SmartRail World

Senator: “PTC deadline will not be met…a legislative fix is needed.”

"Although the PTC deadline is quickly approaching, it remains unattainable..."

A Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation - 'Freight Rail Transportation: Enhancing Safety, Efficiency and Commerce'  yesterday analysed the issues facing the US freight network and gave a clear statement on the status of Positive Train Control (PTC). In his opening statement, U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), who chairs the committee, in his opening statement addressed the upcoming deadline of 31st December 2015 for the federally mandated PTC implementation; "Although the PTC deadline is quickly approaching, it remains unattainable. Through the end of 2014, railroads have invested over $5 billion in PTC, and they expect to spend billions more in the coming years."

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€330 million Hong Kong CBTC contract awarded to Thales & Alstom.

Thales and Alstom have been awarded a contract worth €330 million by MTR Corporation, the operator of Hong Kong’s metro network, to re-signal and upgrade the signalling systems of seven metro lines. A maintenance option is also included in the contract. This extensive project will equip seven MTR lines with the latest Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) technology, safely adding capacity, reliability and maintainability on the existing infrastructure system.

Thales and Alstom will be responsible for the replacement of the existing signalling system including Automatic Train Supervision (ATS), interlocking, and Automatic Train Control (ATC) in the control centre, trains and stations. Thales will provide the advanced SelTrac® CBTC system. The project implementation will be carried out by a dedicated Alstom Thales joint project team. Thales, the consortium leader, has the technical leadership and Alstom will ensure the overall project management, as well as the supply of the remote trackside equipment controllers to deliver seamless interface with the existing field elements. 

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London’s population will be 10m by 2030, how will public transport cope?

London's population is set to grow from 8.4m today to around 10m by 2030 - that's an extra Tube train full of people every three days and this is increasing demand for the cities rail services – Underground, Overground, Docklands Light Railway and Trams. Today SmartRail gains an insight into how Transport for London (TfL) the local government body responsible for most aspects of the transport network in the city is planning to cope with such growth. The recent 150th anniversary of the creation of the London Underground underlined the heritage of the network and there is still very old equipment in some places. The goal for TfL is to achieve a steady state of renewal where modernising is a continual process, built into our everyday operations. This aims to minimise disruption, provide best value for London and the UK, as well as creating certainty for the supply chain and consequently greater value for money.

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Expert insights: Maintaining a more efficient rail industry.

Something a little bit different for SmartRail World today, as we investigate how maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) in the rail industry can achieve significant improvements in financial performance by adapting new techniques and perspectives. To find out more about this subject our Editor, Luke Upton spoke to Mandyam (“Srini”) Srinivasan, Ph.D., the Pilot Corporation Chair of Excellence in Business at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Srinivasan has many years of experience with leading automobile manufacturing organizations, consulted with a large number of industries and has recently written the book, Lean Maintenance Repair and Overhaul, which looks set to become the definitive guide to this subject.

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Texan test track for Elon Musk's 700mph Hyperloop...maybe.

Elon Musk plans to build a Hyperloop test track in Texas (maybe). The CEO of SpaceX and Tesla wants to speed up the development of his transport system that could theoretically travel up to 700 miles per hour and announced, in his typical style, casually on Twitter, that he wants to build a test track for his Hyperloop "most likely in Texas". No further details were offered aside from saying the track could enable companies and students to “test out their pods.” This has been the first major announcement on the project from the founder of PayPal since the plans (pictured right) were revealed in 2013.

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BNSF confirms $1.5 billion investment to increase capacity and expand PTC.

BNSF Railway, one of North America’s leading freight transportation companies which operates over 32,500 miles of track has announced more details about the major capital projects it plans to complete in 2015 to maintain and grow its rail network. In BNSF’s North Region, the company will invest approximately $1.5 billion across eight states for engineering maintenance and line expansion projects, of which approximately $700 million* is planned for projects to expand the rail lines and Positive Train Control (PTC) in that region. BNSF’s North Region has experienced the most rapid growth in recent years. It is the corridor used to move agriculture and coal to export facilities in the Pacific Northwest, petroleum products produced in the region that are destined for refinery facilities, and for consumer products shipped to and from marine ports in the Pacific Northwest. (Picture right, a BNSF train in the Mojave Desert).

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Irish Rail boosted as passenger numbers grow and apprentices return.

Following years of woe, in the wake of severe economic problems, job losses and cuts in funding, passenger numbers on Iarnród Éireann (IE) - the national railway system operator of Ireland are on the rise and apprentices are taken on for the first time in 20 years. IE operates all internal intercity, commuter and freight railway services in the Republic of Ireland, and, jointly with Northern Ireland Railways, the Enterprise service between Dublin and Belfast. Latest figures show overall ridership has increased by 2.5% in 2014 to 37.6 million journeys.

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“A fresh approach to engaging with the global rail community”.

Dear reader,

Many thanks for your continued support of the SmartRail World website and global community. Since its launch in 2013 we've been delighted to see it grow quicker and faster than we ever thought. And in response to your demand, we are now able to offer a limited number of opportunities for partners to come and join us in engaging with the SmartRail World community.

Partnering with us across our SmartRail World digital platforms offers you a way of delivering your company message in a cost effective and multi-faceted way to a qualified, engaged and targeted community of 50,000+ rail and metro professionals. From editorial features, gated e-books giving you access to the downloads, promoting white papers and researchengaging on social media and attending events, working with us gives you access to this focussed, engaged and relevant group. Not only do our leading global events provide an ideal meeting place to meet rail and metro leaders and position your company at the heart of the industry but our digital platforms allow leading suppliers to the industry to demonstrate thought leadership, ensure brand recognition and stay a step ahead of competitors.

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Editor, SmartRail World

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Ground broken on pioneering USA high-speed rail project.

Marking significant progress toward modernizing California’s transportation infrastructure, the California High-Speed Rail Authority today joined hundreds of supporters and government, student, community, transportation, business and labor leaders to break ground on the nation’s first high-speed rail system. The California High-Speed Rail Authority is responsible for planning, designing, building and operation of the first high-speed rail system in the USA. By 2029, the system will run from San Francisco to the Los Angeles basin in under three hours at speeds capable of over 200 miles per hour.The system will eventually extend to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 800 miles with up to 24 stations.

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Which is most expensive metro network in the world?

A new study has compared the price of travelling on 15 major international cities including Paris, Sydney, Santiago, New York, Warsaw (pictured right) and London. The research, from global strategy and pricing consultants, Simon-Kucher & Partners, has also analysed the public transport operators across a number of other criteria including the size of network, airport connections, cleanliness, price, payment options, operational hours and accessibility. The research was carried out in August and September 2014 and consisted of field study, mystery passengers (where the metro network is used by analysts posing as regular users) and desk research. So which network do you think proved the most expensive?

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Senator: “PTC deadline will not be met…a legislative fix is needed.”

"Although the PTC deadline is quickly approaching, it remains unattainable..." A Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation - 'Freight Rail Transportation: Enhancing Safety, Efficiency...Read more

€330 million Hong Kong CBTC contract awarded to Thales & Alstom.

Thales and Alstom have been awarded a contract worth €330 million by MTR Corporation, the operator of Hong Kong’s metro network, to re-signal and upgrade the signalling systems of seven metro lines....Read more

London’s population will be 10m by 2030, how will public transport cope?

London's population is set to grow from 8.4m today to around 10m by 2030 - that's an extra Tube train full of people every three days and this is increasing demand for the cities rail services –...Read more

Expert insights: Maintaining a more efficient rail industry.

Something a little bit different for SmartRail World today, as we investigate how maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) in the rail industry can achieve significant improvements in financial...Read more

Texan test track for Elon Musk's 700mph Hyperloop...maybe.

Elon Musk plans to build a Hyperloop test track in Texas (maybe). The CEO of SpaceX and Tesla wants to speed up the development of his transport system that could theoretically travel up to 700 miles...Read more

Future of Asian Rail II e-book
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