This week we bring you news of plans to recruit 3,500 workers for the Mecca Metro in Saudi Arabia, plans for revival and significant investment to revive French inner-city trains, safety changes made in Canada on the 2nd anniversary of the Lac-Megantic tragedy, the development of High-Speed rail in North Africa, how a road-rail crane truck is aiming to simplify maintenance planning, a new Smartcard plan in the UK draws criticism and our Rail Video of the Week shows a train in Southern Africa offering what we think might be one of the world’s best rail journeys…
Metro Projects: Mecca Metro needs 3,500 workers for Phase One of the Project (The National)
The consortium led by Isolux Corsan, the preferred bidder for the €2.3 billion (Dh9.3bn) contract to build phase one of the new Mecca Metro, said that it will require up to 3,500 staff for the project. The Madrid-based company currently employs only 25 staff in the kingdom, but said that it would need to expand because of the large scale of the project and the reasonably tight deadline. It is expected to finish the metro, with its consortium partners Kolin Construction and Haif Company, by 2019. (Picture: Existing rail link into Mecca).
Rolling Stock: French government launches inter-city revival plan (International Rail Journal)
French secretary of state for transport Mr Alain Vidalies unveiled plans to revive the country's loss-making network of conventional long-distance services on July 7, pledging investment in rolling stock, enhanced services, and a new contract between the government and SNCF Mobility.
Transport Safety: Raitt highlights rail safety changes made since Lac-Megantic tragedy (Progressive Railroading)
Canada's Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt and other Canadian officials yesterday marked the second anniversary of the deadly train derailment in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. On July 6, 2013, a Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway train carrying 72 tank cars of crude oil derailed and exploded in downtown Lac-Megantic, killing 47 people and destroying much of the downtown area. Raitt used the anniversary to review the new rail safety rules and regulations that resulted from the tragic event, including stronger tank-car standards for hauling crude oil and other hazardous and explosive materials by rail.
Future Railway: African High-Speed rail moves a step closer as rolling stock arrives. (SmartRail World)
The first High-Speed rail line in Africa, between Tangier and Casablanca in Morocco, has taken a step forward with the arrival of the first of 12 Alstom Duplex high-speed trainsets in the country. The 350km route between the cities will cut the journey time to just two hours from the current average which is closer to five, and is expected to carry up to 10 million passengers a year. Operated by the national railway operator, Office National des Chemins de Fer du Maroc (ONCF), the line is planned to be the first of 1500 km of high speed lines to be built in next three decades in the north African kingdom.
Preventative maintenance: Road-rail crane trucks simplify maintenance planning (Railway Gazette)
Network Rail has commissioned a fleet of 20 all-wheel drive FUSO Canter trucks adapted for road road-rail use with the addition of hydraulically lowered and raised rail wheels. The infrastructure manager previously relied on a combination of standard road vehicles and hired-in rail vehicles. The Canters can perform both roles, making maintenance planning easier and reducing the time required to carry out work.
Metro ticketing: George Osborne's plan for a northern Oyster card given short shrift (The Guardian)
Introducing the ‘Noyster’ smart card across bus, tram, metro and rail services in the north of England is one of the chancellor’s top priorities, he said in the budget. Quit the gimmicks and sort out the crumbling network first, experts urge. George Osborne’s plan to ape London’s smart ticketing system in the north of England has been dismissed as an out-of-date gimmick which will do nothing to improve the creaking and overcrowded rail network in the region.
Rail Video of the Week: Rovos Rail, the most luxurious train in the world?
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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