No.464issue(2014 03 07)

Tazara orders more Chinese locomotives

TANZANIA-Zambia Railway Authority (Tazara) has awarded CSR Qishuyan Locomotive Company, China, a contract worth $US 12.5m to supply four additional type SDD20 diesel locomotives for use on its 1860km line between Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, and New Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia.


Tazara says that after some initial teething problems the six units delivered last year are now performing satisfactorily. The extra locomotives are due to be delivered by December 2014.


In addition to the Chinese locomotives, Tazara operates a fleet of 10 GE U30C locomotives, which date back to the opening of the railway in 1976. These locomotives have suffered poor reliability in recent years as a result of overuse and inadequate maintenance.






RZD orders Moscow suburban trains

RUSSIAN Railways (RZD) subsidiary Central Suburban Passenger Company has awarded a contract to Demikhovsky Machine Building Plant (DMZ), part of the Transmashholding (TMH) group, to supply 26 class ED4M emus for suburban services in the Moscow area.


Under the contract, which was signed in the presence of Moscow regional governor Mr Andrei Vorobyov, DMZ will deliver four 12-car trains and 22 11-car sets by the end of this year.


The air-conditioned trains will be equipped with LED lighting, CCTV, and a remote diagnostics system.


TMH says the trains will replace life-expired emus on some of the busiest suburban routes in the Moscow area.







Bangalore inaugurates metro Green Line

BANGALORE welcomed its second metro line on February 28, with the inauguration of the northern section of the Green Line between Sampige Road in Malleshwaram and Peenya Industry.


Public services began the following day on the 10.3km line, which has 10 stations.


Two further sections of the Green Line, including the 4km underground section from Sampige Road to National College, and the 2.5km stretch Peenya Industry to Nagasandra, are expected to open at the end of this year.


In January the Indian cabinet approved plans for the second phase of the network, which includes two extensions of the Green Line.






Former Rouen trams shipped to Turkey

CREA, the public transport authority in Rouen, France, has sold 28 Alstom trams to the Turkish city of Gaziantep in a deal worth €5.2m.


The 30m-long Standard French Tram (TFS) vehicles were supplied for the opening of the light rail network in Rouen in 1994, but were replaced in 2012 by a fleet of new Alstom Citadis 402 low-floor LRVs.


The first batch of 12 vehicles has already been shipped to Turkey and the remaining 16 trams are due to be exported from the port of Rouen on March 6.


Following delivery to Turkey, the trams will be repainted and equipped with air-conditioning before entering service.


Gaziantep's 15km Gaziray light rail network is currently being expanded with the construction of Line 3, a 6.5km eight station branch which will serve Adilye in the northern part of the city.





Pakistan Railways seeks increased budget

PAKISTAN Railways (PR) announced on February 28 that it is seeking Rs 47bn ($US 445m) through the country's Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the 2014-15 financial year, with the aim of improving the performance of infrastructure and addressing the railway's chronic locomotive shortage.


PR plans to focus its resources the acquisition of new locomotives and rehabilitating its existing fleet, and is also looking to upgrade main lines, including Rawalpindi – Lahore, for 120km/h operation.


PR had sought Rs 35bn through PSDP for the financial year, but it was allocated Rs 31bn and to date has received just Rs 11.44bn.


PR says it currently has a fleet 409 diesel locomotives, 200 of which are operational, up from just 183 in June 2013. However, many of the locomotives currently in service are operating with at least one isolated traction motor due to a shortage of spares.


PR says the lack of funding has prevented it from ordering the components needed to return more locomotives to service and properly maintain those units currently in use.


At present just 55 locomotives are available for freight operations, although PR expects between 80 and 100 units to be available by the end of the 2014-15 financial year.






CSR unveils new trains for KL Ampang Line

THE FIRST of 50 trains being supplied by China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock (CSR) to Kuala Lumpur for the Ampang Line extension was presented to representatives of the city's transport authority Prasarana at the CSR Zhuzhou plant on February 27.


The 750V dc trains will accommodate up to 1308 passengers and have a maximum speed of 80km/h. The six-car sets are based on metro trains supplied by CSR Zhuzhou to Izmir, Turkey, and are designed specifically to operate on the sharp curves and steep gradients of the Ampang Line.


Prasarana expects to receive the first train in the fourth quarter of this year.


The initial 7.4km four-station phase of the Ampang Line extension from Seri Petaling to Bandar Kinrara is due to open on October 30 2015, while commercial services are due to start on the remaining 10.3km seven-station section to Putra Heights in March 2016.


The extension is expected to double ridership on the Ampang Line to more than 400,000 passengers per day.





South Island Line train delivered to Hong Kong


MTR Corporation has taken delivery of the first of 10 three-car trains from CNR Changchun Railway Vehicles, China, which will be used on Hong Kong's new South Island Line.


The remaining nine trains will be delivered by August and following commissioning the fleet will enter service when the line opens next year.


The 7km South Island Line will be a medium-capacity line linking the existing MTR network at Admiralty with the Southern District of Hong Kong. The line will have four stations: Ocean Park, Wong Chuk Hang, Lei Tung and South Horizons.


Bangladesh issues tender for Mongla port rail link

BANGLADESH Railways (BR) has published an invitation to prequalify for a contract to design and build a 60.4km 1676mm-gauge line linking Khulna with the port of Mongla in the Ganges delta.


The line will roughly follow the route of the existing highway between the two towns and will have 29 culverts and bridges, including a 5.2km viaduct spanning the flood plain of the River Rupsha. The line will be built for 120km/h operation and 25-tonne axleloads.


The project is being financed by the Bangladeshi government and the Import-Export Bank of India. Construction is expected to take two years to complete.


The closing date for prequalification is April 16.







Qatar awards main line consultancy contract

PARSONS, in a joint venture with Systra, has secured a consultancy services contract for the design of Qatar's main line railway network.


The 400km section, which will be used by freight and passenger traffic, includes six freight facilities, a depot and seven passenger stations and will be integrated with the Doha metro. It is also part of the proposed Gulf Cooperation Council network and will provide links to neighbouring Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain via a 40km causeway which will be jointly developed by the two countries.


Parsons says it will begin work on the project this year.







Mayor of Moscow opens metro extension

THE mayor of Moscow, Mr Sergei Sobyanin, opened a 4.5km extension to Line 12 of the Moscow metro on February 27 during a ceremony attended by two of the city's deputy mayors, Mr Marat Husnullin and Mr Maxim Liksutov, and the head of Moscow Metro Mr Ivan Besedin.


Construction of the two-station extension started in 2011 and Sobyanin says the project established a record for metro construction in Moscow by only taking two and half years to complete.


The extension runs from Ulitsa Starokachalovskaya (where the line interchanges with Bul'var Dmitriya Donskogo station on Line 9) via Lesoparkovaya to Bitsevskiy Park to connect with Novoyasenevskaya station on Line 6. Moscow Metro says that by having an additional connection with Line 6, the extension will help to relieve congestion on the southern section of Line 9.


Line 12 is now 10km long with seven stations and opening of the extension will improve transport links for around 300,000 people living in the area. Lesoparkovaya will become a transport hub with park-and-ride facilities and connecting bus services.






Alstom delivers first Indian-built metro trains to Chennai

ALSTOM has successfully delivered the first two trains manufactured at its inaugural Indian rolling stock plant in Sricity, Andhra Pradesh to Chennai Metro Rail (CMRL) as part of a €243m order for 42 Metropolis trains placed in 2010.


The first nine four-car stainless-steel trains are being manufactured at Alstom's Brazil plant at Lapa, São Paulo with five of these trains delivered so far to India. The remaining 33 trains will be built at the 26,000m² Sricity factory which currently employs 150 skilled people, with plans in place to increase this to 200. The trains have a maximum operating speed of 80km/h, utilise overhead catenary, regenerative braking and air conditioning systems.


Testing is now underway in Chennai on a 5.7km elevated section of Phase 1 from Koyambedu to Ashok Nagar, which is part of the 22km east-west line from Chennai Central to St Thomas Mount. CMRL says it hopes to begin passenger services on the 9km section from Koyambedu to Alandur by July, while Phase 1, which in addition to the Chennai Central - St Thomas Mount line, comprises a 23.1km north-south line from Washermenpet to Chennai International Airport, will open entirely in 2015.


Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) provided 59% of the funding for the estimated Rs 140bn ($US 2.23bn) project, with the state and national governments funding the remainder. Jica says that around Rs 80bn of its funds for the project have now been disbursed.









Subway service resumes in NE China city

Subway service resumed Thursday in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, after a two-hour suspension caused by power failure.


Harbin's subway line 1, which opened in September, resumed operation at 12:36 p.m., Harbin Metro said in a press release.


A power failure suspended underground traffic in Harbin at 10:20 a.m. and thousands of passengers were evacuated from trains and stations for safety considerations, the press release said.


It did not say what caused the power failure.


Line 1 is the only subway route in operation in Harbin. The 17-km route transports approximately 130,000 passengers daily.


The route is part of a planned 340-km underground traffic network to become operational by 2028.




China Railway to seek private investment for growth

State-owned China Railway Corporation plans to seek private investment for a railway development fund that could be launched this year, the Shanghai Securities News reported on Thursday.


The move comes as the Chinese government has vowed to deepen reforms of its state-owned enterprises and to open up protected industries such as finance, petroleum, power, telecom and railway, to private investors for the first time.


Details of the investment fund are still being formulated and a framework may be established by the first half of this year, Peng Kaizhou, deputy general manager of the company was quoted as saying.


Peng said the company was considering setting up a national rail development fund, with a fixed rate of return, or establishing an investment fund for specific projects.


China has pledged to speed up railway investment to help shore up the slowing economy. China Railway Corporation, set up in March to take over the defunct railway ministry's businesses, will spend over $100 billion on more than 6,600 km (4,100 miles) of new railway lines this year, the state news agency said in January.


The China Railways report comes a day after China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), the country's largest energy group, said it planned to open six business areas to private investors. Two weeks ago, peer Sinopec Corp opened up its retail oil business to non-state partners.






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