No.481issue(2014 07 04)

Work starts on Thomson Line in Singapore

A GROUNDBREAKING ceremony was held last week in Singapore to mark the start of construction on the Thomson Line, a major element of Singapore Land Transport Authority's (LTA) vision to double the length of island's railway network by 2030.


The 30km-long entirely underground line will have 22 stations and will link Gardens by the Bay in central Singapore with Woodlands in the north of the island. It will interchange with each of the five existing metro lines at six stations - Woodlands, Caldecott, Stevens, Orchard, Outram Park, and Marina Bay - and will open in stages beginning in 2019 up to 2021.


The line is expected to carry 400,000 passengers per day and significantly increase north-south railway capacity on the island by providing an additional link from the north to the central business district and Marina Bay Area. The line will also significantly cut journey times for certain commuters who currently rely on buses to connect with the existing metro network and will feed into the proposed 21km, 12-station Eastern Region Line, which will terminate at Changi.


LTA says that its engineers will for the first time use a ground freezing technique at Marina Bay station which is intended to prevent water seepage during tunnelling works. A series of pipes inserted into the ground and filled with brine will help to turn the surrounding groundwater into a series of strong and water-tight ice walls.


LTA placed a $S 749m ($US 597m) order with a consortium of Kawasaki Heavy Industries and CSR Qingdao Sifang for 91 four-car metro trains for the Thomson and Eastern Region lines at the end of May, while GE will provide a fully automated and driverless communications-based train control (CBTC) system for both lines. LTA says that $S 1.4bn worth of contracts have been awarded to local contractors and local joint ventures.


The three remaining contracts out of 25 for the project which encompass civil works at Orchard, Marina South and Gardens by the Bay stations will be awarded by the end of the year.


The August 2014 edition of International Railway Journal will feature an in-depth report on Singapore's current and future plans for its railway network.






Saudi railway training centre opens

A NEW college to train staff for Saudi Railway Company (SAR) has opened in Buraydah, on a section of the North - South Railway currently under construction.


Saudi Railway Polytechnic will be run by TQ Pearson, Britain, which administers a number of colleges in Saudi Arabia. It can accommodate up to 3000 students between the ages of 19 and 23, who will have to complete a two-week assessment before being admitted.


Courses will take three years to complete, and will cover both general skills training, such as learning to speak English, as well as specific courses in railway disciplines including rolling stock, infrastructure, and train operations. There will be an emphasis on on-the-job training.







Taiyuan–Xi'an high speed line opens

The 570 km Taiyuan – Xi'an high speed line opened with a national timetable change on July 1.


The Passenger-Dedicated Line cuts journey times between the cities from 10 h to 3 h, and will eventually form part of a 900 km route from Datong to Xi'an designed for 350 km/h operation with 18 new and 11 modernised stations.


DB International supervised construction of a 277 km section of the route. Because of poor ground conditions much of this is supported on piles driven to depths of between 45 m and 60 m. Around 90 km runs on a total of 114 bridges, including 15 viaducts longer than 500 m, and three tunnels total 12 km. Incremental launching was used to erect bridges over three active railways, and a 10 km viaduct across the Yellow River valley includes a 3 km crossing of the river with spans up to 108 m.


The line is mostly laid using the Chinese Railway Track System, and is fitted with GSM-R and the ETCS-derived CTCS.






Yakutia Railways commissions genset loco development

Yakutia Railways has awarded a contract for concept development of a genset locomotive to Swiss firm Molinari Rail and Sinara Transport Machines. The 1 520 mm gauge main line freight locomotive would be based on the Russian manufacturer’s TE8 design, and be powered by two diesel engines.


Announcing YR’s commitment to a first order on June 28, Molinari Rail said the genset locomotive would combine ‘proven and innovative technologies from Russia and the USA’.


‘This is an important project for us and the Far East of the Russian Federation’, said YR Technical Director Aleksandr Kurchatov. ‘It allows us to receive locomotives that will operate in the harsh climate conditions’, as well as meeting ‘current and future operational requirements. This project opens a new chapter in the Russian locomotive industry, as no comparable locomotive is available on the market.’





Series W7 Shinkansen ready to start testing

JR West is preparing to start testing the Series W7 trainsets it is acquiring for use on the Hokuriku Shinkansen which opens for revenue service in March 2015. Two trainsets are being commissioned at Hakusan depot, around 10 km west of Kanazawa, ready for the start of test running on the new line from August 1.


The 10 Series W7 sets are identical to the 17 Series E7 units being purchased by JR East, creating a combined fleet of 27 units. A development of the Series E2 design built in 1995-2002, the trains are being supplied by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Hitachi, J-TREC, and Kinki Sharyo. Like the Series E2s, they are equipped to operate at both 25 kV 50 Hz and 25 kV 60 Hz, changing frequency three times in the course of a journey between Tokyo and Kanazawa.


Each 12-car trainset is formed of two driving trailers and 10 intermediate motor cars powered by AC motors using VVVF inverter controls. A total power rating of 12 MW will enable the trains to run at up to 275 km/h on the line’s 3% gradients, although the maximum speed in service is expected to remain at 260 km/h. The trains are fitted with low-noise pantographs and snow ploughs to cope with heavy snowfall in the region. The braking performance has been boosted by 10% to cope with the steep gradients and to ensure a safe emergency stop in the event of an earthquake.


The vehicles have aluminium alloy bodyshells to an aerodynamic profile. The single GranClass car in each set has full active suspension, with a semi-active suspension provided for the remaining 11. Each train will accommodate 18 GranClass passengers, 63 in Green Car and 835 in standard class. The exterior livery of ivory and sky blue, with a copper lining, represents a theme of Wa no Mirai (the future of harmony), combining traditional Japanese craftsmanship with the latest technology.


The two railways plan to operate three types of service on the Hokuriku Shinkansen. Kagayaki expresses will connect Tokyo and Kanazawa in 2 h 30 min, while intermediate stations will be served by the slower Hakutaka trains. JR West will also operate a Turuga shuttle service along the coastal section between Toyama and Kanazawa.






Titagarh Wagons enters metro refurbishment market

Titagarh Wagons Ltd announced its first contract in the metro market on June 16. This covers the mid-life refurbishment of seven eight-car Kolkata metro trains.


‘It is a very important milestone for the group since this marks our entry into the metro coach business segment’, said Umesh Chowdary, Vice-Chairman & Managing Director of Titagarh Wagons.


Noting that Indian Railways wagon orders have been ‘extremely depressed’ in recent years, he felt that entry into the passenger market would ‘de-risk the company’ from reliance on one segment of the market. It would provide ‘immense growth of opportunities’.


Chowdhary said ‘we have substantially upgraded our facilities in Uttarpara and are continuously improving it further to make ourselves fully prepared for manufacturing all sorts of passenger coaches including metro coaches. While our ultimate objective is to find a suitable technology partner, add to the present portfolio of products and undertake manufacturing of metro coaches and other modern passenger coaches, this order provides us with a stepping stone into this segment of business.'





Taiwan Hualien–Taitung electrification inaugurated


Electric train services began running between Hualien and Taitung on June 28, completing the electrification of Taiwan Railways Administration’s East Coast main line.


Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, President of Taiwan Ma Ying-jeou said the construction period had been cut from seven to five years, despite difficult geological and climate conditions. The government had previously envisaged that electric services would start in March 2015.


Electric trains began running over the northernmost 182 km of the route from Taipei to Hualien in mid-2003. Work to install 25 kV 60 Hz electrification on the 162 km from Hualien to Taitung began in 2009 at a cost of NT$15·5bn, with a further NT$6bn allocated for station improvements. A revised budget of NT$25·4bn was adopted in 2012.


Completed in 1926, the coastal line was converted from 762 mm to 1 067 mm gauge in 1982 and extensively realigned to accommodate through diesel trains from Taipei to Taitung. It is now being partially double-tracked to increase capacity by around 40%, with the maximum speed increased from 110 to 130 km/h.


TRA is initially operating an interim electric service, with a full service scheduled to start on July 15 following two weeks of trial operation. By that date the operator expects to have accepted the last of the 17 Puyuma Express eight-car tilting trainsets being built for the line by Sumitomo and Nippon Sharyo.


The fastest journey time between Taipei and Taitung has been shortened to 3 h 30 min, saving one hour by eliminating the change to a diesel train at Hualien. The fastest Puyuma Express services reach Hualien in 2 h from the capital and then call only at Yuli en route to Taitung. Other trains serve up to 28 intermediate stations along the coastal section.


Minister of Transportation & Communications Yeh Kuang-shih said the ministry was studying whether to double-track the entire line. He confirmed that electrification of the South Link between Taitung and Kaohsiung would begin before the end of this year, describing this as ‘the last mile’ and noting that electrification of the West Coast route from Taipei to Kaohsiung had been completed in 1979.


Addis Abeba-Djibouti electric locomotives ordered

A contract for CSR Zhuzhou to supply 35 electric locomotives for the future Addis Abeba – Djibouti standard gauge line was signed on June 19.


Delivery of the three passenger locomotives and 32 freight locos able to haul trains of up to 4 000 tonnes will begin in October 2015, ahead of the planned opening of the line in 2016.


CSR said the 7·2 MW locomotives would be based on proven technology, drawing on designs developed for South Africa and adapted for local conditions. These include the 2 000 m altitude difference along the 850 km route, and the desert environment with strong sunlight and daytime temperatures of 50° C contrasting with cold nights.







First stage of Delhi metro Phase III opens

A 3·2 km extension of Delhi metro Line 6 from Central Secretariat to Mandi House opened for passenger service on June 26.


Construction began in May 2011, with two tunnel boring machines used to excavate the tunnels, and the stations built using cut-and-cover techniques.


Services run at 3 min 15 sec headways. Interchange with Line 3 is provided at Mandi House. Delhi Metro Rail Corp expects that 70 000 extra passengers per day will be using Mandi House by 2016.


Line 6 is to be extended a further 6·2 km from Mandi House to Kashmere Gate as part of Phase III of the metro network.







Groundbreaking launches Thomson Line construction

A groundbreaking ceremony officially launched construction of the Thomson Line on June 27. Scheduled to open in three phases from 2019 to 2021, the 30 km north–south line will run entirely underground from Woodlands North to the Central Business District and Marina Bay.


It will largely parallel the existing North-South Line, providing an additional 60% capacity to help relieve crowding along the corridor. The Thomson Line’s 22 stations will include six interchanges connecting with all five existing metro lines, and daily ridership is predicted to reach 400 000.


Land Transport Authority has now awarded 22 of the 25 major civil contracts for the line, with the remaining three to be awarded by the end of this year. A consortium of Kawasaki Heavy Industries and CSR Qingdao Sifang will supply the driverless trainsets.


Ground-freezing construction techniques are be used on the metro network for the first time, to prevent water seepage during tunnelling at Marina Bay where the Thomson, North-South and Circle line tunnels will intersect.


‘The Thomson Line marks yet another milestone towards realising our Land Transport Master Plan’s vision to double the length of our rail network’, said Minister for Transport Lui Tuck Yew at the groundbreaking ceremony. ‘When this is achieved by 2030, our MRT system would be comparable in network density to New York and London. By then too, eight in 10 households will be within a 10 min walk from a train station.’


The minister also confirmed that the the West Loop of the Punggol LRT is scheduled to open for revenue service on June 29, and the proposed Canberra station is to be built between Yishun and Sembawang on the North-South Line.


In the long term, the Thomson Line will be linked to Johor Bahru in Malaysia via a cross-border rapid transit link from Woodlands North station.






Two Polish tram openings

An extension of Toruń’s tram network to the Bielany residential district and Nicolaus Copernicus University opened on June 24. The 1·7 km extension was built by Budimex at a cost of 49·5m złoty, including five stops, a turning loop and upgrades to existing tracks.


It is the first extension of the 22 km metre-gauge network in the city for 28 years.


On June 29 Tramwaje Śląskie revived revenue services on Route 7 in Bytom, which had been closed in 2008 owing to the poor condition of the track. The reopened 2·7 km section from Bytom Łagiewniki Targowisko to Bytom Urząd Pracy has been rebuilt on a reserved alignment, with the elimination of two road crossings and single track sections.









Keolis takes over Boston commuter services

Keolis Commuter Services took over from Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co as operator of Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's 14 Boston commuter rail services with effect from July 1, saying it would improve punctuality, safety, cleanliness and customer service on the fifth largest commuter network in the USA, and the largest to be put out to tender.


In January the state’s Department of Transportation selected the Keolis subsidiary for the eight-year contract to operate the services, which carry 127 000 passengers a day. The winning bid was worth $2·69bn, with options for two two-year extensions which would take the value to $4·26bn.


‘This is a momentous day for Keolis, our passengers and the communities we will serve,’ said Eric Asselin, Executive Vice-President & General Manager for Keolis North America on July 1. ‘From customer service to on-time performance, we pride ourselves in how we are always “thinking like a passenger” in everything we do. With the commitment of our employees and the input of our passengers, we are dedicated to making one of the nation’s pre-eminent commuter rail services even better.’


A staffed customer service centre will be open seven days a week, and Keolis is to introduce new signage and pocket timetables with ‘larger, easier-to-read system maps’. A journey planning app has been launched immediately, with an upgraded version to follow later in the year planned to offer real-time information and the ability to register lost or found property.




Bogotá tram-train study

The Mayor of Bogotá, Gustavo Petro, has approved the final stage of a feasibility study for a tram-train route serving the capital.


The Región Tram project is being developed by a consortium of Vossloh, Torres Cámara and Conconcreto, which envisages that the 2bn pesos scheme could be funded through an 82:18 public-private partnership.


If the project is approved by the state-owned Empresa Férrea Regional, the consortium would be responsible for construction, operation and maintenance.


The proposed 63 km line would run from Sabana Facatativá to Bosa via El Dorado International Airport, serving the western suburbs of the capital. The vehicles would operate at up to 100 km/h and ridership is predicted at 128 million passenger-journeys per year.






Technical support:| Contribute| Custom
Address: 1-1210 Chengnandadao Plaza, Gongyixi Bridge, Fengtai District, Beijing China Postalcode:10006
Tel:86-10-51662621/22 Fax:86-10-88583069     【京ICP备13032135号】  【京公网安备11010602004570号】