IRJ - September 2011 - (Page 7)
The government of Western Australia has granted a special railway license for construction, operation and maintenance of a 342km heavy-haul line from the proposed Roy Hill 1 iron-ore mine to Port Headland. The new line will be used by five 232-wagon, 32,000-tonne trains per day, and will have capacity to support rail movements from other thirdparty iron-ore mines on the route. BHP Billiton is seeking approval to build its own railway from the central Queensland coalfield to the port of Abbot Point, where it would build a new export terminal. The line would duplicate the existing QR National coal line and the northern missing link from Goonyella to Abbot Point, which is currently under construction.
CSR completes first ac traction diesel: The first of 10 ac-traction diesel locomotives for SCT, Australia, has rolled off the production line at CSR Ziyang in China. CSR says this is the first such locomotive with independent intellectual property to be sold to a developed country. The locomotive is designed to meet the European Union Stage IIIA emissions standard. SCT ordered six units worth Yuan 100m ($US 15.6m) in September 2010, and a further four locomotives in March. Delivery will start at the end of the year.
Florida HS funds for NE Corridor
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to provide ÖBB Infrastructure with a further ƒ200 million loan instalment for the Lower Inn Valley capacity expansion project. The EIB is contributing ƒ1bn towards the cost of the 41km line between Kundl/ Radfeld and Baumkirchen, which is due to open next year.
Colombia approves new coal railway
HE Colombian government has approved in principle the construction of a railway to transport around 30 million tonnes of coal from Carare, about 175km north of Bogota, to ports on the Caribbean coast. The Ministry of Transport was working earlier this year on the basis of a public-private partnership worth about $US 1.8bn, but
this is now being re-evaluated due to changes to the planned alignment. About 330km of new line is envisaged to connect Carare with the existing 914mmgauge line in the department of Cesar. About 130km of this line would be upgraded to reach the port of Santa Marta. A feasibility study has already been completed.
Turkey opens second high-speed line
URKEY’s prime minister, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan, transport minister Mr Binali Yildirim, and the general manager of Turkish State Railways (TCDD) Mr Süleyman Karaman officially opened on August 23 the highspeed line linking the capital Ankara with Konya. Passenger services, comprising four trips a day initially, started on August 24 with a journey time of 1h 30min initially, reducing to 1h 15min when the track beds in. The 212km line leaves the
existing Ankara - Eskisehir high-speed line at Polatli and then heads south to Konya. Construction has taken four years and eight months, and was completed on December 17 2010, allowing nearly eight months for testing and commissioning. The project has cost Lira 1bn ($US 596m). The line plugs an important gap in the Turkish rail network. Meanwhile, Karaman confirmed that the new highspeed line being built from Ankara east to Sivas will be completed at the end of 2015.
LANS to upgrade the Northeast Corridor between Boston, New York, and Washington DC have received a boost with the news that the United States Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has allocated nearly $US 745m to improve key sections of the line. The funds, which were originally destined for the cancelled Florida high-speed project, will be used for a $US 450m upgrade of track, signalling and electrification on the 39km Trenton - New Brunswick section in New Jersey, allowing maximum speeds to be increased to 257km/h. Preliminary works will begin by the end of the year and full construction will start next year. In the longer term, this project will allow operation at up to 300km/h. The remaining $US 295m will allow major improvements to the Harold Interlocking junction in Queens, New York, where a new flyover will separate New York - Boston Amtrak trains from Long Island Rail Road and MetroNorth commuter trains. Construction will start in September 2012.
Prospective open-access operator Alliance Rail Holdings has prepared a revised track access application for paths on the West Coast Main Line. The company plans to operate more than 60 trains per day between London and destinations in northern England (IRJ June p35). The Association of Train Operating Companies has reported a surge in ridership on branch lines. Between April 2007 and April this year, passenger numbers increased 91% on the Truro - Falmouth line, 90% between Bristol and Seven Beach, and 86% on the Derby - Matlock line. The Department for Transport has extended
IRJ September 2011
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