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Rail News

25 January 2021. Vol 1, Issue 1

over 3 years ago by Rail Personnel

Dear Readers

Welcome to the first issue of RailNews for 2021!

We start the year on a light note with an amusing story I came across during over the festive season hiatus ….

It relates to the naming of the Wgasa Bush Line, a now-retired rail line that transported visitors around the outskirts of San Diego zoo for over three decades.

Andy Faust, son of zoo designer Chuck Faust, tells the tale. “They were having a brainstorming session to come up with a name for the line and had hit a brick wall. No good ideas at all. Someone, in frustration, said ‘WGASA’. No-one knew what he meant. ‘Who gives a sh*t anyway?’ came the reply.”

Chuck Bieler, one of the zoo officials sent it to be approved by the committee. “Wgasa was just a neat African-sounding name. They said, ‘That sounds great,’ without any knowledge of what it meant. I was one of the few who did. We got a lot of chuckles out of it, and it survived the years.”

Bieler, who later became the zoo’s executive director took to telling people that the name actually stood for “World’s Greatest Animal Show Anywhere.” Now the line is defunct, the truth can be told. (Source:

Jobs of the Week this week are in Malaysia and Hong Kong. In Malaysia, we are looking for a Construction Railway Operations Manager and in Hong Kong, we are looking for a Sales Manager, SEA (Revenue Collection System).

Also, we have a number of vacancies for Malaysian candidates to work in Malaysia, so please visit for further details.



Ceri Taylor



This Week’s Headlines


24 Jan 2021.India.Seven firms to bid for undersea rail tunnel project

Seven Indian companies have shown interest for the construction of the undersea tunnel for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) corridor during the pre-bidding stage.

Source:Economic Times


23 Jan 2021.UK.£34m for revival of 50-year-old North-East railway line

A £34m investment to reopen a North-East rail route that closed more than 50 years ago has been announced by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

Source:The Northern Echo


23 Jan 2021.UK.Milton Keynes to Oxford line to be re-opened

The Department for Transport is planning on reopening services between Bicester, Oxfordshire, Bletchley and Buckinghamshire.



23 Jan 2021.India.Medha Servo Drives wins Vande Bharat Express train order

Hyderabad-based Medha Servo Drives, an indigenous manufacturer of railway products, has secured a major tender worth $US302,928,213. for supply of 44 Vande Bharat train sets to the Indian Railways.

Source:Telangana Today


22 Jan 2021. Finland.Nurminen Logistics opens new train routes with China

Nurminen Logistics, a Finnish company providing cargo handling and railway transport services announced the opening of three new train routes from China to Europe.



 Jobs of the Week:

Construction Railways Operations Manager, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Job ID#: 13172

Discipline: Signalling

Language: English, Malay

Job Description:

Our client is looking for a Malaysian candidate to manage all Construction Railways Operations (CRO) activities in the design, construction, installation and T&C (PAT, SAT, SIT and TR) of the LRT3 system to meet the overall objectives of the PDP to deliver a fully commissioned LRT system.

* Verifies the compliance of CRO Consultant to work requirements in accordance with specifications

* Ensure that the planning of CRO Consultant"s activities follow the overall project schedule,

* Support the PDP Systems and PDP Infrastructure department on CRO aspect, if necessary

* Ensure that documentation by CRO Consultant (e.g. Permit to Work and Weekly Work Notice) are timely delivered and are prepared in accordance to approved processes,

* Management of the PDP"s CRO Coordinators and provision of support if required,

* Liaise and coordinate with relevant internal PDP departments on related CRO activities

* The overall monitoring, follow up, consolidating and coordination of all CRO activities (weekly meetings, daily power operation, work access, etc.) and documentation and maintain a consolidated list of CRO activities and status of documentation,

* Coordinate the safe implementation of CRO Consultant"s activities with support of HSE and other stakeholders,

* Coordinate with Employer and other external parties, as necessary, on the supervision process of CRO Consultant"s activities,

* Participate in the Weekly Permit to Work (PTW) meetings and advise the CRO Consultant, whenever necessary, in collaboration with relevant PDP Departments,

* Assure that the inputs for the Weekly PTW Meetings from other relevant PDP Departments and Employer are presented to the CRO Consultant

* Control and review of documents from CRO Consultant,

* Coordinate and Control of CRO planning requirements

* Participate within the Operational Readiness Team

* Prepare contractual correspondence

* Prepare monthly reports on CRO related issues

Job Requirements

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

* Minimum 15 years working experience in railway operation, construction of railway projects and Testing and Commissioning of systems

* Strong communication skills in English both verbal and written.

* Organisational skill

* Understanding of railway principles, functions and processes on operation, installation, T&C, power supply system and site safety in different phases of the project.

* General knowledge on Signalling Principles

Contact: David Hyland (

Sales Manager, SEA (Revenue Collection System), Hong Kong

Job ID#: 13173

Discipline: Automatic Fare Collection

Language: English

Job Description:

Our client is a global technology leader for the Aerospace, Transport, Defence and Security markets. With 64,000 employees in 56 countries. Committed to the long-term development in Hong Kong, Thales enjoys a presence since 1997 and 350 staff, including 300 in transportation systems and 50 in information technology security. A large proportion of them are specialized engineers, which reflects the high level of competences required to deliver against complex multidisciplinary projects. This concentration of capability, products, and services means effective solutions can be delivered to our customers in Hong Kong, Mainland China and throughout the region.

They are looking for a Sales Manager, SEA (Revenue Collection System) who understands the railway industry to take care of the South Asia market for them.The sales team (of 3 people) are based in Hong Kong reporting to the CEO. Ideally they would like to have the person to work in the same office, but considering that the market is niche, that person could be also based in Singapore or Taiwan. Mandarin speaking is required as he or she will cover Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Taiwan.


* Support business development activities in Asia Pacific, with a particular focus in ASEAN.

* Generate a strong pipeline of opportunities in the Railway System market such as Revenue Collection/Ticketing

* Provide strong qualification of which opportunities should be followed through to execution

* For identified opportunities, formulate and implement capture strategies to ensure the opportunity is successfully secure

* Act as the interface between the client, partners and Thales.

* Drive the development of partnership strategies in related countries

* Update on a regular basis the status of ongoing opportunities into a CRM tool for internal communication and information sharing

* Support marketing activities by organizing and participating trade shows, seminar & conferences if required

* Maintain professional and technical knowledge through continuous sharing and regular communication with Product Line Managers of Business Line

Job Requirements

* Degree in Business Administration, Marketing or Engineering disciplines

* 8+ years of sales and business development experience in the Engineering or Technology industry, with a demonstrated track record and examples of business development achievements.

* Experience within the APAC will be an advantage

* Demonstrable track records of successfully developing new customers and growing new markets

* Good understanding of the transportation/railway business in Hong Kong and APAC

* Proactive, self-motivated, responsible and a good team player with strong interpersonal skills

* Strong business acumen, good analytical, communication and presentation skill

* Able to work independently with tight schedule and willing to travel

Contact: David Hyland (

Rail News


24 Jan 2021.India.Seven firms to bid for undersea rail tunnel project

Seven Indian companies have shown interest for the construction of the undersea tunnel for the ambitious Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) corridor during the pre-bidding stage. An official said that the tender for the construction of the tunnel has been floated and bids are invited till February 19, 2021.The bullet train project will have a 21 km long underground corridor from BKC to Kalyan Shilphata in the state of Maharashtra.The tender is for the development of tunnel, which includes testing as well as commissioning for a double-line high speed railway for the project using a tunnel boring machine and a new Austrian tunnelling method.A geo-technical investigation of the undersea tunnel area has been carried out earlier by a team of engineers from NHSRCL, RITES and Japan's Kawasaki Geological Engineering firm.

Source:Economic Times


23 Jan 2021.UK.£34m for revival of 50-year-old North-East railway line

A £34m investment to reopen a North-East rail route that closed more than 50 years ago has been announced by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. The funding is to progress plans to reopen the Northumberland Line between Newcastle and Ashington, which closed to passengers in 1964 as part of the Beeching cuts.The money will fund preparatory works, including land acquisition, detailed design work and early site works.Plans for the project include new stations at Ashington, Bedlington, Blyth Bebside, Newsham, Seaton Delaval and Northumberland Park, in North Tyneside, as well as upgrades to the track and changes to level crossings where bridges or underpasses may need to be built.Mr Shapps has called on local authorities, MPs and community groups to submit bids for a share of the third and final round of the Department for Transport’s ‘Ideas Fund’, designed to encourage proposals to reopen railway lines, services and stations.The latest round of the ‘Ideas Fund’ will run until March 5, 2021, with successful bids due to be announced later this summer.

Source:The Northern Echo


23 Jan 2021.UK.Milton Keynes to Oxford line to be re-opened

The Department for Transport is planning on reopening services between Bicester, Oxfordshire, Bletchley and Buckinghamshire. This will primarily be built on the former trackbed of the Varsity Line and marks the first time this rail line will be used in over 50 years after they initially closed during the 1960s.This development is part of the East-West Rail project, which aims to establish railway lines connecting East Anglia with Central, Southern and Western England.This move is expected to bring about the creation of 1,500 new jobs and will include the construction of two new stations at Winslow and Bletchley. In addition to these, multiple other improvements and enhancements will be added to existing stations along the route.



23 Jan 2021.India.Medha Servo Drives wins Vande Bharat Express train order

Hyderabad-based Medha Servo Drives, an indigenous manufacturer of railway products, has secured a major tender worth $US302,928,213. for supply of 44 Vande Bharat train sets to the Indian Railways.The contract is for design, development, manufacture, supply, integration, testing and commissioning of IGBT-based three-phase propulsion, control and other equipment for the 44 rakes with 16 cars coaches each.Vande Bharat Express is the first self-propelled engineless train of the Indian Railways that can run at a maximum permissible speed of 160 kmph. Currently, the Railways is operating two Vande Bharat trains between New Delhi-Varanasi and New Delhi-Katra. These new train sets will reduce journey time by 20 per cent.The first 2 prototype rakes will be delivered in 20 months. Thereafter, on successful commissioning, the firm will be delivering an average of 6 rakes per quarter.

Source:Telangana Today


22 Jan 2021.Finland.Nurminen Logistics opens new train routes with China

Nurminen Logistics, a Finnish company providing cargo handling and railway transport services announced the opening of three new train routes from China to Europe. The company’s Chinese container train traffic volumes have tripled during 2020 and the new routes will be opened to meet the increased demand.Nurminen Logistics started regular container train services from Finland to China in 2018, when the Hefei route was opened. In autumn 2020, cooperation with the Port of Narvik followed, and Chongqing’s route connection was quickly established as weekly departures. Suzhou, Ningbo, and Jinan are new routes in early 2021, and Nurminen Logistics is planning to open more routes in the future.The capacity challenge caused by the COVID-19 and the lack of containers in China’s maritime traffic continues. By using Nurminen Logistics rail services many companies have been able to get their products to destination without delays. Nurminen Logistics train runs between China and Northern Europe in both directions. In February, export trains depart every two weeks to Chongqing and Jinan and tailored trains to customers who book the whole train.



22 Jan 2021.Serbia.Government signs MoU for Belgrade metro

The Serbian government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with representatives from Alstom and Egis, France, and PowerChina, to support the construction of the €4.4bn two-line Belgrade Metro, work on which is due to begin later this year. Under the agreement, PowerChina will carry out most construction work. Alstom and Egis will provide designs for the project, as well as supply and install various subsystems.Alstom will also be responsible for the supply of metro trains, control systems, platform screen doors, as well as track laying and system integration.Construction of the 21.3km, 21-station Line 1, which will run from Železnik to Mirijevo, is scheduled to begin in November, pending the signing of contracts. It will also involve the creation of a new depot in Makiš. A second 19.2km, 20-station line is also planned which will run from Mirijevo to Zemun station.

Source:International Railway Journal


21 Jan 2021.UK.Bombardier Rail receives Brexit jobs boost

Britain has granted Bombardier Inc’s train unit £1.7bn pounds (US$2.3bn) in export funding, bolstering its Litchurch Lane factory in Derby ahead of a looming merger with France’s Alstom SA. Bombardier will use the funds to invest in the Derby plant after winning a €2.4bn (US$2.9bn) contract to build trains for new monorail lines in Egyptian capital Cairo (see separate story). The loan guarantee will directly support about 100 jobs at the plant, which employs 2,000 people.Under the Bombardier deal, UK Export Fund (UKEF) is guaranteeing 80% of borrowing totalling €2.5bn from lenders led by JPMorgan Chase & Co.The Derby plant expects to build 1,000 rail cars this year and has work to see it through 2022, excluding the monorail contract.



21 Jan 2021.Italy.GTS Rail orders more Bombardier TRAXX locomotives

Bombardier Transportation and Italian intermodal freight operator GTS Rail, continue to strengthen their partnership with a new order from GTS Rail for three more Bombardier TRAXX DC3 E.494 locomotives for its fleet. This order will increase GTS Rail’s TRAXX locomotive fleet to 20 units, of which eight are the latest generation and the entire fleet is being produced by Bombardier.The new locomotives will be built at Bombardier’s Vado Ligure site in Italy and deliveries will start from September 2021. The TRAXX DC3 E.494 locomotive belongs to the European Bombardier TRAXX product platform and they are the best-selling freight locomotives in Italy.

Source:Intrado Newswire


21 Jan 2021.Hungary.MÁV receives first Stadler Citylink tram-train

Stadler has transported the first Citylink tram-train from Valencia to Szentes, Hungary, where it occupied its temporary home in the maintenance depot of Hungarian Railway Company MÁV. The three-car, 70 tons prototype will be followed by altogether 7 trains, and the batch of 8 units are expected to start commercial service between Szeged and Hódmezővásárhely (south Hungary) in the last quarter of 2021. The objective of the project is to provide a high quality public transportation system for passengers commuting every day between the two cities. The bidirectional and bi-mode Citylink vehicles are able to operate in electric mode under 600 V DC overhead on the tram networks in Szeged and Hódmezövásárhely, and in diesel mode on the mainline connecting both cities at a top speed of 100 km/h. The new tram-trains have a capacity to carry 216 passengers, out of which 92 can be seated.


21 Jan 2020.Egypt.Bombardier confirms Cairo monorail deal & Engineering Academy

A consortium led by Bombardier has confirmed a deal with the Egyptian government to build two new monorails.Bombardier’s consortium was named preferred bidder for the project at the 2020 UK-Africa Investment Summit and, with UKEF’s guarantee, has secured the financing needed to fulfil the contract and start production.Bombardier also announced it will establish an Engineering Academy in Cairo to develop the next generation of skilled Bombardier engineers for its mobility projects in Egypt and beyond.The Engineering Academy will be open to recent engineering graduates in Egypt who are interested in developing a long-term career in rail transportation with Bombardier. The training program will provide a structured series of work placements on the Cairo monorail mega-project, as well as classroom-based tuition and online tuition, individual assignments and mentoring. It will be aligned with established and proven Bombardier engineering systems and processes. Once they have completed the program successfully, the engineers will have access to the Bombardier international job career path.

Source:Intrado Newswire


20 Jan 2021.Greece.First high-speed train delivered

The first ETR470 Pendolino train upgraded by Alstom has arrived in Thessaloniki, marking the arrival of high-speed trains in Greece. This is part of a project implemented by TRAINOSE - the main rail transport provider in Greece - in which Alstom is to provide depot modernisation and corrective maintenance for the five trains that will constitute the country’s first fleet of high-speed trains. The two contracts, signed in March 2020 for depot modernisation and in June 2020 for maintenance, are worth a total of approximately €40 million. The scope of the contracts includes modernisation of a depot in Thessaloniki and corrective maintenance services for five Alstom ETR470 Pendolino high-speed trains. The trains have also been fully refurbished and modernised by Alstom at its Savigliano site in Italy. The trains have also been upgraded with ETCS signalling and modified to operate under 25 kV catenary so as to be fully suitable for operation on the Greek network. The first train will start running between Athens and Thessaloniki from March 2021. The other four trains are expected to be delivered to Thessaloniki by Autumn 2021.



19 Jan 2021.Germany.Siemens Mobility awarded largest ever service order from DB

Deutsche Bahn (DB) has awarded Siemens Mobility with a contract for the revision of 40 trains of the 412 ICE 4 series. This is the largest service order ever awarded to Siemens Mobility by DB. The contract also includes an option for the revision of 50 additional series 412 trains.As part of the IS 600 revision, Siemens Mobility will inspect the central systems and components of the ICE 4 trains and carry out maintenance activities as planned. The maintenance work will cover, among other things, the doors, windscreen washer systems, couplings, running and traction bogies, as well as pantographs, train control systems and brakes.Maintenance work in the train interior will include fire alarm systems, passenger information systems (PIS), bistro equipment and the sanitary facilities. In addition, the wheelsets will be exchanged on all trains.

Source:Global Railway Review


19 Jan 2021.China.620 km/h maglev train prototype unveiled

China, has unveiled a new prototype that can travel at up to 620 kilometres per hour. During the unveiling of the 21-metre-long, silver and black locomotive, a reporter was able to move the 12-tonne vehicle with one finger.The developers believe the train could be put into use within three or four years.The world's fastest operating maglev train is the Shanghai Maglev, which runs from the city's Pudong airport to the Longyang Road Station, outside the city centre. That train hits a top speed of 431 km/h on its 30-kilometre, seven-minute journey.Earlier this month, China unveiled another new high-speed train, this time designed to cope with extremely cold temperatures. The CR400AF-G can travel at up to 350 km/h in temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius. The train, launched on January 6, connects Beijing to cities in the country's north, prone to freezing temperatures in winter.



18 Jan 2021.Germany.Transport Ministry to fund ERTMS for the first time

The German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure is funding the signalling and train control solution ERTMS for the first time.The €200m measure is part of the ‘Digital Hub Stuttgart’ (‘Digitaler Knoten Stuttgart’) programme, Minister Scheuer’s flagship digital railway project. The measure will run until the end of 2025. The European Commission has examined the measure and has now approved the government support. The programme is funding: the equipping of the trains that will operate in the Digital Hub Stuttgart area – S-Bahn trains, regional trains and long-distance trains (to qualify the trains must call at Stuttgart Central Station once a week on average during the support time period).

Source:Railway News


18 Jan 2021.Ukraine.Ukrainian Railways records losses of up to $500m

The lack of railway connection between Moscow and Kiev has so severely affected the state-owned Ukrainian Railways company that its losses may have reached around 14 billion hryvnia (US$500m) in 2020 alone.According to CEO Vladimir Zhmak, the Kiev-Moscow route was one of its most profitable. In 2019, four of the railway companies top five money-making destinations were in Russia, helping to subsidise many uneconomical domestic services. Rail service between the countries was suspended in March 2020 and has subsequently left a considerable hole in the state budget. The closing of the borders also meant an end to the Moscow-Lvov train – another profitable route.



18 Jan 2021.Australia.Staffing concerns for new Adelaide train operator

South Australia's Opposition says private transport company Keolis Downer still has not attracted enough staff from the public service to run Adelaide's train network. Keolis Downer is set to take over the rail network on 31 January as part of a 12-year contract worth A$2.1bn.The shortfall in numbers will be made up temporarily from train drivers currently working for Adelaide Metro, as well as other public sector workers. Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas said the company was at least 150 staff short of what it said it would need to operate the railway network.