Evraz to start production of head-hardened rails in Russia

RUSSIA's Federal Railway Transport Register of Certification has certified Evraz to produce DT-350 R-65 head-hardened rails with a length of up to 100m.


The head-hardening technique is designed to increase the durability of the rails, thereby reducing maintenance costs and allowing trains to run at higher speeds.


Certification of the head-hardened rails was carried out at the test loop of the Russian Railway Research Institute. "Fatigue and crack-resistance laboratory tests of the rails showed compliance with the best international practices, and these positive lab results have since been supported by field tests," says Evraz.


Evraz says it is the first company in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States to manufacture head-hardened rails. As well as supplying Russian Railways (RZD), Evraz hopes to be able to export its head-hardened rails.






Construction of two metro lines approved in Mecca

THE governor of Mecca, Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, has approved the construction of two new metro lines in the Saudi Arabian holy city of Mecca.


The first line will be 11km long with seven stations and will be mostly underground. It will run from the Jamrat region in Mina west via the northern side of the Grand Mosque, King Abdul Aziz Road, and the Haramain high-speed station in Rusaifa to the Mecca-Jeddah Expressway.


The second line will be partially underground and will be 33km long with 15 stations. It will start in Madinah Road north of Taneem Mosque, then run south along the western side of the Grand Mosque, and via King Abdulaziz Towers, Azizia Street and Taif-Karr Road to Umm Al-Qura University.


"We will begin procedures this week for the qualification of contractors to award contracts in the first quarter of 2014," Mr Saad Al-Qadi, CEO of Mecca Trains Company. This will enable construction on the Riyals 25.5bn ($US 6.8bn) project to start by mid-2014. Construction is expected to take three years to complete.


The two lines are part of a longer-term plan to build four metro lines totalling 114km with 88 stations along with a bus network. Mecca's first line, the Al-Mashaaer Al-Mugadassah metro, opened in 2010. The 18km line links the pilgrimage sites of Mina, Muzdalifa and Arafat.







MTR orders trains for new Stockholm – Gothenburg service

MTR Corporation, Hong Kong, has awarded a SFr 85m ($US 13.4) contract to Stadler, Switzerland, for six 200km/h trains for a new open-access express service to be launched in Sweden.


Delivery of the five-car Flirt electric trains will start in autumn 2014, and they will be introduced on the 455km Stockholm – Gothenburg route in competition with SJ. The trains will be operated by a new MRT subsidiary called MRT Nordic which plans to run 110 trips per week offering a journey time of 3h 10min.


The trains will be fitted with high-quality interiors including comfortable seats and a special lighting system and each train will have a buffet car. Stadler will be responsible for maintaining the fleet.


"Our strategy is to bring a fast, new, premium-quality service to Swedish intercity


passengers," says MTR's CEO Mr Jay Walder. "We believe this will not only be attractive to existing rail passengers, but will also draw other business and leisure travellers to choose rail over other modes of transport to commute between Sweden's east and west coasts. Sweden is an important market for MTR and this new venture builds on the success we have achieved over the past four years in delivering enhanced services through our operation of the Stockholm metro."






Record third quarter for MRS Logistics

BRAZILIAN railfreight operator MRS Logistics has announced third quarter volumes increased 17.6% year-on-year to a record 42.9 million tonnes, largely thanks to increasing iron-ore traffic.


Net income rose to Reais 815.3m ($US 350.6m), an 8.8% increase over the corresponding period in 2012, with profits reaching Reais 155.6m.


CEO Mr Eduardo Parente says he expects the company's strong performance to continue in the fourth quarter.


MRS is investing Reais 1bn this year in infrastructure enhancements and new locomotives and rolling stock. The railway invested a total of Reais 638m between January and September.





Saudi Arabia plans second high-speed line

SAUDI Railways Organisation (SRO) has invited bids from consultants to study options for a high-speed line between the capital Riyadh and the Gulf port of Dammam.


The new line would have a design speed of 350km/h to enable trains to operate at a maximum of 320km/h. Options to be studied include building the line parallel to the existing main line via Hofuf or along a more direct alignment connecting the airports serving the two cities, with the possibility of extending the line into each city centre to access the existing stations. SRO says it is keen to minimise land acquisition in urban areas.


A journey time of between 1h 30min and 1h 45min is envisaged. This compares with the 4h 20min journey time on the existing 449km line. However, SRO is currently upgrading the existing line by doubling the track and increasing the line speed from 140km/h to 160km/h initially and 180km/h by the end of 2014. This will enable SRO to achieve a 3h 10min journey time.


SRO currently operates five round trips a day between Riyadh and Dammam, mainly using a fleet of eight diesel trains supplied by CAF. Another four trains are under construction which should enter service by late 2014, and SRO is out to tender for an additional four trains. SRO plans to step up the service to a two-hourly frequency.


In addition, SRO is evaluation 20 bids for a contract to double the track on the 390km Riyadh – Haradh – Hofuf freight line.


Saudi Arabia's first high-speed project, the 450km Haramain line linking Medina, Jeddah and Mecca in the west of the country, is under construction and is scheduled to open in 2016.






Israel Railways issues RFI for electric trains

ISRAEL Railways (IR) has launched the procurement process for its first electric trains by issuing a request for information (RFI) from potential suppliers of locomotives and multiple units.


According to the RFI, IR has an estimated requirement for 80 electric locomotives, which will operate in push-pull mode with the existing fleets of Siemens single-deck coaches and Bombardier double-deck sets (pictured) at up to 160km/h. In addition, IR plans to order up to 60 three-car double-deck emus, which will generally operate in pairs. IR is considering including maintenance in the tenders for both fleets.


IR expects the first batch of locomotives to be delivered by the fourth quarter of 2016, while the first emus are due to arrive in early 2017. The RFI states that the procurement of "off-the-shelf" designs is a key priority and IR seeks vehicles which have been tested and accepted to UIC and EN standards.


IR plans to electrify 420 route-km at 25kV 50Hz ac in the first phase of its electrification programme, which includes the new direct line from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv and the Acre – Carmiel line.


The closing date for responses to the RFI is December 1.





Moscow metro Line 7 reaches Zhulebino


THE 5km southern extension of Moscow metro Line 7 from Ryazanskiy Prospekt to Zhulebino was inaugurated on November 9 by the chairman of the Moscow Department of Construction Mr Andrey Bochkarev and Moscow Metro president Mr Ivan Besedin.


The extension includes one intermediate station at Lermontovskiy Prospekt.


Moscow metro says the completion of the project brings around 90% of the population of Zhulebino within walking distance of a metro station.


A further one-station extension to Kotelniki is under construction and is due to open next year.


United Wagon and Tatravagonka launch bogie JV

UNITED Wagon Company (UWC), Russia, and Tatravagonka, Slovakia, have formed a joint venture company, Railway Casted Components (RCC), which will produce Barber bogie castings for 1520mm-gauge wagons.


The launch event at RCC's facility at Prakovce, Slovakia, was attended by the Slovakian prime minister Mr Robert Fico and Russian Railways (RZD) president Mr Vladimir Yakunin .


The Prakovce plant will have capacity to produce around 3600 bogies per year, with units designed for an axleload of up to 25 tonnes. The two companies plan to invest around €20m in the joint venture.


According to UWC, RCC has already received the Register of Certification for Federal Railway Transport, allowing its products to be sold in Russia. The first shipments of RCC products are expected early next year.







Beijing urged to break up rail monopoly

The mainland should split up the state-owned monopoly that owns and operates the country's railways to improve efficiency, a researcher at the National Development and Reform Commission said yesterday.


The government should let more state-owned firms, such as Shenhua, and private investors play a bigger role in the rail industry to compete with China Railway, said Li Kun, a deputy director of the commission's transport research institute.


"The direction of China Railway's future reform should be in breaking up its dominance in providing rail services," Li said, adding that he was expressing his personal opinion and was not speaking on behalf of the planning agency.


The Communist Party pledged this week to make markets "decisive" in allocating resources, while stopping short of detailed policy shifts. China Railway took over the country's railway networks in March after the government dismantled the Ministry of Railways to battle graft and bureaucracy.


Reform of the railway system was not mentioned in the communique released after a key party meeting ended on Tuesday. The document also said the state would remain "dominant" in the economy.


While a break-up of the rail system was needed, it was unlikely to happen in the short term, Li said. The focus now should be on streamlining China Railway's management of the network, he said.


The Ministry of Railways had more than 2 million employees and 2.8 trillion yuan (HK$3.5 trillion) of debt at the end of last year.







Putin uses visit to Seoul to push Korea to Russia rail link

Russian President Vladimir Putin was in South Korea yesterday, pushing a pet project for a new trading route linking Asia and Europe by rail that requires prying open North Korea.


The ambitious scheme envisages an "Iron Silk Road" uniting the rail networks of South and North Korea and connecting them to Europe via the Trans-Siberian Railway.


But it faces huge political obstacles. Speaking to a South Korea-Russia conference during his one-day visit, Putin acknowledged the difficulties.


"I hope political problems will be solved at an early date, as South Korea, North Korea and Russia will reap great economic benefits when it's completed," Putin said.


He urged South Korean investors to come on board, saying the project could help the "establishment of peace and stability".


Russia took a first step in September, when it completed a 54-kilometre section of track from its southeast border town of Khasan to the North Korean port of Rajin.


Located in North Korea's far northeast, where its borders and those of Russia and China converge, Rajin offers a warm-water port for the nation's two giant neighbours. Putin's desire is to see the rail link extended through North Korea and all the way down to the southern South Korean port of Busan.


Media reports say Russia is looking for South Korea to take a 34 per cent share in the project, with Moscow holding 36 per cent and Pyongyang 30 per cent.


Steelmaker Posco, train operator Korail, and Hyundai Maritime have been suggested as possible members of a consortium to take on the South Korean share.


Professor Andrei Lankov, a Russian expert on North Korea who teaches at Seoul's Kookmin University, said: "The idea itself makes perfect sense from a trade and economic viewpoint.


"But this is clearly going to cost billions of dollars and what companies are going to risk that much investment with North Korea in the current climate?"






India unveils metro service in Gurgaon

A long-awaited metro rail service has been launched in the suburb of Gurgaon near the Indian capital, Delhi.


The 5.1km (3.16-mile) stretch of elevated track has six stations and is the first one in India built by a public-private partnership.


The journey through Gurgaon's congested business district will take 13 minutes - residents hope it will ease traffic congestion in the area.


Gurgaon is home to a number of multinational companies.


The metro was planned in 2009 and work began on it in 2010.


The first section of the metro is part of a proposed 12km (7.45-mile) network with an equal number of stations which is due to be completed by 2015.


The service would be open to commuters from Thursday morning, officials said.


Gurgaon is already connected to Delhi by the capital's metro service.


Described as India's "millennium city", Gurgaon has been transformed from farming fields to a bustling technology hub, thanks to the call centre and outsourcing industries.


However, its success has come with little support from government and the city lacks adequate public transport and sanitation facilities.


Officials say more than 200,000 vehicles enter and exit Gurgaon every day crowding the existing connecting roads and an expressway linking the suburb with Delhi.


They predict about a third of the existing traffic will shift to the metro, easing congestion on Gurgaon's roads and reducing travel time and road accidents.









China's Xiamen begins subway construction

The island city of Xiamen in east China's Fujian Province has started building its first subway line, local authorities announced Wednesday.


The 30.3-km Line 1 will run south-north across the Xiamen Island and span the sea via elevated rails to connect with the city's northern part on the mainland, according to the city's office on subway construction.


The line is expected to start service in 2017, with a total travel time of 50 minutes, the office said.


Data show a total of 16 cities on the Chinese mainland have urban rail transit systems as of June, with a total track length of 2,037 km, a figure that will increased to 3,000 km in 2015.




Beijing to install shield screens for subway

Beijing will install protective screens for the city's two oldest subway lines in a bid to enhance safety at boarding platforms, said municipal authorities on Wednesday.


The lack of protection against bare train tracks exposes passengers to safety hazards on the two lines, called line 1 and line 2, and a man was killed on Monday after he jumped onto the track at a line 2 station and was hit by a train.


Subway line 1 runs through the city center from east to west and line 2 runs a loop line in the downtown. The city currently boasts 17 subway lines.


It has so far completed construction of protection screens on newer lines that connect with line 1 and line 2, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport said.


However, installing protective shields for the capital's oldest two lines will be a much more difficult task, the commission added.


Once installed, these screens must be subject to 5,000 repeated tests before being put to use. They should also be adjusted with existing technical systems in the subway.


Construction will last no more than four hours each day when the two lines are not in operation. The first train departs shortly after 5 a.m. and the last leaves before 11 p.m. on the two lines.






Technical support:| Contribute| Custom
Address: 1-1210 Chengnandadao Plaza, Gongyixi Bridge, Fengtai District, Beijing China Postalcode:10006
Tel:86-10-51662621/22 Fax:86-10-88583069     【京ICP备13032135号】  【京公网安备11010602004570号】