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Rail News

30 March 2020, Volume 3 Issue 5

7 months ago by Rail Personnel

Dear Readers

I hope you and your family are all managing to keep safe.

We are trying to keep things going so that when things get back to normal we are here to help you. In the meantime we will try to answer your emails and send out our Rail News every two weeks to keep you informed about what is happening.

Currently the only countries that seem to be looking for staff and employing people are Australia, Thailand and Taiwan with most countries on lock down and putting recruitment on hold.

Let’s hope the controls being put in place will stop the spread and that someone finds an antidote.

Job of the Week is in Perth, Australia where our client is looking for a Permanent Way Engineer.

Regards

David Hyland

Managing Director

Rail Personnel

This Week’s Headlines

27 Mar 2020. Laos. First rail track laid on China-Laos Railway

With its first 500-metre-long rail laid on the subgrade, the China-Laos railway has kicked off its track laying on Friday in the Lao capital Vientiane.

Source: Xinhua

27 Mar 2020. Australia. Queensland rail services cut

Long-haul train and services will be cut or cancelled entirely as Queensland fights to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Source: AAP

26 Mar 2020. France. SCNF launches special hospital train

A high speed TGV trains has been converted into a mobile hospital during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Source: Business Traveller

26 Mar 2020. USA. Senate passes stimulus bill; rail/transit to receive billions

By a unanimous 96-0 vote, the U.S. Senate 26 passed H.R. 748, its version of a US$2tn stimulus package for address the devastating economic and societal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic..

Source: Railway Age

25 Mar 2020. UK. Appeal for former signallers to return to railways

Former signallers are being asked to return to the railways across the south of England in a bid to help key workers during the coronavirus crisis.

Source: BBC

Job of the Week:

Permanent Way Engineer, Perth, Western Australia

Job ID#: 12945

Discipline: Permanent Way

Position Type: Permanent

Job Description

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)

Rail News

27 Mar 2020. Laos. First rail track laid on China-Laos Railway

With its first 500-metre-long rail laid on the subgrade, the China-Laos railway has kicked off its track laying on Friday in the Lao capital Vientiane. The rail is the longest one outside China in Asia and it was also the first time the CYP500 track laying machine has been used in railway construction in Southeast Asia, said Hu Bin, project manager of the China Railway No. 2 Engineering Group (CREC-2). The machine has advantages of high reliability, strong compatibility, standardized operating procedures, and high laying accuracy. The CYP500 can lay about 2km tracks per day, exceeding the required average daily laying progress of 1.5km. The 414km railway, with 198km tunnels and 62km bridges, will run from Boten border gate in northern Laos bordering China, to Vientiane with an operating speed of 160 km per hour. The project started in December 2016 and is scheduled to be completed in December 2021.

Source: Xinhua

27 Mar 2020. Australia. Queensland rail services cut

Long-haul train and services will be cut or cancelled entirely as Queensland fights to slow the spread of coronavirus. From Monday (31 March), there will be far fewer trains and coaches crisscrossing the state, but rural and regional centres have been told they will still have access for essential travel on key corridors. Passenger services on the North Coast rail line between Brisbane and Cairns will be halved. Services that will be suspended entirely include the Spirit of the Outback from Brisbane to Longreach, the Westlander from Brisbane to Charleville, and the Inlander from Townsville to Mount Isa. The Savannahlander, Gulflander and Kuranda Scenic Railway services will also cease operation.

Source: AAP

26 Mar 2020. France. SCNF launches special hospital train

A high speed TGV trains has been converted into a mobile hospital during the Covid-19 pandemic. The service is being used to transport coronavirus patients from heavily impacted areas in France’s Grand-Est region to less crowded hospitals in the western parts of the country. The hope is to alleviate the pressure on hospitals in the eastern regions. Each carriage can accommodate four patients, and has a medical team consisting of an intensive care doctor, an anaesthetist, a junior doctor and three nurses. In total, there are approximately 50 staff on board. The restaurant carriage has also been transformed into a medical centre with stretchers. The service began by relocating 20 patients from Strasbourg and Mulhouse to the less-affected Loire Region. SNCF also announced last week that it is offering free travel to French medics. The offer applies to TGV services InOui and OUIGO, and Intercité trains.

Source: Business Traveller

26 Mar 2020. USA. Senate passes stimulus bill; rail/transit to receive billions

By a unanimous 96-0 vote, the U.S. Senate 26 passed H.R. 748, its version of a US$2tn stimulus package for address the devastating economic and societal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Called the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act,” it includes many rail-related funding measures of direct benefit to the railway industry—all modes, freight and passenger. U.S. DOT Operations will receive US$31.3m in budgetary resources to support activities by the Office of the Secretary, Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Federal Railroad Administration, and Maritime Administration to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. Amtrak will receive US$1.02bn to support the carrier’s ability to operate passenger rail service on the Northeast Corridor (US$492m) and National Network (US$526m). Amtrak employees who have lost their jobs as a result of the coronavirus must be provided the opportunity to return to their jobs once Amtrak service is restored.

Source: Railway Age

25 March 2020. UAE. Germany's Vossloh wins Etihad Rail contract from CSCEC, SK E&C JV

Rail infrastructure-focused German technology firm, Vossloh, has secured a supply contract from a joint venture of China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) and South Korea’s SK Engineering & Construction (E&C) for Stage 2 of the 1,200km2 UAE’s national railway network, Etihad Rail. As part of the contract, Vossloh will supply turnouts and fasteners for the 605km-long railway under Stage 2 that extends from Ghuweifat on UAE’s border with Saudi Arabia to Fujairah on the east coast. The standard gauge and double-track network of the railway will be constructed in five phases due to its dimension. The supply contract for Vossloh comes after the Werdohl-based company supplied switches and rail fasteners for Phase 1 of Etihad Rail that covers 264km-long freight between the gas fields at Shah and Habshan and the port industrial city Ruwais in Abu Dhabi.

Source: Construction Week

25 Mar 2020. UK. Appeal for former signallers to return to railways

Former signallers are being asked to return to the railways across the south of England in a bid to help key workers during the coronavirus crisis. Network Rail said its southern region "carries half of all passengers in the country" as well as rail freight for the Channel Tunnel. Bosses want signal boxes and control centres open all day, despite losing staff to self-isolation and sickness. It said it would provide training for former signallers. Network Rail said it was already using some of its controllers and local managers, who were also qualified signallers, across its Kent, Sussex and Wessex routes. A spokesman said there were up to 40 former signallers in the south region - which covers Dorset, Hampshire, Berkshire, Sussex, Surrey, Kent and London - and the firm had already had a "good response". They were needed for the centres in Basingstoke in Hampshire, Three Bridges in Sussex, and Ashford and Gillingham in Kent, he added.

Source: BBC

25 Mar 2020. Sweden. Alstom to equip 77 regional trains with ERTMS

Alstom has been awarded a contract by AB Transitio, Region Skåne through Skånetrafiken, Region Blekinge, Hallandstrafiken AB, and DSB SOV to equip a fleet of 77 X31 regional trains with ERTMS onboard train control system, with an option of an additional 34 trains. All trains will be ready by end of 2023. The contract is worth about 35 million euro. The trains are running in the growing Öresund region in the South of Sweden, and Eastern Denmark. Alstom will install a solution that features an integrated dual system enabling the trains to run on legacy lines equipped with ATC-2 system in Sweden, whilst being also able to run on lines newly equipped with the ERTMS Level 2 system both in Sweden and Denmark. Furthermore, the trains are also equipped to run on the existing ZUB 123 system in Denmark. The design of the dual system minimizes hardware equipment by sharing some on-board components, and the wheel sensors. Alstom is currently delivering a similar solution in Norway on over 400 trains, to be completed in 2026.

Source: Alstom

25 Mar 2020. Sweden. Transitio exercises call for 30 trains from CAF

Vehicle leasing company Transitio has announced it will order 30 trains from CAF, with an option for an additional 34 vehicles. The contract is worth SKr 6.5bn ($US 638.1m), with delivery scheduled to commence at the end of 2022. Transitio already has a fleet of nearly 200 trains, including 63 Regina trains supplied by Bombardier. The trains were ordered under a call from a framework agreement signed in 2014 by Transitio with Bombardier, CAF and Stadler. The fleet will mainly be used for future regional services in Jönköping, Kalmar, Kronoberg and Blekinge counties.

Source: International Railway Journal

25 Mar 2020. Zambia. US company plans Zambia-to-Mozambique rail line

Florida-based rail developer Railnet International is aiming to arrange an US$11bn investment in a medium-speed rail line between Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The idea is to build a link between Zambia’s Copperbelt province to the port of Beira in Mozambique via Harare in Zimbabwe. Feasibility studies are expected to begin in the next six weeks and would be followed by detailed engineering design for the project on the Zambian side. Railnet expects to begin construction in January 2021. If built, the line would allow freight trains to travel at 120 km/h and passenger trains at 160km/h. Misheck Lungu, Zambia’s permanent secretary for transport, said Railnet would build its line parallel to the existing one. Railnet, which was set up by a group of rail professionals to develop, design, build and operate rail systems, is also planning an 18,000km railway network that would link the West African nations of Mali, Senegal, The Gambia, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Côte D'Ivoire, Liberia, and Nigeria.

Source: Global Construction Review

25 Mar 2020. China. New sea-rail freight train route launched in Chonquing

A new sea-rail freight train route linking China, Vietnam, India and other countries was launched in the country’s southwest Chongqing Municipality. The first freight train on the route, loaded with over 10m yuan (US$1.42) worth of motorcycles and other cargo, departed from Changshou District in Chongqing and will arrive at Qinzhou Port in southern China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in two days. The cargo will be shipped across the sea to countries including Vietnam, India, Pakistan, Indonesia and Malaysia. The new rail-sea transit route is at least 14 days faster than traditional river-sea routes. The route's operation platform, based in Chongqing, has taken a series of measures including subsidies to reduce enterprises' logistics cost while preventing and controlling the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), said Wang Yupei, head of the platform.

Source: Xinhua

24 Mar 2020. USA. CREATE receives grant for Pullman Junction project

The CREATE partners have received a US$12.9m federal grant for the Pullman Junction project in the south Chicago communities of Burnside and Cottage Grove Heights. This investment from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) aims to improve rail safety and fluidity, and reduce congestion throughout the Chicago Terminal by constructing a second main track, improving existing rail track geometry, increasing operating speeds, and upgrading signals and switches in the vicinity of Pullman Junction. One-quarter of all U.S. freight rail shipments move to, from and through Chicago each year. These improvements aim to increase efficiency by removing bottlenecks and replacing outdated infrastructure that slows train movements and limits capacity. The Pullman Junction project is a rail project on Chicago’s East-West Corridor. The project is aligned with ongoing planning and construction activities elsewhere in the Chicago Terminal.

Source: Railway Age

24 Mar 2020. UK. Crossrail and TfL construction sites temporarily suspended

The Prime Minister has announced unprecedented measures in the Government’s bid to halt the spread of COVID-19. Crossrail Ltd is a subsidiary of Transport for London and aligned with TfL’s policy and procedures for the management of the coronavirus risk. Mike Brown MVO, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “The Government and the Mayor have given clear instructions to stay safe and to stop travelling in all cases other than critical workers making absolutely essential journeys. “In line with this, TfL and Crossrail will be bringing all project sites to a temporary Safe Stop unless they need to continue for operational safety reasons. This means that work on all such projects will be temporarily suspended as soon as it is safe to do so. Essential maintenance of the transport network will of course continue.

Source: Crossrail

23 Mar 2020. UAE. Vossloh wins new rail link contract

Vossloh, has won a contract to supply rail fasteners and turnouts for Package 2A of the UAE's integrated railway network that will link Ruwais with Saudi Arabia's Ghuweifat region. The contract was awarded to the German company by a joint venture of China State Construction Engineering Corporation and South Korea’s SK Engineering & Construction.

Stage Two will extend 605 km from Ghuweifat on the border with Saudi Arabia to Fujairah on the east coast of the UAE. Because of its dimension, the standard gauge and mainly double-track network will be constructed in five phases. As per the deal, Vossloh will supply a total of 38 turnouts and 495,000 sleeper sets of the rail fastening system W 30 HH for this 139-km-long new stretch by the end of October 2020.

Source: Trade Arabia

24 Mar 2020. Russia. TMH delivers Samara Metro train

Samara Metro has taken delivery of another four-car trainset from Transmashholding’s (TMH) Metrowagonmash factory, augmenting the 46-car fleet used on its single 11·6km line.

Ordered in October 2019, the extra train is the ‘latest and most advanced’ variant of the 81-717/714 design, according to TMH. The 81-717.b/714.b series was first produced in 2009 as a derivative of the design that is widely used by metro operators across the CIS and Eastern Europe. The latest variant offers an updated driver’s cab, which is 30 per cent more spacious than earlier versions, with climate control systems, soundproofing, improved aerodynamics and emergency ramps. The driver’s seats have a pneumatic antivibration mounting and can be adjusted in three dimensions. The doors have warning lights to signal the closing sequence, and the mechanisms have an anti-pinch function to detect obstacles. The electrical equipment and bogies are intended to last for an operational life of 31 years.

Source: Metro Report International

23 Mar 2020. UK. Government suspends rail franchise agreements

The government has suspended rail franchise agreements to avoid train companies collapsing because of the coronavirus. Under emergency measures announced by the Department for Transport (DfT), train operators have been offered the chance to transfer “all revenue and cost risk” to the government and be paid a small management fee to continue running services. The industry body the Rail Delivery Group said it “strongly welcomes” the proposals, which boosted the share prices of listed companies with rail franchises, such as FirstGroup and Go-Ahead. While the measures are temporary, they nonetheless signal the permanent end of England’s complex rail franchising system, which was already likely to be abolished by the government commissioned Williams review. The emergency protocol will be in place for an initial period of six months, the DfT said, in order to “minimise disruption to the rail sector”.

Source: The Guardian

23 Mar 2020. India. Railways halts all passenger rail services

Indian Railways has cancelled all passenger train services from 22 March to 31 March to control the increasing number of coronavirus cases in the country. This measure includes the Premium trains, Mail/Express trains, passenger trains, Suburban Trains, Kolkata Metro Rail and Konkan Railway among others. The Metro services in Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and other cities in the country will also not operate until 31 March. However, the ban does not apply for cargo trains. This is to ensure that the important supplies reach the different parts of the country. Passengers can also cancel all their trains until 21 June and receive a full refund.

Source: Railway Technology

20 Mar 2020. UK. Network Rail appoints East Coast Main Line signalling partners

Network Rail has confirmed Siemens and Atkins as its partners in a major programme to introduce ETCS train control and traffic management on the southern section of the East Coast Main Line. The partners will play a critical role in delivering the East Coast Digital Programme (ECDP). The first £350m investment in the ECDP by the government is already being used to begin the introduction of real-time digital signalling on the route, and lay the foundations for wider national roll-out. It will mean that signallers will be able to talk to trains continuously rather than only at fixed points, instructing and responding in real time and reducing delays and significantly improving performance. Network Rail launched a procurement process to find private sector partners to help deliver the programme back in September 2018. The procurement has concluded with Siemens confirmed as the programme’s train control partner (TCP) and traffic management partner (TMP), and Atkins as rail systems integration partner (RSIP).

Source: Network Rail