No.491issue(2014 09 12)

CAF LRVs for Kaohsiung arrive in Taiwan

THE first two CAF Urbos catenary-free low-floor LRVs for the light rail circle line under construction in Taiwan's second-largest city Kaohsiung was unloaded at the port of Taitung on September 11 following a five-week sea voyage from Barcelona.


A consortium of CAF and construction company Evergreen was awarded a $NT 5.7bn ($US 190m) turnkey contract in 2012 to build and equip the initial 8.6km 14-station phase, which is due to open by the end of the year. As well as vehicles, CAF's share of the contract includes signalling, electrification, and fare collection systems.


The 13.5km 23-station second phase, which will complete the loop, is due to be completed in 2017. The total cost of both phases will be $NT 16.5bn.


The 2.65m-wide Urbos LRVs will accommodate up to 250 passengers and are equipped with CAF's ultracapacitor-based Rapid Charge Accumulator (ACR) onboard energy storage system, which will be recharged at stations.


The first vehicle is due to arrive in Kaohsiung on September 13.




Hangzhou metro Line 5 approved

CONSTRUCTION is set to begin by the end of the year on the fifth metro line in the Chinese city of Hangzhou following the approval of the project by the Zhejiang provincial government.


The 48.6km 36-station line will link Sci-Tech Island station in Yuhang with Xiangzhang Road in Xiaoshan, and is due to be completed in 2019. Hangzhou Metro Group is implementing the Yuan 35bn ($US 5.69bn) project as a public-private partnership (PPP).


The PPP model will also be used to build the initial phase of Line 6 from Xihhu to West Xiaoshan. Construction is due to begin on the 27km line next year and will take four years to complete.




Indra wins Turkish traffic management contract

TURKISH State Railways (TCDD) has awarded Indra, Spain, a €43m contract to supply a traffic management and network planning system covering 12,000km of conventional and high-speed lines.


The DaVinci traffic management system will cover all high-speed lines currently in operation together with those due for completion before 2016 from a dedicated control centre in Ankara.


Indra says DaVinci will enable TCDD to integrate and automate a range of operating procedures incorporating regulation systems, automatic routers, communications, control panels, remote monitoring, and a system manage infrastructure access charging.


DaVinci was developed by Indra and is the intellectual property of Spanish infrastructure manager Adif.




Catenary-free LRT line opens in Nanjing

THE first two out of a fleet of 15 catenary-free LRVs being supplied by CSR Nanjing Puzhen Rolling Stock and Bombardier have started limited operation on a new line in the Chinese city of Nanjing.


The two LRVs were used to transport passengers attending the second Summer Youth Olympic Games being staged in Nanjing between August 16 and 28. The LRVs ran on the 8km Hexi Line which only has conventional catenary on 10% of the route. The Hexi Line will be operated by eight LRVs, four of which have been delivered so far, while the remaining seven vehicles will be introduced on the 9km Qilin Line when it opens later this year.


The LRVs, which are based on Bombardier's Flexity 2 design, are being built by CSR, while Bombardier is supplying its Primove Li-Ion battery system which is recharged from the catenary at stops and during acceleration. Bombardier says this is the first commercial operation of its Primove traction batteries and the first use of Li-Ion batteries for catenary-free operation. Bombardier is also supplying Mitrac propulsion and control equipment, and Flexx Urban 3000 bogies.




CSR delivers first Mitre cars

The first 12 of an initial batch of 30 electric multiple-unit cars delivered by CSR of China for the Mitre commuter route were unloaded in Buenos Aires on September 6. CSR is supplying a total of 30 six-car EMUs to operate Mitre routes electrified at 830 V DC third rail.


Driver training is already underway using the similar fleet of 25 nine-car EMUs supplied by CSR Sifang and now in service on the Sarmiento route.


With deliveries of the new Mitre fleet due for completion by the end of 2014, EMU cars replaced by the CSR vehicles on the Sarmiento have been redeployed on the Mitre routes to Tigre and José León Suárez.


‘This process of renewal is being accompanied by major infrastructure investment’, said Minister of the Interior & Transport Florencio Randazzo, who reported that first seven of 30 station refurbishment projects were underway on the Mitre network.


With work already completed on the routes to Tigre and Bartolomé Mitre, track renewals were nearing completion on the 37 km between the Retiro terminus in Buenos Aires and José León Suárez.




Russian government approves United Transport & Logistics contribution

The Russian government has formally approved Russian Railways’ planned contribution of assets to the United Transport & Logistics Co intermodal freight joint venture of the national railways of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.


RZD is to contribute its 50% plus two shares stake in TransContainer and 100% minus one share of Russian Railways Logistics to the charter capital of OTLK. It will also provide US$1·7bn of infrastructure funding over seven years. Belarus Railways is to transfer the Belintertrans container business to OTLK, while Kazakhstan will contribute terminal operator Kedentransservice and intermodal business Kaztransservice.


Announcing the government’s decision on September 6, RZD said the OTLK venture agreed by the railways last year is ‘a response to the growing level of competition for the management of global transport corridors’, in particular from the EU and China. OTLK would control key assets in the Common Economic Space which covers Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, including the major entry points to the 1 520 mm gauge region at Kazakhstan’s Dostyk and Altynkol border crossings with China and at Brest on the Belarus/Poland border.


The railway believe mutual use of rolling stock, uniform pricing principles and technical standards would enable OTLK ‘to reach a business scale comparable with global industry leaders, ensuring a strong bargaining position in relations with foreign partners and contractors’.


RZD said the volume of transit traffic from China to Europe is two to three times higher than the potential traffic in the opposite direction, and the only way to reduce empty running is to combine transit, domestic and export-import traffic. This would require a ‘uniting everything involved in the transport of assets into a single system’, including IT systems, tariffs and pricing policy.




East Japan Railway targets Californian high speed contracts


JR East is to lead a Japanese consortium in bidding for railway systems contracts for the Los Angeles – San Francisco high speed line now being developed by the California High Speed Rail Authority.


JR East announced in Tokyo that it expects to work in partnership with six other firms in an effort to export Japanese Shinkansen technology to the USA. While the prime focus if the consortium would be rolling stock, JR East is also understood to be targeting the supply of signalling equipment. The group also reportedly believes that Japan’s experience of building and operating high speed lines through areas prone to seismic activity could be attractive to CHSRA.


JR East was a founder member of the Japan California HSR Consortium, which was launched in July 2012, along with Sumitomo Corp, Hitachi, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Corp, Nippon Shryo and Kawasaki Heavy Industries.


Tenders for the supply of an initial batch of around 25 high speed trainsets are expected to be issued by the end of the year. Land clearance work is already underway on the first 47 km of the 480 km Initial Operating Section through California’s Central Valley. CHSRA intends to offer a ‘one seat ride’ between San Francisco and Los Angeles from 2028 under the $68bn programme.


Stadler ships first Aeroexpress EMU

The first of 25 double-deck electric multiple-units which Aeroexpress has ordered for its services to Moscow's Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo and Vnukovo airports has begun its journey to Russia from Stadler Rail's Altenrhein factory in Switzerland.


The €381m order for 16 four-car and nine six-car aluminium-bodied EMUs based on Stadler's Kiss family was finalised in May 2013. The first four EMUs are being manufactured at Alternrhein, with the rest to be assembled at Stadler's new plant at Fanipol in Belarus. The factory near Minsk will be responsible for commissioning the EMUs, with certification to be undertaken at the Shcherbinka test centre near Moscow.


The 1 520 mm gauge Russian-profile cars are 5 240 mm high and 3 400 mm wide, meaning delivery from Switzerland by rail is not possible. Instead they are being taken by road from Altenrhein to Muttenz near Basel, where the first cars were loaded onto a ship on September 6. They are to be shipped via Rotterdam to Sassnitz and then to Klaipeda, from where they will be taken to Minsk by rail.


The EMUs will have 396 or 700 seats, including 84 in business class, with eight or 13 doors per side. There will be controlled-emission toilets in every car, with one per set being wheelchair accessible. The 3 kV DC units will have three or four drive chains with water-cooled IGBT power converters giving a continuous output at wheel of 2·4 MW or 3·2 MW and a maximum speed of 160 km/h.


Gazprombank is providing a 15-year financing package for the order, with SERV Swiss Export Risk Insurance providing project risk insurance.


The first EMU is scheduled to enter passenger service in June 2015 and the last a year later, providing a 30% to 40% increase in capacity on Aeroexpress services.




Siemens to build Florida inter-city trains

Private passenger promoter All Aboard Florida has selected Siemens to supply trainsets for its proposed Miami – Orlando inter-city service using the Florida East Coast Railway, the two companies announced on September 11.


Siemens is to supply 200 km/h Charger diesel locomotives and ‘modern single-level inter-city passenger cars’. These would be assembled Sacramento using components manufactured across the USA, making them fully compliant with Buy America requirements.


AAF plans to start operations with five trainsets, each formed of two diesel locomotives and four passenger coaches. These will operate between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach at the southern end of the route, where services are expected to begin in 2016. The trains would be extended to seven coaches and five more trainsets ordered when the second phase is completed between West Palm Beach and Orlando International Airport.


The locomotives will have an enhanced carbody structure including crash energy management elements. They will be powered by Tier 4 compliant Cummins QSK95 diesel engines rated at 4 400 hp, with traction motors and gearboxes coming from the Siemens plant in Norwood, Ohio, and other propulsion equipment from Alpharetta, Georgia.


The first stainless steel passenger coaches to be manufactured by Siemens in the USA would be fully compliant with ADA accessibility requirements, and designed for level boarding without steps. They will be fitted with ergonomic seating and wi-fi, and will have accommodation for bicycles, prams and wheelchairs.


The trains are to be maintained and serviced at West Palm Beach and Orlando Airport, providing full-time employment for more than 120 people.




Trenitalia DMU on test

Trenitalia has begun testing the first of 40 ATR220 Atribo diesel multiple-units which the national passenger operator ordered from Pesa in December 2013 at cost of €139·6m. Commissioning is scheduled for completion by the end of the year, with the 130 km/h air-conditioned DMUs to be deployed on services in the Marche, Toscana, Abruzzo, Campania and Calabria regions.


The three-car DMUs are 55·6 m long with a total capacity of 312 passengers. Each unit has two Voith Railpack powerpacks using Stage IIIB compliant Voith/MAN six-cylinder engines with SCR exhaust after-treatment and T211 transmissions. Voith is also supplying SK/KE 485 gear units and Scharfenberg couplers.


The engines are started with the aid of double-layer capacitors instead of batteries. Voith say these offer significantly lower weight, a longer service life and better cold starting behaviour. The DMUs also have specially developed software which adjusts cooling fan speeds to reduce noise when the train is at a station.




First V250 trains sent back to AnsaldoBreda

THE first of the V250 Fyra high-speed trains rejected by Netherlands Railways (NS) began its journey from Watergraafsmeer yard in Amsterdam back to the AnsaldoBreda plant in Pistoia, Italy, on September 7.


The return of the trains to the supplier is the outcome of the settlements reached between AnsaldoBreda and its customers, NS and Belgian National Railways (SNCB), following the collapse of the Amsterdam – Brussels Fyra service in January 2013, which led ultimately to the cancellation of both orders.


All of the trains currently stored in the Netherlands will be returned to Italy by the end of the year.


AnsaldoBreda is looking to find a market for the rejected trains, with Turkey rumoured as a potential destination. Several test runs have taken place on Italian high-speed lines including Milan – Turin.


If AnsaldoBreda succeeds in finding a new owner NS may receive up to €20m in additional compensation.




Tunnelling starts on Sydney's North West Rail Link

Tunnelling for Sydney’s North West Rail Link started on September 8 with a ceremony in Bella Vista.


Elizabeth is the first of four hard rock tunnel boring machines delivered by NFM Technologies. The 120 m long, 6·99 m diameter TBM was assembled at Bella Vista over the past seven weeks, and will be joined by three more.


‘The North West Rail Link has been a top priority for this Government and I am pleased to announce today that the next two tunnel boring machines are also expected to be in the ground before the end of this year, ahead of schedule’, said NSW Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian.


A consortium of Thiess, John Holland and Dragados received a tunnelling contract worth A$1·15bn in June 2013. This covers 15·5 km twin-bore tunnels between Epping and Bella Vista.


The North West Rail Link is due to open in 2019 as the first stage of Sydney Rapid Transit. The A$8·3bn project comprises a 23 km route from Chatswood to Epping on a converted heavy rail alignment, continuing through the tunnel to emerge onto an 4 km elevated section to terminate at Cudgegong Road in Rouse Hill. Opening is planned for 2019.


An extension through the city centre to Bankstown in the southern suburbs is proposed.




Wabtec acquires signalling design company C2CE

Wabtec Corp announced its acquisition of Perth-based C2CE on September 3. C2CE provides signalling design, project management and installation services, and is active in the industrial power distribution and communications sectors.


It has 200 employees at offices in Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne and Hong Kong, with annual sales of about US$35m in Australia and Southeast Asia,


‘C2CE’s strong regional presence and technical resources will be an excellent fit with our electronics, signalling and train control capabilities’, said Wabtec President & CEO Raymond T Betler. ‘We expect to leverage the company’s existing customer relationships, as we pursue turnkey projects in this large and growing region.’






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