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Rail News

3 August 2020. Vol 8, Issue 1

4 months ago by Rail Personnel

Dear Readers

The mystery of leaves on the line, which cause travel chaos for railway operators and passengers alike, may have been solved.

Scientists say when leaves are crushed against the tracks, they form a black layer that drastically reduces friction between train wheels and the rails – a situation Network Rail has described as “the black ice of the railway”. But the make-up of this slippery layer has been something of a puzzle.

Now researchers say they have revealed a key ingredient: large molecules found in plants called tannins. “They are the chemicals that make wine dry, and they are present in tea,” said Dr Michael Watson of the University of Sheffield, a co-author of the new research.

The team say the study suggests leaf tannins grab onto iron that has been dissolved from the rails by acids in the foliage, forming a layer of black material that reduces friction between steel surfaces.

The team did not compare their black material with material recovered from rail tracks, and cannot rule out other factors contributing to the slippery conditions. However Watson said the findings open up fresh possibilities for reducing the impact of fallen foliage.

“Hopefully this will lead to some chemical treatments that can stop [the slippery material] from forming,” he told the Guardian.

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Watson added the next step is to investigate the tannin content of leaves from different types of tree, adding that could help inform Network Rail’s tree-felling operations.

We have 3x exciting Jobs of the Week. In Australia, we are looking for a Regional Engineer to work in Western Australia and in India, we're looking for an Engineer Rail Track and a Fabrication Expat Quality.

Regards

Ceri Taylor

Editor

ceri@railpersonnel.com

This Week’s Headlines

1 Aug 2020. Belgium. EU approves Alstom-Bombardier deal

EU competition authorities have approved French high-speed rail maker Alstom’s purchase of Bombardier’s rail unit in a deal to create the world’s second-largest train maker.

Source: Financial Times

31 Jul 2020. Canada. CN invests $520m in its US assets

Canadian National Railway Company (CN) expects to spend roughly a half-billion dollars on infrastructure improvements across its U.S. network.

Source: Yahoo

30 Jul 2020. India. Railways reveals first post-Covid coach

The Rail Coach Factory in Kapurthala has rolled out its first ‘post-Covid coach’.

Source: Railway Gazette

30 Jul 2020. China. Vossloh awarded Guiyang–Nanning line rail fastening contract

Vossloh’s Kunshan-based Vossloh Fastening Systems China business has been awarded a €30m contract to supply rail fastenings for a section of the planned high-speed line between the cities of Guiyang and Nanning in southern China.

Source: Vossloh

30 Jul 2020. Australia. Tracklaying underway on Perth’s Metronet Airport Line

The Metronet Forrestfield-Airport Link project has reached another major milestone, with tracklaying in the eight-kilometre tunnels now underway.

Source: Mirage News

Jobs of the Week:

Regional Engineer, Bunbury, Western Australia

Job ID#: 13055

Discipline: Civil

Position Type: Permanent

Language: English

CANDIDATES MUST RESIDE IN AUSTRALIA IN ORDER TO BE CONSIDERED FOR THIS ROLE.

Job Description:

Our client manages vital transport infrastructure. They operate a rail freight network that stretches more than five thousand kilometres across Western Australia. From the diverse Midwest across to the fascinating Goldfields and Yilgarn regions and through the stunning South West and Great Southern, the network they manage connects local businesses and industries with eastern states and overseas markets. They deliver WA products to the rest of the world - 24 hours a day, seven days a week - by joining the dots between people, products and ports.

They are looking for a Regional Engineer to join their team based near Bunbury who will be responsible for engineering advice and support for the development, operation and maintenance of our rail network.

The Regional Engineer provides discipline specific engineering advice and support to the region to ensure the effective maintenance and operation of our assets.

The role achieves this by:

* Performing discipline specific engineering support for regional works teams as required. This includes developing plans, specifications, estimates, studies, engineering design, inspections, testing and commissioning and project support.

* Provide leadership and project controls during major works, from planning right through to delivery

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

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

The role can be based in Bunbury and we are looking for candidates that live in Bunbury (or are willing to relocate). An operational vehicle will be provided.

Job Requirements

* Tertiary qualification in Engineering

* Strong communication skills, both written and verbal.

* Demonstrated experience in design, planning and construction of railways within a maintenance environment

* Strong leadership skills with the ability to coach and mentor others

* Demonstrated experience in managing subcontractors and external parties

Contact: Jackie Hendry (jackie@railpersonnel.com)

Engineer Rail Track/Track/Track Engineer/Rail Track/ Indian Nationals/Indian Candidates Allahabad, India

Job ID#: 13039

Discipline: Civil

Position Type: Permanent

Language: English

Job Description:

Quality and Safety Audit Consultancy for Mughalsaral-New Bhaupur Section of Easter Dedicated Freight Corridor.

This is the Eastern Corridor Section and it is from Ludhiana to Sonenagar/Dankuni

The DFCC Eastern Corridor is separated into three different packages and we are working on the first one and that is Civil Structure and Track Works Contract

Track Work for 25 Tonne Axle Load

The person would be stationed near Mughalasarai or at Allahabad where the site office would be

The QSAC would provide third party independent monitoring, to reasonably ensure that quality and safety standards and guidelines as stated in various contract agreements are being followed and resources are available as required to achieve implementation schedule. The scope of services would include examination of the quality of works, material incorporated in the permanent work,conformance with quality norms and conformance with performance criteria as described in the Specifications of the Contracts, conformance,of all safety requirements and resource availability as per the implementation schedule. The QSAC will review the quality control documentation for goods purchased and works constructed on a sampling basis sufficient to achieve a reasonable confidence in the adequacy and quality of such documentation and controls.The QSAC will witness randomly some of the tests that are conducted by the contractors and technical supervisors (Engineers) of the project.In Exceptional circumstances the consultant may recommend to the client additional tests. The QSAC will audit the safety arrangements during construction and review implementation schedule

Job Requirements

* Educational Qualification: B.Tech Civil

* General or Total Work Experience: 12 years or More than 12 Years or At Least 12 Years or Close to 12 Years

* Specific or Relevant Experience:More than 07 years or close to 07 years or At Least 7 years experience in Railway/Metro/Transport/Infrastructure Projects

* Experience in Similar Position or as Deputy Team Leader: At Least 5 Years or Close to 5 Years

* International Experience or Projects of Track: 3 Years and 1 Project

Contact: Varun Pershad (varun@railpersonnel.com)

International Expat- Welding and Quality Management/Welding/Quality/Quality Assurance/Fabrication/Welding Certificate Bhopal, India

Job ID#: 13046

Discipline: Quality

Position Type: Permanent

Language: English

Job Description:

This is an esteemed company who is bidding for a high Speed Project Between Mumbai- Ahmedabad

Location: Bhopal

No of Openings : 04

Job Requirements

Position offered : International Expat- Welding And Quality Management

Education : Engineering or Diploma Holder and Certified International Welding Engineer (IWE) or International Welding Technologist (IWT), Diploma in Welding Technology will be an added advantage.

Experience : 20 Years experience in which at least 5 years of experience in international High Speed Rail Project/Japanese High Speed Rail Project

* Should have minimum experience of 20 Years as Quality Assurance engineer or quality Control Engineer in the field of fabrication.

* The Experience is inclusive of atleast 5 years of experience in international High Speed Rail Project/Japanese High Speed Rail Project as Team Leader for fabrication of steel truss/plate girder superstructures for high Speed Railway Bridges.

* Preferably shall have sound knowledge of Japanese codes as well as international codes and standards on fabrication of steel structures such as japan welding engineering society standard. Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) & welding inspection requirement.

* Shall be a certified international Welding Engineer (IWE) or international welding Technologist (IWT) person with sufficient knowledge on quality systems for fabrication of welded structures.

Desired Candidate Profile

* Have good communication skills, both written and verbal. Working knowledge of English

* Computer proficiency in MS Office (Excel & PPT), managing internet, Preparing PowerPoint presentations, E-mails and Employee Communication.

Contact: Varun Pershad (varun@railpersonnel.com)

Rail News

1 Aug 2020. Belgium. EU approves Alstom-Bombardier deal

EU competition authorities have approved French high-speed rail maker Alstom’s purchase of Bombardier’s rail unit in a deal to create the world’s second-largest train maker. To get the deal over the line, Alstom will have to sell one of its factories in France, a regional train unit, part of a Bombardier facility in Germany and a Bombardier commuter trains division. It will also have to commit to various access guarantees and transfer Bombardier’s assets currently contributing to its joint high-speed platform with Japan’s Hitachi. During the probe, Brussels was concerned that the merger would lead to the combined group becoming an “undisputed market leader” in ultra high-speed trains. EU regulators were also worried that the tie-up would boost the companies’ market in mainline rolling stock mainly in Germany and France. The merger, under which Alstom will pay up to €6.2bn in cash and new shares, will create a company with revenues of €15.5bn that becomes the second-largest in the world by sales in rail equipment, behind China’s state-backed CRRC.

Source: Financial Times

31 Jul 2020. Canada. CN invests $520m in its US assets

Canadian National Railway Company (CN) expects to spend roughly a half-billion dollars on infrastructure improvements across its U.S. network. So far, CN has announced approximately US$520m in capital expenditures across eight states. The projects and funding include: $165m on infrastructure projects in Illinois, including the renewal of the Chicago St. Charles Airline Bridge and various maintenance projects; $100m in Wisconsin to support projects such as a new auto compound in New Richmond and infrastructure and vessel maintenance; $60m in Louisiana; $50m in Mississippi to replace 12 miles of rail, install over 125,000 new railroad ties, rebuild 31 road crossing surfaces and conduct other maintenance work; $25m in Minnesota to replace more than 10 miles of rail, install over 4,700 new railroad ties and rebuild 10 road crossing surfaces; and conducting maintenance on docks, culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure; $55m in Michigan where projects include replacing approximately 5 miles of rail, installing over 105,000 new railroad ties, rebuilding 24 road crossing surfaces and conducting infrastructure maintenance; and $35m in Iowa.

Source: Yahoo

30 Jul 2020. India. Railways reveals first post-Covid coach

The Rail Coach Factory in Kapurthala has rolled out its first ‘post-Covid coach’, incorporating what Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal said were ‘significant design improvements for post-Covid travel’. The vehicle incorporates a range of ‘hands-free’ features including forearm-operated compartment door handles, and foot-operated toilet door latches, taps, soap dispensers and flushing systems. Handrails and latches are coated with copper, which has antimicrobial properties, while titanium dioxide coatings on surfaces such as washbasins, toilets, seats and berths, tables, windows and the floor are intended to inhibit viruses, bacteria, mould and fungal growth. The air-conditioning system incorporates plasma equipment to sterilise the air and internal surfaces.

Source: Railway Gazette

30 Jul 2020. China. Vossloh awarded Guiyang–Nanning line rail fastening contract

Vossloh’s Kunshan-based Vossloh Fastening Systems China business has been awarded a €30m contract to supply rail fastenings for a section of the planned high-speed line between the cities of Guiyang and Nanning in southern China. Deliveries are scheduled to start in 2022 and the high-speed line is planned to be taken into operation in 2023. The 512 km route which includes 482 km of new line currently under construction is designed for 350 km/h operation, to cut the Nanning – Guiyang journey time from more than 10 hours to 2½ hours. “This order win will continue our success story in China, which has been ongoing for over a decade’, said Vossloh CEO Oliver Schuster. “This important win fits seamlessly into our order trend, which has been very encouraging so far this year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, and clearly underlines the above average crisis resistance of our company and our entire industry.”

Source: Vossloh

30 Jul 2020. Australia. Tracklaying underway on Perth’s Metronet Airport Line

The Metronet Forrestfield-Airport Link project has reached another major milestone, with tracklaying in the eight-kilometre tunnels now underway. The first kilometre of track for the A$1.86bn Metronet project has been laid near Redcliffe Station, following the final breakthrough near Bayswater and completion of tunnelling in April. Australian company Martinus Rail – under contract to Salini Impregilo-NRW Joint Venture – will use more than 2,400 tonnes of Australian-manufactured steel in the tracklaying process, with around 40 kilometres of rail needed to form the track in each tunnel, tie-ins at Bayswater and stowage at High Wycombe. Work is also underway to prepare for the installation of the overhead line equipment and the complex systems for communications and signalling. The tracklaying and rail infrastructure processes will support more than 100 jobs. Trains are scheduled to start running on the Airport Line in late 2021.

Source: Mirage News

29 Jul 2020. Eire. Alstom delivers new tramways for Dublin

Alstom has delivered the first of eight new Citadis tramways to Dublin, as part of a partnership with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and the National Transport Authority (NTA) that will also see it extend 26 existing vehicles. The first of the new trams, manufactured in La Rochelle, have been shipped to Ireland and assembled in Transdev's Sandyford depot. The eight newly-ordered tramways will be 55 meters long, the longest single unit Citadis trams in the world, offering more capacity to support demand in Dublin’s rush hour. Each of the 26 extended trams will also be 55 metres (from 43 metres currently). Alstom has also agreed with TII and the NTA to fit its new eMapping technology to some of Dublin’s tramways fleet. By the end of the year, four tramways in the city will be fitted with remote sensors that compile data on energy usage. Alstom and TII are aiming to reduce energy consumption on Dublin’s tramways through a series of energy efficiency measures. Citadis is environmentally friendly being up to 98% recyclable.

Source: Alstom

29 Jul 2020. UK. ScotRail to increase rail services to 90% of full timetable

Scotland’s railways will take another step closer to normality next week as ScotRail increase the number of services from Monday. The train operator will run 90% of normal services from 3 August, including all peak-time trains, compared with the current level of 60%. Driver training has been suspended as it requires two people to sit in the cabin at the same time. As a result, certain services will remain suspended. Commuters are still being urged to consider other travel options including walking and cycling to free up space for those who must use the train. Face coverings are mandatory at stations and on trains, and anyone who feels ill or has a temperature should not travel.

Source: The Sunday Post

28 Jul 2020. UK. ScotRail to be ‘decarbonised’ by 2035

Scotland has announced plans to decarbonise the country’s rail passenger services by 2035. The action plan seeks to remove diesel passenger trains from Scottish services, and secure significant benefits for rail freight over the next 15-25 years. The plan looks to achieve its aims through further electrification and, for some routes, through the use of battery electric-powered trains and to work with developers of hydrogen fuel cell powertrains to accelerate their development and deployment in Scotland which is vital for the diversification of the economy here. Preparatory work for the first electrification projects, on the East Kilbride and Barrhead lines, is already underway, with Anniesland/Maryhill and Borders routes also being progressed. Early work has also begun to assess how inter-city routes can be tackled to inform delivery programmes and funding decisions.

Source: Scottish Construction Now

27 Jul 2020. UK. Train users to benefit from funding to tackle internet blackouts

New research into boosting mobile connectivity on trains by putting antennas on gantries has been launched by the government. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced £200,000 will be invested into developing the technology as an affordable solution to tackling internet blackouts on rail journeys. The Department for Transport (DfT) said it has funded analysis which found it is possible to attach communications antennas to infrastructure used where overhead electric wires are installed. This reduces the need to build additional track-side masts. More than a third of the 11,000 miles of Britain’s railways are electrified using overhead wires.

Source: The Reading Chronicle

27 Jul 2020. Hungary. Harsco Rail wins grinder contract with Hungarian Railways

Harsco Corporation has announced that its Rail division has signed a US$10.3m contract with MÁV FKG Kft-t to provide it with an EU 20-stone rail grinder. The order is Harsco Rail’s first grinder contract for MÁV FKG Kft-t, which manages all maintenance and renovation of Hungary’s national railway network. Harsco Rail’s 20 stone grinder (RGH20C2), which removes surface defects on rails and re-profiles the rail head on both rails, is one of the most technologically advanced grinders working today. Fully compliant with all European standards, it easily grinds mainline and switches without any modifications, sustainably operates with an environmentally-friendly stage V engine, and has rail profile (transversal and longitudinal) measurement system and head checking measurement system installed.

Source: Global Railway Review

26 Jul 2020. UK. Green electric railways to cost up to £30bn, says Network Rail

Taxpayers are in line for a bill of up to £30bn to make the railways greener, according to a leaked Network Rail report. Some 15,700km of track, on which predominantly diesel locomotives run, needs to be upgraded in order to meet climate change commitments. The 231-page analysis by the state-backed tracks and stations owned, shines a light on how Britain’s railways have failed to keep pace with electrification overseas. In order to meet Britain’s climate change commitments, 15,700km (9,756 miles) of track, on which predominantly diesel locomotives run, needs to be upgraded. Some 12,500km must be electrified over the next 30 years, the confidential report finds. It is due to be signed off by the Network Rail board this week. It estimates rail electrification will cost between £1m and £2.5m per kilometre. Network Rail also recommends 1,400km of track on which hydrogen trains will run and 1,000 km which will be battery-powered.

Source: Sunday Telegraph

24 Jul 2020. UK. Independent review to assess TfL’s future funding and financing

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London and Chair of the Transport for London (TfL) Board, has announced that an independent panel of experts has begun a review of TfL’s long-term future funding and financing options. Their work will be carried out in parallel with the previously announced Government review of TfL’s finances, and is expected to conclude in September 2020. No limits have been set on the breadth of the review, and the panel is completely independent from both TfL and the Greater London Authority (GLA).

Source: Intelligent Transport

23 Jul 2020. UK. £589 million to kick start rail upgrades across North

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced a £589m investment to kickstart work on the Transpennine main line between Leeds, Huddersfield and Manchester. The establishment of a new Northern Transport Acceleration Council dedicated to accelerating vital infrastructure projects and better connecting communities across the North’s towns and cities has also been announced. The most congested section of the route will be doubled from 2 to 4 tracks and most of the line will be electrified. Full electrification, digital signalling, more multi-tracking and improved freight capacity are now under consideration as part of an ‘Integrated Rail Plan’ due to report in December. Improvements to allow more freight on the route, replacing thousands of diesel lorry journeys with electric freight trains, will also be considered in the plan.

Source: miragenews.com

23 Jul 2020. France. Bombardier to supply additional OMNEO trains for Normandy

Bombardier Transportation, has received a firm order for 11 additional OMNEO Premium, double-deck, electric multiple unit (EMU) trains (110 cars) from SNCF on behalf of the Normandy Region, which is financing 100 per cent of the purchase. This additional order amounts to €162m (US$182m) and is part of the framework contract signed with SNCF in 2010 to provide up to 860 trains for France’s Regions. Previously on 16 May, Bombardier received a separate firm order for 16 additional trains (160 cars) amounting to €245m (US$275m). In total, Bombardier will supply 27 additional OMNEO Premium trains to SNCF for the Normandy Region. The Normandy Region plans to roll out these spacious, more comfortable trains on the highly frequented lines linking Paris to Vernon-Rouen and Paris to Evreux-Serquigny. The first trains of this order will be delivered at the end of 2023.

Source: Bombardier

22 Jul 2020. UK. Eversholt and Alstom to invest in Breeze hydrogen train programme

Eversholt Rail and Alstom have announced a plan to fast-track the hydrogen train industry in the UK with a further £1m investment in British hydrogen trains, creating an entirely new class of train, the first-ever 600 series. Taking the Breeze hydrogen train plan to the next level, this major investment means that the Breeze will be ready for early deployment in the UK to meet the Government’s need to decarbonise the rail industry. This investment from Alstom and Eversholt Rail in the UK hydrogen train will underpin other initiatives in the hydrogen sector and will support any subsequent national hydrogen strategy. Breeze trains will be built at Alstom’s Widnes Transport Technology Centre. Widnes will also become Alstom’s worldwide centre of excellence for hydrogen conversion when this project is in series production, creating over 200 high quality engineering jobs in the North West. When powered by green hydrogen, these trains offer true zero-emission mobility, not just zero emission at point of use. The only emission from a hydrogen train is water; it produces no harmful particulate or gaseous emissions.

Source: Alstom

21 Jul 2020. USA. Virgin moves closer on financing for Las Vegas- Victorville HSR

Clark County Commissioners have unanimously approved state findings related to financing for the high-speed rail (HSR) project being proposed by DesertXpress Enterprises. According to Clark County, the project will create 30,000 jobs and reduce traffic on the Interstate 15 through Las Vegas by 3 million cars a year. The county also noted that it will reduce carbon emissions by 100,000 tons a year. The project does not cost any tax money and will have a multi-billion dollar economic impact for the area, Clark County said in a tweet. HSR officials have said the 170-mile long trip between the Victor Valley Region to Las Vegas will be built within the median of the I-15. Electric and zero emission trains will reach top speeds of 200 mph, transporting passengers between destinations in 85 minutes,

Source: KVU-TV

21 Jul 2020. Canada. Acciona consortium to build Vancouver SkyTrain extension

British Columbia’s Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure has selected an Acciona-led consortium as preferred bidder for a contract to design, build and partially finance the Broadway Subway Project in Vancouver. The fifth extension of the automated SkyTrain network since 1986, the 5·7 km western Millennium Line extension from VCC-Clark to Broadway and Arbutus will largely run in twin tunnels of 6 m diameter, serving six new stations. The extension is expected reduce current commuting times by around 15 min. Within the consortium, Acciona-Ghella would be the design-build contractor and take direct responsibility for the tunnelling. IBI Group, Dialog BC Architecture Engineering Interior Design Planning, Mott MacDonald Canada and Ingenieria Especializada Obra Civil Industrial will provide design services, while Parsons Inc will assist with systems integration. Enabling works are already underway, and construction is expected to begin by the end of this year for opening in 2025.

Source: Metro Report International

21 Jul 2020. Australia. Gold Coast tram system to ditch Go cards

A new ticketing system has been launched at the Gold Coast which will see the existing Go card system become a thing of the past. The Smart Ticketing Project allow commuters to use their credit card, phone or smart watch to tap on and off the tram line. Translink boss Matt Longland said the “sophisticated” A$371m project would be rolled out across the city over the next few months.

Source: Courier Mail