In these challenging times the railway sector has had to look at innovative ways of raising revenue and attracting passengers, Japan seems to be leading the rest of the world.
Tetsuincho, a book for collecting original stamps of third-sector, or public-private, railways across Japan, is attracting strong demand, with its initial 5,000 copies having sold out less than one month after it was launched on 10 July. An association comprising 40 third-sector railway operators that launched the project planned to put an additional 10,000 copies on sale as a result. Priced at ¥2,200 yen $US20.72), the book is sold at stations run by the 40 railway companies.
Users can get stamps by showing their book and train tickets at stations, with fees for receiving a stamp set at ¥300 or more. Each railway company has a unique stamp design, and those who collect stamps from all 40 firms can purchase a special commemorative card with a serial number.
For the reprint, four more colours — pink, green, light blue and black — will be added for the cover of the stamp book, on top of navy blue, which was adopted for the initial print. The new color addition is partly intended to attract female customers, after most of the initial 5,000 copies were bought by male rail users.
Koji Honbo, an official of the association “We hope that the stamp book will help people keep memories of their railway trips,” adding that the initiative would hopefully contribute to keeping third-sector railway operators alive at a time when the business environment is tough for many of them due to the continuing spread of the coronavirus.
We have 2 exciting Jobs of the Week this week. In Honolulu, we are looking for ATC T&C Technicians & Comms T&C Personnel. And in Thailand, we are looking for a Civil Works Specialist (please note that this role is open to local Thai candidates only).
This Week’s Headlines
12 Aug 2020. UK. Franchises to be scrapped as lockdown rail costs rise
The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, is expected to make an announcement in the coming days on a long-term solution that will permanently abandon franchises.
Source: The Sunday Telegraph
11 Aug 2020. Switzerland. Stadler and BLS roll out new Flirt EMU
The first of 58 new generation Stadler Flirt trains for BLS have been presented the to the public for the first time.
11 Aug 2020. Australia. Adani launches own rail company
The Adani group has launched its own rail business to haul coal to its Queensland port, while avoiding any public mention of the parent company or the controversial Carmichael mine.
10 Sep 2020. Italy. Hitachi and Bombardier to supply high-speed to Trenitalia
Hitachi Rail and Bombardier have signed a contract with Trenitalia to supply 23 Frecciarossa 1000 very high-speed trains for the new Intermodalidad de Levante rail operation
Source: Bombardier Transportation
9 Sep 2020. Australia. ‘Shadow Operator’ appointed for new Sydney Metro lines
Ricardo has been appointed to perform the ‘Shadow Operator’ role on two major extensions of Sydney’s expanding driverless metro system. Source: Ricardo
Jobs of the Week:
ATC T&C Technicians & Comms T&C Personnel, Honolulu, United States
Job ID#: 13085
Position Type: Contract
Our client is looking for two experienced ATC Testing and Commissioning technicians and 2x Communications Testing and Commissioning personnel for the Honolulu Project.
* Ensure the execution of electrical and functional tests (e.g. electrical rigidity, track circuits receivers calibration)
* Ensure the on time issue the tests reports of the performed tests and non compliance reports
* Support the execution of Commissioning Engineering activities (e.g. organizing testing sessions with the customer)
* Contribute to review documents to issue the as-built documentations
* Contribute to define and write the tests procedures of a test phase (Signaling room tests, trackside tests, on-board equipment, integration Signaling room/trackside/on-board equipment)
* Ensure the effective application of HSE plans on site during test commissioning phase
*Knowledge of testing tools, including multimeters, oscilloscopes, and function generators
*Ability to perform testing independently
*Good verbal and written communication skills
*Competent in Microsoft Office products
*Experience in commissioning activities within the railway field
*Ability to read and interpret wiring diagrams
*Ability to read and interpret wiring diagrams
The assignments are for initially 8 months but could turn permanent for the right people.
Contact: David Hyland (email@example.com)
Civil Works Specialist, Bangkok, Thailand
Job ID#: 13054
Language: English, Thai
Our client is looking for a very experienced local civil project manager who has a lot of construction planning, government liaison, programme control and site supervision experience in railway projects tO work for them in Bangkok.
MUST BE THAI NATIONAL
Experienced local civil project manager who has a lot of construction planning, government liaison, programme control and site supervision experience in railway projects
Contact: David Hyland (firstname.lastname@example.org)
7 Sep 2020. UK. Kings Cross rail works complete on East Coast Upgrade
Vital work has been completed in and around London King’s Cross as part of Network Rail’s £1.2bn East Coast Upgrade. Network Rail engineers carried out essential work towards the re-opening of a disused railway tunnel near King’s Cross, which will allow more trains to enter and exit the station. Work also took place to renew the tracks to certain platforms, make improvements to the signalling at the station. The East Coast Upgrade is the biggest investment in the line in a generation. It will improve connectivity between London, the North and Scotland. Once complete, the upgrade will deliver improved reliability and punctuality for passengers and will ensure the route has the capacity to deal with future passenger volumes.
Source: New Civil Engineer
7 Sep 2020. India. Chennai Metro Rail services resume after nearly six months
Chennai Metro Rail (CCMRL) services have begun again after a six-month hiatus. The service was stopped on 22nd March due to the pandemic situation. CMRL officials claim that all steps have been taken to make sure social distancing is maintained at all times. Passengers are required to wear a face mask and sanitizers are placed at various points for their disposal. Stoppage time at each station has increased from 20 seconds to 50 seconds. To maintain social distancing, stickers have been stuck on seats to maintain 2 feet gap. Constant announcements are also made to make sure social distancing is maintained.
7 Sep 2020. China. Bombardier JV wins Harbin Metro cars contract
Bombardier Transportation has announced that its Chinese joint venture, Changchun Bombardier Railway Vehicles Company Ltd. (CBRC), has signed a contract with CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicle Co., Ltd. (CRRC Changchun) to manufacture 390 metro cars for Harbin Metro Line 2 Phase 1 and Line 3 Phase 2. The contract is valued at approximately CNY1.2bn (US$181m). Bombardier Transportation owns 50 per cent of the shares in CBRC.. The 390 metro cars for Harbin Metro will be configured into 65 six-car trainsets with 216 cars planned to operate on Line 2; the 28.7 km, 19-station underground Phase 1 of Line 2 that passes through the city from north to southeast is scheduled to open in 2021. The remaining 174 cars will be for the 32 km, 30-station Line 3 Phase 2, which is scheduled to open in 2022.
Source: Global Newswire
6 Sep 2020. Australia. NSW open to push for Australian-made trains
New South Wales Transport Minister Andrew Constance says he's ready to work with other states to develop a plan to foster local manufacturing and international demand for Australian made trains in a "re-shaped world" post-COVID-19. Mr Constance last week lamented the high cost associated with locally built transport assets, prompting renewed criticism from businesses, unions and the country's peak rail body and industry figures about local train manufacturing. Australian Rail Association CEO Caroline Wilkie said the NSW government's procurement process had helped erode local manufacturing and called for urgent action to rebuild the sector while global supply chains were tested amid the pandemic. Owner of Victorian sheet metal business Catten Industries Ian Cubitt said the country was already capable of producing trains.
Source: Sydney Morning Heard
5 Sep 2020. Switzerland. Ceneri Base tunnel officially opened
The Ceneri Base Tunnel has been officially opened, with the first freight train passing through the tunnel in the southern Swiss canton of Ticino. Passengers will have to wait for the new national rail timetable in December. The 15.4-kilometre tunnel between Camorino in the north and Vezia in the south is the last section of the New Rail Link through the Alps (NEAT), the largest infrastructure project ever undertaken by Switzerland, costing around CHF23bn (US$25bn). Travel time between Bellinzona and Lugano will be cut from 27 minutes to 19 minutes. From Lugano to Locarno the savings will be even greater, from 50 minutes to 29 minutes .The impact will be significant on international traffic. From next year, travellers will be able to get from Zurich to Milan in less than three-and-a-half hours. When other projects are completed, including on the Italian side, this time will drop to three hours – 40 minutes quicker than what it is now.
5 Sep 2020. Australia. South East Queensland considers fast rail proposal
The first business case of a Fast Rail line in South-east Queensland running between Maroochydore and Brisbane is now being evaluated by Queensland's Transport Department. A second business case for a line between Brisbane and the Gold Coast will be completed by late 2022 and a third business case for a fast passenger rail line running from Brisbane to regional centre Toowoomba is also underway with Commonwealth committing A$15m to investigate project.. The SEQ Council of Mayors hope the Fast Rail proposals can build on opportunities presented by Brisbane's underground Cross River Rail. The south-east Queensland Fast Rail network would operate at speeds of 160km/h or more and deliver significant travel time savings compared with the Citytrain network.
Source; Brisbane Times
4 Sep 2020. UK. HS2 rail project work
Construction work on HS2 has officially commenced, with companies behind the controversial high-speed rail project expecting to create 22,000 jobs in the next few years. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said HS2 would "fire up economic growth and help to rebalance opportunity". He endorsed the rail link in February, with formal government approval granted in April despite lockdown. But critics said HS2 will also cost jobs and vowed to continue protesting. HS2 is set to link London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. It is hoped the 20-year project will reduce passenger overcrowding and help rebalance the UK's economy through investment in transport links outside London. HS2's main works contractor for the West Midlands, the Balfour Beatty Vinci Joint Venture, has said it expects to be one of the biggest recruiters in the West Midlands over the next two years. Up to 7,000 skilled jobs would be required to complete its section of the HS2 route, it said, with women and under-25s the core focus for recruitment and skills investment.
4 Sep 2020. UK. ORR and the rail industry to improve passenger information
The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) and the rail industry are working together to develop passenger information. The regulator is trialling a new Customer Information Measure (CIM) to look at in detail the management of passenger information in train companies and drive forward improvement. Its ‘Passenger Information Improvement Plan’ comprises 13 work packages designed to provide passengers and staff alike with timely, accurate and more complete information. Progress includes agreed funding of £7m to redevelop the National Rail Enquiries website to improve the quality of information provided, and the enhancement of a personalised information tool, to provide proactive alerts about crowding and information about social distancing. The regulator said the CIM will now allow individual train companies’ management of passenger information to be assessed, and will identify areas for improvement and provide a benchmark for comparison. Two firms – Cross Country and LNER – working with Network Rail, will shortly begin pilot assessments using the CIM.
Source: Global Railway Review
3 Sep 2020. UK. Tangerine unveils design concept for metro travel post COVID
London=based design company Tangerine has unveiled 'Metamorphosis,' a metro concept designed to help operators better plan for future pandemics by enabling them to readily adapt the train interior to minimize the risk of germ transmission during periods of local disruption created by novel viruses. 'Metamorphosis' has an adaptable carriage interior with slidable screens that can be deployed during pandemics to divide the space into smaller zones or 'travel bubbles.' Flexible seating angles bodies away from one another to increase privacy and minimize the potential for cross-contamination, as passengers choose to either perch or stand. A HEPA filtered localized air filtration system provides a constant change of air, a touchless hand sanitation point in the vestibule aids cleanliness, while a QR code placed at strategic points in the carriage enables an effective 'Carriage Track and Trace' system. A traffic light style illumination around the doors, supported by passenger information on screens and projected onto the platform, aid a safe, distanced boarding and alighting of the train. The concept balances customer safety with the commercial imperatives to limit disruption and keep rail services running during pandemics.
3 Sep 2020. UK. DfT and TfEM sign deal to improves rail services
The UK’s Department for Transport (DfT) has signed a multi-year agreement to improve East Midlands rail services. The agreement with Transport for East Midlands (TfEM) will increase the authority of the local councils in the management of the East Midlands franchise, which is run by the East Midlands Railway (EMR). As agreed, two local posts will be created in TfEM, who will work with the department and stakeholders to improve rail services. The move is expected to improve the management of the East Midlands franchise and provide a medium for the local councils to review and address performance issues and investment decisions, as well as expedite necessary improvements. The latest collaboration agreement will also be valid throughout the length of the East Midlands Railways franchise with a 12-month notice period on either side.
Source: Railway Technology
3 Sep 2020. Australia. Funds allocated for $ Tamworth Intermodal rail line
The New South Wales Government (NSW) has committed A$28m for the delivery of the Tamworth Intermodal Rail Line, which is set to support hundreds of regional jobs. New South Wales Deputy Premier, John Barilaro, said the investment will fund works to reinstate a section of non-operational railway line, support the development of an intermodal rail facility in Westdale and link Tamworth to the state’s major port. The Tamworth intermodal will make the city the freight capital of the New England and North West and drive enormous investment and job growth locally. The new facility will ultimately provide a direct connection between northern NSW and Port Botany, taking trucks off regional roads and reducing congestion in Sydney.
Source: Infrastructure Magazine
1 Sep 2020. Uzbekistan. First phase of Toshkent’s circular metro line opens
The first stage of a planned orbital metro line and an extension to an existing route have been inaugurated by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. Construction of the 2·9 km, two-station northern extension of the Yunusobod Line from Shahriston to Yunusobod and Turkeston began in November 2016 and cost US$103·8m. The first section of the Halqa Line has also Running for 11 km on an elevated alignment from Dostlik-2 to Qoylik with seven stations the line provides an interchange with Dostlik on the Uzbekiston Line. Services are operate using five four-car Metrowagonmash Type 81-765/766/767 Moskva trainsets. Construction of the Hal Line began on October 1 2017. When complete the line will form a 52·1 km mostly elevated ring with 35 stations, with a further 41 four-car trainsets to be ordered.
Source: Metro Report International
1 Sep 2020. India. Wabtec, HP and Redington to produce 3D-printed rail parts
Wabtec Corporation has joined forces with HP and Redington to set up a centre for excellence in India that will 3D-print parts for the rail equipment sector in India. This Centre of Excellence (CoE), named ‘Wabtec India Additive Manufacturing Centre’, will offer consulting, part identification and production for locomotives, transit entities and micro, small, and medium enterprises. The partnership aims to improve manufacturing and to replace spare parts. Using HP’s Jet Fusion printers, Wabtec will work closely with Redington to design, manufacture and deliver complex parts for prototyping and final parts production including short to medium batch production such as adapters, IOT shield covers for brake controllers, customised dispenser tips and sensor holders. The facility is based out of Wabtec India’s existing factory in Bengaluru.
Source: The Hindu
1 Sep 2020. Australia. Transport blueprint reveals two new metro lines for Sydney's east
Two new metro lines through Sydney’s south-east, including one linking Kogarah to Randwick, would be built under the NSW government’s long-term strategy for the region. The government’s South East Sydney Transport Strategy indicates the Sydney Metro West would be extended from Green Square in the inner-east to Malabar or La Perouse, with stations at Randwick and Maroubra. The Randwick stop would also intersect with an east-west line to Kogarah, with stations proposed for Eastlakes, Sydney Airport and Brighton-le-Sands. The document outlines a plan for the La Perouse Metro to be built by 2041, while the Kogarah line is slated for 2056. Both would be subjected to business cases and investment decisions, the report says. The report says it aims to link all south-east Sydney residents to an employment hub within 30 minutes, but adds it would be costly. The Metro City and Southwest, linking Chatswood to the CBD and onto Bankstown, is slated to cost more than A$16bn. That’s due to be completed by 2024.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald