Banner Default Blog

Rail News

22 June 2020 Volume 6, Issue 2

5 months ago by Rail Personnel

​Dear Readers

In our COVID-19 affected world I am now unable to continue with my passion of interesting train journeys to exotic locations. However, I have been doing so vicariously through watching the fascinating television series Around the World by Train with Tony Robinson.

Sir Anthony Robinson – or Tony Robinson - better known to many as Baldrick in the British historical sitcom Blackadder, has completed two series of the programme where he takes whirlwind journeys around the globe, jumping on and off trains to find adventure and face challenges, while exploring the history and culture of each place he visits.

The second season, which had it’s UK premier on 27 March, sees Robinson’s journey take him from making wine in Porto to hiking Machu Picchu to meeting wolves in the Arctic Circle.

You can also watch season two on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blAPhRpjDTo

We have 4 exciting Jobs of the Week this week. In Abu Dhabi, we are looking for a Strategy & Performance Director and in New Delhi, India we are looking for an Expert for non fare box and TOD. In Mauritius, we are looking for a Team Leader Civil Engineer and a Team Leader System Engineer.

Regards

Ceri Taylor

Editor

ceri@railpersonnel.com

This Week’s Headlines

18 Jun 2020. Eire. Indra to supply Irish Rail advanced traffic management system

Indra has been awarded a contract for €32m by Iarnród Éireann-Irish Rail, the operator of the Irish rail system, to develop a new train control centre in Dublin.

Source: Indra

18 Jun 2020. UK. Government spends £3.5bn on COVID-19 rail bailout cost

Britain has so far approved spending of £3.5bn (US$4.38bn) to keep its railways running during the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Reuters

18 Jun 2020. UK. Stagecoach loses challenge against rail bid ban

Stagecoach has failed in its attempt to sue the UK government after the transport group was banned from bidding for three rail franchises last year in a dispute over pension liabilities.

Source: Financial Times

18 Jun 2020. UK. Firm wins funding to trial emissions reduction technology

Train leasing company Porterbrook has received £400,000 from Innovate UK, backed by the Department for Transport, to fit Eminox SCRT technology to a Class 170 Turbostar train it leases to East Midlands Railway.

Source: Birmingham Post

17 Jun 2020. Australia. Elevated rail corridor for Perth's south-east unveiled

Commuters could have their wait time at level crossings in Perth's south-eastern suburbs slashed under a new plan to remove six level crossings on the Armadale train lin.

Source: ABC

Jobs of the Week:

Strategy & Performance Director, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Job ID#: 13013

Discipline: Administration

Position Type: Permanent

Language: Arabic, English

Job Description

Our client is seeking a Strategy & Performance Manager (preferably Emirati) to demonstrate of developing strategic plans, review feasibility studies and ensure financial planning models.

Candidates should have mandatory experience in business analysis certifications and qualification in CBAP.

All applicants should have a strong and proven experience in :

Public Transport

Transport Planning

Logistics;

Mega Infrastructure projects;

Transport Policies and Regulations.

Responsibilities:

- Establish business performance management systems to ensure achievement of business strategy and corporate performance indicators, which are aligned with Company Vision, Mission, Values and Business Plans.

- Hold regular meetings with the Board nominated committees to review progress against plans and discuss important issues requiring top management and/or Board

- Advise the Board on any significant risks including unpredictable/unforeseen events/issues as necessary in order to address unresolved matters

- Ensure the effective utilization of resources to deliver the output of the strategic plan

- Hold regular meetings with the senior management team to review progress and discuss important matters requiring top management attention

- Develop and maintain relationships with external stakeholders and business partners by overseeing and coordinating mutually beneficial relationships built on understanding of internal policies and strategic priorities

Job Requirements

Mandatory: Bachelors' degree in relevant field

Preferable: Post graduate degree or CFA is preferred.

Preferable: A minimum of 10 years of relevant experience

Contact: Jackie Hendry (jackie@railpersonnel.com)

Expert for non fare box and TOD, New Delhi, India

Job ID#: 13015

Discipline: Transportation, Automatic Fare Collection

Language: English

Job Description

Our client is bidding for a study of Non Fare box for Ahmedabad metro in India

The project involves assessment of non-fare box revenue potential at the stations and TOD zones and making a suitable strategy for it. They need to provide 'International case study for NFBR and TOD' for 2 metros.

They are therefore looking for an expert who can provide a detailed case study for 2 international metro projects.(Asia/Europe). They do not envisage any onsite work requirement for this. All inputs can be given offline. They are looking to include the person's CV in their proposal

Job Requirements

Candidates must have completed work on non-fare box revenue potential at the stations and TOD zones for Metros and developing a suitable strategy for it.

Contact: David Hyland (davidh@railpersonnel.com)

Team Leader Civil Engineer, Mauritius

Job ID#: 13016

Discipline: Civil

Position Type: Contract

Language: English

Job Description:

Our client has been appointed as Detail Design Consultant (DDC) will be involved in preparation of Preliminary Design, Detail Design & As-Built Drawings for the complete Mauritius LRT Project covering:

* Civil Works (Formation, Depot, Station Building, Bridges, Viaducts & others)

* Track Works, Road Works, Drainage

* Electrification System (Power Supply & Catenary)

* Lifts & Escalators

* Control Monitoring System (Telecommunication, Automatic Fare Collection, & Signalling)

* All necessary interfacing with Rollingstock & LRV signalling which shall be provided by CAF

and they are looking for a Team Leader Civil.

Inputs: Around 17 months from date of mobilization

Job Requirements

Educational Qualification:

Bachelor in Civil Engineering

Minimum of or more than 10 years post qualification experience in relevant field. Our focus is to hire someone who shall have been engaged on tracks, road, drainage, earthwork works rather majorly only structural design.

These experts should have:

* Project experience of LRT design/Metro Design

* Experience of Alignment /Linear Infra work design

* Supervision & construction support of LRT/Metro work

Contact: Varun Pershad (varun@railpersonnel.com)

​Team Leader System Engineer, Mauritius

Job ID#: 13017

Discipline: Electrical

Position Type: Contract

Language: English

Job Description

Our client has been appointed as Detail Design Consultant (DDC) will be involved in preparation of Preliminary Design, Detail Design & As-Built Drawings for the complete Mauritius LRT Project covering:

* Civil Works (Formation, Depot, Station Building, Bridges, Viaducts & others)

* Track Works, Road Works, Drainage

* Electrification System (Power Supply & Catenary)

* Lifts & Escalators

* Control Monitoring System (Telecommunication, Automatic Fare Collection, & Signalling)

* All necessary interfacing with Rollingstock & LRV signalling which shall be provided by CAF

and are looking for a Team Leader Systems.

Duration 17 months

Job Requirements

Bachelor in Electrical Engineering

Minimum or more than 10 years post qualification experience in relevant field.

These experts should have:

* Project experience of LRT design/Metro Design

* Experience of Alignment /Linear Infra work design

* Supervision & construction support of LRT/Metro work

Contact: Varun Pershad (varun@railpersonnel.com)

Rail News

18 Jun 2020. Eire. Indra to supply Irish Rail advanced traffic management system

Indra has been awarded a contract for €32m by Iarnród Éireann-Irish Rail, the operator of the Irish rail system, to develop a new train control centre in Dublin with the capacity to manage the 2,400 km network that transported 50.3 million passengers in 2019. The contract was awarded after an international public tender in competition. It includes the design, supply, installation and commissioning of a fully integrated rail traffic management system and control equipment, as well as its maintenance for 15 years, with the possibility of extending it to 20 years. It also includes training facilities, such as a signalling simulator, as well as providing a backup control centre in a secondary location. Indra will equip the new rail control centre with an integrated and highly automated control system, based on its Mova Traffic line of solutions. The new centre will replace the existing one, also located in the Irish capital, which has different disaggregated control systems.

Source: Indra

18 Jun 2020. UK. Government spends £3.5bn on COVID-19 rail bailout cost

Britain has so far approved spending of £3.5bn (US$4.38bn) to keep its railways running during the coronavirus pandemic. Under emergency measures brought in on 23 March for six months, the government has been providing financial support to rail companies to keep trains running for key workers despite overall passenger numbers plunging by as much as 96%. The final bill could rise as industry sources say rail companies are asking for government help to stretch beyond the initial six months as passenger numbers are unlikely to return to previous levels for some time. As long as the country's two metre social distancing rule remains in place, they can only carry about 15% of their usual capacity. Britain is reviewing its two-metre social distancing rule ahead of the next stage of lockdown easing planned for 4 July, and should it be reduced to one metre, trains could run at about 45%.

Source: Reuters

18 Jun 2020. UK. Stagecoach loses challenge against rail bid ban

Stagecoach has failed in its attempt to sue the UK government after the transport group was banned from bidding for three rail franchises last year in a dispute over pension liabilities. The High Court ruled against the company, which was joined in the action by the West Coast Trains Partnership and SNCF. At the heart of the dispute was a change in the size of the pension liability the government expected a winning bidder of a rail franchise to take on in terms of exposure to the £28bn defined benefit Railways Pension Scheme that serves 340,000 retired and active railway staff. The Pensions Regulator had indicated that companies providing rail services, rather than the government, would be ultimately responsible for any funding shortfall in the scheme that is estimated at £7.5bn. The companies claimed that the decision by Chris Grayling, the then transport secretary, was unlawful because of the way the procurement process was conducted.

Source: Financial Times

18 Jun 2020. UK. Firm wins funding to trial emissions reduction technology

Train leasing company Porterbrook, in Derby, has received £400,000 from Innovate UK, backed by the Department for Transport, to fit Eminox SCRT technology to a Class 170 Turbostar train it leases to East Midlands Railway (EMR). The objective of the trial will be to evaluate whether the technology can deliver reduced carbon, particulate matter, hydrocarbons and NOx emissions from these particular diesel trains, making them more environmentally friendly. The EMR trial builds on the recent successful trial of Eminox catalytic-converter technology on a South Western Railway Class 159 diesel train serving the London-Salisbury-Exeter route. The equipment installation on the EMR trains is expected to take place in early 2021 with the trials taking place over the course of three months. Once the trial is complete, the Eminox technology is likely to be deployed on a number of Class 170 fleets serving communities across Britain’s railway.

Source: Birmingham Post

17 Jun 2020. Australia. Elevated rail corridor for Perth's south-east unveiled

Commuters could have their wait time at level crossings in Perth's south-eastern suburbs slashed under a new State Government plan to remove six level crossings on the Armadale train line. Under the plan, a rail bridge stretching up to 2.8 kilometres would be constructed between Victoria Park and Beckenham, in an effort to cut down the time commuters spend waiting at level crossings and improve the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. Transport Minister Rita Saffioti has dismissed other proposals, such as underground rail, as too costly. However, Town of Victoria Park Mayor Karen Vernon said she was disappointed by the proposal. "As for the cost of underground, everybody knows that underground is more expensive, but that's because you get a better outcome," she said.

Source: ABC

16 Jun 2020. USA. MBTA extends commuter rail contract with Keolis

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s (MBTA) Fiscal and Management Control Board have approved a four-year extension, until 30 June 2026, of the Commuter Rail Operating contract between the MBTA and Keolis Commuter Services, LLC. Keolis Commuter Services is the MBTA’s contracted commuter rail operating partner, with Keolis currently providing all mechanical, transportation and engineering services. The eight-year contract, which began in 2014, included options for two two-year extensions through 2024 and 2026. The MBTA’s contract with Keolis is performance-based with the contract including a fixed price for a certain level of service and penalties related to on-time performance and passenger comfort. In collaboration with the MBTA during the current contract period, Keolis has added 10,000 more trains per year compared with 2014, including new weekend train service, piloted routes and other services.

Source: Railway Age

16 Jun 2020. UK. HS2 launches Innovation Accelerator

HS2 Ltd has launched its new start-up ‘Innovation Accelerator’ calling for entrepreneurial ideas that can help drive project efficiencies and create wider long-term economic benefits around the new high-speed line project. Focused around HS2’s three innovation challenges: productivity, the environment, and the circular economy; the launch of the Innovation Accelerator is a call-to-arms for individuals or firms with bright ideas to help deliver Europe’s largest infrastructure project. The online portal will be open for one month, after which time HS2 will chose five of the entered ideas to take forward on the Innovation Accelerator. The Accelerator will provide the five winning firms with commercial and technical support and rent-free working space to develop their proposal. After six months solutions will be showcased and pitched to industry investors and HS2’s supply chain, which is made up of the thousands of suppliers.

Source: Global Railway Review

16 Jun 2020. Germany. Siemens confident mass train travel will return

Siemens has insisted that mass rail commuting will remain “the backbone of cities” even as the German group confronts the disruption to public transport wrought by coronavirus. The conglomerate’s train division, Siemens Mobility, suffered a more than 30 per cent drop in orders during the first quarter as government budgets are squeezed by a pandemic that has also sharply reduced the numbers of people travelling on public transport., Siemens Mobility, has introduced a series of measures to reduce the risk of the virus being spread by commuters.. Sabrina Soussan, co-chief executive of Siemens Mobility, said she was confident that passenger demand would return to pre-coronavirus levels by the second half of 2021, at the latest, and that the market would “continue the long-term growth in the lower single-digit range”. Cross-border freight had proved resilient during the coronavirus pandemic, Ms Soussan added.

Source: Financial Times

16 Jun 2020. China. Rail program continues despite debt load

High-speed-rail operator China State Railway Group continues apace with its building despite its ballooning debt, backed by a government that views it as the perfect vehicle to bolster a sagging economy. The state-owned company, spun off from what is now the Ministry of Transport, plans an additional 4,000 km this year, with a goal of expanding the network to 45,000km in 2030.But such ambitions have not made economic sense. While revenue reached 1.13tn yuan (US$159bn) in 2019, net profit came to only about 2.5bn yuan. With travel restrictions to stop the novel coronavirus, China State Railway incurred a net loss of 61.3bn yuan for the first quarter of 2020.Liabilities neared 5.49tn yuan, or US$773bn, at the end of 2019.

Source: Nikkei Asian Review

15 Jun 2020. UK. Face masks compulsory on public transport

Anyone travelling on public transport in England must wear a face covering from today under a new rule. More than 3,000 extra staff including police officers are being deployed at stations to make sure people comply. Passengers without a covering will be asked to wear one, or will face being refused onboard or fined £100. People with certain health conditions, disabled people and children under the age of 11 will be exempt from the rule. In the coming days, hundreds of thousands of free coverings will be handed out at railway stations. The government says masks can be homemade, such as a scarf or bandana. As well as on transport, all hospital visitors and outpatients also have to wear masks. The rules apply only while travelling - not while waiting - but the rail industry has asked people to cover their face as they enter a station.

Source: BBC

15 Jun 2020. UK. Vivarail secures investment loan

Stratford-upon-Avon based company Vivarail has secured a £1.5m loan from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) Debt Finance, managed by Maven Capital Partners. The company will use the MEIF funding to scale up operations by relocating to a larger site, which will allow it to expand its workforce. Vivarail is repurposing former London Underground trains as modular hybrid, battery and electric trains for lesser-used lines. The company has designed and implemented modular and interchangeable power systems which enable trains to be easily converted to run on batteries. It designs and manufactures trains based on existing bodyshells and bogies, as part of its focus on reducing carbon waste. To date, Vivarail has taken orders from customers including West Midlands Trains, Transport for Wales and South Western Railway.

Source: Rail Insider

14 Jun 2020. Kenya. Full service resumes on Nairobi commuter trains

Kenya Railways has restored full operations on its Nairobi commuter rail service following the recent revision of curfew hours by President Uhuru Kenyatta. The Nairobi Commuter rail operates between the Nairobi Central Railway Station in the Central Business District and Ruiru, Kikuyu, Embakasi and Syokimau. However, the Madaraka Express passenger service operations on the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) are yet to resume. Kenya Railways Managing Director Philip Mainga said that the corporation would still enforce the Covid-19 guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health in order to maintain safety of commuters. He said they would ensure that every commuter walked through the sanitizing booth on the way to boarding the trains.

Source: The Standard

13 Jun 20120. Qatar. First batch of additional Doha Metro train delivered

Qatar Rail Company has received the first batch of the additional Doha Metro trains at Hamad Port. The Company said that this batch includes two out of a total of 35 additional trains that were ordered according to the agreement that was signed earlier with the Kinki Sharyo manufacturer, while the rest of the additional trains will arrive in the coming months. According to the schedule, by the second quarter of next year, the number of trains serving Doha Metro network will go up to 110 from 75. The trains are to be transported to Qatar Rail's Al Wakra Depot where they will be reassembled and tested.

Source: Gulf Times

12 Jun 2020. France. Rail Coop unveils plans to re-open Bordeaux-Lyon train line

A rail cooperative has unveiled plans to run passenger trains on the Bordeaux-Lyon line, which has been closed since 2014. Railcoop declared its plans to the French Transport Regulatory Authority - an important step in the organisation's plan to roll out the service in the summer of 2022. The planned rail journey between Bordeaux and Lyon through the north of the Massif Central will stop off at the following railway stations: Libourne, Périgueux, Limoges, Saint-Sulpice-Laurière, Guéret, Montluçon, Gannat, Saint-Germain-des-Fossés, and Roanne. If Railcoop's plans are successful, it says it will look to open other services, including passenger trains, night trains and freight trains, which will run on existing infrastructure.

Source: greentraveller.co.uk

12 Jun 2020. Sweden. Ancala agrees to buy Hector Rail Group

Ancala European Infrastructure Fund II is to buy Hector Rail AB including its subsidiary Hector Rail GmbH from EQT. Hector Rail AB is the largest privately-owned train operator in Scandinavia and one of the few train operators with the resources and capacity to run corridor traffic between Scandinavia and Germany. Hector Rail AB was founded in 2004. together with its German operations, it has over 250 locomotive drivers and over 100 locomotives. Its main service is environmentally friendly and sustainable freight transport by rail, including timber, steel, energy, lime and various consumer and industrial goods via container. The takeover is expected to take place within 1-2 months.

Source: Hector Rail Group

11 Jun 2020. Hong Kong. Tuen Mun South Extension approved

The government of Hong Kong has granted MTR Corp authorisation to proceed with detailed planning and design of the Tuen Mun South Extension, a 2·4km continuation of the West Rail Line (which will in the future become part of the Tuen Ma Line) from the existing Tuen Mun station to a new terminus at Tuen Mun South, near the ferry pier. An intermediate station is proposed to support planned housing developments in Tuen Mun Area 16. Construction of the extension is expected to commence in 2023.

Source: Metro Report International

11 Jun 2020. Argentina. Chinese company agrees train maintenance deal

CRRC Qingdao has signed an online agreement, worth $US70m, with Argentina's state-owned rail company, Sociedad Operadora Ferroviaria Sociedad del Estado to maintain and provide spare parts for 705 CSR EMUs introduced in 2013-2014. The EMUS are operated as eight-car trains on the Roca line, nine-car sets on the Samiento line, and four-car sets on the Mitre line. In addition, the company will also provide technical assistance and training for railway employees, in line with Argentine president Mr Alberto Fernandez’s intention that they “transfer knowledge to our workers and professionals, allowing them to carry out daily maintenance work and guarantee perfect condition on our railways.”

Source: International Railway Journal

10 Jun 2020. India. Kerala Cabinet approves DPR for Silver Line

The Kerala cabinet has given its approval for the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod Semi High-Speed Rail corridor, Silver Line. While giving its green signal to the project, the Cabinet made minor changes to the alignment proposed in the DPR submitted by the implementing agency Kerala Rail Development Corporation Ltd (K-rail), a joint venture of the Indian Railways and the Kerala Government. The Silver Line will have eleven stations. The project is expected to be completed in five years. The DPR will now go for the approval of Railway Board, NITI Asyog and the Union Cabinet. The project has already received the in-principle approval from the Ministry of Railways. Trains will be able to run up to a speed of 200kmph hour on the two-lane greenfield corridor. The DPR was prepared by Paris-based consultancy M/S Systra.

Source: ANI

9 Jun 2020. Spain. Former king faces probe over Saudi rail project

Spain’s supreme court prosecutor has launched an investigation into the role the country’s former king, Juan Carlos, played in a deal in which a Spanish consortium landed a €6.7bn contract to build a high-speed rail line in Saudi Arabia. According to a statement from the prosecutor, “the investigation pertains to the second phase of the construction of a high-speed rail line to join the cities of Medina and Mecca”. Reports emerged in March suggesting Juan Carlos received a US$100m (€88m) payment from Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah in 2008, three years before the contract was awarded.

Source: The Guardian

8 Jun 2020. Belgium. All residents to receive 10 free rail trips

The Belgian government has announced that it would be giving a free ten-journey rail pass to all residents, as part of a package of measures to boost domestic tourism and the economy. Belgium will reopen its borders with other European countries on 15 June 15. The ten-journey rail pass, which is ordinarily available for €83 for passengers aged over 26, is being distributed for free for all residents to use between 1st July and 1st December. Belgians can also take their bikes on the train for free. However, Sophie Dutordoir, head of the public rail company SNCB, criticised the move, saying that the lack of consultation caused the state-owned SNCB serious concern.

Source: CNN

8 Jun 2020. Pakistan. Government approves US$7.2bn rail upgrade project

Pakistan has approved the US$7.2 bi dollar railway up-gradation project that covers a -long railway track from Peshawar to Karachi. The project also includes an upgrade of the Pakistan Railway Academy Walton and establishment of a dry port in Havelian. It is reported that Islamabad has been oiling its wheels for the final negotiations with China on financial matters for the projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Package-1 of the Railways’ Mainline-I (ML-1) Project is expected to be completed between January 2021 and December 2024 and will cover the construction of 527kms of track between Peshawar, Rawalpindi and Lahore. Package-2 will upgrade 521kms of track from Lahore to Hyderabad and is estimated to be complete by January 2022 to December 2026 while the final package-3 that will cover about 740 kms of railway track which will join Rawalpindi-Peshawar and Hyderabad-Multan.

Source: EurAsian Times