduled train stops made on time in the last 12 months up to 4 January by Northern was 55% and 41% by TransPennine Express. This compares with a national average of 65%. The ORR is to investigate Network Rail's recovery plan and whether the organisation is doing "all it reasonably can to improve service for passengers".

Source: BBC

21 Jan 2019. Austria. Brussels-Vienna night train returns

Night trains have returned to the tracks between Brussels and Vienna amid growing interest in alternatives to flying. The Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) Nightjet is the first ÖBB night train between the two cities since 2003, as the ÖBB revives its overnight network. The revival of the Vienna to Brussels route comes after authorities in Sweden announced they were also considering the launch of night trains between Malmö, which could be up and running in 2022 or 2023. The ÖBB, which claims the title of Europe’s largest operator of night trains, said travelling between Vienna and Brussels by train emits 10 times less CO2 than the same journey by air. The ÖBB now runs 27 night trains, alone or with partners, serving cities in Germany, Italy and Switzerland. It plans to have a Vienna to Amsterdam route by the end of the year.

Source: The Guardian

21 Jan 2020. UAE. Stiff fines and imprisonment for damaging trains

Members of the Federal National Council (FNC) have passed a draft law designed to regulate, develop, construct, operate and maintain the federal railways. Under the Bill, which requires the President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed’s final approval, anyone who attacks a railroad vehicle with the intention of hijacking it, or taking all or some of the goods it carries, or harming one or more persons in it or diverting its course, shall face a penalty of life or temporary imprisonment. The Bill states that whoever deliberately endangers the safety of the railways, its infrastructure, or any of its assets, shall be punished with temporary imprisonment and a fine of not less than Dh100,000, but not more than Dh5,000,000. The Bill also contains clauses with fines and imprisonment for anyone stealing any of the railroad movables, whoever, by negligence, cause collision with a railway vehicle or its derailment and whoever crosses, permits, or facilitates the crossing of pedestrians, vehicles, or animals through the railways other than from the places designated for this purpose.

Source: Gulf Times

21 Jan 2020. Australia. Light rail breaks down in Sydney CBD

Passengers on board nine trams across the Sydney CBD on Tuesday afternoon were asked to get off and use the train instead after a mechanical failure led to urgent repairs to a tram at Town Hall. Services were stopped between Town Hall and Circular Quay about 4pm, and were down for roughly 90 minutes before the tram was repaired and taken out of use. Labor transport spokesman Chris Minns said it was "a major embarrassment". "On the very day they pledged to speed up the service it has run slow in the morning and broken down in the afternoon," Mr Minns said. The new light rail line between Randwick and Sydney Harbour has been plagued with teething problems since it opened in late 2019, costing nearly $3 billion, which was almost double the original price tag. There have been multiple delays and disruptions, including on its 14 December launch day. The second stage of the line, an offshoot to Kingsford, is scheduled to open in March.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

20 Jan 2020. Turkey. Construction starts on metro line to Istanbul's new airport

Turkish authorities have started the construction of a metro line from Istanbul's financial district of Gayrettepe to the new Istanbul Airport. The new line, set to be finished in August 2021, will whisk passengers from Gayrettepe, on the Turkish metropolis’ European side, to the new airport in just 35 minutes. At the ceremonial rail-welding ceremony, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said: “We didn’t neglect the transportation issue when we built the new Istanbul Airport. Besides bus transportation from the city, we have started construction of a metro line which is linked to all public transportation." The line will stretch 37.5 kms (23 miles) and will include nine stations.

Source: Hurriet Daily News

20 Jan 2020. China. Bombardier JV to provide maintenance for 71 high-speed trains

Bombardier Transportation has announced that its Chinese joint venture, Bombardier Sifang (Qingdao) Transportation Ltd. (BST), has been awarded a contract with China State Railway Group Co., Ltd. to provide maintenance service for 656 high-speed train cars (71 trains), which BST manufactured for China’s evolving high-speed rail network. The total contract is valued at approximately 2.45bn CNY (US$357m). Bombardier Transportation owns 50 per cent of BST shares, which is consolidated by Bombardier Transportation’s partner CRRC Sifang Rolling Stock Co., Ltd. All the maintenance will be completed by the end of 2020.

Source: Global Newswire

17 Jan 2020. Vietnam. RATP to supply ticketing system for Hanoi Metro Line 3

French company, RATP Smart Systems have signed a three-year contract for the design and supply of the ticketing system for Line 3 of the Hanoi Metro. This project is part of Hanoi’s first master plan, which calls for a network of nine metro lines and three monorail lines by 2050. This project responds to sustained demographic growth and the need to develop clean collective mobility. Metro line 3, the “Nhon-Hanoi Station” section, is considered as the pilot line of the metro network. With a length of 12.5 km (8.5 km overhead, 4 km underground), it will be composed of 12 stations (8 overhead stations and 4 underground stations) in its first phase. It will be put into service by 2021 with the first 8 stations, then in 2022 for the 4 underground stations. In a second phase, it will then be extended to reach up to 48 km.

Source: RATP Smart Systems