EU commits over €600m to modernise Polish rail network

16 September 2019

J Kumar Infraprojects receives $280.56m Mumbai Metro Rail project

13 September 2019

Indian construction firm J Kumar Infraprojects has won a Rs19.98bn ($280.56m) contract for the Mumbai Metro Rail project in Maharashtra.

Awarded by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the contract includes the design and construction of nine elevated stations and an elevated viaduct.

It also involves the construction of one underground station for Mumbai Metro Line 9, two flyovers and an underground twin tunnel.

The Letter of Acceptance (LOA) awarded by the MMRDA excludes architectural finishes and PEB roof structure.

Line 9 is an extension of Mumbai Metro Line 7, which runs from Dahisar to Mira Bhayander and Andheri to CSIA. It is 13.581km long.

J Kumar Infraprojects is a Mumbai-based company that primarily deals with the design and construction of flyovers, bridges, subways, skywalks, roads and other related projects.

In December last year, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid foundation stones for two metro lines to be built with an investment of Rs150bn ($2.12bn) in Mumbai.

The two metro projects, Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan (Metro-5) and the Dahisar-Mira Bhayander (Metro-9) are executed by MMRDA.

In April, a consortium led by DB Engineering secured a project management and construction management services contract valued at $2.26bn for Mumbai Metro Line 4 from the MMRDA.

As well as DB Engineering, the consortium includes Louis Berger and Hill International.

Connecting Wadala in central Mumbai to Kasarvadavali, the 32.3km-long Mumbai Metro Line 4 will feature 32 stations.

Knorr-Bremse to supply braking and HVAC systems for high-speed trains

12 September 2019

Germany-based Knorr-Bremse has won a contract from Alstom to supply braking systems and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) for SNCF’s Next-generation high-speed trains.

Knorr-Bremse will supply braking and HVAC system for 100 Avelia Horizon trains.

The contract also has provision to deliver additional systems for the new-generation double-deck trains in the future.

Knorr-Bremse executive board member Dr Jürgen Wilder said: “Knorr-Bremse’s strategy and product development activities are geared toward low life cycle costs, energy efficiency and eco-efficiency.

“The resultant solutions that we presented thoroughly impressed SNCF and Alstom. We are proud to be on board in such a significant and prestigious project as the new generation of the TGV.”

The Avelia Horizon is the first French high-speed train to have a direct braking system.

Knorr-Bremse Rail Vehicle Systems management board member Mark Cleobury said: “This contract for the Avelia platform represents the next step in our successful collaboration with SNCF and Alstom that already covers several generations of high-speed trains.

“We have considered the requirements of both SNCF and Alstom from the very beginning. Through our expertise, we are helping to assure the establishment and long-term success of the new TGV.”

The trains will be equipped with the braking systems by 2020 and are expected to enter service by 2023.

In July, Alstom won a contract worth €2.7bn from SNCF Mobilités to deliver 100 next-generation Avelia Horizon trains.

The Avelia Horizon trains will be 200m long, though the number of passenger coaches will vary between seven, eight and nine. They will have a maximum speed of 350km/h, a maximum output of 8MW and a maximum axle load of 17t.

Toshiba’s AI solutions to enhance train timetabling for Greater Anglia

11 September 2019

UK train operator Greater Anglia (GA) is set to use Toshiba Digital & Consulting Corporation’s (TDX) AI-enabled Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) technology to improve train plans.

Toshiba’s AI solutions will be used by GA to develop and implement train timetables for East England routes.

TDX, Toshiba Corporation and Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation (TDSL) have teamed up with Mitsui, which is serving as an investor in GA and TDX, for a digital transformation project.

The project intends to enhance operational performance and customer convenience by creating robust train timetables.

Timetables will be created with AI-embedded digital twin technology, which is a CPS solution.

As part of this project, TDX will be involved in arranging and combining data digitally, including Track infrastructure, rolling stock performance, timetables and rules.

This will help in generating a virtual real-world train operations environment.

TDX railway business will examine and carry out simulations under different conditions, before providing and assisting GA in creating train timetables.

Toshiba original Timetable Risk Evaluation methodology will also be used. It was jointly developed by Toshiba research and development centre and TDX.

If successful, the technology will decrease train delays and improve management efficiency for the UK operator.

Greater Anglia performance and planning head Keith Palmer said: “Our work with Toshiba and their digital twin system is really exciting for Greater Anglia and their customers.

“The system will enable us to build better timetables delivering better performance and reduced journey times based on the excellent practices used in Japan and beyond.”

Last year, Toshiba, Mitsui and GA completed a feasibility study of the project on its West Main Line.

Indian Railways plans to offer more trains to private players.

Indian Railways plans to offer more trains to private players

10 September 2019

Indian Railways is getting ready to start the process of privatisation as the national transporter plans to offer more train operation services to private players in the coming years.

Indian Railway Board chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav said that the first-ever private project, Tejas Express, will begin operations from October. It will cover the distance between Delhi and Lucknow.

Yadav said that offering trains to private players will allow Indian Railways to sustain and maintain train coaches.

Indian Railways will provide its own crew of loco pilots and guards to run the trains, and the private players will be responsible for ticketing, entertainment and other services on board the trains.

Yadav said: “We are going to work on the speed enhancement of the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah corridor to 160kmph in the next four years.

The Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Corridor will be completed by 2021, which will have the speed of 100kmph. Once these dedicated freight and passenger corridors are operational, we can introduce more trains to private players.

“We have started working on the plan and many companies have shown interest in the idea.”

From November, Indian Railways is planning to run the next route of Tejas Express on a private basis between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

Network Rail, TfW roll out life-saving equipment to railway stations

10 September 2019

Deutsche Bahn signs five-year renewable energy deal

10 September 2019

German railway company Deutsche Bahn has signed a five-year agreement for the supply of green electricity from the offshore wind farm Nordsee Ost.

The contract has been signed between DB subsidiary DB Energie GmbH, RWE Supply & Trading, and Innogy SE. The agreement will come into effect from 2024.

Under the power purchase agreement (PPA), the wind farm will supply 25MW of energy, which is equivalent to the amount of energy supplied by four wind turbines.

This constitutes 8% of the total production of the farm that produces 295MW in total with 48 turbines.

DB Energie CEO Torsten Schein said: “Over the next few years, we will consistently replace expiring contracts based on fossil-fuel generation with renewable energy. Before the end of September, we will start a further Europe-wide invitation to tender for the long-term purchase of green electricity.”

By 2038, DB plans to use 100% green energy for its rail operations. Currently, 57% of the company’s energy requirements are obtained from renewable energy.

The company requires approximately 10TWh of energy in one year. It receives 900 million kWh annually from Innogy hydropower plants.

Innogy SE COO Renewables Hans Bünting said: “This is a win-win deal for all parties involved. From 2024, Deutsche Bahn will run climate-friendly trains with green electricity from our Nordsee Ost offshore wind farm.

“After the reduction of state subsidies, we are pleased to have agreed commercial terms for the supply of electricity from the first turbines at our wind farm and created scope for further investment in this way.”

This contract marks Germany’s first offshore wind corporate power purchase agreement.

The company will purchase the energy at a fixed price from the offshore wind farm. RWE will act as the contract and retail partner.

New Zealand to invest $60.9m for North Auckland Line upgrade

9 September 2019

The Government of New Zealand has revealed plans to invest NZ$94.8m ($60.9m) to upgrade the North Auckland Line between Swanson and Whangarei in Northland.

The investment is aimed at improving freight services on the line, as well as further opening up Northland’s economy.

The money will be used to replace or upgrade around 54km of the 181km rail line. The scope of the work includes replacing rail sleepers, rehabilitating five ageing bridges and maintenance work on 13 tunnels.

Additionally, the work package includes improving drains, culverts and embankments along the route, as well as upgrading the Whangarei rail yard.

New Zealand State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said: “Without our investment, this rail line to Whangarei will become unsafe and have to close within five years, leaving Northland cut off from rail services most other regions have.

“That’s unacceptable and unfair to the people of Northland. That’s why the government is addressing decades of under-investment and neglect in the rail line, to support the future growth of rail in Northland.”

The investment will be provided through the Provincial Growth Fund. It was also welcomed by KiwiRail, the state-owned rail operator in the country.

New Zealand Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said: “The maintenance work will make the line more resilient to weather events and freight services more timely and reliable.”

KiwiRail aims to complete the majority of works on the North Auckland Line next year.

Currently, the rail operator runs a freight service to and from Kauri, located north of Whangarei, on weekdays.

In May, the New Zealand Government allocated NZD1bn ($651m) in the latest national budget to strengthen railway infrastructure.