No.466issue(2014 03 21)

Korail orders KTX trains for Suseo high-speed line

KOREAN national train operator Korail has awarded Hyundai-Rotem a contract worth Won 342.2bn ($US 302m) to supply 10 KTX-Sancheon trains, which are being ordered for the extension of the high-speed network to Suseo and Mokpo in 2017.


The 300km/h 10-car trains will seat 410 passengers and are due to be delivered in November 2016.


The opening of the Suseo and Honam high-speed lines will reduce journey times between Suseo and Mopkpo to 1h 49min.


The new trains will also operate services from Suseo to Daejeon and Busan via the existing Gyeongbu high-speed line.






Subway, bus rapid transit in Metro Manila?

The government has some more ideas on how to solve Metro Manila's worsening traffic: a subway and a bus rapid transit (BRT) system.


On Thursday, March 20, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) unveiled major projects that would serve as alternative modes of transportation for commuters.


On top of the list is the P135-billion Mass Transit System, a subway or underground rail system that would extend the existing Metro Rail Transit or MRT Line 3. MRT 3 runs from North Avenue in Quezon City to Taft Avenue in Pasay City.


DOTC Assistant Secretary Jaime Feliciano said the 20-kilometer subway would consist of 11 stations: 5 underground, 4 interchanges and 2 elevated. He added it would connect Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, the Makati central business district, and the Mall of Asia area in Pasay.


Feliciano said DOTC would forward the project to the National Economic and Development Authority for approval in the 2nd or 3rd quarter of the year. The government would bid it out in the 2nd quarter of 2015.


DOTC is also putting up a 28-km BRT worth P4.65 billion. The BRT system would run from the Manila City Hall to Fairview in Quezon City, passing through Commonwealth Avenue.


The government has been looking for ways to ease traffic along Metro Manila roads to cut on economic losses. It is developing an Integrated Terminal System that would lessen buses plying EDSA and other metro thoroughfares. It is also reviving the Pasig ferry services to encourage commuters to take alternative routes.


A study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency showed the Philippines stands to lose up to P6 billion a day by 2030 due to traffic congestion.


Other rail projects


Aside from the subway system, DOTC also eyes to bid out the proposed P284-billion North-South Commuter Rail stretching 89.7 kms from Malolos, Bulacan to Calamba, Laguna. The rail could be extended to the Clark International Airport in Pampanga.


Another rail project is the P271-billion Integrated Luzon Railway stretching 900 kms from Sorsogon in Bicol to Tuguegarao in Cagayan.


DOTC is set to bid out the operation and maintenance of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 2, which is being extended all the way to Masinag in Antipolo.


It is in the process of bidding out the P65-billion LRT 1 extension to Bacoor, also in Cavite. The agency is considering extending LRT Line 1 further to Dasmariñas, Cavite.







Eskisehir expands light rail network

THE Mayor of Eskisehir Mr Yılmaz Büyükerşen formally opened the latest addition to the city's EsTram light rail network on March 18 when he made an inaugural trip over Line 3, which serves eastern districts of the Turkish city.


The seven-station line runs for around 5km from a junction with Line 1 near Yunuskent station to a new terminus at Açelya. Services are operated by a fleet of Bombardier Flexity Outlook LRVs.


The opening of Line 3 takes the total length of Eskisehir's light rail network to 20km.






Hitachi relocates global rail business to London

HITACHI Rail has announced that it is relocating its global headquarters from Japan to London and that the current head of Hitachi Rail Europe, Mr Alistair Dormer, will be made the company's global CEO from April 1.


Hitachi says the move will strengthen the management structure for its planned expansion in the global railway systems market. Hitachi Rail currently employs 2500 people and hopes to expand this to 4000 people in the next 2.5 years, while increasing its global turnover from €2bn at present to €3bn "in the next few years."


"Today's announcement is a significant sign of intent by Hitachi to grow its business in the rail market and I am excited by the level of trust placed in me to lead our growing business in this next phase of expansion," Dormer says. "Both Britain and Japan remain important as markets for Hitachi Rail, and with our train factory in the northeast of England now under construction, we will work to realise our export potential from Britain, expanding into Europe and emerging markets."


To support Dormer, Hitachi has appointed Mr Kentaro Masai, who is president and CEO of Hitachi's Rail Systems Company, as global COO, and will be responsible for strengthening ties with the Japanese government and Japanese customers. Mr Shinya Mitsudomi, chief strategic officer (CSO) of the Rail Systems Company, will be appointed global CSO.


"We will vigorously push ahead with global business development in the rail systems business, where growth is expected," Masai says. "We will do so by harnessing Hitachi's advanced rail systems technology, developed mainly in Japan, and by further strengthening coordination with networks formed through our overseas business."





Kuala Lumpur Inspiro mock-up unveiled

Malaysia's Mass Rapid Transit Corporation (MRT) and Siemens have unveiled a full-size mock-up of the forthcoming Inspiro metro train for the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) Sungai Buloh – Kajang line in Kuala Lumpur, which is currently under construction.


The mock-up which is on display in the arrivals area for the KLIA Ekspress airport service at KL Sentral station, carries the final exterior livery and interior fittings selected by MRT for the fleet of 58 four-car driverless trains, which will enter service from 2017.


The 31-station Klang Valley line will link the KTM commuter station at Sungai Buloh with KL Sentral station, Maluri, and Kajang. Services will operate at 3.5-minute intervals during peak periods and the line is expected to carry around 445,000 passengers per day.






Rio metro Line 1 reaches Uruguai

METRÔ RIO celebrated the opening of Rio de Janeiro's 36th metro station on March 15, with the inauguration of the 1.1km extension of Line 1 from Saens Peña to Uruguai.


Uruguai is the first station on the Rio metro network to be equipped with passenger Wi-Fi and is also fitted with low-energy LED lighting.


The Reais 250m ($US 107m) underground extension is expected to bring an extra 36,000 passengers per day to Line 1.





Russia to allow private investment in metros


THE Russian government says it expects to approve legislation in the middle of this year which would allow the private sector to invest in metro projects, including the construction of new lines and the acquisition of new rolling stock.


The Ministry of Transport has prepared and issued for public consultation a draft law that would allow non-budget funds to be invested in the construction of metro lines through concessions.


The bill will regulate private sector investment in all aspects of light rail and metro projects.


"The basis for the construction of the first private metros lines in Russia has been already created through the law on concessioning," says a representative of the ministry. "Therefore, it is clear that the government will not turn back and private money will soon be available for metros. Some regional governments have already initiated negotiations with private investors and after the bill is adopted construction could start within a couple of years."


The new law is based on legislation for the concessioning of road projects, and the ministry says it expects the measures to lead to a "sharp increase" in metro construction in Russian cities.


Indeed, several regions have already announced that they are negotiating with prospective investors.


The city of Novosibirsk is seeking around Roubles 12.8bn ($US 350mln), in private investment to help finance its first metro line, while Voronezh aims to attract around Roubles 15bn for metro construction.


The city of Krasnoyarsk spent Roubles 4.5bn on the construction of 3.5km of metro tunnels between 2005 and 2010, when the project was suspended due to a shortage of funds. Now the municipal government says it has found several parties willing to provide up to Roubles 7bn, which could allow the line to open in 2017.


However, the most dramatic growth is expected in the construction of several new underground lines in the so-called "New Moscow" districts, which came under the jurisdiction of the capital city last year but are not currently served by the metro network. Moscow Construction Department chairman Mr Marat Khusnullin says private investments in the construction of the metro lines serving these areas will amount to Roubles 50bn over the next five or six years, almost all of which is expected to come from private sources.


Egypt revives high-speed rail plans

EGYPT is to revive plans for a high-speed line linking the Mediterranean coast with the country's far south, according to transport minister Mr Ibrahim El-Demeiry, who has described the project as "a top priority" for the interim government.


El-Demeiry says bids will be invited soon for the construction of the line, which would run for 1200km from Alexandria via Giza, Asyut and Luxor to Aswan when all phases are completed.


The project had been shelved since the Egyptian government commissioned a technical study in 2009 from Italferr, the international engineering consultancy arm of Italian State Railways (FS).


The government says the first 200km phase from Alexandria to Giza could be completed in three years. The second and third stages, from Giza to Asyut and Luxor, are around 400km each.


The main aims of the proposed network, which would have a commercial speed of up to 350 km/h, are to attract investment and boost tourism.


El-Demeiry says the government is considering selling shares to the public to help finance the project, which will cost an estimated $US 10bn.


Last year Egypt's Railway Authority made a loss of $US 57m, a drop of 34% compared with 2012. This was due to the almost total suspension of passenger services in July following the removal from office of the country's president Mr Mohamed Morsi.







CNR to supply trams for Addis Ababa LRT

CNR, China, announced on March 17 that it has been awarded a contract to supply a fleet of 41 LRVs for the 37.4km light rail network which is currently under construction in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.


The three-section 70% low-floor vehicles will have a maximum speed of 70km/h and the first units are due to be delivered at the end of this year.


China is financing 60% of the $US 400m light rail project, with the remainder coming from the Ethiopian government. The network will have three lines: Defence Forces Hospital - Ayat Village (17.3km), Meskel Square - Kality (16.2km) and Lideta - Menilik Square (3.9km).







Transnet South Africa orders 1064 locomotives

TRANSNET celebrated its biggest-ever locomotive order on March 17, when it signed contracts worth Rand 50bn ($US 4.7bn) with four international suppliers for a total of 1064 locomotives for its Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) subsidiary.


CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive, China, and Bombardier will supply a total of 599 electric locomotives, while GE and CNR will deliver 465 diesel locomotives.


Bombardier's share of the deal comprises 240 Traxx Africa 100km/h dual-voltage (3kV dc and 25kV ac) electric locomotives. Bombardier says that more than 60% of the contract value will be localised. CSR will supply 359 dual-voltage six-axle electric locomotives, which will have a continous output of 4.6MW. and a maximum speed of 100km/h.


GE will supply 233 ES40Aci Evolution Series diesel locomotives with 55% local content, while CNR will deliver 232 3.3MW six-axle diesels with ac traction (pictured below). CNR says the contract is its largest-ever export order.


Transnet says that all but 70 of the locomotives on order will be assembled in South Africa at Transnet Rail Engineering facilities in Koedoespoort, Pretoria, and Durban.


Most of the locomotivives will be used by TFR's General Freight Business (GFB).






Tibet Railway extension set for September opening

THE Chinese government announced on March 11 that the 253km extension of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway from the Tibetan capital Lhasa to the region's second city Xigaze will open in September.


Construction started in September 2010 on the Yuan 13.3bn ($US 2.15bn) railway, which will have 13 stations and an 875m-long bridge across the Yarlun Zangbo river. According to local press reports, infrastructure works are nearly complete and commissioning is expected to take around two months.


The new line is designed for 120km/h operation and does not encounter any permafrost zones, which caused significant difficulties in the construction of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.









Turkish premier opens metro line in Ankara

TURKEY's prime minister, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan, opened Line M2 of the Ankara metro on March 13. This follows hot on the heels of the opening of Line M3 by the premier on February 12.


Line M2 is 16.5km long with 12 stations and runs from Kizilay, where it interchanges with lines M1 and M3, to Çayyolu in the southwest of the Turkish capital. An end-to-end journey time of 25 minutes with trains running at a maximum speed of 80km/h is envisaged.


The project has been implemented by a consortium led by Ansaldo STS and including Turkish contractors. Ansaldo STS was responsible for the signalling and has supplied communications-based train control (CBTC), IXL interlockings, automatic train control and data communications systems on Line M2.


Ansaldo STS was responsible for installing CBTC on lines M3 and M4, and has also updated the signalling on the original Line M1 to the same standards to enable interoperability between the lines. However, full functionality of the CBTC will not be available until the entire project is completed next year.




Cairo to order new trains for metro Line 1

EGYPT's National Authority for Tunnels (NAT) has published a tender notice for a contract to supply and maintain 20 new nine-car trains for Cairo metro Line 1.


NAT has requested a minimum of 22.2% domestic content and 16-18 trains will be assembled locally. Delivery of the first train is expected within 24 months of contract signing and the entire fleet will enter service within 45 months. The supplier will maintain the fleet for a period of eight years.


The contract also includes the supply of two diesel-hydraulic locomotives for rescue operations and use on engineering trains.


The current fleet of 55 three-car trains dates back to the opening of the first phase of Line 1 in 1987, and trains usually operate in nine-car formations.


Line 1 stretches for 43km between El Merg in the north of the city and Helwan in the south with 35 stations. The line runs mostly at grade, with a 3.5km tunnel beneath the city centre, and uses a 1.5kV dc overhead electrification system.






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