No.476issue(2014 05 30)

CSR unveils 100% supercapacitor-powered tram

CSR Zhuzhou, China, has unveiled what it claims is the world's first 100% supercapacitor-powered low-floor tram.


The LRVs will automatically recharge an onboard bank of supercapacitors during stops at stations and CSR says the vehicles will draw sufficient power during a 30-second stop to operate independently for up to 4km. The supercapacitor provides power to the traction system for acceleration and also draws current from the regenerative braking system, which can recover up to 85% of braking energy for reuse.


The vehicles are charged automatically through a device positioned between the rails, which is activated as the vehicle passes overhead.


CSR says the supercapacitors have a projected lifespan of 1 million charging cycles or up to 10 years.


Seven of the LRVs were ordered in June 2013 by Guangzhou Tram, a subsidiary of Guangzhou Metro Corporation, for use on the 7.7km Canton Tower – Wanshengwei light rail line in the district of Haizhou, which is due to open at the end of this year.


According to CSR the 36.5m-long vehicles will accommodate up to 368 passengers with an entry floor height of 325mm.


Static tests are underway on the first vehicle, which is due to be delivered to Gunagzhou for dynamic testing next month.






Singapore LTA orders trains for two new lines

SINGAPORE Land Transport Authority (LTA) has placed a $S 749m ($US 597m) order with a consortium of Kawasaki Heavy Industries and CSR Qingdao Sifang for 91 four-car metro trains, which will be used on the new Thomson and Eastern Region lines.


The 750V dc driverless trains will be the first in Singapore with five doors on each side of each vehicle. LTA says the fleet will also be equipped with improved current regeneration technology.


Kawasaki will design the trains, while CSR Qingdao Sifang will be responsible for producing the aluminium alloy bodyshells and final assembly of the vehicles. The trains will be delivered to Singapore between 2018 and 2021.


The 22-station Thomson Line will link Gardens by the Bay in central Singapore with Woodlands in the north of the island. The line will run underground for its entire 30km length. The first phase is due to open in 2019.


The Thomson Line will be operated as a single route with the 21km, 12-station Eastern Region Line (ERL) from Marina Bay to Changi.







RFP issued for Egyptian high-speed rail study

THE Egyptian Ministry of Transport has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a contract to carry out a commercial feasibility study for the proposed 1087km Alexandria – Cairo – Luxor – Aswan high-speed corridor.


The scope of the study will include demand forecasting, travel market analysis, and financial modelling for the project. This will form the basis for a detailed action plan covering technical, financial, legal and environmental aspects of the project.


According to the RFP, the line would be built in three phases: Alexandria – Cairo; Cairo – Luxor; and Luxor – Aswan, with the possibility of a link from Luxor to Hurghada on the Red Sea coast in the longer-term.


A two-tier railway is being proposed, with a double-track 180km/h electrified line at the lower level linking all major cities on the route and two 350km/h tracks above which would serve just five stations: Alexandria, Giza (for the Cairo area), Asyout, Luxor, and Aswan. The north-south corridor will run through desert areas immediately to the west of the Nile valley.


The closing date for the RFP is June 12 and the study is expected to take 60-90 days to complete.


The Egyptian government revived the high-speed proposals earlier this year and in March transport minister Mr Ibrahim El-Demeiry said the project would be "a top priority".


For details of this and other rail industry tenders from around the world, subscribe to Global Rail Tenders.






Malaysia mulls KL airport express extension

MALAYSIA's Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) is to carry out a feasibility study into the extension of the 57km Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) Express Rail Link (ERL) to Seremban and Malacca.


The project would extend the standard-gauge line 45km beyond the airport to Seremban and a further 50km to Malacca to give these cities a direct rail link to KLIA and the Klang Valley. The projected cost of the extension is around Ringgits 8bn ($US 2.49bn) including rolling stock.


On May 2 the line was extended 2.1km to serve KLIA Terminal 2, offering a 33-minute journey time between the terminal and KL Sentral station.


The ERL was implemented as a 30-year finance-build-operate-maintain concession and opened in 2002. Two types of service operate on the route. KLIA Ekspress trains run non-stop between KL Sentral and KLIA Terminal 1 at 15-minute intervals during peak hours and 20-minute intervals at off-peak times with a journey time of 28 minutes. KLIA Transit services operate every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes off-peak, calling at the intermediate stations Bandar Tasik Selatan, Putrajaya & Cyberjaya and Salak Tinggi with a journey time of 35 minutes.





Tracklaying completed on Nagano – Kanazawa Shinkansen

A CEREMONY was held at Toyama station on May 24 to mark the completion of tracklaying on the 228km Nagano – Kanazawa section of the Hokuriku Shinkansen, with around 60 dignitaries tightening bolts on the final section of rail.


The Nagano - Kanazawa section has five tunnels the longest being the 2.2km Iiyama tunnel, and a number of major bridges spanning rivers. There are six intermediate stations including Joetsu, Itoigawa and Toyama. Tracklaying began in December 2010 in the Iiyama Tunnel and test operation began on the section between Nagano and Kurobe in Toyama prefecture in December 2013. Testing is due to be extended to the Kurobe – Kanazawa section in August and commercial services will begin operating on the Yen 1.78 trillion ($US 17.5bn) line next March.


The line will be jointly operated by JR East and JR West, and the two railways have jointly procured a fleet of 27 trains for Tokyo – Kanazawa services, which will be known as series E7 by JR East and series W7 by JR West.


The journey time between Tokyo and Kanazawa will be cut to 2h 30min from 3h 47min via the present route which involves taking a Joetsu Shinkansen train from Tokyo to Echigo-Yuzawa and connecting with a 1067mm-gauge train on the Hokuetsu Kyuko line which has a maximum speed of 160km/h.






China Wuhan inaugurates metro Line 1 extension

THE CHINESE city of Wuhan inaugurated the latest addition to its metro network on May 28, when commercial services began running on the 5.7km northern extension of Line 1 from Dijiao to Hankou North.


With the opening of the three-station extension, traffic on Line 1 is expected to reach 560,000 passengers per day by 2016.


Peak services operate at nine minute intervals on the extension and every 10 minutes at other times.


The opening of the extension takes the total length of Line 1 to 34.5km with 28 stations.





New Indian government to push ahead with high-speed projects


THE massive electoral win of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in India's recent general election has accelerated plans to build the country's first high-speed line.


India's new prime minister Mr Narendra Modi reportedly gave the go-ahead to develop the 545km Mumbai - Ahmedabad line as a showpiece project at a recent meeting with the chairman of India's High Speed Rail Corporation (HSRC) Mr Satish Agnihotri.


Indian Railways (IR) and French National Railways (SNCF) are understood to have developed a detailed business plan for the corridor, the prefeasibility study of which has been completed by a consortium of Systra, Italferr and Rites.


Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) is currently preparing a detailed study of the proposed Rs 700bn ($US 12.1bn) corrido, which is scheduled to be submitted in May 2015. Jica is believed to have agreed in principle to part-finance the project by way of a soft loan.


IR is expected to freeze technical specifications and formalise systems contracts ahead of the submission of the Jica report, while the Railways Ministry has started to finalise a status report relating to the financial, technical and business models for all planned high-speed lines.


A prefeasibility report by MottMacdonald on the 1044km New Delhi - Patna line has also been submitted and is under the ministry's consideration, sources said. Project cost is estimated at Rs 1300bn.


China to finance Tehran – Mashhad electrification

IRANIAN Islamic Republic Railways (RAI) says it is seeking finance from China for the electrification of the 926km Tehran – Mashhad line.


RAI's electrification projects manager Mr Qassem Saketi told Iran's Fars News Agency that the project will be 85%-financed by Chinese financial institutions, with the remaining funds coming from the Iranian government.


Work began in February 2012 on a project to upgrade the route, which according to RAI will raise the maximum line speed from 160km/h to 200km/h and halve the current journey time to around six hours.







Work starts on Sumatra track-doubling project

INDONESIA's directorate general of railways has commenced work to construct a second track on 26km of the 42km Medan - Aras Kabu - Kuala Namu International Airport line in northern Sumatra following a groundbreaking ceremony on May 22.


The Transportation Ministry is allocating Rupiah 3.9 trillion ($US 337.2m) towards the project from its state budget allocation, which will be completed in two stages up to 2017. The first phase is expected to cost Rupiah 150bn and be completed by the end of the year, with the second phase expected to start in 2015.


The project is part of plans for the development of the Trans Sumatra Railway, a 2856km cross-island 1067mm-gauge network that involves rehabilitating existing and building new infrastructure between Sumatra's three existing separate networks for both passenger and freight services, connecting Ache and Lampung by 2030.


Mr Hermanto Dwo Atmoko, Indonesia's director general of railways, says that some sections of the railway would be elevated to ease traffic congestion in Medan and to eliminate 12 level crossings in the city. He added that the new double-track railway will shorten journey times for the current 37-47-minute trip "by at least 10 minutes."


PT Railink operates a fleet of five six-car trains on the airport railway, which opened in 2013, with each accommodating up to 308 passengers on 18 round-trips per day.







GE strengthens offer for Alstom’s Power division

DURING a meeting in Paris on May 27 with the French president Mr François Hollande, the CEO of General Electric (GE) Mr Jeff Immelt is understood to have improved GE's $US 16.9bn offer for Alstom's power division by pledging to create around 1000 more jobs in France within the next three years.


Immelt also indicated that GE is considering giving Alstom control of GE's signalling business to strengthen Alstom's remaining transport division.


After the talks, one of President Hollande's officials acknowledged that GE's detailed offer had been improved and strengthened, but also said that more work on the offer is still needed.


Until now the French government has been hostile to GE's attempt to acquire Alstom's power division and has favoured a potential offer by Siemens which would involve Siemens taking over Alstom's power division in return for Siemens merging its railway business with that of Alstom's.


Siemens is expected to make an offer by June 16, while GE has extended its offer until June 23. However, Siemens is in the midst of another major reorganisation and its railway activities are split across several divisions which would complicate a merger with Alstom. A merger of the Siemens and Alstom rail businesses is also likely to be scrutinised by European competition authorities.






China Wuxi metro begins trial operation

The first metro line in Wuxi started trial operation on May 26, ahead of an official opening in late June.


The 29 km Line 1 runs from Yanqiao to Changguangxi with 22 intermediate stations, including the main line station. Most of the route is underground, with only 7 km on an elevated alignment. CSR Zhuzhou has supplied 23 six-car trainsets.


Line 2 is scheduled to open in December. It too will be mostly underground, with 6·5 km on an elevated alignment out of a total length of 26·5 km; the route will have 22 stations.









Yekaterinburg plans second metro line

Yekaterinburg city authorities announced plans for a second metro line on May 21. The east-west line would link Verkh-Isetskaya with Kamenye Palatkiy, running through Ploshchad 1905 goda where interchange with the north-south Line 1 would be provided.


The city is to spend 150m roubles for planning and design this year. Construction is due to start in 2016, with opening scheduled for 2018. The estimated cost is 80bn roubles.




Vandalism delays Eskisehir – Gebze high speed opening

A series of vandalism incidents has delayed the opening of the next section of the 570 km Istanbul – Ankara high speed corridor, the Transport Ministry confirmed in a statement on May 26.


Opening of the next section of the line was expected in the first quarter of 2014, covering 188 km of new alignment between Eskişehir and Köseköy plus a further 56 km of upgraded conventional line from there to Gebze at the eastern edge of the Istanbul conurbation.


But the ministry reports that 200 sections of signalling and communications cabling have been cut or stolen, and 70 track circuits damaged, at 60 locations. ‘The rupture of cables and track circuits has directly affected certification processes. Therefore the inauguration of the line has been moved to June to avoid any malfunctions’, the statement said, noting that the cable damage ‘has gone beyond simply stealing and has become systematic sabotage’.


National operator TCDD hopes to offer a journey time of around 3 h between Ankara and Istanbul, although this is dependent on upgrading of the suburban corridor between Gebze and Haydarpaşa under the Marmaray programme. Here too, complexities relating to resignalling with CBTC with ETCS Level 1 overlay and triple-tracking on a confined alignment have led to delays, with lead contractor OHL confirming on May 27 that the surface sections between Gebze and Halkalı will not now reopen until June 2016, a year later than planned.






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