No.469issue(2014 04 11)

China raises 2014 rail budget to $US 116bn

CHINA Railways Corporation (CRC) has announced it will increase its 2014 investment budget to Yuan 720bn ($US 116.3bn), Yuan 20bn more than previously planned.


According to a report in the official Communist Party of China newspaper People's Daily, CRC chairman Mr Sheng Guangzu said that funds will allow construction to begin on four more railways this year, taking the total number of projects underway to 48.


China's state council said last week that it is encouraging banks to provide loans for railway projects in an effort to broaden the range of financing options available for the expansion of the network. The government is also planning to create an annual rail development fund worth up to Yuan 300bn which is intended to attract private investors.


CRC expects to open 7000km of new lines this year. According to Sheng, railway investment in the first quarter increased by 9% year-on-year to Yuan 61bn.






First Vossloh LRV for Santos shipped to Brazil

THE FIRST of 22 LRVs being built by Tremvia Santos, a consortium of TTrans and Vossloh, for the first light rail line in the Brazilian city of Santos began its sea voyage from Spain to Brazil on April 8.


The 43.7m-long seven-section low-floor vehicle, which was built at the Vossloh Rail Vehicles plant at Albuixech near Valencia is due to arrive at the port of Santos on May 22.


EMTU, which is managing the project to build the line from São Vicente to Santos, says test operation will begin in June. Trials will continue until the first quarter of next year, when commercial operation is due to start.


The first three LRVs are being built in Spain, while the remaining 19 units will be assembled in Brazil, with the final vehicle scheduled for delivery to Santos in May 2015.


The initial 11km section of the line will run from Porto to São Vicente Barreiros Terminal, while the second phase comprises a 4km branch from Conselheiro Nébias to Valongo. The line is expected to carry around 70,000 passengers per day.







10 bidders shortlisted for Mecca metro contracts

TEN consortia have been shortlisted for contracts to build two metro lines totalling 44km in the Saudi Arabian holy city of Mecca, according to press reports on April 9.


The Arabic daily newspaper Al Hayat quotes Mr Saad Al-Qadi, CEO of Mecca Trains Company, as saying that the shortlist, which includes both domestic and international contractors, has been approved by Prince Mishaal bin Abdullah, governor of the province of Mecca.


The first line will be 11km long with seven stations and will run mostly underground, linking the Jamrat region in Mina with the northern side of the Grand Mosque, the Haramain high-speed station in Rusaifa, and 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.


Civil works on the Riyals 25.5bn ($US 6.8bn) project will be divided into two packages covering underground and elevated sections.


Construction is expected to begin in the middle of this year and will take around three years to complete. The two lines are part of a longer-term plan to construct four lines totalling 114km with 62 stations.






Suzhou Line 2 signalling contract awarded

CHINA Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC) has selected Siemens in a €15m contract to supply signalling equipment for the 15km completely-underground extension of Suzhou metro Line 2.


Siemens will provide its Trainguard MT automatic train control system, Trackguard Sicas ECC electronic interlockings, and Airlink radio transmission system. Siemens says the system transfers data continuously between the metro line and the train via the radio transmission system, while Trainguard MT uses less trackside equipment than conventional train protection systems. Commissioning of the 13-station extension is planned for 2016.


The extension of Line 2 will connect Suzhou's eastern suburbs with the city's metro network. The existing 27km north-south Line 2 has 22 stations and its northern terminus is the Suzhou North station, the city's primary railway hub, which provides direct high-speed links to Shanghai and Beijing.





More Kazakh locomotives for Kyrgyzstan

KYRGYZ Railways (KTZ) signed a contract with JSC Lokomotiv Kurastyru Zauyty (LKZ), Kazakhstan, on March 31 for a second batch of TE33A Evolution Series locomotives.


LKZ has already suppled an initial batch of five of the 1520mm-gauge locomotives, which are due to be accepted by KTZ early next month. The first locomotives from the second batch are due to be delivered to Kyrgyzstan in October.


The ac traction TE33A was developed by GE Transportation from its ES44ACi for the North American market. The locomotives have been built in large numbers for Kazakhstan Railways at LKZ's plant in Astana, which opened in 2009 and has capacity to produce up to 100 units per year.


In additon to the units supplied to Kazakhstan Railways, LKZ has supplied TE33As to customers in Tajikistan, Mongolia, and Ukraine.


LKZ is a 50:50 joint venture between Kazakhstan Railways and Transmashholding, Russia.






Trials begin on Russia - North Korea railway

RUSSIAN Railways (RZD) has commenced testing of freight traffic on the reopened link from the Khasan border station of the Trans Siberian Railway in western Siberia to the port of Rason, North Korea.


Two freight trains consisting of 65 wagons containing Kuzbass coal are taking part in the trials, which are intended to test the recently redeveloped railway infrastructure, as well as customs practices and freight handling at the port.


The project is being carried out by the RasonKonTrans joint venture, which was formed in 2008, and is held by RZD Trading House (70%) and the port of Rason (30%). Work involved the reconstruction of the Tumangang – Rason railway in North Korea, which included the introduction of 54km of dual-gauge (1520mm and 1435mm) track, as well as the reconstruction of 18 bridges, 12 culverts, and three tunnels with a total length of more than 4.5km.


The railway was officially opened on September 22 2013, and was funded through RasonKonTrans' authorised capital and loans. The joint venture has also invested to improve capacity at the port, including the addition of connecting tracks, dredging and construction of a new quay wall.


RZD says the project will attract additional traffic to the Trans-Siberian Railway, with around 4 million tonnes of freight expected to use the Khasan - Rason link per year.





CNR to supply catenary-free LRVs to Beijing


CNR DALIAN Locomotive & Rolling Stock, China, has been awarded a contract to supply 31 low-floor LRVs for Beijing's Xijiao light rail line, which is due to open in 2015.


The 9.4km line will connect the tourist destinations of Yiheyuan and Xiangshan in the city's western suburbs and will include catenary-free sections totalling 4.4km.


The 100% low-floor five-section bidirectional LRVs will have an entry floor height of 350mm.


The vehicles will be based on AnsaldoBreda's Sirio design, which was licensed to CNR Dalian by the Italian supplier in a 10-year deal signed in 2012. Ansaldo STS has also licensed its Tramwave catenary-free electrification system to CNR Dalian and China's General Resources Company.


AnsaldoBreda's share of the Biejing contract is worth €19m and includes traction equipment for all 31 vehicles as well as the train control monitoring system (TCMS).


Test running starts on Istanbul - Ankara HS line

THE director general of Turkish State Railways (TCDD) Mr Süleyman Karaman says construction is complete on the Istanbul - Eskisehir section of the 533km high-speed line to Ankara allowing test running to begin.


Test running is starting at 40km/h and is being increased by increments of 10km/h until the line speed of 250km/h is reached plus a safety margin up to 275km/h. Karaman says that 247 separate parameters are being measured during testing to ensure track quality, ride comfort and safety. Karaman says completion of the civil works was delayed by 25 incidents where sections of signalling cables were severed by thieves and difficulties constructing the new line in Eskisehir.


Although an opening date has not been announced, Karaman says TCDD plans to operate 16 trains a day between Istanbul and Ankara with a journey time of 3h 30min. He says services will be extended next year through the Marmaray tunnel to the European side of Istanbul. The Eskisehir – Ankara section opened in March 2009.


TCDD has also announced a tender for the supply of 10 more high-speed trains. The contract includes spare parts and maintenance for three years.







Gautrain expansion studies to start by end of June

THE Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) says it will commence feasibility studies on 200km of proposed extensions to South Africa's Gautrain commuter network by the end of June.


The plan foresees the development of four Gautrain branch lines that will feed into the existing Hatfield - Pretoria - Johannesburg, and Sandton - OR Tambo International Airport links. The proposals include extending the line from the existing stations at Park to Westgate; Rhodesfield to Boksburg; Sandton to Randburg and Honeydew; and from Naledi, in Soweto to Mamelodi, via either a proposed station at Samrand, or the existing station at Midrand.


According to South Africa's Engineering News, GMA has so far refused to provide a cost estimate for the proposed extensions. Environmental-impact assessments for the projects are expected to take place in the next 12 to 24 months, while the start of construction is envisaged in two years, dependent on securing government funds.


In the meantime several improvements to the existing services are expected to take place in the next three months, including the introduction of a seventh eight-car train during the morning peak. The Gautrain OR Tambo service will also start 30 minutes earlier in the morning and end 35 minutes later, while headways will be reduced from 12 to 10 minutes on the Pretoria – Johannesburg service meaning the addition of one extra train every hour.


GMA says the enhancements are necessary to meet a steep increase in ridership on the back of rising fuel costs and the recent introduction of e-tolling on the parallel highway.


Gautrain reported a ridership record on February 28 when 62,500 passengers used the service, up from 49,000 passengers as recently as November last year, while 23,000 daily passengers are using the feeder bus service. GMA CEO Mr Jack van der Merwe says he hopes that the steadily increasing ridership will enable a sharp decrease in the current Rand 850m - Rand 900m ($US 80.2 - 85m) subsidy paid to system operator Bombela in the next financial year.


He added that a business case will also be developed to purchase new rolling stock for the service, which will include exploring the use of the same rolling stock being supplied for the upgrade of the Metrorail commuter fleet by the Alstom-led Gibela joint venture.







TCCD awards signalling contract to Thales

TURKISH State Railways (TCDD) has awarded a €10m contract to Thales to modernise the signalling and telecommunications at Eskisehir station.


During the one-year project, Thales will install ETCS Level 1 in the station area and modify the existing interlocking and CTC systems.


Eskisehir is an important junction on the Turkish rail network and is currently located at the end of the high-speed line from Ankara, which is also equipped with ETCS Level 1. However, high-speed services are due to be extended to Istanbul when the new line opens later this year.






Work starts on massive Riyadh metro project

THE governor of Riyadh Prince Khaled bin Bandar officially launched construction on April 3 of the six-line metro to be built in the Saudi capital.


The $US 22.5bn project entails construction of a 176.6km fully-automated metro with 87 stations in just 48 months. Around 73km of the metro will be underground. Work started in three locations:


King Khaled International Airport, which will be the northern terminus of Line 4 – the station will be located in the new Terminal 5 currently under construction. Al-Olaya station covering 28,000m2 including a shopping centre and car parks, and the metro's control centre which will be built to the west of Princess Noura Bint Abdul Rahman University which will also be served by Line 4.


ArRiyadh Development Authority, which has overall responsibility for the project, awarded three design and build contracts in July last year. The Bacs consortium led by US engineering giant Bechtel, and including Aecom and Siemens, won a $US 9.45bn contract to build lines 1 and 2. The Arriyadh New Mobility Group, led by Ansaldo STS and including Bombardier which will supply the trains, won a $US 5.2bn contract for Line 3, while a $US 7.8bn contract for lines 4, 5 and 6 was awarded to the Fast consortium led by FCC, Spain, and including Alstom, Samsung C&T, Strukton, Setect, France and Typsa, Spain.









Laos, China dust off train project

The long delayed rail link between Laos and China will be revived after a pledge between their leaders.


Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong and Chinese Premier Li Kequiang confirmed that the project would go forward in a summit held ahead of the Boao Forum for Asia in Sanya in Hainan province on Tuesday, the Vientiane Times said on Thursday.


The project was supposed to launch in 2011 and complete next year with 70% of funding from China. But a Chinese firm pulled the plug on it.


The 421km railway will run from the Lao-Chinese border in Yunnan province to Vientiane. It will connect to the railway network to Thailand in Nong Khai and run to Singapore. Thailand plans to build a high-speed train from Bangkok to the northeastern province.


The two government leaders will find a formula on the venture of the project to benefit the two countries, as Mr Li stressed its importance, the state-owned newspaper said.




Makkah Metro adds strength to China’s friendship with Kingdom

China Railway Construction Corporation Limited (CRCC), the precursor of which is railway corps, initiated by China Railway Construction Corporation, was established on November 5, 2007 in Beijing, and is an ultra-large construction enterprise in the charge of state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Committee (SASAC).


CRCC was listed on March 10, 2008 in Shanghai, and on March 13, 2008 in Hong Kong (A-shares code 601186, H-shares code 1186), with 8.0 billion registered capitals. On Febr. 10, 2009, CRCC, and Saudi Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs signed the contract for the Al Mashaaer Al-Mugaddassah Metro Project — Southern Line (MMMP-SL) in the presence of top leaders of both China and Saudi Arabia.


MMMP-SL, the first project since the framework agreement of the infrastructure co-operation between China and Saudi Arabia signed by both governments, has greatly promoted bilateral cooperation between the two countries, and contributed to fostering stronger Sino-Saudi relationships.


Additionally, it is the first EPC+O&M project (Engineering, Procurement and Construction + Operation and Maintenance), executed by a Chinese enterprise as the principal contractor overseas.


For the first time, European certification authorities awarded certificates to a Chinese principal contractor for a large railway project in the global market.


Makkah Metro is designed to be the most intensely used railway with the highest levels of passenger ridership (pilgrims) capacity, operated in the most complicated operational modes.


It is also recognized to be the fastest built and fastest operated in the highest outdoor temperatures in the world for an operating railway.


With the support and care of Chinese and Saudi Arabian governmental departments, CRCC took only 16 months to complete the project and opened for Haj transportation services according to the contract.


In the past four years of Haj, the metro carried more than 12 million passengers. The success of Makkah Metro has generated positive influence and received global praise and recognition from Muslims worldwide.


This project — supported by Saudi Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs — not only creates a miracle in the world of railway construction, but has also established the commitment for the ongoing friendship between China and the Kingdom and the Islamic world.


CRCC, one of the world’s most powerful and largest integrated construction groups, ranking the 100th among “the world’s top 500” on 2013 “Fortune,” and the 11th among “China’s top 500 enterprises,” the first among “the top 250 global contractors” on 2013, is the largest engineering contractor in China, also China’s largest overseas engineering contractor.


At the end of 2010, its total assets reached 350.1 billion yuan, an increase of 23.75 percent year-on-year net assets 58.2 billion yuan, and the annual total of new contracts 747.2 billion yuan, including overseas new contracts 25.91 billion, operating income 470.2 billion yuan, total profits and taxes 22.8 billion.


CRCC business covers project contracting, survey design consultation,industrial manufacturing, real estate development, logistics, trade of goods and materials as well as capital operations, has developed mainly from construction contract into a complete industrial chain of research, planning, prospecting and designing, construction, supervision, maintenance, operation and financing, and is able to provide proprietors with one-stop integrated services.


And CRCC has established its leadership position in project design and construction fields in plateau railways, high-speed railways, highways, bridges, tunnels and urban rail traffic.


Since the 1980s, CRCC has won 363 national awards in the fields of project contracting, survey, design, consultation, etc. among them, 55 national science and technology progress awards, 74 national prospecting and designing “four excellent” awards, 39 Zhan Tianyou civil engineering awards, 124 national quality engineering awards and 71 China construction engineering Luban awards. CRCC has extended its scope of business to 31 provinces (municipalities), autonomous regions, Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions except Taiwan and more than 60 countries and regions around the world.


The company has a strong professional team, especially including one member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, 5 national prospecting and designing masters and 191 experts who enjoy the State Council special allowance.


Over the past 60 years, the company has inherited the fine traditions and work style of the railway corps: carrying out administrative decrees promptly, courageous in innovation and indomitable.


There is a kind of preeminent culture in CRCC with “sincerity and innovation forever, quality and character at once” as its core values so that the enterprise has strong cohesion, execution and combat effectiveness. Under the leadership of Chairman and Party Secretary Meng Fengchao and President Zhang Zongyan, CRCC is striding forward toward the goal of “China’s construction industry leader, the world’s most competitive large construction group.”






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