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Rail News

8 February 2021. Vol 2, Issue 1

3 months ago by Rail Personnel

Dear Readers

There has been much hype about Virgin’s futuristic, vacuum-tube based Hyperloop transportation system which had promising results last year in its first human test last year at its 500-meter test track facility in Nevada, USA.

Now Virgin Hyperloop has released a new video showcasing what a typical passenger experience might be like after arriving at a Hyperloop station, settling into a seat, and silently shooting along the surrounding landscape inside a sealed pod.

Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zSWagCyWio&feature=youtu.be , step aboard and hang on!

Virgin Hyperloop hopes to obtain safety certification by 2025 and begin operations in 2030.

Also, we have just received the news that John Dring had a massive heart attack and passed away peacefully on the 25th January. John achieved a great deal after he retired from the MTR in Hong Kong and moved to Australia when he was 60. He was OAM and had Life Memberships of both RTSA and PWI. Truly amazing achievements.

Our Jobs of the Week this week are in Malaysia and the United States. In Honolulu, we are looking for a Senior Project Planner and in Kuala Lumpur, we are looking for a Construction Railways Operations Manager.

Regards

Ceri Taylor

Editor

ceri@railpersonnel.com

This Week’s Headlines

7 Feb 2021. UK. Landslips and flooding block Scottish rail lines

ScotRail trains have been halted after thousands of tonnes of debris engulfed tracks in two “significant landslips” on a North Ayrshire line.

Source: The Scotsman

7 Feb 2021. Saudi Arabia. Work in progress to repair Jeddah’s railway station

Repairs to Jeddah’s Suleimaniyah Haramain railway station are well underway after a large fire rendered it inoperable in 2019.

Source: SPA

6 Feb 2021. UK. GBRf unveil partnership to transform railways weed control

GB Railfreight (GBRf) has announced a landmark cooperation with Bayer Environmental Science, Network Rail, and a number of start-up companies, which will transform essential weed control maintenance on the UK’s railways.

Source: Premier Construction Magazine

6 Feb 2021. India. Train service between Nepal and Bihar soon

Railways Minister Piyush Goyal has announced that the new rail line, gauge conversion work and the Standard Operating Procedure are ready to run the train between Jayanagar in Bihar to Kurtha in Nepal.

Source: The New Indian Express

5 Feb 2021. UK. HS2 awards contract for social distancing technology

A technology start-up that joined the HS2 COVID-19Innovation Challenge in Spring 2020 has secured a major deal to supply work site social distancing technology to one of HS2’s main works civil contractors.

Source: Global Railway Review

​Jobs of the Week:

Construction Railways Operations Manager, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Job ID#: 13172

Discipline: Signalling

Language: English

Positions Available: 3

Job Description:

Our client is looking for a number of Malaysian candidates 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. The role require someone who understand well the sequence of work of all rail sub-systems and civil work in order to grant permit to work/enter sites to all sub-contractors and ensure smooth and safe progress of site work.

They are looking for a Manager CRO,1 senior engineer and 1 engineer.

* 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 for the Manager role. 5 years for the Senior engineer roles and 3 yeras for teh Engineer roles.

* 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 (davidh@railpersonnel.com)

Senior Project Planner, Honolulu, United States

Job ID#: 13184

Discipline: Programming / Scheduling

Position Type: Contract

Language: English

Job Description:

Our Client has a contract to build and operate the Honolulu Rail Transit Project in Honolulu, the first fully automated driverless transit system in the United States.

They looking for an enthusiastic self-motivated Senior Project Planner who thrives in a fast-paced environment. The successful candidate is comfortable performing a wide range of tasks from administrative to strategic. The position is based in Honolulu, HI.

Accountabilities

* Plan the construction and commissioning work on day-by-day basis

* Work with company leaders and third parties to produce detailed plans for the Project activities and all planned deliverables

* Assist Project Manager in producing project control reports including variation reports regarding time and budget as required by the Project Manager

* Assist Project Manager with the attendance of meetings with the customer and subcontractors regarding scheduling and project issues, ensuring that company interests are fully represented

* Monitor work in progress to ensure that work is executed in compliance with the requirements of the contract and schedule

* Participate in the Change Order Management process

* Execution of other duties as directed by the Project Manager

Job Requirements:

Required Skills & Experience

* 10+ years of relevant project management and project planning experience

* Ability to use Primavera P6

* Ability to use Microsoft Project

* Strong ability to understand and analyze dependency logic and project critical path

* Highly motivated and adaptable to a time-sensitive environment in order to respond quickly and effectively to unanticipated high workloads, events and emergencies

* Must be able to meet deadlines and effectively handle pressures associated with this role

* Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, employees, Project constituents, third parties and general public

Desired Skills & Experience

* 3-years of experience with rail construction projects

* 2-years of experience with large infrastructure construction projects

BECAUSE OF COVID CLIENT CAN ONLY CONSIDER US OR CANADIAN CITIZENS.

Contact: David Hyland (davidh@railpersonnel.com)

Rail News

7 Feb 2021. UK. Landslips and flooding block Scottish rail lines

ScotRail trains have been halted after thousands of tonnes of debris engulfed tracks in two “significant landslips” on a North Ayrshire line. Disruption is also being caused to LNER, CrossCountry and TransPennine Express services after flooding shut the east coast main line at Penmanshiel, south of Dunbar. The landslides are expected to prevent trains from running between Ardrossan and Largs until at least Monday. They occurred at West Kilbride and Fairlie, with the latter involving thousands of tonnes of material over a 50m long stretch of track. ScotRail said trains between Glasgow Central and Largs were only going as far as Kilwinning.

Source: The Scotsman

7 Feb 2021. Saudi Arabia. Work in progress to repair Jeddah’s railway station

Repairs to Jeddah’s Suleimaniyah Haramain railway station are well underway after a large fire rendered it inoperable in 2019. Transport Minister Saleh Al-Jasser said that a settlement had been reached with the contracting company which will bear the cost of the repairs and will work on completing them before the 2021 Hajj season. The Minister said that 34 per cent of the repair work has been completed, and that the workflow was being expedited. Train services are expected to resume before the upcoming Ramadan period, unlike the soft launch of the line in 2019. The trains will be able to perform up to 54 trips per day on the double-track route, taking in 834 passengers per journey. The Haramain high-speed train was the first of its kind in the region, spanning over 450km connecting five stations across Makkah, Jeddah, King Abdul Aziz International Airport, King Abdullah Economic City and Madinah.

Source: SPA

6 Feb 2021. UK. GBRf unveil partnership to transform railways weed control

GB Railfreight (GBRf) has announced a landmark cooperation with Bayer Environmental Science, Network Rail, and a number of start-up companies, which will transform essential weed control maintenance on the UK’s railways. Introducing innovative technology, three new Smart Weed System trains will commence service on the British railway network later this spring. They will have the capability to eliminate potentially dangerous weed infestations with advanced precision. Responsible for supplying the end-to-end rail operations, GB Railfreight will provide rail expertise for this project. By detecting the weeds using cameras mounted on the trains, only the most appropriate herbicide will be used. The data generated will be uploaded to a cloud database using GPS software, which will enable weed control to be monitored and reported 24/7 from a central point. The GPS tracking system will also automatically shut off spray nozzles when the train approaches a ‘Non-Treatment Zone’, such as a watercourse or bridge.

Source: Premier Construction Magazine

6 Feb 2021. India. Train service between Nepal and Bihar soon

Railways Minister Piyush Goyal has announced that the new rail line, gauge conversion work and the Standard Operating Procedure are ready to run the train between Jayanagar in Bihar to Kurtha in Nepal. The Minister said the date of operation would be announced after receiving approval from the Government of Nepal. The Nepal government has purchased two DEMU trains from the Konkan Railway Nigam Ltd to run them between the two stations. The railway sources said that the development works for goods shed and other facilities have been started in Bathnaha Custom Yard and Nepal Custom Yard.

Source: The New Indian Express

5 Feb 2021. UK. HS2 awards contract for social distancing technology

A technology start-up that joined the HS2 COVID-19Innovation Challenge in Spring 2020 has secured a major deal to supply work site social distancing technology to one of HS2’s main works civil contractors. Area Central contractor, Eiffage Kier Ferrovial BAM (EKFB), has awarded PLINX with a contract to supply 1,500 helmet-mounted devices to be used by site workers across its route section, which runs from the Chiltern Hills’ northern edge to near Kenilworth in Warwickshire. The devices use wireless technology to accurately monitor how close workers are to each other, ensuring that social distancing requirements are abided by whilst onsite. If they are within two metres of another person, the devices will beep, vibrate and flash, notifying the users to keep their distance, The technology will first be deployed at a cutting for Britain’s new high-speed railway at Boddington in Warwickshire, before being rolled out across the entire central area.

Source: Global Railway Review

5 Feb 2021. Australia. Canberra Light Rail Stage 2A given environmental approval

The Federal Government this week gave environmental approval to Stage 2A of the light rail, a 1.7km extension from Alinga Street to Commonwealth Park. The project was considered a controlled action under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, requiring federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley to assess the approval. The light rail network will eventually connect of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), from Gungahlin to Tuggeranong, and out to Belconnen, Fyshwick and the airport. Almost 14,000 people are expected to use light rail by 2026, and 23,000 by 2046. The all-renewable electric light rail will also lower transport emissions (more than 60% of ACT greenhouse gas). The first stage of light rail – a 12km line from Gungahlin to Civic – opened in April 2019. The ACT Government still needs planning approval from the National Capital Authority (NCA) and the ACT Planning and Land Authority before work can begin for stage 2A.

Source: Canberra Weekly

4 Feb 2021. Finland. New Artic Trams For Helsinki

Škoda Transtech (part of Škoda Transportation Group) and Helsingin kaupungin liikennelaitos (HKL, Helsinki City Transport) have concluded an order for 23 type ForCity Smart Artic X54 trams. This contract is based on a framework agreement signed in 2011.HKL plans to use the new trams on lines from Rautatientori (at main railway station) to Yliskylä and Haakoninlahti districts (both in the east of city), they will also run on the new Crown Bridges, which are envisaged to be completed in 2026.There are currently 70 Type ForCity Smart Artic X34 trams operating in Helsinki. Another 29 are now being produced for the Line 550. The new Type X54 will be a larger version of X34 Artics, which are now in service in the city centre. Once the order is delivered Helsinki will have 122 Artics.

Source: Railvolution

4 Feb 2021. India. Nine firms to bid for Delhi Railway Station redevelopment

Nine major players, including GMR Highways, Adani Railways and realtor Omaxe are in the race to secure the redevelopment project of New Delhi railway. Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA), which has been tasked to undertake the redevelopment, said BIF IV India Infrastructure Holding, ISQ Asia Infrastructure Investments, Anchorage Infrastructure Investments, Kalpataru Power Transmission, Arabian Construction Company and Elpis Ventures have also participated in the technical bidding for the station. New Delhi Railway Station Redevelopment is a flagship project of the RLDA, and the first to be undertaken on the Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) concept in Delhi-NCR. It will be developed on a Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Transfer (DBFOT) model. The station will be connected to the IGI Airport through the Airport Express Line Metro and with Delhi-NCR via the Yellow Line of Delhi Metro. DTC bus stops lie on both sides of the station. It has a master plan area of 120 hectares, out of which 88 hectares is being planned in phase 1 of the project.

Source: Times of India

4 Feb 2021. Singapore. Chinese firm awarded contract for Jurong East transport hub

The contract for the design and building of Jurong East integrated transport hub has finally been awarded, 12 years after it was first mentioned by then Transport Minister Raymond Lim. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Thursday (Feb 4) announced the decision to contract the works to the Singapore branch of China Communications Construction Company for S$477.4m. Building works should start as early as the second quarter of this year, in time for its previously set completion year of 2027. China Communications Construction Company is now building the Boon Lay station on the future Jurong Region Line and will soon start work on the viaduct and tunnels of the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link, which will connect passengers between Johor Baru's Bukit Chagar terminus station and the Singapore terminus in Woodlands North. When the Jurong Region Line is up and running, the 2.6 hectare facility will make transfers between the North-South, East-West and the Jurong Region Line more convenient, the LTA said.

Source: Straits Times

3 Feb 2021. UK. Minister rejects Eurostar rescue

In recent weeks calls have been growing for the UK to step in and prop up the struggling Eurostar rail link However, Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has poured cold water on hopes that the UK would lead the rescue of Eurostar. Speaking to MPs on the Transport Select Committee Mr Shapps pointed to the fact that the French government owned the majority stake in Eurostar, he added: “It’s primarily a French lead, but we’ll be as helpful as possible. “It’s not our company to rescue – it’s majority owned by the French state. “We’re very, very keen for the Eurostar to survive, and we’ll wait to see the plan (from state rail firm SNCF)”, he added. The government sold its stake in the rail service back in 2015.Passenger numbers on the Eurostar have plummeted 95 per cent since March as coronavirus restrictions have battered international travel. The service is currently running just one service a day to both Paris and Amsterdam due to ongoing border controls.

Source: City A.M.

3 Feb 2021. China. Beijing – Harbin high speed rail corridor completed

The 192km Beijing Chaoyang-Chengde high speed line opened on January 22, completing the 198 km Beijing-Shenyang-Harbin corridor. There are initially 12 trains a day each way on the latest section, operated by CR400BF-G trainsets running at 300 km/h, although the alignment is designed for 350km/h. There are seven stations, with the design of the stations in the Chengde area inspired by local history and culture. The corridor has been built as part of the national ‘eight vertical and eight horizontal’ trunk line development strategy, and was formally given the go-ahead on October 30 2009. The Shenyang-Harbin section opened on December 1 2012, followed by Shenyang-Chengde on December 29 2018. The fastest journey times from Beijing Chaoyang station are now 2 hrs 44 min for the 698km to Shenyang and 4 hrs 52 min to Harbin.

Source: Railway Gazette

2 Feb 2021. Czech Republic. Brno order Škoda ForCity Smart trams

Škoda Transportation and DPMB (Brno Urban Transport Company) have signed a framework agreement worth CZK2.4bn (€92.3m) for the purchase of up to 40 ForCity Smart 34 trams. They will bi-directional three-section 100 % low-floor vehicles with rotating bogies. Each 70 km/h tram will be 31m long, 2.5m wide, and will have a maximum power of 560 kW. It will accommodate up to 233 passengers, of which 64 are seated. The air-conditioned interior will be designed using ideas about the future of tram transport. The new ForCity Smart trams will gradually replace the Type KT8D5 trams, which are in service from the 1980s and 1990s, and will be used on the new line to the University Campus in the southwest of Brno. The first batch of five trams is scheduled for delivery by February 2023.

Source: Škoda Transportation

29 Jan 2021. Germany. DB Regio and Siemens sign contract for 31 regional trains

DB Regio Bayern has ordered 31 regional trains from Siemens Mobility. The trains will serve on routes between Munich, Passau and Regensburg. Siemens Mobility will be delivering 25 double-decker Desiro HC trainsets and six single-decker Mireo trainsets. Passenger service with the new trains is planned to begin with the timetable change in December 2024.

The Desiro HC trains are intended for use on the line RE 3 Munich Hbf - Landshut Hbf - Plattling - Passau Hbf and until the opening of the 2nd S-Bahn main line in Munich on the RB 33 (Munich Hbf) - Freising - Moosburg - Landshut Hbf. The Mireo trains will be used on the airport express RE 22 Munich Airport Terminal - Landshut Hbf - Regensburg Hbf. After commissioning of the 2nd line, the vehicles of the RB 33 will be used for increased frequency in rush-hour traffic between Munich and Regensburg or Plattling.

Source: Siemens Mobility

27 Jan 2021. Australia. EOI released for Stage 2 of Geelong to Waurn Ponds upgrade

Contractors have been invited to submit expressions of interest for stage two of the South Geelong to Waurn Ponds upgrade in Victoria. The project involves duplicating eight kms of track and upgrading signalling to improve frequency and reliability. Two level crossings will be removed at Surf Coast Highway and Fryans Street. Funding also includes a business case for stage three of the project, upgrading the 400m rail tunnel between Geelong and South Geelong. Stage 1 of the project saw upgrades to Waurn Ponds station, with construction about to begin on the new platform, track duplication, and an accessible overpass. Other works also include a new stabling facility at Waurn Ponds. Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said the project would see major benefits for passengers.

Source: Railway Technology

26 Jan 2021. India. L&T secure Himalyan tunnelling contract

Rail Vikas Nigam has awarded Larsen & Toubro (L&T) the £430m contract to build twin bore tunnels for a new rail line through the Himalayas in the State of Uttarakhand, Package 4 of the new 125km long broad gauge line between Rishikesh and Karanprayag includes construction of a 14.5km upline and a 13.1km downline tunnel, as well as 800m of embankment at both ends and a 32m deep, 79m2 square section ventilation shaft. Just over 10km of both tunnel bores will be excavated by 9.1m diameter hard rock tunnel boring machines (TBMs), making them both the largest diameter TBMs to be used in the Himalayan region. The tunnels will be the longest to be bored there using the technique. The remainder of the tunnels will be excavated using the New Austrian Tunnelling Method (NATM). Award of package 4 of the scheme follows the award of package 2 to L&T in 2019. This involves building 24km of tunnel using NATM techniques. The work on package 4 is expected to take five years to complete.

Source: New Civil Engineer​