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17 August 2020. Vol 8, Issue 2

almost 4 years ago by Rail Personnel

Dear Readers

Further to the editorial in this column two weeks ago regarding the issue of leaves on railway tracks, I have been contacted by Bernard Schaffler who also has a solution to this problem.

Mr Schaffler’s system controls slip and slide and is proactive. Here is the second Synopsis of his PhD thesis.

SYNOPSIS 2. Slip/Slide Control

A traction control system which measures the relative speed difference of each axle with respect to the chosen master axle. This information is instantaneously recorded each time the locomotive is coasting on no-load in either direction.

In the forward direction the back wheels set is the master. In the reverse direction the front wheel set is switched to be the master. The circumferential speed of each wheel axle is recorded via a resolver attached to the non-drive end of each traction motor. The speed difference of each axle is due to the variations in wheel circumferences. This information is sent to a master controller which calculates the torque to be applied to each traction motor so that all motors provide equal adhesion to the rail.

This corrective torque signal is integrated with the traction inverter software to correct the torque of each ac traction motor for both slip (traction) and slide (braking) conditions. In this way, different torque is applied to each axle thus compensating for differences in wheel circumferences. The purpose is to reduce wheel wear and to maintain maximum adhesion from a new wheel (larger circumference) to a fully worn wheel (smaller circumference).

Schaffler Consulting principle is PREDICTIVE. It was challenged by GE but they failed.

GE system is RESPONSIVE and failed to challenge this patent.

For any readers interested in learning more about this, please contact Bernard by email

This week's Jobs of the Week are in Thailand and India. In Thailand, we are looking for a Software Systems Test Engineer. For this role, candidates must currently reside in Thailand due to border restrictions.

In Mumbai, India we are looking for a Senior Traction Power Expert.


Ceri Taylor


This Week’s Headlines

14 Aug 2020. Ireland. Cork light rail study commissioned

Infrastructure Ireland and the National Transport Authority have appointed Jacobs Engineering to analyse route options and develop initial designs for a light rail line in Cork.

Source: Metro Report International

14 Aug 2020. China. Railway network to be expanded to 200,000 kms by 2035

State-owned firm China State Railway Group has issued a new plan that aims to expand the network to around 200,000km by the end of 2035.

Source: Railway Technology

13 Aug 2020. UK. Three dead in Scottish train derailment

Three people died, when a passenger train derailed in northeast Scotland, following heavy rains and severe flooding across parts of the region overnight.

Source: BBC

13 Aug 2020. China. Thales JV wins Zhengzhou Metro Line signalling contract

Thales JV in China – Thales SEC Transport (TST) has been contracted by Zhengzhou Metro to provide its TSTCBTC ® 2.0 signalling system for the city’s Metro Line 6 Phase 1 project.

Source: Thales

13 Aug 2020. Australia. Two NSW freight rail projects given green light

The New South Wales (NSW) Government has given the go-ahead to two freight rail projects designed to ease traffic congestion on busy Sydney roads.

Source: Infrastructure Magazine

Jobs of the Week:

Software Systems Test Engineer, Bangkok, Thailand

Job ID#: 13060

Discipline: Software Engineer

Position Type: Contract

Language: English

Job Description:

Our client is seeking a qualified and experienced candidate who is already based in Thailand (due to Covid and travel restrictions).

The suitable candidate should be qualified in the following areas for this contract role until Dec 2021 with an immediate start.

Job Requirements

- This work package expects 2 SST-SVT Testers are working full time locally in TH/BKK office.

- SST/SVT Tester Engineer tasks:

* Join daily/retrospective scrum and share/feedback work progress/issue(s)

* Manage and Update Test Yard

* Manage and Update Test Environment

* Update Formal Test Specification from previous release (if requires)

* Deliver Formal Test Specification of new scope in a release

* Deliver SST/SVT Test (including exist test case from previous release)

* Deliver SST/SVT Test Report/Log

* Create error log from testing and provide error analysis (if applicable)

* Attend Product CCB (Change Control Board) meeting

- Duration: Sept-2020 - Dec-2021

Contact: Jackie Hendry (

Senior OHE and Traction Power Expert Local Indian Nationals/Indian Candidates/Retired Railway Candidates/Metro Candidates/OHE, Mumbai, India

Job ID#: 13061

Discipline: Electrical

Position Type: Contract

Language: English

Job Description:

This is the job opening for a Metro Project going on in Mumbai and they are looking for

Senior OHE and Traction Power Expert

Location: Mumbai GC Office

Man Months:36 but it would be extended

Job Requirements

* Educational Qualification:B.Tech Electrical is only considered

* Years of Experience: After completion of graduation the years of experience would be calculated and they are looking for minimum 15 years or close to 15 years or between 15-17 years work experience.

* 5 Years in Metro Projects as DGM/Project Manager /Dy .Chief engineer/chief engineer etc.

* He should have good experience in OHE , Traction Power and Power distribution system for Metro Rail , knowledge of System engineering and project management services within the General Consultant Team for the Design and Construction of Traction and Auxiliary Power Supply and Distribution Systems. Project management and works of Design, execution, testing commissioning of traction system, power supply system, OHE and electrical part of MEP systems.

Contact: Varun Pershad (

Rail News

14 Aug 2020. Ireland. Cork light rail study commissioned

Infrastructure Ireland and the National Transport Authority have appointed Jacobs Engineering to analyse route options and develop initial designs for a €1bn light rail line in Cork. The proposed 17km route would provide a high-capacity and high-frequency cross-city service, running from a park-and-ride site near Ballincollig in the west to Mahon Point in the east. Around 25 stops would serve destinations including the proposed Cork Science & Innovation Park, Cork Institute of Technology, Cork University Hospital, University College Cork, the city centre, Iarnród Éireann’s Kent station and the Docklands. A fleet of 27 trams is envisaged, to provide a 5 min headway services with an end-to-end journey time of 47 min. Ridership is estimated at 46 million passengers/year.

Source: Metro Report International

14 Aug 2020. China. Railway network to be expanded to 200,000 kms by 2035

State-owned firm China State Railway Group has issued a new plan that aims to expand the network to around 200,000km by the end of 2035. The plan also aims to increase high-speed railway network to 70,000km. China currently has around 141,400km of rail lines in the country, making it the second-largest rail network in the world. It includes 36,000km of high-speed rail lines. According to Reuters’ calculations, the new goal will represent a 33.3% increase in China’s railway network while high-speed rail lines will see a growth of 133%. The latest plan seeks to connect all cities with a population of more than 200,000 citizens to the national rail network. The cities with a population that exceeds half a million people will also be connected to the high-speed network. China will also promote railway construction in places dominated by ethnic minority groups, as well as border areas and underdeveloped regions in central and western China, to help alleviate poverty and revitalise the countryside, the company said.

Source: Railway Technology

13 Aug 2020. UK. Three dead in Scottish train derailment

Three people died, when a passenger train derailed in northeast Scotland, following heavy rains and severe flooding across parts of the region overnight. The dead have been named as the train driver Brett McCullough, conductor Donald Dinnie and a passenger, Christopher Stuchbury, The crash occurred in the morning close to the town of Stonehaven, around 25 kilometres (15 miles) south of Aberdeen. Six others who were on the train were taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. Moments after the emergency services had been notified of the accident, Network Rail reported there had been a landslip close by. Scotland's Lord Advocate has asked Police Scotland, British Transport Police and the Office of Rail and Road, the independent regulator, to conduct a joint investigation into the accident. It will be carried out under the direction of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, and will run in parallel to the independent safety investigation being carried out by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch.

Source: BBC

13 Aug 2020. China. Thales JV wins Zhengzhou Metro Line signalling contract

Thales JV in China – Thales SEC Transport (TST) has been contracted by Zhengzhou Metro to provide its TSTCBTC ® 2.0 signalling system for the city’s Metro Line 6 Phase 1 project. This is the first signalling project that TST has been was awarded in Zhengzhou. The line runs from Jiayu Town station to Xiaoying station, with a total operational length of 39.2 km (2.8 km elevated, 36.4km underground), crossing through 26 stations (one elevated and 25 underground), and including nine interchange stations. It will reinforce transportation links among the city’s Zhongyuan District, Erqi District and Zhengdong New District, while also expanding west to incorporate the Xingyang Donglin Lake District into the rail transit service area. With the dual CBTC (Communication Based Train Control) architecture, the system aims to achieve zero interruptions to operations by creating a high level of redundancy and availability. It also significantly simplifies wayside equipment and reduces life cycle costs, thereby greatly facilitating maintenance.

Source: Thales

13 Aug 2020. Australia. Two NSW freight rail projects given green light

The New South Wales (NSW) Government has given the go-ahead to two freight rail projects designed to ease traffic congestion on busy Sydney roads; the Botany Rail Duplication and Cabramatta Loop projects. The current single freight rail track between Mascot and Botany will be duplicated, and a new passing loop will be added to the freight line between Cabramatta and Warwick Farm stations, allowing for freight trains up to 1,300m in length. Both projects are being delivered by the Australian Rail Track Corporation, with the Cabramatta Loop Project expected to be completed by mid-2023, and the Botany Rail Duplication expected to be completed by late-2024. The two projects are the latest to be determined through the NSW Government’s Planning System Acceleration Program, that is aiming to keep people in jobs and the economy moving through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: Infrastructure Magazine

11 Aug 2020. Italy. Contract awarded for Verona-Padua high-speed railway section

The IRICAV 2 consortium will be responsible for work on the first section of the high-speed rail development between Verona and Padua. The IRICAV 2 consortium, led by the Webuild Group, has signed a contract worth a total of approximately €2.5bn to start work on the first section of a high-speed, high-capacity railway development between Verona and Padua, which has been commissioned by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI). The section, running for 44.2km between Verona and Bivio Vicenza, will comprise a total investment of €2.7bn by RFI and is expected to be completed by 2027. The other €1.596bn for the second part of the section will be financed within 12 months. The project, part of the high-speed, high-capacity railway between Milan and Venice, will belong to the Mediterranean Corridor that will link Spain and Ukraine.

Source: Global Railway Review

11 Aug 2020. Australia. Work begins on Sydney Metro’s Northern rail extension

Construction work has begun on the Northern Connection metro railway extension, to connect Sydney’s northwest to the city. Work is taking place at the end of the Metro North West Line at Chatswood, where Sydney Metro will be extended as part of the City & Southwest project. Construction is being done within the existing railway corridor while minimising impacts to train services on the T1 North Shore line. Excavators recently moved 330 tonnes of soil and piling rigs drilled 34 holes, each up to 8m deep. About 7,500 tonnes of material will be excavated and a section of the existing suburban railway line will be re-positioned to create the structure, which is expected to link into the tunnels in 2022.When complete, the Northern Connection will create a seamless metro railway journey from Tallawong under the Harbour, through the city and beyond to Bankstown in 2024.

Source: Infrastructure Magazine

10 Aug 2020. USA. Brightline splits from Virgin Trains

The partnership between Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and the private Florida passenger train service Brightline has ended after less than two years. Brightline announced in a monthly report that it has ended its affiliation with the Virgin Group and will halt its rebranding to Virgin Trains USA. Brightline, which is majority owned by Fortress Investment Group, said in its report to bondholders that its parent delivered a termination notice tied to its license agreement on 29 July. “Virgin has disputed the validity of the termination notice,” according to the report. Because of the pandemic, Brightline suspended operations in March on its higher-speed service between Miami and West Palm Beach but has continued laying track for its planned expansion to Orlando and its theme parks set for 2022. It is also working on a line that will connect Southern California and Las Vegas. It has no date set for resuming operations.

Source: AP

10 Aug 2020. UK. Hitachi to acquire railway technology firm Perpetuum

Hitachi Rail has announced that it has agreed to acquire a technology firm that is pioneering digital technology to optimise railway operations. Hitachi said the purchase of the Perpetuum firm supports its vision to improve the reliability of thousands of passenger services across the globe, including the 276 Hitachi-built trains running across the UK network. The announcement follows an £8.5m investment into constructing a new welding and painting facility at its Newton Aycliffe train manufacturing facility. Hitachi will use Perpetuum’s product which utilises wireless condition monitoring to spot faults and have them fixed before they delay passengers’ journeys. Once the product is installed on trains, Perpetuum’s self-powering digital sensors will detect on-board vibrations and send back real-time data about the performance of critical train parts which they say is faster and more accurate than traditional condition-monitoring approaches.

Source: The Northern Echo

10 Aug 2020. Spain. Hitachi, Bombardier to supply ILSA high speed trains

Trenitalia has signed an €797m contract for a partnership of Hitachi Rail (60%) and Bombardier Transportation (40%) to supply 23 ETR1000 high speed trainsets for use by Intermodalidad de Levante, the future Spanish open access operator which is owned by the Italian national operator (45%) and Air Nostrum (55%). Designed for operation at up to 360 km/h, the ETR1000 is based on Bombardier’s V300Zefiro platform, and branded Frecciarossa 1000 by Trenitalia which has operated the type in Italy since 2015. Last year the operator ordered an extra 14 sets to augment its initial 50. Five units are being retrofitted for use on the Milano – Paris route, and two have been on test in France. The trainsets for ILSA will also be built in Italy. The 200m long sets will have a capacity to carry around 460 passengers and facilities including wi-fi and a bistro area. ILSA is targeting March 1 2022 as the start date for its services.

Source: Railway Gazette

10 Aug 2020. South Korea. First phase of Hanam Line 5 extension opens

The first phase of the 4.7km eastern extension of Seoul Line 5 has opened, connecting Hanam in Gyeonggi Province to the metro network for the first time. Known as the Hanam Line, the extension is due to open in two phases with the first phase inaugurated on 7 August. The first phase was originally scheduled to open in June but this was delayed due to disruption to driver training caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. A total of five stations are planned for the new route with two stations, Misa and Hanam Pungsan, opening initially while the remaining three stations are expected to open in December. One of the stations, Gangil Station, is still within Seoul’s city limits. While the line finally connects Hanam – a fast-developing city on the outskirts of Seoul – to the extensive metro network, trains in the area will not run as frequently as the section with the Seoul city limits, with 10 minute headways during peak periods and 12-24 minute headways off-peak.

Source: International Railway Journal

9 Aug 2020. UK. ScotRail shortlisted for Scottish Transport Awards

ScotRail is up for several top awards at the upcoming Scottish Transport Awards 2020. Projects ranging from accessibility on Scotland’s Railway, to the train operator’s communication with customers, have been shortlisted for awards Among the nominations is ScotRail’s rollout of a digital information tool on board its trains, in the Excellence in Technology and Innovation category. Improvements to accessibility have been recognised in Excellence in Transport Accessibility category. ScotRail’s partnership with Network Rail, Transport Scotland, BAM Nuttall and Siemens Mobility during the Aberdeen to Inverness Improvement Project is up for Transport Team/Partnership of the Year Award. The delivery of Robroyston station, along with a new park and ride facility has also been shortlisted in the same category.

Source: Strathspey & Badenoch Herald

7 Aug 2020. New Zealand. Work begins on Auckland ‘s third main rail line

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Transport Minister Phil Twyford have announced the start of the Auckland NZ Upgrade Programme, which includes the construction of a third main rail line which will run from Quay Park to Wiri and is expected to cost NZ$315m. The work will prepare the metro rail network for the expected start of the City Rail Link in 2024, and to cope with demand for more freight and commuter services in New Zealand's biggest city. Other projects include the electrification of the rail network from Papakura to Pukekohe (NZ$371m), the construction of new train stations, park and ride and bus connections to meet growth in Drury (NZ$247m) and other crucial upgrades to the city’s 100 kilometre network (NZ$183m). Downer NZ has been awarded the contract for Electrification of the line between Papakura and Pukekohe will be delivered by eTRACS - a consortium of McConnell Dowell and John Holland, with KiwiRail again leading on track and signals.

Source: Voxy

5 Aug 2020. Ireland. Review of high-speed rail line linking Dublin, Belfast, Cork

The Government is to launch a study into a proposal to build a €15bn high-speed train line from Belfast to Dublin and on to Cork and Limerick, the Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan has said. The study would be “the most significant” review of the intercity network on the island since the strategic rail review in 2003 and would examine how it could operate with the existing broader network. The Department of Transport said the study would consider including conventional rail, higher and high-speed rail links along the route. The spokesman for the department said that a procurement competition would be launched in the next few weeks, and that work on the study should commence by November.

Source: The Irish Times

5 Aug 2020. UAE. Etihad Rail's transport capacity to increase eight-fold

Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE’s national railway, awarded a contract to China’s CRRC Corporation Limited to triple the number of its wagons and expand its annual capacity eight-fold. Under the deal, the CRRC will manufacture, supply and commission 842 new wagons. This will bring the size of its fleet to more than 1,000 units and boost its annual transport capacity to 59 million tonnes. The new wagons will be manufactured according to the braking, signalling, communications control and safety system specifications of Gulf countries. The expanded fleet will transport domestic and ¬international cargo, including container and bulk freight.

Source: The National

5 Aug 2020. Germany. Knorr-Bremse wins London Underground contract

Knorr-Bremse, has won a major, middle double-digit million-euro order to supply entrance systems to Siemens Mobility for the London Underground. Knorr-Bremse subsidiary IFE will supply 3,760 door systems for 94 trains on the Piccadilly line. The most challenging aspects of the Piccadilly line upgrade project include the unusually pronounced curvature of the door leaves that allows them to fit inside the narrow, tube-shaped tunnels – a unique feature of the world’s oldest metro system – combined with tight deadlines. The order for the Piccadilly line project is the largest in Knorr-Bremse subsidiary IFE’s history. The agreement also includes options to supply over 9,000 additional passenger and driver’s cab entrance systems for a further 216 trains destined for other Tube lines.

Source: Knorr-Bremse

3 Aug 2020. USA. Trump signs permit for second international rail bridge in Laredo

President Donald Trump has approved a permit to allow Kansas City Southern to build an additional, parallel bridge span next to its existing international rail bridge in Laredo, Texas. The new bridge will be part of the rail infrastructure network that will transport goods across the US.-Mexico border, including US. exports expected to increase under the new US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement. The structure will be a single-track span immediately adjacent to the existing bridge, which will enable both bridges to be used as needed, she said. The existing single-track structure is the only bridge that crosses the Rio Grande River linking Laredo and Nuevo Laredo. It is the essential link in the international border crossing corridor. Project engineering and design is underway but construction won't begin until additional permits are obtained in the United States and Mexico.

Source: Progressive Railroading

3 Aug 2020. UK. £40m rail platform opens after delays

Ministers have hailed the early delivery of a new platform at Stevenage rail station, which was originally due to be delivered in 2018. Officials said construction work on the £40m project has been accelerated and delivered more than a year ahead of ‘the revised schedule’. The ‘revised schedule’ was in fact a revision of a stated intention to deliver the new platform during Control Period 5 (CP5, 2014-19). The Stevenage Turnback was listed in Network Rail’s CP5 Enhancements Delivery Plan and originally planned for completion in May 2018 but was delayed until CP6 under the replanning exercise carried out in 2015. Network Rail then set a date of autumn 2021, which was subsequently brought forward to finish in May this year. Work began in early 2019 but completion was delayed by several weeks because the coronavirus limited the number of people who could work at the station at one time. The dedicated fifth platform allows Great Northern trains from the Hertford North line, known as the Hertford Loop, to terminate and go back towards London, creating space on the existing tracks for more Thameslink trains.

Source: Transport Network

3 Aug 2020. Philippines. Acciona secures Manila commuter rail deal

Acciona has won a €330m contract to build a section of a new railway line that will link the city of Malolos with Clark International Airport, 80km north of Manila. The contract involves the construction of a 6.5km main railway line, which includes an elevated section, an underground section with cut and cover that will provide access to the Clark International Airport station, substation, and auxiliary facilities. The rail line will become a key transport infrastructure in the metropolitan region of Manila and is one of the priority projects identified by the Department of Transportation. The project will reduce the travel time between Clark and Manila to just one hour by train) and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 60,000 tonnes a year. The project is being financed by the Asian Development Bank with construction estimated to take three years.

Source: Acciona