IRJ - May 2012 - (Page 9)
CAF to supply Latvian trains
ATVIAN state-owned passenger operator Pasaieru Vilciens has awarded CAF a contract worth around ƒ400 million to supply 34 emus and seven dmus, and maintain them for 30 years. The 1520mm-gauge 140km/h trains will be based on CAF’s Civity design, and each 59.2m-long three-car set will accommodate 270 seated and 190 standing passengers. Deliveries will take place between mid-2014 and the end of 2015, and as part of the deal, CAF will subcontract assembly work to Riga Wagon Works (RVR). The first six trains will be assembled by CAF in Spain, eight will be built jointly by RVR and CAF, and the remaining 20 will be fully assembled in Riga. RVR will invest ƒ14m in upgrading its facilities, while CAF will contribute ƒ3m towards the project.
GWML electrification contract awarded
RITISH infrastructure manager Network Rail has awarded Amey a five-year contract for electrification work on the Great Western Main Line (GWML). Amey will use its High Output Plant System (Hops) to install and test electrification equipment, and will also be responsible for all foundations and structural steelwork on the Maidenhead - Bristol/ Cardiff, Reading - Newbury, and Didcot - Oxford lines, a total route length of 378km. Amey will also be responsible for planning electrification works and maintaining the equipment. The company and its supply chain will recruit and train 150 staff for the project. The GWML is being electrified under a £5bn modernisation project which includes the installation of ERTMS, reconstruction of the station and junctions at Reading, and new trains.
for a public-private partnership scheme to build a 144km 210km/h line between Jakarta and Bandung. Trains using the existing 1067mmgauge line take around 3 hours to complete the 173km trip.
The North Korean government says reconstruction of the 54km line from the port of Rajin to connect with the Russian rail network at Hasan will be completed in October.
Infrastructure authority Refer will have to make savings of 23% by the end of next year in order to achieve break even as a condition of the IMF’s financial support programme for Portugal.
ARA pushes HSR as remedy to air congestion
HE CEO of the Australasian Railway Association, Mr Bryan Nye, wants the Australian government to consider highspeed rail as part of the solution to solving congestion at Sydney airport. Nye says plans for a second Sydney airport make it clear that airport capacity constraints must be addressed. The Sydney - Melbourne air route transports 7.9 million passengers a year, while another 1.1 million people fly annually between Sydney and Canberra. “A 350km/h Sydney - Melbourne high-speed rail link with a 2h 50min travel time would see 60% of air travellers change to rail,” says Nye. “This shift to rail would free up the desperatelyneeded air paths and runway slots at Sydney airport.”
Mr Abderrahméne Gamha has been appointed president and CEO of Tunisian National Railways (SNCFT). Gamha was previously head of SNCFT’s freight and suburban passenger divisions.
India’s new railway minister rolls back fares increases
NDIA’s new railway minister, Mr Mukul Roy, wasted little time in rolling back many of the reforms proposed in his predecessor, Mr Dinesh Trivedi’s, 2012-13 railway budget after he was appointed to the post at the end of March. Trivedi resigned on March 18 after calls from within his own party, The Trinamool Congress, including party leader and former railway minister Mrs Mamata Banerjee, to stand down in reaction to the proposed fare increases included in last month’s railway budget (IRJ April p4). Roy scrapped all the proposed fare changes excluding those in first and second class air-conditioned coaches in a 15-minute address to parliament. He said the increases, which would have been the first in nine years, were a “burden on the common man already burdened” by the rising price of essential goods. In addition to fare freezes, other changes that have been dropped include setting up a
Mr Richard Bowker has left his position as CEO of Etihad Rail, the company responsible for implementing the country’s $US 11bn railway construction programme, to join the English Football Association as an independent director. Bowker joined Etihad Rail in 2009. Etihad’s executive director of infrastructure, Mr Hazem Mobarak has been appointed interim CEO.
Photo: Keith Fender
Ukrainian Railways (UZ) has begun to equip 1100 electric freight locomotives with GPRS to allow remote operational and maintenance data transfer, following successful trials.
new independent railway tariff regulator, expanding the railway board to include two new members, and an overhaul of catering to allow foreign companies to enter the market, although Roy favours opening the market to more Indian contractors. Plans to round fares to the nearest five Rupees have also been scrapped. This would have lowered an Rs 12 ($US 0.25) fare to Rs 10, but increased an Rs 13 fare to Rs 15. Indian Railways will lose between Rs 10bn and Rs 20bn in revenue through budget changes, although Roy insists
it is the right thing to do. Roy has reportedly instructed the Railway Board to work out a revenue model that relies on commercial utilisation of railway properties and advertising opportunities. “We will recover that amount through other means,” Roy says. “A fare hike was just one of the possible ways of getting that money.” Trivedi’s only remaining contributions are an increase in station platform tickets and an extension of Banerjee’s subsidised travel scheme for poor urban commuters.
North-West Railway has been granted a permit to build a 554km $US 1bn line from Chingola to Jimbe on the Angolan border. Financial advertisers Tagos Group says negotiations with financial backers should be completed by the end of the year to enable construction to start next year. IRJ
IRJ May 2012
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