No.468issue(2014 04 04)

Bandung monorail network plan unveiled

INDONESIA's Panghegar Group and China National Machinery Import & Export Corporation (CNMIE) have released details of a five-line Rupiah 20 trillion ($US 1.76bn) monorail project for the Indonesian city of Bandung.


According to The Jakarta Globe, funding for the undertaking will come entirely from private sources, with Panghegar and CNMIE expected to provide 30% of the finance through equity and the remainder from bank loans.


The two companies signed an MOU for the project in October 2013 during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Bali. Their joint masterplan outlines a network consisting of a 29.7km line from Leuwi Panjang bus terminal to Tanjungsari; a 13.3km line from Leuwi Panjang to Soreang; an 18.6km line from Leuwi Panajang to the Ngamprah subdistrict; a 10.2km line along the Sungai Cikapundung artery; and a 12km line from the Gedebage station to the Majalaya subdistrict.


Mr Cecep Rukmana Ruhyat, the patriarch of Panghegar, a hotel business which is transforming itself into a property developer, says despite the regional government pushing for an August groundbreaking, the project remains in the feasibility stage.


He added that the monorail is part of a larger plan for development of Bandung, a city suffering from chronic traffic congestion. At the heart of the plan is the construction of six satellite cities on the outskirts which would all be connected to the monorail.


"A monorail is a loss making project," Cecep says. "It should be developed by the government, but the government doesn't have any money and if it is subsidised it is also too costly. The solution is to involve the private sector and compensate for its losses with property projects that will be connected to the monorail."


Indonesia's Transport Ministry says that it plans to reopen 100km of railway across Java this year, beginning with a 50km section between Kedung Jati and Ambarawa in Central Java. There is reportedly Rupiah 150-200bn available for this project.






China lets market decide new line's railfreight rates

CHINA's National Development and Reform Commission has announced that freight rates on the new 179km Zhunchi Railway, which is due to open in June, will be determined by the carrier, its clients and investors.


State-owned mining and energy company Shenhua Group is building the new railway, which will link a major coal-producing region in Inner Mongolia with Shanxi Province, where the company's existing railway infrastructure provides a direct link to Huanghua port on China's east coast and Wanjia Terminal in Tianjin. The company is expected to invest Yuan 13.46bn ($US 2.17bn) in the project, with the line anticipated to have capacity for 200 million tonnes of coal per year.


The Commission says the Zhunchi Railway is its first attempt to liberalise the railfreight market in China, following similar moves in the aviation industry to allow carriers to charge as little as they want for tickets on certain domestic routes.


Mr Shi Lixin of the NDRC's Institute of Economic System and Management described the move as a "milestone" in railway reform which will have a positive and far-reaching impact on the investment and financial reform of China's railways.


"The move will boost the confidence of social capital to invest in railways and help stabilise expectations," Shi says.


In addition to Zhunchi Railway, Shenhua is also currently building the 134km New Batu Railway, which will take its overall network length to 2068km.







HS2 appoints JR East as a consultant

EAST Japan Railway (JR East) has confirmed that it has been appointed as a consultant by Britain's HS2, the company overseeing the project to construct a 531km Y-shaped high-speed network from London to central and northern England.


Drawing on its experience of operating part of Japan's Shinkansen network, JR East will advise HS2 on matters including reliability, safety and punctuality ahead of construction on the project, which is due to commence in 2017. This work will cover both technical and management issues, including station management, noise counter measures and construction issues.


"[HS2] is the largest and most complex infrastructure project ever in Britain so it is essential we explore the best ways in which we can learn from international experience," says Professor Andrew McNaughton, HS2 technical director. "We are very pleased to be working with one of the world's great experts."


The contract between the two companies was signed on January 31, and to coincide with confirmation of the agreement, JR East says that it will open a London office later this month. The company says the office will expose it to more business opportunities and make it easier for the company to support its clients and partners, including European-based suppliers.






Three bids received for Latvian EMU lease contract

LATVIAN Railways' (LDZ) passenger operating subsidiary, Pasazieru Vilciens (PV), has received bids from three manufacturers to lease 25 to 45 EMUs over a period of 15 years.


Pesa, Poland, Stadler, and Hyundai-Rotem have all submitted offers for the contract, although it has been reported that Pesa has not provided the required financial security.


The contract is projected to be worth a total of €153.6m, and the bids received range from €35,078 to €50,817 for the average monthly lease per vehicle, and between €287.84 and €559 for maintenance of a train per 1000km. The successful bidder will supply the vehicles within 18 and 28 months after the award of the contract with the bid evaluation expected to take three months. PV says it will look to purchase the trains at the end of the contract if credit resources are less than the cost of a lease.


PV CEO Mr Artis Birkmanis says that when introduced the trains will be the most modern, fastest and economic mode of transport in Latvia. "The tender for the new trains is one of the most important tenders in the history of the company as well as an important milestone in its development," he says.


PV's head of procurement Mr Normunds Sinkevics says that the tender's regulations were changed several times during the process following questions raised by bidders. However, Spanish manufacturer CAF has submitted a complaint to the European Commission (EC) regarding these alterations.


CAF says that PV changed the prospective tender's regulations, including its funding structure and distribution of responsibilities, significantly after the 30-day deadline for submission of bids, which is contrary to European Union regulations. The EC is now set to examine the company's tender regulations, and if this is found to be the case, PV would have to terminate the tender and start the process again.


CAF has also submitted four complaints to Latvia's Procurement Monitoring Bureau over the tender, with one accepted.





Manila LRT 1 extension project to start in October

THE government of the Philippines has given the green light to a Peso 1.4bn ($US 31.2m) extension of Manila's elevated light metro line LRT 1. The project will fill the short gap between the line's current terminus at Roosevelt and North, the northern terminus of MRT 3, creating a transit loop in the city.


The government has released Peso 629m for the project this year and expects construction to commence in October, with work scheduled to be completed next year.


Meanwhile, the Department of Transport and Communications (DOTC) says it plans to repackage the public-private partnership (PPP) deal for the proposed LRT Line 1 Cavite extension project to include construction of an expanded station at Quezon City.


The Peso 1.4bn station will accommodate LRT 1, MRT 3, and the proposed MRT 7 services as well as bus transport. As a result the DOTC has extended the deadline for submission of bids for the Peso 65bn PPP from April 28 to May 28.


The Cavite extension proposes adding 11.7km and eight stations from Baclaran, the current southern terminus of LRT 1, to Bacoor in Cavite. A previous bidding process for the much-delayed project fell apart in August 2013 after one of the four bidders was deemed to be unsuitable and the other three submitted letters of withdrawal. This followed a delayed pre-qualification process in 2012.






Tenders invited for Mexico City - Toluca railway

MEXICO's transport and communications ministry (SCT) has issued a call for tenders for construction of a 4.6km tunnel from Ocoyoacac Township, east of Toluca, east to the neighbouring Cuajimalpa delegation, which is the second section of the proposed 58km Toluca - Mexico City railway.


The announcement follows a call for tenders on February 28 for the initial 36km section of the railway from the line's Toluca terminus at Zinacantepec to the western portal of the proposed tunnel. The line will terminate at Observatory in Mexico City with four intermediate stations. Trains will operate at a maximum speed of 160km/h and complete the journey in 39 minutes and SCT says it expects around 270,000 passengers per day to use the service when it opens in 2017.


The new line is one of five railway commitments made by Mexican president Mr Enrique Peña Nieto on the first day of his administration on December 1 2012, and reiterated by SCT rail director Mr Carlos Almada in February. Almada said the government would invest Pesos 125bn ($US 9.56bn) in the schemes.





Israel receives first coaches for electric services


ISRAEL Railways (IR) has received the first six of 72 push-pull double-deck coaches currently being built by Bombardier to serve new electrified services which will be introduced on the Tel Aviv - Jerusalem and Acre - Carmiel lines from 2018.


With the introduction of electric traction, train formation will grow to eight cars, which will increase capacity by 37% to 1030 seats. Line speeds will also increase to 160km/h from 140km/ at present.


In addition, IR has activated an option with Bombardier to convert all of its current coaches so they are suitable for electric traction. This project is expected to last for four years.


The new coaches can also operate using diesel locomotives and IR will run both electric and diesel trains in parallel until the completion of its electrification programme in 2020.


CNR Yongji Company awards certification of ABS

Recently, CNR Yongji Xinshisu Electric Equipment Co., Ltd. was awarded the certification of drilling motor used in offshore oil field by American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) after site inspection. This is the second time to have the certification from American Bureau of Shipping (ABS).







TransCentury sells stake in Rift Valley Railways

KENYA's TransCentury has sold its 34% stake in Rift Valley Railways (RVR) to Egyptian private equity firm Citadel Capital for an undisclosed sum.


TransCentury held a stake in Rift Valley Railways (RVR), the operator of the Kenya-Uganda railway line, through its subsidiary Safari Rail Company. It sold the shareholding to Citadel Capital's subsidiary Africa Railways, which now owns 85% of RVR. Bomi Holdings, Uganda, holds the remaining 15% stake.


Nairobi-based newspaper The Standard reported that with the deal, Citadel Capital had completed a $US 530m purchase of additional shareholding in its subsidiaries in Africa, including RVR.


In February 2014 RVR announced plans for a railway link between Mombasa and Cairo, passing through Kampala, Juba and Khartoum, which would pose competition to the proposed Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport corridor.


TransCentury had held its 34% stake since the Kenyan and Ugandan Railway approved a new shareholding structure for RVR in 2010.







Locomotives for Ethiopia built up in CNR

On March 13, 2014 three diesel-electric locomotives for Ethiopia had been manufactured in CNR Dalian Locomotive & Rolling Stock Co., Ltd. This type of locomotive is able to meet the demands of outdoor temperatures up of 50 ℃ and 2,000 meters above sea level.


16V240ZJD diesel engine is used in the locomotive, service power 2940kW, maximum operating speed of 100 km per hour. Considering the local tropical weather factors, locomotive air filtration system is upgraded from one fine filter to two stages filtration, precision increasing 15%. When the outside temperature exceeds 40 ℃ , microcomputer will automatic adjust the main generator power output according to the temperature changing, increases the adaptability of high temperature of locomotive.






Europe and Japan discuss open railway markets

THE first meeting of the EU-Japan Industrial Dialogue on Railways, which was organised by the European Commission (EC) and Japanese government, took place in Brussels last week and provided officials with an opportunity to discuss railway-related topics arising from the continuing EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations.


Among the issues discussed were technical regulations and safety standards, railway markets, and market access issues. The European Rail Industry Association (Unife) and Community of European Railways and Infrastructure Companies (CER), which took part in the discussions, both say they support industrial dialogue as an additional channel for discussions between the public and private sectors to provide effective and comparable railway market access conditions between the EU and Japan.


Last week's event built upon the work from previous workshops and events. This included a market workshop where Unife called upon the Japanese government to live up to its commitment to provide transparent, predictable and non-discriminatory application of the Operational Safety Clause.


Unife also recommended improving procurement processes in Japan, including for Japanese companies to post information on upcoming and previously-awarded tenders on their websites, while CER says it supports the FTA as long as it opens up opportunities for market players on both sides. CER says it believes there is a need to intensify the level of mutual cooperation between the EU and Japan in order to ease the process of accessing a market where a particular company is not already established.


Both organisations support the involvement of DG Move and the European Railway Agency (ERA) in the discussions and are in favour of future meetings which will facilitate the negotiation process.


"European railway companies are open to a discussion with Japanese enterprises," says CER executive director Mr Libor Lochman. "CER members provide a lot of services of interest to Japanese operators, such as feasibility studies and staff training. I am therefore convinced that the FTA will bring business opportunities for our sector. European railway undertakings are definitely in a position to make use of them."


The meeting took place ahead of this week's fifth round of FTA negotiations, which marks the end of the first year of discussions. Next month the European Commission (EC) will take stock of Japan's implementation of commitments to eliminate non-tariff barriers to decide whether to pursue negotiations.









CNR Inked 232 diesel-electric locomotives contract in South Africa

Local time on March 17, 2014, CNR and South Africa Transnet company signed sales contract for 232 units of diesel-electric locomotives. President of CNR Mr. XI Guohua, Vice President of CNR Mr. Yu Weiping , the Minister of South Africa Public Enterprises Mr. Gigaba, CEO of South Africa Transnet Company Mr. Molefe, attended the signing ceremony.


This is the largest order of diesel-electric locomotive for exporting in China till now. It is also the third exporting contract in Africa from the beginning of this year. From 2013, the CNR railway locomotives, passenger cars, freight cars, urban rail and other rail transportation equipment have being further accelerated the pace of Africa market.




MOU signed for new China – Europe rail service

THE national railways of Russia (RZD), Kazakhstan (KTZ) and Belarus (BC), the United Transport & Logistics Company Project Office (UTLC PO), and DHL Global Forwarding have signed a MOU to develop railfreight forwarding services between China and Europe with door-to-door delivery of containers.


UTLC PO will offer a so-called "single window" service and will be responsible for operating train services, including the procurement of rolling stock, arranging customs clearance at borders, and all related services on the route. DHL will be responsible for third-party logistics and freight origination in both China and Europe. The three railways agreed to form UTLC in June 2013, and UTLC PO was set up in October 2013, headed by Mr Zhanar Rymzhanova.






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