It’s our first International Rail News Roundup of what is set to be a very busy year here at SmartRail World. To get 2016 going we learn about a controversial ban on musical instruments on the Hong Kong Metro, get an insight into a very ambitious plan in which Finland and Estonia have agreed to explore the possibility to build an undersea railway tunnel connecting Helsinki and Tallinn, see a good start to year for Alstom with a contract with Bordeaux Metropole and Ansaldo STS who have secured work in Boston and LA, understand why thousands of extra London Overground are being added, spot a cunning dodge of ticket inspectors on the Indian rail network using WhatsApp and of course our rail video of the week which today is a very detailed look at the development and construction of the Metro North in Dublin…
Metro projects: Finland and Estonia agree to examine undersea rail tunnel link (Railway Technology)
Finland and Estonia have agreed to explore the possibility to build an undersea railway tunnel connecting Helsinki and Tallinn. The proposed tunnel will strengthen cooperation in the development of mobility and transport between the regions. Government officials from both countries have also signed a memorandum of understanding committed to further investigating the project such as economic preconditions for the construction and operation of such a tunnel, as well as its socioeconomic impact. Expected to cost about €13bn, the railway tunnel would create better transport links for the many Estonians who already commute into Helsinki, according to BBC.
Rail Passengers: MTR’s new musical instrument policies criticised as registration system begins (Hong Kong Free Press)
The railway company’s announcement came after weeks of controversy and protests over the consistency of the policy’s enforcement and its effect on local musicians. The trial scheme commences on November 2 and will run for four months. Passengers with a valid permit may carry oversized luggage into carriages and stations at any time other than during the morning rush hour of 8:15am-9:15am on weekdays. For musical instruments, the maximum total dimensions should not exceed 235 centimetres, while the maximum length for any one side is set at 145 centimetres.
Rolling Stock: Alstom to supply ten extra Citadis trams to the Bordeaux Metropole (Alstom)
Alstom is to supply 10 extra Citadis trams to the Bordeaux Metropole for a total amount of 28 million euros, supplementing the fleet of trams already in circulation on the 79 kilometres of track that make up the network. Bordeaux has ordered 115 Citadis since the year 2000 and owns one of the largest tram fleets in France.
The new Citadis tramsets will enter service in 2018. They are identical to the previous ones and are equipped with the APS system.44 metres long, they can accommodate more than 300 passengers each, equivalent to over 3 buses. Citadis offers optimal on-board journey quality with a fully low floor, air conditioning, a video surveillance system and audio and visual information. Up to 98% recyclable, Citadis helps to preserve the environment.
Rail Business: Double delight for Ansaldo STS as two major US contracts secured (SmartRail World)
Just a month after the final details of Hitachi’s acquisition of Ansaldo STS were confirmed, the Italian rail technology giant has secured two major US contracts. The tie-up aimed to allowed Hitachi’s rail business to position itself as a global player and take advantage of Ansaldo STS’s international footprint and reputation and they are off to a strong start in securing two major contracts worth a combined $369.5m; a PTC system for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and a Signalling and Train Control (S&TC) system for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA).
Metro projects: Rail bosses cut ribbon on thousands of extra London Overground seats (London Evening Standard)
Thousands of extra London Overground seats every hour will help ease overcrowding on the service’s packed trains, rail bosses have announced. Trains running on the north, west and east London lines and the Euston to Watford service, all of which were previously covered by four-carriage trains, have been lengthened by one extra carriage apiece – meaning every train will take 170 more passengers. Work to boost capacity has been taking place since last year but as of this week all trains are running with the extra carriages.
Metro tickets: WhatsApp keeps ticketless train commuters in safe zone (Times of India)
The rail passengers travelling from sub-urban cities to Jaipur and from Jaipur to these cities have created a WhatsApp group not just to get updated information on the location of the train, or train delays among other things but to give a slip to the flying squads visiting various trains to penalize passengers without ticket. TOI on Thursday spoke to some of the daily passengers travelling to Jaipur from Dausa, Bandikui, Phulera, Kishangarh and other nearby places by train, to perform their duties in various government and private offices, and learnt about these WhatsApp groups.
Rail Video of the Week: Metro North, Dublin, Construction Explained
What is the International Rail News Roundup? There’s never a shortage of global rail news stories, but keeping track of those launches, announcements, innovations, take-overs and developments that are crucial to your business can be a challenge. So the team here at SmartRail World bring you a regular Friday roundup of some stories you may have missed from both SmartRail World and global media sources.For the latest news, as it happens subscriber for free to SmartRail World.
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