SmartRail World

€1.7bn ‘project of the century’ in Rhine-Ruhr secured by Siemens.

Siemens has secured a record-breaking order from the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region in Germany, in a deal worth more than €1.7 billion. The municipalities involved in the new Rhine-Ruhr Express (RRX) rail transport concept commissioned Siemens to supply 82 Desiro HC electric multiple units and to provide maintenance services for a period of 32 years. With a total volume of more than €1.7 billion, this is the largest regional rail transport order ever won by Siemens in Germany. Praised as the region’s ‘project of the century’, the RRX will help ease the steadily worsening traffic conditions along the Rhine and Ruhr when delivery of the trains begins in 2018. The region is one of the largest metropolitan areas in Europe, with population of roughly ten million and numerous transit routes. In particular, the key route between Cologne and Dortmund has been heavily impaired for years by overburdened public transport networks and rail connections.

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Drone use ready for takeoff in the world of rail.

The steady development of the use of unmanned aerial vehicle's (UAV's), commonly known as drones within the rail industry will take a step forward this week, with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) unveiling plans to make it easier for companies to use drones in business operations. Whilst other railways around the world continue to develop their use in a variety of ways commercial drone flights are generally banned in the US. But the FAA will soon allow a far wider use of them and streamline the process for gaining authorisation. A wide variety of companies have pushed for these barriers to be eased, and amongst those that have already gained exemptions are BNSF Railway– who aim to utilises drones, equipped with cameras to monitor trains and inspect track.

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VIDEO: Multi Protocol Label Switching based solutions for rail.

 

 

There is more to operating a public rail system than simply driving the trains. Transport operators select XTran communication networks to manage rush hour traffic, minimize down time, ensure passenger safety and comfort, deal with emergency situations – while keeping operating costs low. Watch the video to find out more about multi protocol label switching based solutions for rail.

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Containers on rail: China’s next big transport opportunity.

The transportation of containers by rail could grow substantially in China, especially if the nation continues adopting the kind of operating practices and regulatory reforms that have boosted the development of the North American rail network, according to a new World Bank research paper. Since 1998, freight container traffic in China has grown faster than the rate of economic growth. While container traffic on trucks and ships has increased, the use of trains for part of the journey – which is known as rail intermodal logistics – decreased in the same period. A 2013 study found that only 1.3 percent of container traffic through China’s ports involved trains, with 85 percent of all containers entering or leaving the ports on trucks and the rest on ships.

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VIDEO: 562,145 London Underground journeys in just 2 minutes.

 

 This unique video is a visualisation of 562,145 journeys on the London Underground network taken across a single day. The numbers are drawn from a 5% sample taken from open access data from Oyster cards - the London networks smartcard.  Developed by Will Gallia and three years in the making, he put the data through an algorithm before placing each trip as a moving pixel on the classic London Underground Map.

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Postcard from Florida; "PTC is crying out for better collaboration…"

Orlando, Florida was the venue for last week's PTC World Congress and Rail Capacity Summit attended by over 200 railroad professionals from across North America. Now in its fifth year it’s always an important fixture in the industry calendar and this year saw the addition of the Capacity Summit with a focus on overcoming the capacity challenge within the US rail network. Today Luke Upton, Editor of SmartRail World who attended the event offers some brief observations on what proved to be a lively three days…

The main question on everyone’s lips was the deadline. The federally mandated deadline for the implementation of Positive Train Control is the 31st December 2015 but the chances of this being hit are slim to nil. What happens next is what everyone wants to know. And the simple truth is... no one knows exactly what is to happen next. Any extension has to be approved by Congress. Speaking at the event was Chairman Christopher Hart of the NTSB who reiterated the commitment to PTC that the NTSB has and delivered an acknowledgement that this has been on their agenda since the early 1990s. But was unable to offer any further insight into the deadline. Hart, who comes from an aviation background had a neat turn of phrase and put a strong emphasis on the importance of collaboration across the industry; “PTC is crying out for better collaboration… anybody’s accident is everybody’s accident.” Hart’s focus on a collegial approach was reiterated from a fellow keynote speaker, Noranne Downs, District 5 Secretary, Florida Department of Transportation who told the capacity audience that; “nothing good happens without collaboration.”

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Sochi rail - $8.7bn in cost, two years old and almost entirely empty.

Anyone who follows both the progress of large transport projects and the build-up to major sporting events will be familiar with the challenges of financial waste and low levels of usage once the athletes have gone home. But the Adler–Krasnaya Polyana rail development built for the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia in 2014, at a cost of $8.7 billion, is a strong contender for a gold medal as the biggest waste of money in rail history. The rail link, alongside the highway connecting the coast to the mountains was the most expensive part of the games, no mean effort considering the total cost of the entire games was in excess of $51bn. As a point of reference, the London 2012 Olympics cost $13.9bn and the Vancouver Winter Games in 2010 cost $8.9bn. So this transport link cost only marginally less than the entire delivery of the previous games in Canada. (Top right: Picture courtesy of Alexander Shafts of Blog Sochi).

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Sustainability the focus as European supply chain project launched.

Six major companies in the European railway industry - Alstom Transport, Bombardier Transportation, Deutsche Bahn, Knorr Bremse, Nederlandse Spoorwegen and SNCF - are launching Railsponsible - an initiative focused on sustainable procurement to improve sustainability throughout the entire supply chain, through sharing best practices and processes, driving a common understanding across the industry, and to use and share common tools, creating efficiencies. The vision of Railsponsible is a global railway industry where all suppliers have in place good ethical, social, environmental and business practices.

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“Attractive and sustainable” design for new Stockholm metro unveiled.

“When public transport is attractive, sustainable travel will increase. With this metro design, Stockholm has taken this motto to an entirely new level…”

Stockholm Metro is famous for its creative flair, with the majority of its stations decorated with mosaics, paintings, engravings and reliefs extending from the 1950s through to the most modern pieces. And in designing the latest fleet of Metro cars for its Red Line, the Stockholm Traffic Administration and Bombardier Transportation have aimed to reflect this heritage. Based on Stockholm’s architectural characteristics of openness, modernity and diversity, the design language is based on the “Open City” vision and its derived concept “New Minimalism”. The interior layout has spacious gangways and features an innovative use of indirect light to create an open and bright environment. The new design also reflects extensive dialogue with representatives of various interest groups with the number of designated priority zones increased to eight, ensuring ample room for persons with reduced mobility as well as providing extra room for those traveling with wheelchairs, baby carriages or extra-large luggage.

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Why have 2,500 New York subway cars been dumped in the sea?

At first sight it looks like a waste of money, a major act of pollution and a criminal act – but these New York subway cars being dumped into the sea are actually helping the environment. These truly remarkable photos detail just a small number of over 2,500 old subway cars from the Big Apple that have been used to create artificial underwater reefs on America's Atlantic coast. Photographer Stephen Mallon of the Front Room Gallery snapped the images over a period of three years, and the photos are now are being shown in an exhibition in New York.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) of New York has been running this project for over 10 years, and ensures that on being decommissioned, the cars are cleaned, and every part which can be removed (seats, straps, windows, doors, wheels) are either recycled or sold. They are then loaded onto barges and dumped into sea to form artificial reefs. Click read more for some truly fantastic photographs...

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€1.7bn ‘project of the century’ in Rhine-Ruhr secured by Siemens.

Siemens has secured a record-breaking order from the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region in Germany, in a deal worth more than €1.7 billion. The municipalities involved in the new Rhine-Ruhr Express (RRX)...Read more

Drone use ready for takeoff in the world of rail.

The steady development of the use of unmanned aerial vehicle's (UAV's), commonly known as drones within the rail industry will take a step forward this week, with the U.S. Federal Aviation...Read more

VIDEO: Multi Protocol Label Switching based solutions for rail.

    There is more to operating a public rail system than simply driving the trains. Transport operators select XTran communication networks to manage rush hour traffic, minimize down time,...Read more

Containers on rail: China’s next big transport opportunity.

The transportation of containers by rail could grow substantially in China, especially if the nation continues adopting the kind of operating practices and regulatory reforms that have boosted the...Read more

VIDEO: 562,145 London Underground journeys in just 2 minutes.

   This unique video is a visualisation of 562,145 journeys on the London Underground network taken across a single day. The numbers are drawn from a 5% sample taken from open access data...Read more

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