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Rail News

9 March 2020. Volume 3, Issue 2

8 months ago by Rail Personnel

​Dear Readers

The worsening Coronavirus- COVID-19 epidemic is impacting the rail industry worldwide with services being cut, conferences called-off and projects delayed (see separate stories below).

Should you be seeking information regarding your rail travel plans in Europe, and if you can obtain a refund should you decide not to travel, a good place to start is https://www.thetrainline.com/trains/coronavirus-travel-information

You can read tips on how to avoid catching the virus on public transport at:

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/how-to-avoid-getting-sick-traveling-trains-subways-coronavirus-2020-3?r=US&IR=T

We have 2x exciting Jobs of the Week this week. In Malaysia, we're looking for a Director, Construction and in Sydney, Australia, we are looking for a Senior Automation Test Engineer.

Regards

Ceri Taylor

Editor

This Week’s Headlines

7 Mar 2020. USA. Amtrak suspends DC-New York service as demand weakens

Amtrak is cancelling its high-speed Acela nonstop service between Washington, D.C. and New York, starting 10 March through to 26 May, as consumer demand weakens amid concern over the coronavirus outbreak.

Source: CNBC

7 Mar 2020. Nigeria. Lagos-Ibadan rail project delayed over coronavirus

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) says the delay in the completion of the Lagos-Ibadan rail project is due to the outbreak of coronavirus in China.

Source: The Cable

7 Mar 2020. Australia. Gold Coast Light rail extension route revealed

The Queensland State Government has unveiled the preferred extension route for the final stage of the city’s tram service, which would see it travel along the Gold Coast Highway, through Palm Beach and to the Airport.

Source: MyGC.com.au

6 Mar 2020. UK. All-female crew staff 'Flying Scotswoman' train

An all-female crew, including four sisters, have operated a train from Edinburgh to London to mark International Women's Day on Sunday.

Source: BBC

6 Mar 2020. The Netherlands. Alstom’s hydrogen train completes successful tests

Alstom has performed ten days of tests of the Coradia iLint hydrogen fuel cell train on the 65 kilometres of line between Groningen and Leeuwarden in the north of the Netherlands.

Source: Alstom

Jobs of the Week:

Director, Construction Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Job ID#: 12532

Discipline: Civil

Position Type: Permanent

Job Description

Our client is looking for a Director, Construction to contribute to the leadership of the client's team to achieve business goals that meet shareholder expectations in terms of profitability and value creation with focus on safety, continuous improvement and good corporate governance. Client will only consider Malaysian candidates

Management of Infrastructure and System construction work to meet the overall objectives of the client to deliver a fully commissioned system in compliance to the Employer's Requirements, industry standards, consultants' specifications, Client's expectations, safely, on time and at the right quality.

Client only wants Malaysian candidates

Job Requirements

- Candidate must possess Degree in Civil/Electrical/Mechanical/Electronic Engineering or equivalent.

- Minimum 20 years working experience in the design and construction on large railway projects as well as construction and installation of systems on large railway projects and have successfully delivered a railway project in the last 10 years.

- Strong leadership and ability to work with a compact local construction delivery tea

- Proven track record in managing and driving all packages contractors to deliver within time and cost

- Proven track record in successful completion and delivery of infra works is essential

Contact: David Hyland (davidh@railpersonnel.com)

​Senior Automation Test Engineer Sydney, Australia

Job ID#: 12951

Discipline: IT

Position Type: Permanent

Job Description

Our client is seeking a Senior Automation Test Engineer to support activities in Australia. This job is based in Sydney.

The Purpose of this role is to contribute to the Verification Team in order to successfully undertake the strategies and tasks to successfully achieve the values, goals and objectives of the company. This is an exciting opportunity to make your mark on an industry leading company going through rapid technology transformation.

Key Role & Responsibilities:

- You live and breathe to provide fully verified software applications to customers who love our technology;

- Design, implement and maintain an automation framework and strategy from scratch;

- Create automated GUI and API tests covering server, desktop, mobile, cloud and embedded applications;

Job Requirements

- A Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Engineering or equivalent;

- Demonstrate at least 7 years of experience within the verification industry, with at least 2 years specifically related to automation;

- You hold yourself to a high standard of delivery and love working with like-minded team mates;

- Proficiency with at least one programming language such as Python, C# or C++;

Contact: Jackie Hendry (jackie@railpersonnel.com)

Rail News

7 Mar 2020. USA. Amtrak suspends DC-New York service as demand weakens

Amtrak is cancelling its high-speed Acela nonstop service between Washington, D.C. and New York, starting 10 March through to 26 May, as consumer demand weakens amid concern over the coronavirus outbreak. “While there are no current travel restrictions on Amtrak, we understand customers may have concerns,” the company said in a statement. Amtrak has also waived change fees on all existing or new reservations made before 30 April. Amtrak also plans to reduce the risk of the coronavirus spread by “increasing the frequency of cleaning services to multiple times a day, and in some cases, on an hourly basis.” An increased supply of sanitizers and disinfectant wipes will be available for passengers and employees as well on trains and in stations.

Source: CNBC

7 Mar 2020. Nigeria. Lagos-Ibadan rail project delayed over coronavirus

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) says the delay in the completion of the Lagos-Ibadan rail project is due to the outbreak of coronavirus in China. Work across the 10 stations along the 157 km long Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line has been skeletal since the beginning of the year. The virus is threatening the April deadline of the project handled by the China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation (CCECC). The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said the Chinese government prevented some of the workers from returning to Nigeria because of the disease.

Source: The Cable

7 Mar 2020. Australia. Gold Coast Light rail extension route revealed

The Queensland State Government has unveiled the preferred extension route for the final stage of the city’s tram service, which would see it travel along the Gold Coast Highway, through Palm Beach and to the Airport. It comes following a two-year multi-modal corridor study, which suggested the highway route was the best option for the future of the southern Gold Coast. Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey says it will simplify planning for future heavy rail extensions on the Gold Coast between Varsity Lakes and the airport. Minister Bailey also said it was also the fastest and most efficient route, which means it will be more likely that people will shift to public transport, taking traffic off the roads. Queensland Airports Limited CEO Chris Mills welcomed the news, saying it would benefit visitors to the city traveling through Gold Coast Airport.

Source: MyGC.com.au

6 Mar 2020. UK. All-female crew staff 'Flying Scotswoman' train

An all-female crew, including four sisters, have operated a train from Edinburgh to London to mark International Women's Day on Sunday. The LNER Flying Scotsman service is being re-branded as the Flying Scotswoman for the whole of March in a bid to encourage more women to consider a career in the rail industry. The women filled roles including driver, train manager and chef. Kelly Measures, who has been a train driver for 11 years, said it was a "proud moment" being on board the service with her three sisters, all from Peterborough, who also work in the rail industry, as their father did. About 42% of LNER employees are women, but according to a poll of 890 women commissioned by the company, 85% of working-age women in the UK have not considered a career in the rail industry. The Flying Scotswoman service was one of three passenger trains entirely run by female staff on Friday to mark International Women's Day. Southeastern and Great Western Railway also operated services between Bristol and London Paddington and London Victoria and Kent.

Source: BBC

6 Mar 2020. The Netherlands. Alstom’s hydrogen train completes successful tests

Alstom has performed ten days of tests of the Coradia iLint hydrogen fuel cell train on the 65 kilometres of line between Groningen and Leeuwarden in the north of the Netherlands. The tests follow 18 successful months of passenger service on the Buxtehude–Bremervörde–Bremerhaven–Cuxhaven line in Germany, where total of 41 Coradia iLint have already been ordered. The latest tests make the Netherlands the second country in Europe where the train has proven itself a unique emissions-free solution for non-electrified lines. This series of tests is being performed at night at up to 140 km/h without passengers. For the purpose of the tests, a mobile filling station has been erected by Engie for refuelling the Coradia iLint with completely green, sustainably produced, hydrogen. The train has a range of approximately 1000 kms – the same as equivalent-size diesel multiple units.

Source: Alstom

6 Mar 2020. Turkey. Locomotive and rolling stock manufacturers to merge

Three state-owned locomotive and rolling stock manufacturers are to be removed from the control of national railway TCDD and merged into a single new entity called Türasaş. The merger will see locomotive manufacturer Tülomsaş, wagon builder Tüdemsaş and passenger rolling stock manufacturer Tüvasaş brought together as newly established company Türkiye Raylı Sistem Araçları Sanayii Anonim Şirketi, which will be owned and managed by the Ministry for Transport & Infrastructure. The restructuring is the latest step in efforts to modernise Turkey’s rail sector. TCDD was itself restructured in 2016, becoming an infrastructure manager with responsibility for operations transferred to a stand-alone business unit, TCDD Taşımacılık.

Source: Railway Gazette

5 Mar 2020. Romania. Alstom to provide digital train control and infrastructure

Alstom, as leader of a consortium, has been awarded a contract to provide digital train control, traffic management and electrification infrastructure as part of the rehabilitation and modernisation of a section of the European Rhine-Danube rail corridor. Alstom’s share of contract is worth more than €120m. The contract was signed by CFR SA, the Romanian state rail carrier, and the Asocierea RailWorks consortium which Alstom is leading. The project is expected to last four years. The work will take place on the subsection Sighisoara-Brasov, which links Nuremberg-Prague-Vienna-Budapest-Curtici-Simeria-Brasov-Bucharest-Constanta. The contract covers the modernisation of approximately 170 kms of railway infrastructure for passenger trains operating at up to 160 km/h. It includes infrastructure and superstructure rehabilitation, electrification, signalling and telecommunication systems, including GSM-R, as well as civil works.

Source: Alstom

5 Mar 2020. Sweden. Jacobs wins major high-speed rail contract

Jacobs has been was awarded a framework contract by the Swedish Transport Administration, Trafikverket, to provide strategic consultancy services for the new high-speed railway lines planned between Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. Jacobs will provide technical advice and services across planning, system, design and delivery of the three ongoing projects. Improving connectivity between the major cities, the new high-speed railway lines are expected to increase capacity and resiliency in the railway system, create more sustainable travel and freight transport and, promote regional development and greater access to international markets. These initial projects can potentially form part of a 660-km high-speed rail network with a cost estimated at SEK230bn (US$23.8bn) that will connect the southern parts of Sweden to create additional capacity and reduce inter-city journey times with fast and sustainable transport.

Source: PRNewswire

4 Mar 2020. Spain. CAF awarded narrow gauge line resignalling contract

ADIF has awarded CAF Signalling a €19·8m, 23-month contract to replace the life-expired telephone-based block signalling system at the western end of the metre-gauge Ferrocarril de La Robla route between Bilbao and León. The contract covers the section between the current temporary terminus at León Asunción-Universidad and Guardo, the eastern limit of commuter services from León. CAF Signalling will implement an automatic block system managed from a single traffic control centre, with electronic interlockings at Matallana, La Vecilla, Boñar, la Ercina, Puente Almuhey and La Espina. The freight-only branch from Matallana to La Robla is included, with an electronic interlocking to be installed at the terminus. New telecoms will also be provided at the stations on the route.

Source: Railway Gazette

4 Mar 2020. UK. Aventra EMU approved for, as West Anglia fleet introduced

Bombardier Transportation’s Aventra class 710/1 EMU fleet supplied to Transport for London (TfL) has been approved to operate in multiple, after software issues restricted the full introduction of the fleet. The approval allowed the first 710 to operate on the Overground West Anglia (London Liverpool St – Chingford/Cheshunt) services on 3 March. The approval of the Aventra design for operation in multiple marks a major step forward for Bombardier, which will supply more than 1500 Aventra vehicles for multiple British operators this year. According to Bombardier the software development delays had delayed the introduction of the Class 710/1 trains by over a year with more than 40 software versions tested before approval was obtained.

Source: International Railway Journal

4 Mar 2020. Belgium. Commission proposes 2021 to be the European Year of Rail

The European Commission has proposed to make 2021 the European Year of Rail, to support the delivery of its European Green Deal objectives in the transport field. A series of events, campaigns and initiatives in 2021 will promote rail as a sustainable, innovative and safe mode of transport. It will highlight its benefits for people, the economy and the climate and focus on the remaining challenges to create a true Single European Rail Area without borders. The Commission said 2021 had been chosen as it would be the first full year when the rules agreed under the Fourth Railway Package will be implemented throughout the EU. It also marks the 20th anniversary of the first Railway Package, the 175th anniversary of the first rail link between Paris and Brussels, as well as 40 years of TGV and 30 years of ICE. The Europalia arts festival had also chosen railways as its 2021 theme.

Source: European Commission.

3 Mar 2020. UK. SWT guard strikes suspended

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) called off two 24-hour strikes on South Western Railway (SWR) in the long-running dispute over the future of guards on trains. Members of the union had planned to walk out between 10:00 GMT on 9 March and 09:59 on 10 March. They were also due to strike between the same times on 12 and 13 March. The union said the suspension was to allow further talks to take place on 6 March. The union has demanded that guards should control the door operation for the safety of passengers. It has previously reached agreements over guards' roles with other rail firms, including Greater Anglia and operators in Scotland and Wales. SWR, which has promised to keep a guard on every train, believes the new carriages offer "the most efficient means of dispatch".

Source: BBC

3 Mar 2020. Japan. Shinkansen need to be more wheelchair friendly

Japan's transport ministry will call on the operators of bullet train services to make their carriages more accessible for people using wheelchairs. The ministry is revising guidelines for public transportation, following discussions by a panel of officials from railway companies and advocacy groups for people with disabilities. Panel members pointed out that Shinkansen bullet trains devote less space for wheelchair users compared with high-speed rail services in other countries. The new guidelines will call on bullet train operators to secure a spacious area in each car where several people in wheelchairs could stay side by side. Such areas should be large enough for large, stretcher-like wheelchairs. Some of the areas should be located by windows so that wheelchair users can enjoy a view of the landscape. The ministry will also ask the operators to build a system allowing people to book the space online.

Source: NHK World

2 Mar 2020. UK. New Northern rail team given 100 days to produce plan

The new team running trains in the north of England has been given 100 days to produce an improvement plan. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he hoped the new management would make a "significant" change now the franchise had changed hands. But he also warned that it would take time for the changes to take effect. Robert Gisby, the new chair of Northern trains, promised passengers cleaner trains with improved capacity and timetables. The new government-owned Operator of Last Resort (OLR) took over on Sunday from Arriva Rail North, which ran a service in which passengers experienced regular delays and cancellations since a timetable change in May 2018. OLR already manages the London North Eastern Railway franchise after railway services on the East Coast Main Line were brought back under government control in May 2018.Northern services have transferred from Arriva Rail North to Northern Trains Limited - a newly-formed subsidiary of OLR.

Source: BBC

2 Mar 2020. Ireland. SNC-Lavalin appointed for Dublin MetroLink project

Canadian consultancy SNC-Lavalin has been appointed as an operations advisor for the proposed North-South MetroLink project in Dublin. The scope of the contract includes the development of an operational vision and strategy, reviewing and critiquing the design of the rolling stock, and consulting on Grade of Automation Level 4 unattended operation. This also includes the development of a business case for an automated signalling system, instead of a manually driven or attended automatic one. Proposals for a Dublin MetroLink are set to see a high-capacity, high-frequency metro-line built to run from the north to just south of the capital. Reaching from Swords to Charlemont, the 19km line will largely be underground, serving 16 stations, including Dublin Airport, before linking with the Luas tram-line. Estimated to cost around €1bn, the project is due to break ground early next year with a completion date of 2027.

Source: Consultancy.UK

2 Mar 2020. India. IR commissions survey to set up rail line to Butan

A survey has been commissioned by the Indian Railway (IR) Board to establish the Mujnai-Nyoenpaling line in a bid to provide a cross-border rail link between the neighbouring nations. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal was in Bhutan, heading a business delegation in connection with the Bhutan-India Start-up Summit. According to the report, both sides also discussed designation as well as notification of new transit customs railway stations at Pandu, Jogighopa and Agartala. A team from Indian Railways will visit Bhutan to hold further discussions with the State Mining Corporation of the neighbouring country on finalising a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for export of railway ballast from Bhutan to India.

Source: PTI

2 Mar 2020. India. IRCTC takes over operation of Golden Chariot

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has taken over the luxury train Golden Chariot for operation, management and marketing, the Western Railway (WR) has said. IRCTC has signed an agreement with Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC), that owns the Golden Chariot, which has been in operation since 2008. The corporation is currently operating three semi high-speed Tejas trains. The train now boasts several new features, including newly upholstered furniture and renovated rooms and bathrooms. IRCTC has planned three trips of Golden Chariot Pride of Karnataka with departures scheduled on the 22 and 29 and 12 April, in the present tourist season.

Source: PTI

2 Mar 2020. China. rail freight growth in February despite Coronavirus

China Railway, the state-owned railway operator, has announced that rail cargoes rose 4.5 per cent in February, despite much of the country’s economy being on lockdown due to coronavirus. Growth comes as factory activity and service sector output plunged to new lows, with analysts forecasting an economic contraction in the first quarter The supplier delivery time sub-index in China’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI), which measures logistics efficiency by railway, road and air for factories, dropped to 32.1 in February, a sign that raw material supplies to the manufacturing sector were at record lows last month.. China Railway, meanwhile, said that China loaded 171,000 railway cars per day on average last month, a daily increase of 4,945 from a year earlier. Container freight on railways surged 39.5 per cent to 26.61 million tonnes, it added.

Source: South China Morning Post

2 Mar 2020. Thailand. Government announces rail system overhaul

The government of Thailand has committed to spending more than 900 bn baht (US$21bn) to expand Bangkok’s rail transit system, anchored by a US$1.3bn transit hub in the city. Intended to address the city’s air pollution issues, the project calls for optimising the metro area’s existing system with 10 electric-powered train routes, initiating a gradual phase-out of diesel-powered locomotives. The upgraded system could eventually carry more than 120,000 passengers per day once all elements are in place. The plan also calls for modernising rail connections between Thailand’s capital and most of the country’s major cities, where local transit systems will be converted to electric power. Over the next three years, the Thai government plans to significantly expand both passenger and freight capacity by augmenting its existing 2,300-mile rail network with new tracks.

Source: Engineering News-Record