New Zhengzhou metro adopts LTE

CHINA's latest metro which is due to open in Zhengzhou on December 26 will be the first to adopt 4G LTE for its telecommunications.


Initially, Zhengzhou Metro will use LTE for the transmission of CCTV signals and passenger information data, but the supplier Huawei says will start experimenting with LTE for the new line's communications-based train control (CBTC) system with a view to adopting it for telecommunications by the end of next year.


The objective is to provide bilateral radio transmission channels for train-to-ground voice, data and video transmissions, which Huawei says will improve communications and operational efficiency compared with traditional segregated transmission networks.


The first phase of the 32.8km east-west Line 1, which opens later this month, will be 26.3km long, and will be operated by a fleet of six-car trains supplied by CSR Zhuzhou.






CNR delivers Turkish tram by air

THE first of five low-floor LRVs being supplied by China Northern Rolling Stock Corporation (CNR) subsidiary CNR Tangshan Railway Vehicles to the city of Samsun was delivered to Turkey by air on November 29.


The entire 40m-long, 2.65m-wide vehicle was loaded onto an Antonov 225, one of the world's largest cargo aircraft, at Shijazhuang Zhending International Airport.


According to CNR, the 750V dc LRVs have an entrance floor height of 40cm and accommodate up to 453 passengers. The vehicles are equipped with VVVF ac traction equipment and regenerative braking, and are compliant with European DIN5510 fire safety standards. They can operate on a mimumum curve radius of just 19m.


The vehicles were ordered in December 2012 and with a short lead time, CNR opted for the more costly option of delivering the first unit to Turkey by air.







FreightCar America wins Saudi wagon order

SAUDI Railways Organisation (SRO) has awarded a contract worth around $US 67m to FreightCar America to supply 500 freight wagons.


The order includes cement, cereal, limestone, and ballast hoppers.


SRO president Mr Mohammed Al Suwaiket told Arab News that the wagons will be compliant with the latest Association of American Railroads (AAR) standards and will be equipped with ABDX brake control valves and UBX bogie-mounted braking assemblies.


According to SRO the contract includes training for Saudi engineers.






China extends high-speed network

CHINA added another 287km to its high-speed network on December 1 with the launch of commercial services on the new line between Tianjin and Qinhuangdao in Hebei province.


The line has a maximum design speed of 350km/h and a commercial speed of 300km/h, and cuts the Tianjin West - Qinhuangdao journey time from more than two-and a half-hours to 1h 11min for the fastest services.


Construction began in November 2008 and trial operation started last month.





Pesa LRVs delivered to Sofia

THE first of 20 Swing 122NaSF low-floor LRVs being supplied by Pesa Bydgoszcz, Poland, to the city of Sofia arrived in the Bulgarian capital in the early hours of November 29.


Following upgrading of infrastructure, the 30m-long 1009mm-gauge vehicles are due to enter service on Line 7.


The remainder of the fleet is due to be delivered by spring 2014.


The vehicles cost €1.66m each and were acquired as part of a European Union project to improve air quality in Sofia.






JR East and JR West unveil E7 Shinkansen train

THE first Shinkansen train to be developed jointly by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) and West Japan Railway Company (JR West) was unveiled to the press at JR East's Rifu depot near Sendai on November 28.


The fleet of 27 Series E7 trains has been ordered for the Nagano – Toyama – Kanazawa Shinkansen, which is due to open in March 2015, reducing the journey time for the 354km trip between Tokyo and Kanazawa from 3h 47min to 2h 30min. The line includes a new depot at Hakusan, 10km west of Kanazawa, which will service the E7 fleet.


The 12-car trains are capable of 260km/h and designed to operate on the 25kV ac electrification system at both 50Hz and 60Hz due to variation in the commercial frequency on the Japanese network. The trains will switch between frequencies without stopping three times on the section of the route between Tokyo and Unaduki.


The first E7s are due to enter service between Tokyo and Nagano in March 2014.





Kenya starts work on first standard-gauge line


KENYA's president Uhuru Kenyatta presided over the groundbreaking of a 500km standard-gauge railway linking the Indian Ocean port of Mombasa to the capital, Nairobi on November 28.


The $US 5.2bn line will be constructed by China Road & Bridge Corporation and is estimated to take five years to complete. Passenger trains will be able to run at a maximum speed of 120km/h while freight trains will operate at 100km/h. This will cut the journey time for passenger services from 13 hours on the existing metre-gauge line to around 4 hours.


The line is part of a three-phase $US 13.4bn project being funded 85% by China's Exim Bank with the remaining 15% coming from the Kenyan government. The next phase comprises an extension from Nairobi to Malaba on the border with Uganda while the final phase will run from Malaba to Uganda's capital Kampala.


"Improved infrastructure on the northern corridor will increase business volumes for our port and with bilateral help of China, Kenya will soon have a world-class railway," said president Kenyatta. "This in turn will spur expanded production and reduce the cost of goods and services. This dividend is the prize we seek for East Africa."


"International high speed rail customers," visited China CNR facilities

On 13rd, Nov. 2013, organized by China Chamber of Commerce of Machinery and Electric Products (CCCME) , commercial counselors or representatives guests from Russia, Belarus, Brazil, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Myanmar, Viet Nam and other countries visited CNR’s high speed EMU manufacturing facilities in Changchun China.


At present, Russia, and Brazil and other countries are active in planning the development of high-speed railway, and maintain good relations of cooperation with China CNR. CNR products of high-power electric locomotives, metro cars are operating well in some of these countries. CNR owns CRH380BL, CRH380CL, Alpine EMU CRH5, CRH3A, and CRH380B of different type EMUs, covering speeds between 160 km/h to 380 km/h.







Changing Asia: China’s high-speed railway diplomacy

A new term has become popular in Chinese political parlance over the last few years. This neologism—‘high-speed railway diplomacy’—is used to describe the mechanisms by which China’s burgeoning capacities in high-speed railway (HSR) construction are being used in China’s international relations.


The speed at which China has mastered HSR technology is unparalleled. Beginning with the import of technologies only in 2003, China began operating the Beijing-Tianjin HSR by 2008. In that same year, it built a train capable of a speed of 350 kilometres per hour. Today the country boasts the greatest length of HSR track in the world (over 10,000 kilometres of rail capable of carrying trains at speeds in excess of 200 kilometres per hour). Further, China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock Corporation Limited (CSR) has achieved global records in terms of speed, with tests reaching 600 kilometres per hour. The scope of the system can be gleaned from the fact that in less than 2 years the HSR line linking Beijing and Shanghai recorded over 100 million passenger trips, while the Chinese government plans to invest over US$100 billion (RM322 billion) in railway construction this year.


China’s new and relatively cheap expertise in this technology is being promoted as both an economic and diplomatic tool. Discussions on export of the technology are being held around the world and visiting dignitaries to the PRC are being urged to use Chinese technology for their future HSR. India, for instance, is actively seeking Chinese HSR technology, while during a meeting with Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing in mid-October, Australian Governor-General Quentin Bryce was urged to employ China’s HSR technology for Australia’s needs.


But it’s the external connections of China’s system which are of prime interest to us here. A 1,700 kilometre high-speed track will connect Lanzhou to Urumqi in Xinjiang (8 hours) from 2014, and this is intended for extension to Central Asia, while the Shanghai-Kunming route is slated to open in 2016. When completed, trains will take but 8 hours to cover the more than 2,000 kilometres between these two cities. Longer-term plans are afoot to drive an HSR route from Kunming into India and then through Pakistan to Teheran.


It’s from the Kunming hub that the high-speed rail system will route into mainland Southeast Asia, and it’s in this region that China’s HSR will be a strategic game-changer. As part of Thailand’s massive plans to upgrade its transport infrastructure, China is offering support through provision of HSR technology. Of the four Thai routes planned, the main one will be the northeast line, from Bangkok to Nong Khai, which will continue through Laos to Kunming. This route is planned to be functional by 2020. While Thai Transport Minister Chatchart Sitthipun has said that tenders will be called in 2014, his visits to Kunming, and the discussions on possible rice barter trade agreements with the PRC to fund the project suggest that the eventual contractor will be from China. Chinese engineers are already conducting geological surveys along the routes. There’s also discussion about a branch line which will run from Bangkok to the Thai-funded Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Myanmar on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. During his recent visit to Bangkok, PRC Premier Li Keqiang opened an exhibition promoting a high-speed railway system that would link China, Thailand and Singapore, making Singapore-Kunming a 12-hour journey.


Other HSR routes connecting Kunming and mainland Southeast Asia cities are also being planned. A connection between Kunming and the Laotian capital of Vientiane was the subject of a 2010 memorandum and, while feasibility plans are still being conducted, the plan remains ‘on track’.) A high-speed line Kunming to Yangon was also proposed in 2010 and discussions are apparently ongoing. HSR routes connecting Kunming to Vietnam and to Cambodia have also been mooted and are seen as part of a ‘Pan-Asian railway’ project. A conventional railway from Kunming to Mengzi is being extended to the Vietnamese border and will eventually connect to Hanoi, completely replacing the narrow-gauge railway service which was discontinued in 2003.


This process of developing HSR across mainland Southeast Asia has only just begun but the long-term effects aren’t difficult to assess. As was foreshadowed several years ago, connectivity between mainland Southeast Asia and southern China is growing much faster than intra-ASEAN connectivity, and the strategic geography of East Asia is thereby being changed forever. Driven by the high-speed rail networks, new roads and telecommunication facilities centring on Kunming, together with China’s burgeoning economic engagement—both trade and investment—with the Greater Mekong area, mainland Southeast Asia is in the process of disconnecting from maritime Southeast Asia. This will, almost inevitably, result in ASEAN dividing along this fault line. And when the people of the mainland countries soon find, through the convenience of HSR, that Kunming is their ‘closest neighbour’ but a few hours away, the Yunnan capital will gradually emerge as the hub of the Greater Mekong Region and will eventually become, in effect, the capital of mainland Southeast Asia. — The Australian Strategic Policy Institute.







CNR Heavy load electric locomotive passed the annual inspection in Europe

Recently, one of type БКГ-1 heavy load AC drive electric locomotives has passed annual inspection in Belarus. The excellent test report set a good foundation for the service of CNR locomotives in Belarus. Remaining 11 sets of БКГ-1 locomotive will be carried out gradually.






Britain be Caution needed over Chinese HS2 investment

Britain must be "very cautious" about accepting Chinese investment in the HS2 rail line because of concerns about its record on safety and corruption, Lord Andrew Adonis has warned.


Lord Adonis, the former transport secretary, said the Chinese rail industry was "ambitious" about exporting its high speed technology but it would be a mistake for Britain to jump into any agreement without being certain of its quality.


His comments came after Li Keqiang, the Chinese premier, raised the prospect of China investing in the controversial £50bn high speed line between London and the north of England following talks with David Cameron this week.


China has the world's largest and fastest growing high-speed rail network, boasting nearly 6,000 miles of track, and it is thought that its involvement in HS2 could save money for British taxpayers.


But there are serious concerns about its safety record after a horrific high speed rail crash in Wenzhou, in the east of China, in 2011 which killed 40 people.









Shanghai Metro adds safety doors

Metro operators will install safety doors on the city's elevated subway platforms, the Shanghai Evening Post reported Tuesday.


The doors are slated to be installed in the above-ground stations on lines 1 and 5 before next May. The metro operators said they will install the doors in the elevated stations of lines 2, 3, 4, and 6 by 2015. Workers will have to remove the platform's guardrails before adding the doors.




China to contribute £50bn to HS2 rail link

Premier Li Keqiang said his country could fund or even help build the controversial £50billion scheme.


The shock offer came as he met David Cameron during the PM’s trade delegation trip to China, where he hopes to seal several deals for the UK.


After talks in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Mr Li said: “The two sides have agreed to push for breakthroughs and progress in the co-operation between our enterprises on nuclear power and high-speed rail.”


Other deals concluded on the first day of the trip included a £4.5billion order for 100,000 Jaguar Land Rover vehicles and a £200million research fund for science.


A raft of co-operation agreements were also signed, covering issues ranging from tackling cross-border crime to healthcare and patents.


But the offer to fund the HS2 project, blasted by UK critics as a waste of money, is most likely to raise eyebrows.


However, the Prime Minister came under fire for seeming to dodge questions on China’s human rights.


Mr Cameron was later guest of honour at a banquet on the first day of his visit.


The menu included creamy mushroom soup, Chinese-style beef steak, bamboo fungus with green veg and Chinese wine.






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