IRJ - March 2011 - (Page 16)
Class I railways to increase capital investment
LASS I railways in North America are planning to increase capital investment this year as confidence in the economy returns. BNSF announced on February 7 it will invest $US 3.5 billion this year with the aim of strengthening infrastructure and improving operational efficiency. The capital programme includes $US 450 million for 227 new locomotives, $US 350 million for wagons and other equipment and $US 300 million for terminal and intermodal expansion projects. BNSF will also spend around $US 300 million this year implementing Positive Train Control (PTC), which will be installed over most of the US mainline rail network by 2015. BNSF says its key expansion projects will be focused on the
mid-continent and coal routes with the aim of improving transit times and raising capacity. Norfolk Southern’s proposed 2011 capital budget is $US 1.74 billion, 19% higher than 2010’s $US 1.47 billion. This includes $US 244 million for facilities and terminals; $US 212 million for 50 locomotives (25 from EMD and 25 from GE); $US 155 million for wagons (including 1500 high-capacity coal wagons ordered last month from FreightCar America); $US 96 million for technology upgrades; $US 79 million for infrastructure and $US 194 million for “other” projects. CSX will raise capital investment 11% to $US 2 billion this year, approximately two-thirds of which will be spent on rolling stock and
infrastructure with the remainder split between strategic and regulatory investments. Canadian National will invest $US 1.7 billion, slightly above the average for the last few years. Around $US 1 billion will be spent on infrastructure, including upgrades on the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway which CN acquired in 2009. Rolling stock investments will total around $US 200 million. Canadian Pacific has already outlined its $US 1 billion capital plan (IRJ February p18), while Kansas City Southern anticipates low double-digit revenue growth, and has budgeted capital expenditure at 17.5% of annual revenue. Union Pacific has raised its capital budget 23% to $US 3.2 billion.
RailCorp awards Australia’s first ETCS contract
LSTOM has won a contract from Sydney’s passenger rail operator, RailCorp, to install Australia’s first permanent application of European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 1. The $A 65 million ($US 64.9 million) contract is the first of three stages for the roll-out of the system across the RailCorp network. Stage one includes the installation of ETCS equipment in 98 Oscar and 225 Tangara emu drivers’ cabs and the provision of track equipment on 600km of the network. In total 160 trains will be initially equipped for ETCS Level 1 operation. The line between Berowra and Wyong, north of Sydney, will be the first section to be equipped with ETCS Level 1. This is expected to be operational by 2013. Alstom has also won a nine-year maintenance contract. The full roll-out across the network is expected by 2021, with stages two and three incorporating the Waratah and Millennium emu fleets. Alstom will also install a pilot application of ETCS Level 2 on Sydney’s Sutherland Cronulla line.
SNCF “still prudent” after modest growth
Stadler expands production capacity
OLLOWING a glut of rolling stock orders, Stadler Pankow plans to expand its production capacity in Germany to cope with the current surge in demand and accommodate future expansion. The ƒ10 million investment includes the construction of a new final assembly hall at the existing Hohenschönhausen site, which will increase production capacity by 50% from July. Stadler will also build a new bodyshell plant at Reinickendorf near Berlin to manufacture bodyshells for the Kiss double-deck emus ordered by Luxembourg Railways (CFL) and East German Railway (Odeg).
SNCF electric locomotives stand silent at Toulouse during last October’s strike.
RENCH National Railways (SNCF) recorded a 4% increase in turnover last year to ƒ30.5 billion and a substantial improvement in both its operating margin - up from ƒ1.7 billion in 2009 to ƒ2.16 billion in 2010 - and its operating profit which rose from ƒ145 million to ƒ531 million. Overall, SNCF turned a loss of 980 million in 2009 into a surplus of ƒ697 million.
Nevertheless, SNCF faced considerable challenges last year. The operating margin was insufficient to cover the level of investment required, and SNCF increased its debt by 1.3% to meet its objectives. SNCF invested just over ƒ3 billion last year, of which ƒ926 million was directly funded by the state. Non-recurring items totalling ƒ466 million had a strong impact on its net result.
“2010 allowed a partial correction of the losses incurred in 2009, in particular in the transport of freight, despite two long strikes which cost ƒ240 million,” says SNCF president Mr Guillaume Pepy. “The debt of ƒ8.5 billion, considerably lower than forecast, is under control and allows us to consolidate our objectives. We remain prudent concerning 2011.”
IRJ March 2011
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IRJ - March 2011
IRJ - March 2011
We Must Focus on the Needs of Our Customers
The Fall and Rise of Urban Rail Transport
Freight on the Move
American Freight: Still the Envy of the World
Breaking Down the Barriers
Track Maintenance: 50 Years of Progress
Rails: Harder, Faster, Stronger
Full Contact List
The Last Word
IRJ - March 2011