No.488issue(2014 08 22)

Dubai tramway to open on November 11

WITH testing now well underway, Dubai Road and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced that Dubai's inaugural light rail line, the Al Sufouh Tramway, will open to passengers on November 11.


The 10.6km first phase of the line from Dubai Marina to the depot near the Dubai Police Academy will have 17 stations and is expected to transport around 27,000 passengers per day in the first year of operation. This is expected to increase to 66,000 per day when the 4km second phase of the project opens in 2020.


The line is the first in the world to be entirely electrified using Alstom's APS ground-level power supply system. Alstom is also supplying 11 44m-long LRVs for the first phase of the project, with a further 14 vehicles set to be delivered for the second phase.


Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, attended the latest round of trial operations this week, riding on a vehicle during a line test and touring the depot.






Plans announced to improve Tokyo Haneda Airport rail links

JR EAST and its subsidiary Tokyo Monorail have announced two projects to improve rail and monorail connections to Tokyo Haneda Airport as part of the Japanese government's policy to boost the number of tourists visiting Japan.


Haneda Airport handles around 60 million passengers a year and traffic has grown since it resumed international flights following the opening of a fourth runway and international terminal in 2010. The airport is currently served by conventional rail services operated by Keikyu Corporation and the Tokyo Monorail. JR East wants to link Haneda Airport with the Shinjuku, central Tokyo and Shin-Kiba areas of the Japanese capital by constructing underground lines and upgrading freight lines for passenger operation.


According Japan Real Time, Tokyo Monorail is proposing a 3km extension from its existing terminal at Hamamatsucho north to Tokyo Station at an estimated cost of Yen 110bn ($US 1.1bn). This would reduce the journey from the airport to the city centre from 24 minutes to 18 minutes as passengers would no longer have to change trains at Hamamatsucho.







Singapore reveals route for Eastern Region Line

SINGAPORE Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced the alignment and station locations on August 15 for the Eastern Region Line (ERL), the island's sixth metro line, which will be operated jointly with the Thomson Line as the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL).


The nine-station ERL will link Sungai Bedok in the east with Marine Parade, Siglap, and Tanjong Rhu, running underground for its entire 13km length. Trains will run onto the Thomson Line to link eastern and northern districts of Singapore.


The ERL will be built in two phases, with the seven-station Tanjong Bayshore section due to open in 2023 and the remainder of the line to Sungai Bedok scheduled for completion a year later.


The 43km TEL will have 31 stations, seven of which will be interchanges. The line will reduce the journey time between the East Coast and Orchard in the city centre from around 75 minutes by bus to around 45 minutes by train.


LTA says TEL stations will have more entrances and exits than current stations, with underpasses up to 400m long to improve passenger flow and create a safer, more comfortable environment for passengers. The line will also feature the network's first underground bicycle parks, which will be constructed at four stations.


The TEL train fleet will be maintained and stabled at a purpose-built 44-hectare depot at Sungei Bedok, which will accommodate up to 220 metro vehicles and 550 buses.


When fully completed, the TEL is expected to carry around 500,000 passengers per day, rising to around 1 million passengers in the longer-term.


Construction was launched on the Thomson Line at the end of last month and the first phase is due to open in 2019.


LTA also announced on August 15 that it has finalised the route final 2.2km eastern section (DTL3e), which will interchange with the TEL at Sungai Bedok. The extension is intended to improve access to the Changi Business Park and Expo areas as well as relieving congestion on the East-West Line.






MHI wins São Paulo Line 6 systems contract

MOVE São Paulo, the PPP concessionaire responsible for building and operating São Paulo metro Line 6, has awarded Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) contract to provide railway systems for the 13.5km driverless line.


The deal, which is MHI's first railway systems contract in South America, covers the design, procurement, installation, testing and commissioning of automation systems including signalling and telecommunications, power supplies, catenary, depot equipment, platform screen doors, and tunnel ventilation systems.


Move São Paulo was the only bidder to submit an offer to the São Paulo state government in a revised tender for the project with a bid of Reais 9.6bn ($US 4.17bn) for the 25-year concession, which is the second PPP rail project in the city after metro Line 4. The consortium comprises Odebrecht, Queiroz Galvão, UTC Participações and investment fund Eco Reality.


The north-south Line 6 will have 15 stations and will link Brasilândia with São Joaquim on Line 1. It is considered one of the most difficult metro lines to build because of the need to tunnel beneath the Tietê River at a depth of more than 60m.


The line will serve university campuses and the district of Higienopolis and is expected to carry around 633,000 passengers per day. Commercial services are due to start by 2020.





Tibet Railway extension inaugurated

THE SECOND phase of the railway network in Tibet was inaugurated on August 15 with the opening of the 253km line linking the Tibetan capital Lhasa to the region's second city Xigaze.


Construction started in September 2010 on the Yuan 13.3bn ($US 2.16bn) line, which has 13 stations and an 875m-long bridge across the Yarlun Zangbo river. The line does not encounter any permafrost zones, which caused significant difficulties in the construction of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.


The new line is designed for 120km/h operation and reduces the journey time between the two cities from around four hours to about two hours. Commercial services between Lhasa and Xigaze are due to begin on August 16.


According to reports in the Chinese press the Chinese government is planning to begin construction soon on a line running east from Lhasa to Nyingchi close to the disputed Indian border region of Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims as part of Tibet. The project is due to be completed in 2020.






TramRus tram running in Moscow

The first tram produced by the TramRus joint venture of Alstom and Transmashholding for Moscow commended ‘trial commercial operation’ on August 20.


The 100% low-floor 1 524 mm gauge tram has been developed from Alstom’s Citadis family and adapted for local conditions, including very cold winters and hot summers. Following more than 2 000 km of test running between December and June, it is now in service on Route 17 between Medvedkovo and VDNKh in the north of the city.


The three-section tram is 25·5 m long with capacity for 255 passengers and a maximum speed of 75 km/h. According to Alstom, the use of composite materials will reduce energy consumption by 10% and the vehicle has a service life of 30 years.


Last year TramRus signed an agreement with Ukrainian bus manufacturer City Transport Group to produce trams for the Ukrainian market.





Indian-Czech railway co-operation agreement


The Ministry of Railways, Czech national passenger operator ČD and Czech supply industry association ACRI signed a memorandum of understanding for technical co-operation on August 19.


Potential areas of co-operation specified in the memorandum include the development of automotive traffic, raising the speeds of IR passenger trains to 200 km/h, and modernisation of stations, depots, rolling stock, signalling and telecoms.


The memorandum is valid for an initial three years, and could be extended.


First Haramain high speed trainset revealed

Saudi Railways Organization President Mohamed Khaled al Suwaiket visited the first trainset for the Haramain High Speed Rail project at the Talgo’s factory at Rivabellosa in Spain on August 11.


The 450 km high speed line will link Makkah with Madinah, via Jeddah and King Abdul Aziz International Airport. Trial running between Rabigh and Madinah is planned for next year, with opening now planned for mid-2016.


Talgo is supplying 36 Talgo 350 trainsets suitable for 320 km/h operation; 35 for passenger service plus a royal train. The 13-car trainsets are based on the AVE 102 and 112 supplied to Spanish national operator RENFE. Bombardier has subcontracts worth €281m to provide Mitrac 3000 traction and control packages and Flexx Power 350 power car bogies.







China to Brazil by train and plane

DB Schenker combined its rail, lorry and air freight services to deliver a 21 tonne shipment of mobile phone components from China to Brazil for the first time, with a journey time of 24 days compared to between 50 and 55 days by sea.


The components travelled 10 124 km by rail from Chongqing in central China to Duisburg in Germany in 17 days, travelling via Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Poland. They were then taken by road to DB Schenker's central hub at Frankfurt airport to be labelled, x-rayed and securely packaged before being flown to Brazil.


‘This first successful shipment combining rail, road and air freight has shown the growth potential of multimodal logistics,’ said Daniel Wieland, Head of Rail Logistics & Forwarding at DB Schenker Logistics.







Rio metro expansion study

The Rio de Janeiro state government has called bids for a study into three new metro lines in Rio. The winner will have 12 months to submit land use, demand and feasibility studies.


The three planned lines are:


Uruguai – Engenhão: 8·9 km with six stations and forecast ridership of 160 000 passengers/day; Estácio – Carioca: 3·7 km with three stations and forecast ridership of 450 000 passengers/day; Jardim Oceânico – Alvorada – Recreio dos Bandeirantes: 16·9 km with 14 stations and forecast ridership of 302 000 passengers/day.






Tendering starts for high speed line to Querétaro

During a ceremony held in the city of Querétaro on August 15, federal Secretary of Communications & Transport Gerardo Ruiz and Querétaro state governor José Calzada formally signed off tendering documentation for the project to build a high speed line between Mexico City and Querétaro.


Representing an investment in excess of 40bn pesos, the new line will be engineered for operations at up to 300 km/h. Of the 210 km of new infrastructure between the Buenavista terminus in Mexico City and Querétaro, 12 km will be in tunnel and 16 km on viaduct.


According to Director General of Rail & Multimodal Transport Pablo Suárez, a turnkey contract is to be awarded with a single consortium responsible for executing all works. The high speed line is due to enter service in the second half of 2017.


With trains operating every 60 min and up to every 20 min in the peaks, offering an end-to-end journey of 58 min, the new line is expected to carry 23 000 passengers/day, and remove around 18 000 car journeys from the roads during its first year of operation.


As well as reducing CO2 emissions by 95 tonnes and avoiding over 100 road accident fatalities a year, the high speed railway should avoid the need to widen the highway between Mexico City and Querétaro where traffic is growing by 5% a year and would require eight lanes by 2017.









Buenos Aires Line B upgraded for ex-Madrid fleet

Metro authority SBASE is spending a total of 1∙01bn pesos on upgrading Line B of the Buenos Aires network, in preparation for the introduction of a fleet of 86 CAF Series 6000 cars purchased from Metro de Madrid for US$57∙6m. Due to enter service during the first quarter of 2015, the CAF cars will ‘reduce waiting times, increase passenger comfort and improve the journey experience’, according to SBASE, with the Line B fleet increasing from 20 to 25 trainsets.


To accommodate the new air-conditioned fleet, the traction power supply system is being upgraded and the third rail replaced with rigid catenary at a cost of 100m pesos. Line B is to be equipped with ATP and 500m pesos spent on a new forced ventilation system.


Signalling and power supply work is expected to be completed by the end of 2014. Other aspects of the programme, including station refurbishment and extending the rolling stock maintenance depot at Rancagua at a cost of 200m pesos, would take four years to complete.




Alstom to supply inter-city trains to Algeria

ALSTOM confirmed on August 20 that it has been selected as preferred bidder for a Dinars 21bn ($US 260m) contract to supply 17 bi-mode (diesel and electric) multiple units to Algerian National Railways (SNTF) for long-distance services.


A report on Algerian news website Tout l'Algérie on August 19 quoted SNTF director general Mr Yacine Benbjaballah as saying that the trains will be used on services from Algiers to Oran, Annaba, Constantine, and Bechar.


Alstom told IRJ that the trains will be based on its Coradia Polyvalent product platform and it hopes to sign the contract with SNTF by the end of the year.


The trains are likely to be similar to the fleet of 34 Coradia Liner EMUs ordered by French National Railways (SNCF) last year for long-distance services.






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