IRJ - May 2010 - (Page 8)
News Siemens poised to launch fourth-generation Velaro
IEMENS is putting the finishing touches to the first of its fourth-generation Velaro high-speed trains ahead of a handover to launch customer German Rail (DB) later this year. The eight-car Velaro-D, which is classified class 407 by DB has capacity for 460 passengers, 30 more than the previous generation of class 406 ICE3 trains. The class 407 will be capable of operating in multiple with ICE3s. DB issued an invitation to tender for a fleet of 15 of the multi-system high-speed trains at the end of 2007, specifying more than 6000 individual requirements in the bid documents. Siemens was awarded the ƒ500 million contract in December 2008 and assembly of the first train
began at the company’s Krefeld site in Germany in October. Commissioning will begin on the first train in August and the Velaro D will initially be certified for operation in Germany, France and Belgium. The trains will be delivered to DB from the third quarter of next year and will enter service on routes between Frankfurt and various cities in France at the winter timetable change in December 2011. The first train will be displayed at InnoTrans in Berlin on September 21-24.
Dr Volker Kefer, DB board member for technology and infrastructure (left), and Dr Hans-Jörg Grundmann, CEO of Siemens Mobility at Krefeld on April 28. Photo: Keith Fender
German open-access plans delayed or shelved
EOLIS says it has abandoned plans to run open-access long-distance passenger services in Germany. The operator, which is majority-owned by French National Railways, had carried out initial planning work on a Mulhouse - Strasbourg -
Cologne - Hamburg service, but has decided not to pursue the venture. Keolis was due to submit a track access application to DB Network by April 8. Meanwhile HamburgCologne Express (HKX) has postponed the launch of its
services until April 2011. HKX says DB Network had given Keolis priority on the paths it wants to use for its three daily return services between Hamburg and Cologne, and it has decided to reapply for these paths now they are available again. government of the pitfalls of a virtual private monopoly where QR National, the dominant coal haulier, would also have control of the track. In light of these comments, reports suggest that the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has held talks with coal companies about launching a bid to own Queensland’s coal network, while a group comprising the 14 companies that use the tracks, headed by former New South Wales premier Mr Nick Greiner, have met premier Ms Anna Bligh with an offer to buy the network. The miners are said to want an independent owner of the tracks to prevent a monopoly. Bligh and treasurer Mr Andrew Fraser have expressed scepticism at the miners’ offer and confirmed that the government plans to push ahead with the QR flotation.
KiwiRail raises prices to tackle deficit
QR privatisation questioned as rival bids loom
LANS to privatise Queensland Rail (QR) have been questioned by two leading Australian federal government ministers. Federal resources minister Mr Martin Ferguson, describes the proposed privatisation model as “a recipe for
disaster” because he believes a vertically-integrated privatelyowned rail network would not necessarily deliver the level of investment needed to stay ahead of coal output. Federal transport minister Mr Anthony Albanese has also warned the Queensland
AILFREIGHT customers and commuters in New Zealand will face increased prices this year as KiwiRail attempts to eliminate its $NZ 90 million ($US 63.6 million) annual deficit. Speaking at the NZ Rail conference in Wellington on April 21, transport minister Mr Steven Joyce said raising revenue from customers is a key component in making KiwiRail a viable business. Joyce claims many large railfreight customers are benefiting from rates that are below costs. He also wants to eliminate the $NZ 20 million subsidy paid to regional councils in Auckland and Wellington for supporting commuter services. The details of a plan to turnaround the financiallytroubled state-owned railway will be announced next month. It is expected to highlight the need for significant extra spending on infrastructure and rolling stock, although the government says Kiwirail will need to demonstrate a strong business case for any additional state funding.
Photo: John Hoyle
IRJ May 2010
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