No.473issue(2014 05 09)

China to order more than 1000 electric locomotives

CHINA Railway Investment Corporation (CRIC) has published tenders for contracts to supply more than 1000 electric locomotives to China Railway Corporation (CRC).


The contracts call for the delivery of 651 7.2MW six-axle ac passenger locomotives, which will be capable of operating at up to 160km/h, and 345 eight-axle 9.6MW freight units, which will have a maximum speed of 120km/h. A further tender has also been issued for 25 7.2MW six-axle electric locomotives for the Datong-Qinhuangdao heavy-haul line.


According to CRIC only two contractors, domestic suppliers CNR Dalian and CSR Zhuzhou have prequalified for the passenger locomotive contract.


In addition, CRIC has issued tender notices for contracts to supply 2785 passenger coaches of varying designs and 3800 freight wagons.






Singapore selects GE for driverless CBTC contract

SINGAPORE's Land Transport Authority (LTA) has awarded contracts worth a total of $S 1.15bn ($US 915.8m) for the Thomson and Eastern Region metro projects, including a $S 159m contract to GE Transportation for a fully automated and driverless communications-based train control (CBTC) system.


GE will deploy its Tempo CBTC solution and computer-based interlocking (CBI) systems for Singapore's sixth and seventh metro lines and will be responsible for design, manufacturing, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of the signalling system and platform screen doors for both lines. The project will be rolled out in three phases with the first set to conclude in 2019.


The 30km entirely-underground north-south Thomson Line is expected to be completed in 2021 and will feature 22 stations including six interchanges with Singapore's existing metro network at Woodlands, Caldecott, Stevens, Orchard, Outram Park, and Marina Bay. It will feed into the 21km, 12-station Eastern Region Line, which will terminate at Changi, with LTA set to announce further details of the project in due course.


Singapore Technologies Electronics has secured the $S 124m communications contract, which comprises the communications backbone network, digital trunked radio, video surveillance, public address, telephone and passenger information systems.


LTA has also awarded RSEA Engineering, a joint venture of Eng Lee Engineering and Wai Fong Construction, a $S 207m contract for the construction of the Thomson Line's Mt Pleasant station as well as associated tunnels. Daewoo Engineering Construction has secured a $S 441m contract for Stevens station and its tunnels, which will be the interchange between the Thomson and Downtown lines, while Hock Lian Seng infrastructure has won the $S 222m Maxwell station and tunnel contract. Construction of all three stations will commence in the second quarter of 2014 and be completed in 2021.







Cairo opens metro Line 3 second phase

CAIRO inaugurated the second phase of metro Line 3 on May 7 when Egypt's president Mr Adly Mansour, prime minister Mr Ibrahim Mahlib and transport minister Mr Ibrahim El Demeiri officially opened the 7.2km eastern section between Abbasiya and Haroun El Rachid station in the district of Heliopolis.


The $US 1.7bn five-station extension, which was completed five months ahead of schedule, is expected to increase daily ridership on Line 3 to around 600,000 passengers.


Civil works on the project were carried out by a French consortium of Vinci Construction and Bouygues with Egyptian partners Orascom Construction and Arab Contractors. Colas Rail, Alstom and Thales were responsible for electromechanical works, while tracklaying was carried out by Vinci subsidiary ETF Eurovia and Orascom. Signalling and automation systems were supplied and installed by Alstom and Thales.


The initial 4.3km five-station section of Line 3 between Abbasiya and an interchange with Line 2 at Attaba opened in February 2012, and when all stages are complete the line will be 34km long stretching from the city's international airport in the east to Mohandiseen and Embaba in Giza in the west.


In September 2012, Egypt's government signed a €940m loan agreement with the French Development Agency and the European Investment Bank to help fund the third phase, which will be 18km long with 15 stations.


Line 3 is the first metro line in the city to be equipped with automatic train operation. Seven additional eight-car trains have been acquired from Mitsubishi for phase 2.






Russian Railways takes delivery of first Talgo

The first of seven trainsets which RZD's Federal Passenger Co ordered from Patentes Talgo in June 2011 has been delivered to Moscow. Following trials at the Shcherbinka test circuit, entry into revenue service is planned for later this year.


Four 1 520 mm gauge Talgo trainsets are to be deployed on Moscow – Kyiv services, while three gauge-changing trainsets will be equipped to operate on 1 520 mm and 1 435 mm gauge on the Moscow – Minsk – Warszawa – Berlin route, eliminating the need to change bogies at Brest.


The aluminium-bodied trainsets are designed for operation at up to 200 km/h, with passive tilt and pneumatic suspension offering improved comfort compared to existing stock.





Kuala Lumpur airport rail link extended to KLIA2

A 2·14 km extension of Kuala Lumpur’s airport rail link opened along with a new terminal for budget airlines on May 2.


The KLIA2 terminal replaces a previous facility which required passengers arriving at the airport’s main terminal by rail to change to a shuttle bus. Rail link concessionaire Express Rail Link is expecting a 40% increase in ridership following the opening of the extension.


While the stand-alone standard gauge rail link between Kuala Lumpur and the airport was developed under a design, build, finance and operate concession signed in 1997, the 100m ringgit cost of the extension to KLIA2 has been funded by the government to encourage the use of public transport.


The 3½ min transfer between the airport terminals by ERL costs 2 ringgit, while the fares from other ERL stations are the same to either terminal.






Cairo metro Line 3 extension opens

The second phase of Cairo metro Line 3 was inaugurated by Interim President Adly Mansour on May 7, accompanied by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and Transport Minister Ibrahim el-Demiri.


The 7·7 km eastern extension links Abbasiya and Al Ahram in Heliopolis, with three intermediate stations. Construction started in 2009 and was completed five months ahead of schedule at a cost of E£4·3bn. One earth-pressure balance tunnel boring machine and one slurry TBM were used.


Civil engineering was undertaken by a Vinci-led consortium including Bouygues Travaux Publics, Arab Contractors and Orascom Construction. Colas Rail, Alstom, Thales, Arab Contractors and Orascom were responsible for E&M works; ETF and Orascom for tracklaying; and Alstom and Thales for signalling and automation.


Seven air-conditioned trains, assembled locally, have been added to the fleet. The 12 km Line 3 is now expected to carry 700 000 passengers/day.


The third phase is to be an 18 km western extension with two branches and 15 stations. This is being partly financed with €940m in loans from Agence Française de Développement and the European Investment Bank. The final phase would bring the line to Cairo International Airport in the northeast of the city, taking the total length to 43·5 km.





Odakyu Electric Railway to test all-SiC power module


Odakyu Electric Railway has placed the first order for Mitsubishi Electric Corp’s all-silicon carbide traction inverter designed for 1 500V DC overhead supplies.


The 3·3 kV, 1 500 A inverter will be installed in a Series 1000 four-car urban EMU in December. Along with four high-efficiency motors the new power module is expected to bring an energy saving of 36% compared to the standard Series 1000 EMU traction package when the train is crowded, or 20% at normal occupancy. More detailed figures will be compiled once the running tests have been completed.


The new traction inverters will also offer an 80% reduction in size and weight.


Heavier haul in China

CNR has rolled out a high-power electric locomotive designed for heavy haul trains comprising 100 tonne wagons with axle-loads up to 30 tonnes.


CNR says its 9·6 MW ‘Super Hercules’ locomotives can pull 20% heavier loads than previous models.


Meanwhile, China Railway Corp, China Academy of Railway Sciences and partners have been undertaking trials with 30 000 tonne coal trains on the 740 km Daqin line. The 3 971 m long trains were formed of 320 wagons, hauled by four CSR Zhuzhou HXD1 twin-unit electric locomotives.







Financial close on PRASA train order

Alstom announced financial close on the €4bn contract for the supply of 600 X'Ttrapolis Mega commuter electric multiple-units to Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa on April 29.


Financial close on the deal follows the signing on October 14 2013 of the contract covering the delivery of 3 600 cars over 10 years. The first 20 X’Trapolis Mega (MEtric GAuge) 1 067 mm gauge EMUs are to be produced at Alstom's Lapa plant in Brazil, and the rest at a manufacturing facility to be built in Dunnottar, 50 km east of Johannesburg. The EMUs will have more than 65% local content, as well as input from Alstom’s sites at Ornans, Tarbes, Le Creusot, Reichshoffen, Villeurbanne and Saint-Ouen in France, Sesto in Italy and Charleroi in Belgium.


The Gibela joint venture led by Alstom and co-owned by local shareholders Ubumbano Rail and New Africa Rail will provide support and spares for 18 years.


Alstom said the project ‘is one of the biggest in rail transport worldwide and is the largest contract ever signed in Alstom's history’. The deal ‘confirms the intent of the company to establish itself as a leader in fast growing markets’ and ‘marks a significant milestone in Alstom's strategy to strengthen its presence at both global and local levels, thanks to its worldwide industrial footprint and strategic partnerships that enable proximity with its customers.’







ADIF awards Mediterranean Corridor signalling contract

Infrastructure manager ADIF has awarded a consortium of Bombardier Transportation and Thales a €44m contract to supply signalling for the second phase of the Mediterranean Corridor upgrade programme, covering the Almussafes – Valencia – Castelló de la Plana route.


Bombardier’s €27m share of the contract includes the supply of Interflo 200 train control technology with EBI Lock 950 computer-based interlockings, EBI Track train detection, associated telecoms and hot box detectors. Installation is scheduled to take 15 months and the contract includes 24 months of maintenance.


In July 2013 a Bombardier-Dimetronic consortium was awarded a €73·4m contract covering the first phase of the project between Castellbisbal and Tarragona.


The project to upgrade the Mediterranean Corridor aims to improve connections between Spanish ports and European freight routes, and includes the provision of 1 435 mm gauge.






Łódź tramway contractor selected

Łódź’s road and transport division has selected Mosty Infrastruktura to undertake Phase 2 of the east-west tram line modernisation and expansion project.


The 239m złoty contract covers the replacement of 6 km of double track tram line from ul Kilińskiego to the terminating loop at ul Augustów, and the construction of 5 km of double track to Olechów district.


The project is 80% financed from EU funds from the 2007-13 budget, and so must be finished by the end of 2015.









Konya orders trams for catenary-free operation

Konya has ordered 12 trams capable of catenary-free operation from Škoda Transportation as a follow-on order for the 60 ForCity Classic 28T trams currently being delivered. They are to be delivered next year, and bring the total order value for 72 trams to KC3·4bn.


Following certification in January, a prototype Catfree tram has been on test at Škoda’s Plzeň factory since February. Roof-mounted nano-lithium-titanium batteries enable catenary-free operation for up to 3 km, and are recharged through the pantograph.


‘The tram managed to accelerate 30 times to 30 km/h for a total of 8 km without recharging’, explained Milan Šrámek, Škoda Transportation’s Electric Product Manager.


The trams for Konya are to be used on a new line which will have a 1·8 km section without overhead wires. The first 28T from the original order entered passenger service in February.




Alstom rejects French government request to renegotiate GE deal

ALSTOM CEO Mr Patrick Kron has rejected suggestions from the French government that Alstom acquire General Electric's (GE) freight transport business in a renegotiation of GE's proposed €12.4bn takeover of Alstom's energy business approved unanimously by board members last week.


In a letter to the American company on Tuesday, which bypassed Alstom, French economy minister Mr Arnaud Montebourg dismissed GE's offer "as not good enough" and declared that France was concerned about the future of Alstom's "skills and workforce" as well as retaining France's "technical sovereignty" over its nuclear activities.


Instead Montebourg proposes establishing an "equal partnership" that would "avoid a simple acquisition which would, in effect, lead to the disappearance of Alstom" by handing over its rail business to the French company.


The proposal was supported by French president Mr Francois Hollande in an interview with French radio on Tuesday evening. "The role of the state is to be able to have answers to all the questions so that the national interests can be maintained. I would prefer better offers," Hollande said.


However, during a conference call to discuss Alstom's 2013-14 annual results on Wednesday, Kron said that GE's rail business is US-focused and offers few synergies with Alstom's existing operations.


"I am much more interested in [GE's] signalling activities than in diversifying into a business in which we are not present," Kron said adding that he remained open to a potential offer from Siemens, which has received support from the German and French governments.


Siemens has said that it is "exploring" launching a formal offer for the company, with a potential bid thought to involve the transfer of Alstom's energy business in exchange for its high-speed railway technology. Siemens would though retain control of its urban and regional rolling stock and signalling divisions.


GE said in a statement that "as we outlined in our letter to President Hollande, we are ready to continue negotiations," adding that it considers it current offer to be "good for France, good for Alstom."


Alstom has admitted that its energy business is too small to compete with rivals such as GE and Siemens, particularly in Europe where overcapacity has undermined demand for new turbines, and is looking to sell in order to refocus on its transport activities.


Alstom's difficulties in its energy sector were reflected in its annual results. Net income fell by 28% to €556m, due mainly to higher restructuring costs, while orders were down by 10% to €21.5bn following weak performance at its Thermal Power division. Operating profit also fell by 3% to €1.4bn. However, sales were up by 4% to €20.3bn, driven primarily by Renewable Power and Transport, which was said to have had a "particularly dynamic second half" following success in Saudi Arabia, France and Chile.


Alstom said last week that it has established a committee of independent directors, led by Mr Jean-Marc Folz, to review the proposed transaction by June 2, which will to consider "all stakeholder interests including the French state." It also confirmed on Wednesday that it has suspended the proposed sale of a stake in its Transport division.


"My goal is that the process doesn't carry on endlessly," Kron says. "Alstom isn't in a crisis, it doesn't have short-term problems. It has strategic problems in energy that we want to address."






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