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Rail News

23 March 2020, Volume 3, Issue 4

4 months ago by Rail Personnel

​Dear Readers

Following the first meeting of its coronavirus task force, the International Union of Railways has published Management of Covid-19: Guidance for Railway Stakeholders.

The document which available online is designed to collect and share best practice from UIC members on actions already in place, and to provide potential measures which could be implemented according to the risk level and in co-ordination with the guidance of health authorities.

It draws on contributions from railway companies in countries including Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain and the USA.

UIC said the document would continue to be updated throughout the duration of the Covid-19 crisis, and it welcomed continued contributions from its members ‘to help one and all manage the global response’. (Source: Railway Gazette).

We have 2x Jobs of the Week this week. In Perth, we are looking for a Permanent Way Engineer and in China, we are looking for a Senior RAMS Engineer.

Regards

Ceri Taylor

Editor

This Week’s Headlines

21 Mar 2020. Germany. Police arrest man over high-speed rail tampering

A 51-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after allegedly loosening bolts on a high-speed railway track.

Source: BBC

21 Mar 2020. Morocco. ONCF to suspend most train movement

The National Office of Railways (ONCF) has announced, that it will limit train movement to specific destinations while suspending travel to all other destinations in a bit to halt the spread of coronavirus.

Source: Morocco World News

21 Mar 2020. South Korea. Hyundai Rotem awarded Seoul GTX Line A train contract

The SG Rail special purpose company formed to design, finance and build Line A of the Great Train Express network of commuter lines around Seoul has awarded Hyundai Rotem a 345bn won contract to supply 15 trainsets by 2024.

Source: Railway Gazette

20 Mar 2020. USA. APTA increases federal aid request to offset coronavirus costs

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is requesting US$16bn in emergency funding from Congress for public transit agencies and passenger railroads to offset the costs and revenue losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: Progressive Railroading

20 Mar 2020. UK. Train services to be stripped back

Train services are to be pared back across Britain from Monday as passengers are urged to stop all non-essential travel to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Source: The Guardian

Jobs of the Week:

Permanent Way Engineer, Perth, Western Australia

Job Description

Job ID#: 12945

Discipline: Permanent Way

Position Type: Permanent

Our client manages the vital transport infrastructure and operates 5,000km of freight in Western Australia. They are looking for an experienced Track Engineer to join our high performing Engineering Team in Perth.

In this role you will use your analytical and problem solving skills in order to support the Engineering team in the operation and maintenance department.

* be confident to performing discipline specific engineering to support the Network Strategy & Customer Operations business unit;

* ability to provide research, asset planning, estimates, studies, engineering design, inspections, testing and commissioning, project support, analysis and modelling.

* Perform engineering support in accordance with all discipline technical requirements (policies, frameworks, standards, procedures, certifications, etc)

* Assist in setting Operational and Maintenance procedural and operational rules.

* proven experience to assist in ensuring the highest possible standard of safety, asset integrity, availability and reliability of equipment or system performance is achieved at all times.

* Preparing scope of works to be carried out by contractors, consultants and internal project teams;

* Assisting with incident investigations as and when necessary;

Job Requirements

Applicants need to have:

1. Degree qualified in civil or Mechanical field

2. Sound knowledge of design principles and standards as well as knowledge of current trends in system design are also essential.

3. You must be able to multi-task and work collaboratively with others in order to meet team objectives.

Contact: Jackie Hendry (jackie@railpersonnel.com)

Senior RAMS Engineer, Suzhou, China

Job Description

Job ID#: 12802

Discipline: Safety

Position Type: Permanent

Our client is seeking a RAMS Lead Engineer for a full-time role in Suzhou, China. Applicants must speak Mandarin for this role.

Mission of the Job is to provide specialist RAMS related Project Management to AP Regional Locations RailServices Departments, Include Service Center, RailServices Sales, Field Service and External Cooperation.

Tasks and Responsibilities:

- To provide specialist RAMS related project management and RAMS coaching for AP Regional Locations RailServices Departments.

- Project Management of Life Cycle Management and relative project support.

- To provide Project management for Extended Warranty project RAMS analysis and project management support and coaching for OH cooperation projects and Shop-in-Shop Projects

- Analysis of field data using the following tools:

o Weibull analysis to determine characteristics of the failures

o Pareto charts to prioritize data

o Trend analysis to assist identification of process drift

o Root Cause analysis for use in complex failure investigations

o Hazard analysis to determine underlying risks

o FMECA used to develop maintenance plans and identify critical items

o FRACAS

o Risk analysis, etc.

- To support RS engineering about problem solving and data analysis/prediction

- To support Field Service Process Update and data collection projects.

- To Support Field Service Data analysis and weekly reporting

Job Requirements

- Engineering qualification - Mechanical/Electrical/Electronics or suitable equivalent Capability to attain Professional Engineer Status

- RAMS qualifications or suitable experience in RAMS and System Assurance

- Minimum 5 years" technical expertise and management experience in RAMS & LCC, design engineering, trouble-shooting, manufacture and/or maintenance of equipment for Railway Rolling Stock.

- Strong presentation, training, problem solving and analysis skills

- Proficient in computer programming such as EXCEL Marco, SQL, etc.

- Excellent command of English

Contact: Jackie Hendry (jackie@railpersonnel.com)

Rail News

21 Mar 2020. Germany. Police arrest man over high-speed rail tampering

A 51-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after allegedly loosening bolts on a high-speed railway track. The stretch of track affected was just before a bridge outside Frankfurt. A train driver noticed "something unusual" while crossing the bridge early on Friday. Several trains had already passed over the section before the issue was discovered. State-owned rail operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) described the incident as "sabotage." In a statement, prosecutors said the man is "strongly suspected of having removed bolts on 80 metres (260 feet) of the rail on a bridge between Cologne and Frankfurt". His motive remains unclear however police said they could not rule out "a possible attack attempt."

Source: BBC

21 Mar 2020. Morocco. ONCF to suspend most train movement

The National Office of Railways (ONCF) has announced, that it will limit train movement to specific destinations while suspending travel to all other destinations in a bit to halt the spread of coronavirus. . ONCF added that it will provide minimum proximity trains linking Casablanca to Rabat and Kenitra, linking Casablanca and Mohammed V Airport, and linking Casablanca to Settat and El Jadida. The travel ban will enter into force on Monday, 23 March 23 at 11:59 PM. The order comes in line with Morocco’s decision to ban intercity travel during the state of emergency. The office requires those traveling for work to present exceptional movement permits issued by competent authorities, as stipulated by the Ministry of the Interior.

Source: Morocco World News

21 Mar 2020. South Korea. Hyundai Rotem awarded Seoul GTX Line A train contract

The SG Rail special purpose company formed to design, finance and build Line A of the Great Train Express network of commuter lines around Seoul has awarded Hyundai Rotem a 345bn won contract to supply 15 trainsets by 2024.. While broadly based on metro car design, the EMUs will have a higher maximum speed of 180 km/h, and thus will have noise reduction measures, a greater level of air-tightness and stronger walls and doors to withstand the pressure waves when trains enter or leave tunnels at speed. The eight-car trains to be built at Hyundai Rotem’s Changwon plant will have a capacity of 1,090 passengers. Hyundai Rotem said it hoped the contract could be followed by orders for GTX lines B and C.

Source: Railway Gazette

20 Mar 2020. USA. APTA increases federal aid request to offset coronavirus costs

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is requesting US$16bn in emergency funding from Congress for public transit agencies and passenger railroads to offset the costs and revenue losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. APTA on Wednesday originally requested US$12.9m in funding. The increased request is based on an internal survey of 163 public transit agencies and revised estimates of costs and losses.

The US16bn would help offset US$1.75bn in direct costs, US$7.65bn in farebox revenue loss, US$6.25Bn in sales tax revenue loss and US$350m in restart costs. Collectively, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and Virginia Railway Express commuter-rail ridership has declined between 80 per cent and 90 per cent. Meanwhile, California Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered California’s 40 million residents to stay at home indefinitely with exceptions only for essential travel.

Source: Progressive Railroading

20 Mar 2020. UK. Train services to be stripped back

Train services are to be pared back across Britain from Monday as passengers are urged to stop all non-essential travel to slow the spread of coronavirus. Ministers and rail operators across England, Scotland and Wales have agreed to make progressive cuts to timetables, with the aim of keeping core services running – but reflecting a drop of almost 70% in passenger numbers since the outbreak started. The speed with which services will be cut will be left to individual train operators, but they have pledged to maintain a sufficient timetable for key workers to travel to work and for the public to access medical appointments, as well as ensuring the flow of goods by rail. Gatwick Express trains will be slashed, with air passengers running at less than 10% of normal levels, and the airport reducing its operating capacity by one third to cut costs. In the capital, a reduced London Underground service has already come into effect with the closure of 40 stations, and the axing of the night tube.

Source: The Guardian

20 Mar 2020. Germany. Stadler wins tender for BVG underground trains

Stadler has won a tender issued by the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) for the delivery of up to 1,500 cars for use on Berlin’s underground network. The framework agreement, whose total volume represents up to €3bn, also covers the supply of spare parts for a period of 32 years. One of the unsuccessful bidders had initiated a review procedure, but the request has now been rejected by the Berlin Court of Appeal in the last instance of appeal. The framework agreement includes a fixed minimum order quantity of 606 cars. Stadler will therefore supply 376 cars for two-to four-car vehicle units for the small and large profile sections of the network in a first call-off order from 2022 onwards. A further 230 cars have been ordered on a firm basis, but the corresponding call-off order will be placed at a later date. The new series, which is referred to as J/JK by BVG, is based on the familiar Stadler-METRO vehicles.

Source: Stadler Rail

19 Mar 2020. Saudi Arabia. Transport services suspended

All domestic flights, buses, taxis and trains in the kingdom will be suspended for 14 days from Saturday, 20 Marchto prevent the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak. Train services will be suspended for all operators including the Riyadh-Dammam line through Abqaiq and Hofuf, the Riyadh-Jawf line through the Majmaa, Al-Qassim and Hail, and the Haramain Express. Only commercial transport trains, including the freight train between King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam and the Dry Port in Riyadh, and the mining train of the Saudi Railways Company will be exempt.

Source: Gulf Times

19 Mar 2020. Colombia. Consortium wins Regiotram del Norte project contract

The Metropolitan Region of Bogotá-Cundinamarca has awarded a contract to the Arco Bogotá Zipa consortium to oversee feasibility studies and designs for the Regiotram del Norte project. Arco Bogotá Zipa consortium comprises Ardanuy Ingeniería Colombia and Coral Delgado. The Pesos 2.3bn ($US 550,000) contract will run for 17 months. Regiotram del Norte involves rebuilding the existing railway between Bogota and Zipaquirá for light rail operation. China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CECC) ) won a Pesos 3600bn contract in January to design and build the 39.5km line and operate and maintain it for 21 years. The line is expected to open in the first half of 2024.

Source: International Railway Journal

18 Mar 2020. South Korea. KRNA to manage high-speed Railway in Thailand

Korea Rail Network Authority (KRNA) has been selected as the preferred bidder for a high-speed railway management project in Thailand. The project was ordered by the Eastern Economic Corridor Office of Thailand (EECO), a government agency in charge of planning, budgeting, and implementing economic development projects in three provinces southeast of Bangkok. KRNA has formed a global consortium with 13 companies including Thailand's Team Group to win the project, which will cost 156 billion won. KRNA will manage a high-speed railway that is being built to link Don Mueang International Airport, Suvarnabhumi Airport and U-Tapao International Airport. It is scheduled to open in 2023. The total cost of the public-private partnership project is about eight trillion won.

Source: Business Korea

17 Mar 2020. UK. First of Greater Anglia’s Aventra EMUs on test

Greater Anglia has begun testing the first of the 111 Aventra 25 kV 50 Hz electric multiple-units being supplied by Bombardier Transportation for its London commuter routes. The EMU was tested on the Southend Victoria line in what the operator said was ‘another significant milestone in the progress towards getting the trains into passenger service’. These tests included checking the interaction with the track and signals, testing performance at different speeds, and checking every station and platform to see if any signs or platform furniture will need to be relocated. The order covers five-car units with 544 seats and 10-car trains with 1 145 seats. Passenger features include plug and USB sockets, air-conditioning, under-floor heating and passenger information screens. The units are 40% lighter than previous trains, and equipped for regenerative braking. Drivers and station staff also need to be trained to work with the new trains.

Source: Rail Business News

17 Mar 2020. Germany. SFBW orders Siemen Mobility battery-powered trains

Siemens Mobility has announced that it has received the first order for its battery-powered Mireo Plus B trains from Landesanstalt Schienenfahrzeuge Baden-Württemberg (SFBW) for operation in Baden-Württemberg. The total order of 20 Mireo Plus B trains includes maintenance of the trains by Siemens Mobility for a period of just under 30 years. The two-car electric trainsets with 120 seats can operate on rail routes with or without overhead power lines thanks to their battery hybrid drive, and are scheduled to operate in Network 8 of the Ortenau regional system. With a range of approximately 80km in battery operation under real conditions, the batteries can be charged via the overhead line while operating along electrified sections and by recuperating the train’s braking energy. The lithium-ion battery system is mounted underfloor and is installed in two battery containers. The contract – which includes the building, delivery and maintenance of the trains – amounts to €77m for the term of 28 years, with the KfW IPEX Bank financing the trains for Nahverkehrsgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg (NVBW).

Source;: Global Railway Review

17 Mar 2020. Australia. Murray Basin rail project fails to deliver

A report by Victoria's Auditor-General has slammed the state's handling of the Murray Basin Rail Project (MBRP) upgrade in Victoria's west as "deficient" and "inadequate". The project to upgrade the freight corridor remains half-finished, six years after it was announced. The Auditor-General has confirmed the route to port from the north-west Victorian terminal at Yelta is now 128 kms longer than the original broad-gauge route. The report's authors singled out the state's regional rail agency V/Line for "deficient project planning, cost estimation, and scoping" during the A$440m freight project. The Auditor-General found the weight restriction of 19 tonnes remains for most operators using the network — despite a clear project aim of increasing the tonnage to 21.The report's authors have also confirmed previous media reports that the reopened Maryborough to Ararat section was rebuilt using legacy rail with a quality classed as no better than when the line was used in the 1990s. The president of Victoria's Rail Futures Institute, John Hersch, said the failed outcome involved systemic failures that needed to be addressed.

Source: ABC

16 Mar 2020. UK. Investigation reveals number of 'ghost trains' lying idle

An investigation has revealed that thousands of unused trains are standing idle in rail sidings and depots across the country. According to industry experts, the unused “ghost trains” worth at least £3bn and containing over 110,000 seats are being stored across at least half a dozen sites, including Crewe, Worksop, Ely and Long Marston. Channel 4’s Dispatches programme into the UK’s dysfunctional railways has revealed that many of the carriages could be used immediately, while others only need minor adjustments to be brought into service to alleviate the pressure on busy commuter routes. A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “The storage of rolling stock in sidings is not new. As the industry introduces new trains these are often stored to undergo various testing and commissioning before entering into service. Equally, older trains coming off the network are often stored in sidings before being scrapped.”

Source: The Guardian

16 Mar 2020. Cádiz tram-train testing underway

Following authorisation by notified body CETREN, test running is set to begin this month along the full 24 km length of the tram-train route between Chiclana de la Frontera and Cádiz. Initially planned to open in 2017, the tram-train project covers construction of 14 km of 1 668mm gauge tramway in the towns of Chiclana and San Fernando, plus adaptation of 10 km of ADIF tracks to enable tram-trains to share the main line to Cádiz. Initial commissioning tests have already taken place over an 800 m stretch of the line around the junction at Rio Arillo where the tramway meets the main line. The Andalucía regional government ordered seven tram-trains from CAF to operate the service, which is now expected to start in 2021.

Source: Railway Gazette